You’ve been boiling eggs wrong – scientist shares formula for perfect dippy eggs

Who doesn’t love a boiled egg for breakfast? Dippy eggs with toast soldiers, or even just a soft-boiled egg smeared across toast, are a delicious start to the day, but not everyone can cook them just right.

Luckily, a food scientist has come up with a perfect formula to make sure you get a soft boiled egg that has a well cooked white with a runny, golden yolk.

After all, nobody wants a snotty egg or one that’s so hard there’s nothing to dunk your soldiers in.

The statistical formula was devised by Dr James Hind of Nottingham University – and it’s sure to revolutionise your boiled egg habits as you’ll never have a rubbish one again!

So, how do you cook the perfect soft boiled egg in the morning?



It can be difficult to get the yolk and the white to cook to the perfect consistency

Well, the egg should be cooked for four minutes 25 seconds precisely. Make sure to set a timer on your phone so that you’re not estimating.

Also, make sure that the water is boiling in the pan before dunking in your eggs. If you pour the water straight on top of the eggs from the kettle then it might not be the correct temperature at the beginning and so your egg won’t be cooked to perfection.

After boiling, the eggs should then be plunged into cold water for 57 seconds. Not 60, not 55, but 57 exactly.

White bread – sorry brown bread lovers, we didn’t come up with the formula – should be toasted for just under three minutes and cut into 2.1 cm soldiers.

Dr James said: “Overwhelmingly, we like our eggs to be runny, but not the whites. Hopefully my formula will allow people to perfect and enjoy the ultimate comfort food.”



Soldiers should be cut to 2.1cm precisely
Soldiers should be cut to 2.1cm precisely

Andrew Joret, chairman of British Lion Eggs, which commissioned the research, said: “A classic dish like boiled egg and soldiers continues to be a British favourite, and while it’s a simple dish, it can be sublime when cooked perfectly.”

According to one study, most Brits – 62% – insist crusts should be cut off the toast before being buttered, with 65% always having unsalted butter.

And, 52% believe the egg should be cracked open at the small end, compared to 20% who favour the large end.

Plus, while 37% tap it with a spoon, 32% slice it with a knife!

Personally, though, I prefer brown bread with the crusts on, salted butter and extra salt added to the egg. And, I cut my egg open with a serrated spoon at the large end for maximum dunkability.

So, each to their own really. Cook your eggs how you like, but remember that four minutes and 25 seconds is the key to the perfect consistency.

Good luck egg-lovers!

What’s your perfect pairing with a soft boiled egg? Tell us in the comments section…

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