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Martha's Soft-Boiled Eggs

Despite its name, the boiled egg shouldn't be boiled throughout the cooking process -- a method that yields a rubbery result -- but rather brought to a boil and then immediately removed from heat. Serve with buttered toast.

  • Servings: 2
Martha's Soft-Boiled Eggs

Source: Comfort Food


  • 4 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Fill the pan with cold water, covering eggs by an inch. Set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove eggs from water. Serve immediately in egg cups -- perfect for cracking and scooping the egg right from the shell. Season with salt and pepper.


Reviews (10)

  • Zert 22 Dec, 2014

    Great method for hard-boiled eggs. Many recipes for hard-boiled eggs result in undercooked yolks, but this method guarantees firm, hard centers. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm craving soft-boiled eggs and need to go find instructions for how to make them.

  • birdergirl 13 Dec, 2014

    Works for me. I am eating my perfect soft-boiled eggs right now. I stood over the pan and followed the recipe exactly. Just as boiling started, I removed the pan from the cooktop, covered and set the timer for 1.5 minutes and stood over the eggs like a watchdog. At 1.5, I drained the pot, ran a little cool water over the eggs and cracked them over for eggs that had very slightly cooked yellow with quite a bit of thickened yellow real solid and not watery, runny. Just perfect .

  • tiffanybabbs 5 Oct, 2014

    This is utter clap-trap. I thought the whole process was too much for soft boiled eggs and I was completely right! They were hard boiled eggs!! Want soft boiled eggs? Follow a different recipe to this! Martha is totally wrong here and my breakfast is ruined! Egg tuna salad for lunch I guess!!! >:(

  • K2715 16 Oct, 2014

    I wonder if poster tiffanybabbs5 misread the instructions like I first did. It's 'ONE and A HALF' to TWO minutes, NOT eleven. You'll defintely get great, almost fully hard boiled eggs at 11.5 minutes with this process. Either that or the stove used was slow to get to boiling.

  • K2715 16 Oct, 2014

    I also wonder if user tiffanybabbs completely removed the pot from the heat? Or kept it boiling or simmering or on an electric burner?
    Contrary to her opinion that the recipe is clap-trap creating hard boiled eggs, I found my eggs, straight out of the refridgerator needed a bit more than 2 minutes to get the white cooked to my liking.

  • Bankerssilvermoon 17 Nov, 2014

    I followed the directions to the letter. I do like my eggs a little softer and I did give them a cold water bath at the end of the 1 1/2 minutes to stop the cooking process. They did cook to my liking. These are the perfect soft boiled eggs.

  • scottholly505 30 May, 2014

    This is the best process for soft boiled eggs I have ever used! I live at altitude and was afraid to take them out too soon. If uncooked they would be ruined. I took a deep breath added a few secs over 2 minutes, then drained them and rinsed with cold water It worked brilliantly!! The whites were completely cooked the yellow was soft. It was heaven. The first egg was softer and the second slightly more cooked. The third was more cooked , if you want them runny, rinse with cold water promptly.

  • goodcook 1 28 Apr, 2014

    This recipe is the Best, for the soft-cooked egg ! And we're cooking them all our lives... We came from Russia, and like many Europeans, like our eggs in the egg cups. Cooking them to perfection on stove top can be tricky: 3 min. 20 sec or 3 min 50 sec. With salt in water or without ? And you advice is just to bring them to a boil, then cover and let stand off the stove top for 1 1/2 - 2 min should do it !
    I recently learned to boil hard eggs :boil, cover, let stand 12 min and enjoy !

  • dizz3898 19 Mar, 2014

    have you tried steaming to make a soft boiled egg. so easy and never fail. put a steamer baxket in with 1" of water place eggs in steamer basket cook for 6 mins then run them under cold water for 20 secs... PERFECTLY soft boiled eggs!

  • Andrew Wood 21 Oct, 2012

    Do not follow this recipe unless you want hard boiled eggs! Martha owes me some eggs as I did not want hard boiled eggs.

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