Cooking perfect boiled eggs isn’t a dark art, nor does it need to be a hit and miss process. There really is no trick to boiling eggs! Just follow our “eggstructions” below to learn how long to cook soft-boiled eggs and hard-boiled eggs for.
We’ve also included the surprising secret to peeling hard-boiled eggs after you’ve cooked them – because everyone knows that’s the hardest part! After reading our secret tip, you should be able to peel eggs without sticking issues with the shell for once!
- Place your eggs into a saucepan: you can add as many as can fit in one layer with enough space to move about – for a standard size saucepan this is usually about 6
- Fill the saucepan with cold water: using cold water allows the eggs to cook evenly and makes them less likely to crack
- Put the pan over a high heat: bring the water to the boil, and once fully boiling completely remove from the heat and cover
How long to cook soft-boiled eggs
- 4 minutes: once the water is boiling and you’ve removed the saucepan from the heat, leave the egg in boiling water for 4 minutes for a delicious soft-boiled egg with very runny yolk
- 5-6 minutes: leave in the boiled water for 5-6 minutes for a soft-boiled egg with a slightly less runny (but still soft!) yolk
TIP: If cooking multiple soft-boiled eggs at once, increase this length of time slightly for additional eggs
How long to cook hard-boiled eggs
- 9 minutes: leaving your egg in boiling water for ages to make sure it’s properly hard-boiled is a really common mistake. If you leave your egg for too long, the yolk sometimes takes on a greyish tint and the white gets unpleasantly rubbery
TIP: If you want to make absolutely sure your egg is hard-boiled, leave for up to 15 minutes, but no longer!
When your egg is cooked
- Pop your egg into a bowl of cold (preferably ice) water: doing this will stop the egg from cooking any further than desired
- Leave the egg to cool: this will take at least a minute and will allow you to peel the egg without having to treat it like a hot potato!
The secret to peeling hard-boiled eggs
The moment you’ve been waiting for…what’s the secret to peeling hard-boiled eggs, you ask? Use older eggs! Eggs will gradually lose moisture through the tiny pores in their shell. Leaving fresh eggs for a couple of weeks before hard-boiling them will make the whites a little firmer and easier to separate from the shell. Don’t leave them to go off though – no-one wants to eat (or smell for that matter!) an egg that’s gone bad.
What do you think of our egg boiling skills? Is there a different trick to boiling eggs perfectly that you prefer? Let us know in the comments!
Take a look at our how to make perfect poached eggs video for an “eggstra” egg cooking skill!