The 3 Minute Egg


So...lots and lots of people have their own ways of cooking the perfect soft boiled egg.'s mine!


Prep time
2 minutes
Cooking time
7 minutes
Total time
9 minutes


old eggs (see below)
1 T
white vinegar


  1. Put eggs in a small sauce pan.
  2. Cover with cold water.
  3. Add vinegar.
  4. Put on burner on high until water is at a rolling boil.
  5. After about 1 minute at rolling boil, turn off burner.
  6. Set timer for 3 minutes.
  7. When timer sounds, pour into colander in sink and bathe in cold water until you can handle the eggs with your bare hands.
  8. Crack, peal & eat!



  1. Why old eggs? Well, take my word for it, they're easier to peel. Not gonna take my word for it? Here's the science.
  2. How do I know the age of my eggs? I learned this the relatively easy way, by comparing eggs that I'd recently purchased to ones that were near their "best by date". Newer eggs will not float as high as older ones when put in water. It's a pseudo-science at best and something you should take a little time to learn. Read the article linked in answer 1.
  3. What type of eggs should I use? Use the best eggs you can afford. They are not being cooked in oil, butter or lard, so you'll want flavor-rich eggs, from a local farm, if you can.
  4. Ewww, vinegar, I hate the way it smells! Why do I have to put that in with my eggs? Multi-part answer:
    • Egg shells are calcium rich. A bit of vinegar will make them crack more easily.
    • If an egg has an unidentified crack in it, or cracks during the boil, vinegar will set the white more quickly and you'll lose less egg.
    • Man up. As you cook, the vinegar will boil off and you won't taste anything on your egg.
  5. You said it was a three minute egg, but the instructions say 9 minutes. What's up with that? Three minutes refers to the amount of time you wait after the initial boil. That could be 5 or 9 minutes on your stove; it's only 4 on mine with my small sauce pan.

Photo credit: fotoosvanrobin