How to Boil an Egg


As the year comes to a close we are starting to get inundated with best ofs, top 10s and most popular lists. I stumbled upon Yahoo’s 2010 Year in Review – Burning Questions list, which lists the most commonly asked search engine questions. Amongst the how to lose weight, how to write a resume and which city has the best water (cough cough DC)… There, sitting at #10 was “How to Boil an Egg.” Seriously America, how to boil an egg?

So, purely in the interest of education, here is a quick guide on how to boil an egg. Whether you like it soft, medium or hard boiled, the instructions are after the jump.


Hard Boiled (pictured left)

Fill a pan with water and place the egg gently in the water. Bring to a steady boil. Once the water is boiling, remove the pan from heat, keep it covered, and take the eggs out after 8-9 minutes.

Medium Boiled (pictured middle)

Fill a pan with water and bring to a boil, gently place the egg in water and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering gently. Remove egg after 6-7 minutes.

Soft Boiled (pictured right)

Fill pan with water and bring to a boil, gently place egg in water and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering gently. Remove egg after 4-5 minutes.

For the purposes of these instructions, the egg is medium-large.

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  • Julie December 8, 2010  

    Hah! I’ve googled that very phrase at least twice this year. I can never remember how long to leave them on the stove to get them hard boiled but not with that grody greenness on the yolk.

  • David December 8, 2010  

    This is retarded.

  • Louise December 8, 2010  

    This is a surprisingly difficult question. I’ve actually tried many methods over the years. Even Elizabeth David gives multiple methods, which I did try a very long time ago. I’d love to have the time to do a blog post on the different results, it would be fun.

    My current favourite recipe is to put room temperature eggs (so they don’t crack), into boiling water. Cook for one minute. Take off the heat. Cover the pot, and leave for 10 minutes. Then run under cold water to cool. Perfect medium boiled eggs- every time. Much more foolproof than having to rely on noticing when the pot comes to the boil with the egg already in it. I set the kitchen timer for the 1 and 10 minutes, and voila. Perfect. Actually I think I need a boiled egg for lunch now!

  • Liza December 9, 2010  

    Love it! At first when I saw the title I was like hmmm. Then as I read the post I was laughing so hard! How is that the #10 search hahahaha! Love you ES editors too 🙂 Smart cookies!

  • Pingback: Deviled Eggs are the Devil January 22, 2011  

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