How to peel a soft-boiled egg? (3 simple steps)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to peel a soft-boiled egg?”, and how to make the perfect soft-boiled eggs?

How to peel a soft-boiled egg?

Follow the steps below to peel a soft-boiled egg.

  • First, tap the egg against a flat and hard surface like a cutting board or the edge of a bowl.
  • Tap the egg all over to create cracks or roll the egg after the first tap to create smaller cracks. 
  • Remove the loosened and cracked egg-shell pieces carefully without damaging the egg.

The shelf-life of soft-boiled eggs

Unpeeled, soft-boiled eggs will keep in the fridge for about 2 days. You can easily reheat the stored eggs by keeping them in simmering water for about 1 minute. Do not keep the boiled eggs at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you are not going to consume it within 2 hours of boiling, refrigerating is a good option.

Freezing boiled eggs is not recommended as it degrades the quality to a large extent. The egg whites become rubbery and the egg yolks lose their moisture becoming crumbly. Moreover, the eggs might develop a foul smell and a watery texture.

How to make the perfect soft-boiled eggs?

When boiling eggs, temperature and holding time are the two important considerations. The following table is a complete guideline on how to boil eggs with a runny, fudgy, and hard yolk.

Egg textureHolding time
Soft white and a runny yolk4-6 minutes
Soft yolk that stays in place8 minutes
A firm yolk with a central soft spot10 minutes
Hard-boiled egg with a light yolk12 minutes
Hard-boiled egg with a firmer white and yolk but not overcooked14 minutes

Other FAQs about Eggs which you may be interested in.

Can you get sick from eating bad eggs?

Can you get sick from eating raw eggs?

Can you eat eggs 10 days after the use-by date?

How to reboil soft-boiled eggs?

If your egg is too runny for you to consume, follow the steps below to reboil it until solid. This method applies to both peeled and un-peeled eggs.

  1. Take a pot or a saucepan. Pour enough water for the egg to submerge completely.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Place your soft-boiled egg into the boiling with the help of a spoon and turn off the flame.
  4. Cover the pot with a lid and let the egg sit in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Take out the egg using a spoon and run under tap water to halt the cooking process.
  6. Consume immediately or keep in the fridge for 2 days.

Use the same process to warm your hard-boiled eggs. Reduce the holding time to 2 minutes to avoid overcooking your egg. If you have cut the boiled egg and the yolk is too runny, you can reheat it in the microwave until solid.

In the case of dyed eggs, reboiling is not an appropriate option if the dye is water-soluble. Even if it does not dissolve in water, it will penetrate the egg through the pores which open due to reboiling. This may have negative health impacts especially if the dye is not food grade.

Note that heating boiled egg in the microwave with its shell intact will have disastrous results.

The egg might blow off and you will end up with a lot of cleanups to do. This happens because the moisture trapped inside the shell produces steam and creates pressure. As this pressure builds with more heating, the shell ruptures and explodes.

The science behind boiled eggs?

An egg is a rich source of protein. A large egg has approximately 628g protein, 3.6g of which constitutes the egg white. The building block of proteins is amino acids which are held together by weak bonds. These covalent bonds are weak enough to be broken by the heat that is provided during boiling.

The heat breaks these weak bonds and stimulates the amino acids to make stronger bonds simultaneously. During this process, water is expelled through the egg resulting in the solidification and denaturation of the protein. Proteins in an egg pass through the following stages during boiling.

  • At 130-140°F, egg proteins start to unfold.
  • At 140°F, ovotransferrin turns the egg white into a gelatinous matrix as a result of bonding with itself.
  • At 155°F, ovotransferrin is moist but solid.
  • At 180°F, ovalbumin makes the egg white firm due to cross bonding.
  • Above 180°F, proteins lose water slowly. As a result of dehydration, the egg white develops a dry a rubbery texture and starts to give off a foul Hydrogen sulfide smell.


In this article, we answered the question “How to peel a soft-boiled egg?”, and how to make the perfect soft-boiled eggs?