How long should you boil an egg?


A perfectly cooked egg can make the difference between a delicious breakfast and a disappointing meal. Boiling eggs may seem like a simple task, but there are many variables that affect the outcome. In this blog you will learn everything you need to know to cook the perfect egg.

The different types of boiled eggs

There are three main types of boiled eggs: soft-boiled, semi-soft-boiled and hard-boiled. The difference between these types is in the texture of the egg white and yolk.

Soft boiled egg

In a soft-boiled egg, the white is firm, but the yolk is still runny. This is ideal for dipping toast or bread.

Semi-soft boiled egg

A semi-soft-boiled egg has a firmer egg white and a partially set yolk. This is perfect with a salad or on a sandwich.

soft boiled egg

Hard boiled egg

In a hard-boiled egg, both the egg white and the yolk are completely solidified. This type of egg is ideal for making deviled eggs or egg salad.

The cooking time of an egg depends on a number of factors:

  • Larger eggs take longer to cook than smaller eggs.
  • An egg straight from the refrigerator will take longer to cook than an egg at room temperature.

hard boiled egg

It is important to start with cold water to prevent the eggs from cracking while cooking. The cold water ensures that the eggs gradually heat up and cook evenly. Use a pan large enough to hold the eggs in a single layer so they cook evenly and don't bump into each other. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged, with about 2 inches of water above the eggs.

Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature for even cooking results. If you don't do this, the eggs will take longer to cook. Place the eggs in a single layer in the pan and fill the pan with cold water so that the eggs are completely submerged. Place the pan on the stove and bring the water to a boil over medium heat.

Once the water is boiling, set a timer based on the type of boiled egg you want:

  • Soft-boiled egg: 4-5 minutes
  • Semi-soft boiled egg: 6-7 minutes
  • Hard-boiled egg: 8-10 minutes

Keep the water bubbling gently while boiling, but not in a wild, rolling boil.

boiling eggs

Cooling the eggs

Once the cooking time is over, remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and prevent the eggs from overcooking.

Alternative cooking methods for eggs


When steaming eggs, place the eggs in a steamer basket over a pan of boiling water. This is a great way to cook eggs that are easier to peel.

Sous vide

Sous-vide cooking is a technique in which you cook eggs in a water bath at a precisely controlled temperature. This ensures a very consistent and accurate result


Cooking eggs in the microwave is a quick and easy method, but it can lead to unevenly cooked eggs and the risk of the eggs exploding.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my eggs are still fresh? Take the floating test! Place the egg in a bowl of water. If the egg remains at the bottom, it is fresh. If the egg floats, it is no longer fresh and you should throw it away.

What is the best way to peel eggs without damaging them?

After boiling, shock the eggs in ice water. This helps to shrink the egg white and makes peeling easier.

What is the difference between brown and white eggs?

The difference in color is caused by the breeds of the chickens and does not affect the taste, texture or cooking time of the eggs.

How can I prevent my eggs from cracking while cooking?

Start with cold water and gradually bring the water to a boil. This ensures that the eggs heat up slowly and prevents them from cracking. You can also poke a small hole in the wide bottom of the egg with a needle or egg piercer before cooking to reduce the air pressure inside the egg and prevent cracking.

Can I cook several eggs at the same time?

If so, does this affect the cooking time? Yes, you can boil multiple eggs at the same time. Make sure the eggs are in a single layer in the pan and that they are all completely submerged. Boiling multiple eggs can affect the cooking time depending on the size of the pan and the amount of water. Monitor the cooking time and adjust it if necessary.

How long can I keep boiled eggs in the refrigerator?

Boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week as long as they are kept in their shells and are properly covered. It is best not to peel hard-boiled eggs until you are ready to eat them to avoid drying out and odors in the refrigerator.

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