How to Boil an Egg


I like eggs.

I don’t eat them as often as I like, but my weekend breakfasts certainly have a ellipsoidal shaped space for them.

cat eggCommonly on Saturdays I’ll go for a fried egg in a croissant for breakfast – sounds odd, but I urge you to try it, an American play on fried egg sandwich, the sweetness of the pastry and savoury egg combo is a winner. Sunday, is more a louche poached egg on toast vibe (the secret is not to let your water overly boiled and add a cap-full of vinegar to the water before cracking the egg in, don’t worry about creating an otherworldly vortex – it’s a myth.

However, since working only four days a week, Friday’s have become my boiled egg day.

The simplest of recipes, yet with enough nuances, Delia Smith needed to write a book about it to encourage people back into the kitchen in the 80’s.

Doing a quick internets search, there seems to be as many different techniques as one can realistically invent, and while most are variations on a them (put egg in water and boil it), it is surprisingly varied.

My personal method ignores Delia’s good advice (although I might try it next time to see) and goes on my gut instincts, so if it doesn’t work for you, I’m sorry. This method does not guarantee a perfect soft boiled egg, and I take no responsibility for hard boiled disappointment, but this is how I roll.


  • Put your egg into a small saucepan.
  • Just about cover with water
  • bring to the boil (many chef say simply simmer, I would say go more than a simmer, less than a roll)
  • as soon as it’s bubbling, set the timer for 2 mins 30 seconds
  • Put your toast in the toaster (Soughdough if you can get it is preferable)
  • Time’s up! – quickly put your egg in an egg cup, while you butter and top your toast (Marmite for me please)
  • Bash, Slice, Peel – whatever you need to do to get into your egg.
  • Fingers crossed the yolk is runny and the white solid, NOW EAT!


Here’s a quick video I made a while back illustrating this, with sound by PhantomHead