I'm seeking information because oddly this has recently also happened to several of my friends.

I cooked my hard-boiled eggs like I normally would; they were in the pot until the water boiled and I even left the burner on low while I ate dinner. I tend to over-cook them anyway, so they were in there at least 20 minutes. I pulled one out of the refrigerator this morning and it was very soft-boiled; even the white was gooey. What could be causing this? These eggs are not old, but could they be spoiled?

  • 3
    What temperature were they when you started them? The typical 8 minutes per hard boiled egg are for eggs at room temperature, Americans who hold their eggs in the refrigerator and tend to set their refrigerator very cold frequently start with eggs barely above 0 Celsius, which of course need much longer to come up to cooking temperature on the inside even after the water is boiling.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 2, 2014 at 19:36
  • The water was brought to a full boil and then turned down to "low" for 20 minutes and the eggs still weren't fully cooked? I find that surprising even if the eggs were ice cold right out of a fridge. I suspect we need to ask how you define "low?" Was the water at least simmering? And how many eggs were in the pot? Was it just a few or was it more eggs than water? Apr 3, 2014 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


If your eggs came out soft boiled then that means they weren't exposed to enough heat - something in your method went wrong. I suspect that when you turned it down low the water temperature dropped below 140-150 degrees F, which is the temperature that egg white will cook. It doesn't matter how long you cook eggs below 140F, they will never get done below that temperature.

To fully cook egg white it must be heated to 150F, egg yolk to 160F. If your eggs were cold when you put them in and the water boiled quickly the inside of the egg would still be fridge temperature, so when you turned the heat down low the eggs cooled the water below 140F, and the amount of heat the burner was producing wasn't enough to heat the water and eggs above 140-150F.

I use a similar method, however I put a lid on the pot which makes a big difference. If you don't want or have the right lid simply keep the heat turned up to where the eggs bounce around a bit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.