This Is *Exactly* How Long a Chef Says To Boil Eggs for That Perfectly Jammy Texture

Photo: Stocksy/Nadine Greeff
Scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, you name it—eggs are by far one of the most versatile (and nutritious) staples to eat any time of day. And considering the fact that they're loaded with vitamins and minerals like choline, iron, vitamin D, and B vitamins, it comes as little surprise that dietitians have deemed them “nature’s multivitamin.

But just when you thought you knew exactly how to prepare an egg in all of its forms, a new take on this household staple is taking the internet by storm. Enter: jammy eggs, otherwise known as soft-boiled eggs. While the exterior of a jammy egg may look like a traditional hard-boiled version, the interior unleashes something much more special. When halved, a soft-boiled egg unveils a creamy, vibrant, and jammy yolk interior that is—in the literal and figurative sense—pure gold.

Experts In This Article

Making jammy eggs is super easy, but there are a few simple parameters (in terms of temperature and cook time) to follow that separate it from its sibling, the traditional hard-boiled egg. To get an expert’s take on how to prepare the perfect jammy eggs, we spoke with Cyril Kabaoglu, lead chef-instructor of Culinary Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education, for his simple scientific approach to nailing the right consistency. And for a few easy ways to debut this protein-packed ingredient in your next meal, we compiled a list of delicious recipes (think salads, bowls, and side dishes) that pair perfectly with the taste and texture of jammy eggs so you can get cracking as quickly as possible.

How to prepare jammy eggs, according to a chef

Chef Kabaoglu has been schooling his students on the proper culinary techniques for making perfectly-cooked eggs for decades, so it's safe to say that his recipe for soft-boiled-slash-jammy eggs is foolproof. "A few key steps make all the difference," he says. First, instead of adding vinegar to the boiling water, Kabaoglu opts for a spoonful of baking soda. "Baking soda makes the pH level of the egg's albumen higher, which loosens the bond between the inner membrane of the shell and the egg whites, ultimately making the egg a lot easier to peel,” Kabaoglu notes. This important step makes handling softer, more delicate soft-boiled eggs a breeze, which can be more difficult and time-consuming to peel if you forget to add this ingredient.

According to Kabaoglu, giving your egg a super gentle tap before you drop it into the water will also help you peel it once it's done cooking. “Before you boil your egg, it’s important to tap the bottom of the egg on a flat surface to allow the baking soda mixture to penetrate the shell and interact with the albumen,” he says. Don't worry: Cracking the egg lightly at the rounded bottom won’t release the whites (or make a mess)—it solely allows the small air pocket between the inner and outer shell membranes to escape.

One of the most important steps in nailing the jammy texture is, of course, cooking your eggs just long enough to solidify the whites without drying out the yolks. Kabaoglu says that means six and a half minutes—no more, no less (unless you prefer a softer or harder-cooked egg, that is). And finally, preparing an ice bath to "shock" your egg (aka abruptly stop its cooking process) once it comes out of the boiling water is key. To do so, Kabaoglu combines ice cubes and cold water in a large bowl while the eggs cook. Once they're ready, he immediately dunks them in the freezing water to prevent the eggs from overcooking and losing their creamy yolks. And lastly, don't forget to garnish your jammy eggs with a pinch of flaky sea salt to enhance the flavors of the dish and really make your taste buds sing.

Jammy eggs recipe

Yields four eggs

1 tablespoon baking soda
4 eggs
Flaky sea salt, to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and fill with cool water three-quarters of the way up. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the eggs by gently tapping the rounded bottom of the egg on a flat surface to create a small crack in the shell to expose the air cell.

3. Once the water is boiling, gently lower the eggs into the water and cook them for 6.5 minutes. Kabaoglu suggests using a cheesecloth to hold the eggs to avoid splashing the water as you lower and retrieve them later.

4. Meanwhile the eggs cook, prepare an ice bath (combine cold water with ice cubes in a large bowl). Once the eggs have finished cooking, immediately place them in the iced water for about 30 seconds to “shock” them and stop the cooking process to preserve the yolks' jammy texture.

5. Once cool enough to handle, cut the eggs in half, lengthwise, and serve with a pinch of flaky sea salt.

5 easy springtime recipes to pair with soft-boiled, jammy eggs

1. Quinoa brunch bowl with miso mustard dressing, soft boiled eggs, and tofu puffs

jammy eggs
Photo: I Am A Food Blog

This brunch bowl by I Am A Food Blog hits the mark when it comes to a well-balanced meal. Packed with protein and fiber great for your digestive health from quinoa, tofu “puffs,” and our favorite part, a perfectly jammy egg, this recipe will give you a delicious midday energy boost. To top things off, this power bowl is seasoned with a miso-mustard dressing that adds creamy tanginess to make all the flavors pop.

Get the recipe here: Quinoa Brunch Bowl With Six Minute Soft Boiled Eggs, Creamy Avocado, Tofu Puffs, and a Miso Mustard Dressing

2. Sesame roasted asparagus, egg, and bacon salad

Jammy Eggs
Photo: Half-Baked Harvest

This is one side dish you definitely don’t want to sleep on. With spring in full bloom and asparagus season at its peak, this sesame roasted asparagus, egg, and bacon salad by Half-Baked Harvest is a match made in heaven. Much like a “BLT” (as the author refers to it), this recipe features crispy bacon, refreshing cherry tomatoes, and roasted asparagus (in place of lettuce), which is loaded with vitamin K and is prebiotic.

Get the recipe here: Sesame Roasted Asparagus, Egg, and Bacon Salad

3. Spring greens salad with fennel, radish, and miso-buttermilk dressing

Jammy Eggs
Photo: The Bojon Gourmet

This cheerful recipe by The Bojon Gourmet takes advantage of the season’s offerings with ingredients like crisp fennel, vibrant watermelon radishes (great for supporting the good bacteria in your intestinal tract), and crunchy snap peas. Tossed in a sweet and tangy miso-buttermilk dressing and garnished with giant crispy croutons and soft, jammy eggs, this is one recipe to bookmark for this spring.

Get the recipe here: Spring Greens Salad With Fennel, Radish & Miso-Buttermilk Dressing

4. Hummus and veggie breakfast bowl with a soft-boiled egg

Jammy Eggs
Photo: Gimme Some Oven

This season, boring breakfasts are out, and delicious and hearty ones are in—like Gimme Some Oven's hummus and veggie breakfast bowl. A play on the “brassicas bowl” served at Two Hands, an Aussie-inspired restaurant in New York City, this recipe highlights “brassicas,” aka the family of vegetables that include broccoli, kale, cabbage, and collard greens. The author mixes veggies like sautéed asparagus, shredded kale, and brussels sprouts to make this breakfast bowl and tops it with a bright and refreshing lemon, Dijon vinaigrette, and a soft-boiled egg for added protein.

Get the recipe: Hummus and Veggie Breakfast Bowls

5. Cheesy, savory oatmeal with crispy potatoes, jammy eggs, and pesto

Jammy Eggs
Photo: Snixy Kitchen

Cheesy, crunchy, and so nourishing, name a better way to start the day than with this oat bowl. Teeming with flavor-enhancing ingredients like smoky gouda cheese, heart-healthy roasted garlic, and herby pesto, this recipe will make you wonder why you hadn’t tried savory oatmeal sooner. And, as if the potatoes, cheese, and sunflower seed pesto weren’t enough, a golden, gooey egg will seal the deal.

Get the recipe: Cheesy Savory Oatmeal With Crispy Potatoes & Pesto

Watch the video below to find out why Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD calls eggs "nature's multivitamin":

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