How to Make the Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs

Source: Micki Seibel, November 2012

Source: Micki Seibel, November 2012

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 7 min
Ready in: 12 min
Yields: 2-4 eggs
When it comes to breakfast, there is nothing better than a perfectly soft boiled egg. The perfect soft boiled egg has a fully cooked white, but a runny and warm yolk making it perfect for a nice slice of toast. Served on top of a bed of organic greens such as arugula or spinach, it is heavenly and nutritious.How does one achieve that delicate balance of cooked white and runny yolk? Here’s how to make the perfect soft boiled egg.


  • 4 eggs
  • 3 qts water
  • 1 cup ice


  1. Add 1.5 quarts of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the eggs, ensuring that the eggs are fully submersed in the water, let boil for 5 minutes for a runny yolk (the egg in the front of the picture above) or 7 minutes for a gently set yolk (the egg in the back of the picture above).
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, add the ice to the remaining 1.5 quarts of water.
  4. After the eggs have boiled for 5 minutes, immediately place them in the iced water for 2 minutes. This stops the heat in the eggs from further cooking and is key for keeping a soft yolk.

To Serve

To serve, you have two options:

  1. Use a knife to take the cap off the tip of the egg and eat it straight from the shell. Slice your toast into strips for dipping into the yolk.
  2. Very carefully crack and peel like a hard boiled egg. If you use this method, I drop the egg onto my wood cutting board from only an inch or two letting gravity and the weight of the of egg make crack in the shell enough to peel….carefully.

To Get the Best Results: Use Pastured Eggs

Pastured eggs mean the hens were raised on open pastures where they can roam freely, graze on grass and grubs and earthworms. Hens are omnivorous, and when they are raised in large-scale egg farms, they are fed vegetarian feed (even if that feed is organic). Only pasture raised hens get the ominvorous diet they would get in nature.

Aside from the humane treatment of the hens, the results are eggs that have firmer structure, darker, more flavorful yolks, and eggs that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. The video below from vital Farms in Austin, TX explains more about pasture raised eggs.