Where’s my Boily? Part 1: the basics

Where’s my Boily? will be a regular feature with boily tips and hints. We’re kicking off with the basics of making a perfect boily.


  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Bread
  • Salt


Read instructions through before commencing boily making so you can get the timings right. Getting the timings wrong is a boily nightmare!

1. Decide whether you are having a single or a double boily and select your number of eggs accordingly. Your eggs should be at room temperature.

2. Boil some water in the kettle or on the hob until boiling.

3. Add a little cold water to a saucepan and add your eggs.

4. Then add the boiling water to the pot, but not directly onto the eggs. The heat should be medium to high. Ensure the eggs are fully covered by the water but only just.

5. The minute the egg goes in you should hit start on your timer. Timing is everything when it comes to boilies. I recommend using a kitchen timer, or a stopwatch function on a mobile phone. Either way you need something you can see the seconds going by on – setting your alarm for five minutes in the future is not precise enough. You should time your eggs to cook for 5 minutes exactly.  Although 5 minutes is the standard time for medium eggs, the size of your eggs is a factor here and for large eggs adding an extra 30 seconds can prevent a runny mess. Intuition is the art of boily. More to come on timings and adaptations in future posts.

6. Don’t leave the kitchen. You have exactly five minutes to prepare your bread or toast as you like it and to set up your egg cups! Plus any drinks you might want with your boily! Get it done fast so you’re ready for when the timer goes off. You may even want to get the toast going before you boil the water so that everything falls perfectly into place. This is about perfection, nothing less.

7. The second the timer goes off, you should remove your eggs from the pan and put them in your egg cups. A spoon or even a special egg dropper, is a good idea here to ensure your eggs emerge intact.

8. Eat your delicious dippy boily ASAP – if you leave it for a few minutes it will continue to cook  inside the shell leaving you with a disappointingly non dippy egg. If your family members, friends or lovers are too slow to get to the table for the boily you have generously made them, don’t wait, start your  perfect boily and let them suffer the consequences  of a hard egg. You’ll laugh as you watch them stub their bread soldiers on  a hard yolk.

9. Eat quickly to enjoy the eggs at their prime. My eggs are normally salted up and consumed in about five minutes. It’s a dipping frenzy. Some like to add black pepper to their boilies but I view this as verging on sacreligous.

More boily topics to come in the future including Bread or Toast: the boily eater’s dilemma, the art of egg selection , what to do when a boily goes wrong, favourite egg cups of my life, the worst boily I have ever had and many more. Please post any requests for subtopics within the vast genre of boily making below.


About Emily


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