You can’t get much better than a well-boiled egg with dipping soldiers for breakfast or brunch. Whether you like them soft- or hard-boiled, it’s easy to get them spot-on with our handy guide on how to boil eggs. Read on to find out how...

Once you’ve cooked your eggs to perfection (see our visual guide on how long to boil eggs) keep things simple with a round of toast for dunking, or upgrade your soldiers for asparagus when in season. Peel and quarter and use to finish off a spicy kedgeree, or team with salmon, green beans and olives for a spin on a niçoise salad.

Be sure to always use the best-quality eggs you can – choose free-range or organic, and go for large eggs to match up with the timings below. A good tip to remember is that adding a small pinch of sea salt to the boiling water before placing your eggs in will help to prevent them from cracking.



  1. Fill a small saucepan ¾ of the way full with water, and bring it to a fast boil.
    Image of a pan of boiling water to boil eggs
  2. Add a good pinch of sea salt, and, using a slotted spoon, dip your eggs in and out and then lower them into the water.
    Image of egg being lowered into boiling waterDipping the eggs first helps prevent the shock of the change in temperature, which can sometimes make them crack open. Be sure to lower them in slowly, so the shells don’t crack on the bottom.
  3. Cook for the following times, depending on how you like your eggs: 5 minutes for soft boiled, 7½ minutes for semi-firm or 10 minutes for hard-boiled.
  4. Remove the eggs with the spoon and serve with hot, buttered toast, or allow to cool before peeling.

boiling times for perfect eggs banner

So there you go – super-simple steps for how to boil eggs just the way you like them. Follow this approach every time and you
won’t go wrong. If you’re still not sure you’ve cracked it, watch Jamie in action here:

If you want to brush up on more egg skills, check out how to make perfect scrambled eggs, or master the art of poaching eggs or new ways to serve your perfectly boiled eggs, check out these delicious recipes:





For more information on free-range eggs and welfare standards, check out the British Hen Welfare Trust.

Adapted from Jamie’s Ministry of Food.