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How to boil an egg

by Anna Glover
How to boil an egg
Image: Toby Scott

Making the perfect boiled egg can be a tricky task and requires expert timing. Follow our guide below for the best boiled eggs, whether you're after hard-boiled or soft boiled eggs

1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a gentle but not rolling boil.

2. Gently lower the eggs into the water and start your timer.

3. Leave them to boil for 6 minutes if you’re after a soft boiled egg, and 9 minutes for hard-boiled.


  • Time your boiled eggs. There’s no other indicator that your eggs are done perfectly, so use a stopwatch, kitchen timer or phone for accurate timings.
  • Use a small saucepan. If the pan is too big the eggs will rattle around, which could cause the shells to break.
  • Check your eggs – if they are super-fresh (fewer than 4 days old) add 1 minute to the timings.


  • Use eggs taken straight from the fridge. If you’re in a hurry and have no choice, add an extra 1 minute to the cooking times to allow for the difference in temperatures.
  • Have the water boiling too hard – this is likely to rattle the eggs too much and could crack them.
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