Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg Recipe

It takes just six minutes to get firm whites and liquid yolks, every single time.

A perfect soft-boiled egg, cut in half to reveal the runny yolk, with toasted bread at the top of the image.

Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Why It Works

  • Using a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs prevents them from cracking.
  • Exactly six minutes is just enough cooking time for the perfect soft-boiled texture.

Perfect soft-boiled eggs require the right technique. We cooked dozens and dozens of eggs before arriving at this method, which delivers eggs with tender whites and liquid yolks every single time.


How to Make Soft-Boiled Eggs

July 2017

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Active: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 1 to 6 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 3 quarts (2.8L) water

  • 1 to 6 large eggs


  1. Bring water to a gentle simmer in a medium pot. Gently lower eggs into water with a slotted spoon or strainer (do not drop eggs into water, as they might crack). Cook for exactly 6 minutes, then remove eggs with slotted spoon and serve.

    A four-image collage showing the eggs being added to a pan of gently boiling water and then removed with a slotted spoon.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Special Equipment

Medium pot, slotted spoon

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
12 Calories
1g Fat
0g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 12
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 31mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 12mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)