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Soft boiled eggs served with soldiers

How to boil an egg

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Learn how long to boil an egg for to achieve the perfect consistency, whether you're after runny yolks or hard-boiled. Plus, check out our recipe ideas.

Looking to make the perfect soft-boiled eggs for breakfast? Achieve a lovely soft centre and cooked egg white with our expert cooking tips.


For more cooking methods, see how to make hard boiled eggs, how to fry an egg and how to make scrambled eggs in the microwave.

Make a boiled egg and serve with soldiers for an easy breakfast, cook up a hearty kedgeree or use boiled eggs to top a simple salad.

Find plenty of inspiration in our best ever boiled egg recipes.

How to boil an egg

Make sure your eggs aren't fridge cold. By having the eggs at room temperature, it will be less of a shock for the egg reaching the hot water and therefore less likely to crack. You can also use an egg pricker to make a very small hole in each egg before boiling, which will also reduce the chances of it cracking in the heat.

We used large hens' eggs at room temperature lowered into boiling water. When done, scoop the eggs out of the pan and put them in a bowl of cold water (if you’re not eating them straight away) to prevent them cooking any further.

How long to boil an egg

  • 5 minutes: set white and runny yolk – just right for dipping into
  • 6 minutes: liquid yolk – a little less oozy
  • 7 minutes: almost set – deliciously sticky
  • 8 minutes: softly set – this is what you want to make Scotch eggs
  • 10 minutes: the classic hard-boiled egg – mashable but not dry and chalky

Watch the video above to find out how to perfectly boil eggs, whether you like yours runny or hard-boiled.

Now that you have beautifully boiled eggs, put them to good use with 10 sensational soldiers, or whip up one of our favourite recipes:

Scotch eggs
Winter tuna Niçoise
Ramen with chicken bone broth, pork shoulder, soft-boiled egg & greens
Salmon & egg wraps with mustard mayo
Curried egg mayo sandwich topper


Are you a dippy egg devotee, or a hard-boiled believer? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below...

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