It’s almost too easy to overcook soft-boiled eggs, medium-boiled eggs, and hard-boiled eggs. Seriously. The process seems simple enough as no special equipment is required—just a pot filled with water and a few eggs. But too often, you excitedly break into a boiled egg to discover a green ring surrounding the yolk, and let’s not even dwell upon the overcooked eggs’ icky sulphuric taste. It’s common to misjudge the right cooking time for boiled eggs. Timing is everything and we promise with our help, you’ll never overcook your eggs again.

Let the boiled egg timeline below help you cook the flawless soft-, medium-, and hard-boiled eggs. If you follow the suggested cooking times, you’ll achieve boiled egg perfection every single time. Use a slotted spoon to gently lower refrigerated eggs into a pot of already-boiling water, making sure there’s enough water to cover the eggs by about 1 inch, and cook for the prescribed time. Once the appropriate number of minutes have passed, scoop them out, and shock the eggs by transferring them to an ice bath. This will prevent the eggs from cooking any further. Let them cool completely, then peel. 

Here’s the breakdown:

2 minutes: The whites are soft and the yolks are barely cooked. It won’t peel without falling apart. To eat, serve in an egg cup and crack the top of the shell open with a spoon.  

4 minutes: Imagine whites that are set but still soft and an ideal warm, runny yolk—yup, that’s it right hurr. This egg is the perfect pair for dipping and dunking buttered toast soldiers.

6 minutes: Say hello to flawless medium-boiled eggs with whites that are soft and firm, and yolks that are pudding-like. Slice in half and add to a bowl of ramen.

8 minutes: The whites are almost set and the yolks are still slightly creamy. This one’s perfect for topping salads and layering on sandwiches.

10 minutes: The whites are completely set and the yolks are slightly creamy. It’s the ultimate egg to blend with mayonnaise.

12 to 14 minutes: Here, the eggs are firm as can be and the yolks are completely set to the point that they taste dry and chalky.

Store cooked eggs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.