How To Straight Boil An Egg Step-By-Step By Julia Child

How to boil an egg following Julia Child’s straight boil step by step instructions

Guest Chef Julia Child recommends two ways of boiling eggs. Additionally, below her instructions, she discusses how to avoid the grey ring sometimes found after boiling eggs, how to prevent eggs from leaking while boiling, egg freshness and more. We followed both of Julia’s instructions on how to boil eggs from her book Julia Child’s Kitchen by Julia Child. Over to you Julia……

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Forewarned is forearmed, as the good book says, and here are two methods for arriving at les oeufs durs, or hard eggs as the French call them, nearby skillfully avoiding the hard-cooked versus hard-boiled controversy. Which cooking method do I prefer? I do them either way, depending on how I feel at the moment of cooking. Certainly the first is faster (The straight simmer method), but the second (The coddled method ) produces a more tender egg white.

The straight simmer method for hard-boiled eggs

Cooking the eggs.

Step 1. Prick the egg

Pierce the large end of each egg with a pricker or pin, going down 3/8 inch through the shell.

Pierce a hole in the large end of the egg
Prick the egg

Step 2. Place eggs in boiling water

Either put the eggs into a salad basket and lower them into enough boiling water to cover them by at least an inch, or very gently lower them into the pan by twos or threes with a slotted spoon or skimmer.

Put the eggs into enough boiling water to cover them by at least an inch
Add eggs to water

Step 3. Add salt bring water to a slight bubble

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water, and as soon as the water comes back to the boil again, begin timing the eggs, and regulate heat so that water is very slowly but definitely at the merest bubble.

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water, and as soon as water comes back to the boil again, begin timing the eggs, and regulate heat so that water is very slowly but definitely at the merest bubble.
Add salt

Timing.

Time the eggs according to their size as follows for eggs taken directly from the refrigerator (subtract 1 minute for room-temperature eggs):

U.S. graded eggs:
Small and medium 11 minutes
Large 12 minutes
Extra large 13 minutes
Jumbo 14 minutes

Time the eggs according to their size as follows for eggs taken directly from the refrigerator (subtract 1 minute for room-temperature eggs)
U.S. graded eggs:
 Small and medium     11 minutes 
 Large                                 12 minutes 
 Extra large                      13 minutes 
 Jumbo                               14 minutes
Cook

Step 4. Cooling

Immediately the time is up, drain the boiled eggs, crack each gently by tapping 2 or 3 places very lightly with the back of a spoon, and run cold water into the pan; or transfer eggs to a sink full of cold water. (Cracking of shell allows cold water to penetrate and hopefully, to shrink egg from the membrane, while quick cooling minimizes yolk discoloration.

Immediately the time is up, drain the eggs, crack each gently by tapping 2 or 3 places very lightly with the back of a spoon, and run cold water into the pan; or transfer eggs to a sink full of cold water. (Cracking of shell allows cold water to penetrate and hopefully, to shrink egg from membrane, while quick cooling minimizes yolk discoloration.
Cool the eggs

Step 5. Peeling

When your boiled eggs are easy peelers, they shell perfectly even if still warm. Otherwise, you are wise to refrigerate the boiled eggs in their pan of cold water an hour or more to firm the egg white.

When your eggs are easy peelers, they shell perfectly even if still warm. Otherwise you are wise to refrigerate the eggs in their pan of cold water an hour or more to firm the egg white.
Cool eggs

To remove the shell, tap each egg gently all over its surface breaking the shell into tiny fragments.

To remove the shell, tap each egg gently all over its surface breaking the shell into tiny fragments.
Crack shell

Then hold the boiled egg under a thin stream of water and start peeling membrane along with shell from the large end which, because of the air pocket, should start you off easily.

Then hold the egg under a thin stream of water and start peeling membrane along with shell from the large end which, because of the air pocket, should start you off easily.
Peel the egg

(Another system for well-chilled easy peelers was suggested by one of our viewers; row the egg back and forth on your counter under the palm of your hand to crack the shell all around it’s girth; hold under the cold water and peel around the circumference crack, then pull the two halves of shell off from both ends of the boiled egg.)

The 13 minute hard boiled egg
Perfect hard boiled eggs

Storing hard boiled eggs.

I find the best method for storing peeled boiled eggs is to submerge them in a bowl of cold water and to refrigerate them uncovered; they keep perfectly for several days.

I find the best method for storing peeled eggs is to submerge them in a bowl of cold water and to refrigerate them uncovered; they keep perfectly for several days.
Hard boiled eggs cooling

But if you plan to do a large number of stuffed eggs and are boiling them in advance, I suggest that you halve them as soon as you have peeled them, and separate whites from yolks to avoid discoloration.

Then submerge the whites in lightly salted water, mash the yolks and place them in a covered dish, even mixing a little seasoning and mayonnaise or cream; they will just keep a good 2 days under refrigeration.

The Result

The boiled eggs came out exactly as Julia instructed.

Items we used to test these instructions

Printable Instructions

Julia Child How To Boil An Egg Straight Simmer Method Step-By-Step

Guest Chef Julia Child recommends two ways of boiling eggs. Additionally, below her instructions, she discusses how to avoid the grey ring sometimes found after boiling eggs, how to prevent eggs from leaking while boiling, egg freshness and more. We followed both of Julia's instructions on how to boil eggs from her book Julia Child’s Kitchen by Julia Child.
Prep Time2 mins
Active Time16 mins
Ice Bath5 mins
Total Time23 mins
Yield: 6 Hard Boiled Eggs
Cost: $2

Equipment

  • Pot
  • Bowl
  • Stove
  • Pair of Tongs
  • Egg pricker

Materials

  • 6 Each Eggs
  • 2 Cups Water

Instructions

  • Step 1. Prick the egg. Pierce the large end of each egg with a pricker or pin, going down 3/8 inch through the shell
  • Step 2. Place eggs in boiling water. Either put the eggs into a salad basket and lower them into enough boiling water to cover them by at least an inch, or very gently lower them into the pan by twos or threes with a slotted spoon or skimmer.
  • Step 3. Add salt bring water to a slight bubble. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water, and as soon as the water comes back to the boil again, begin timing the eggs, and regulate heat so that water is very slowly but definitely at the merest bubble.
  • TIMING. Time the eggs according to their size as follows for eggs taken directly from the refrigerator (subtract 1 minute for room-temperature eggs):
    U.S. graded eggs:
    Small and medium 11 minutes
    Large 12 minutes
    Extra large 13 minutes
    Jumbo 14 minutes
  • Step 4. Cooling . Immediately the time is up, drain the eggs, crack each gently by tapping 2 or 3 places very lightly with the back of a spoon, and run cold water into the pan; or transfer eggs to a sink full of cold water. (Cracking of shell allows cold water to penetrate and hopefully, to shrink egg from the membrane, while quick cooling minimizes yolk discoloration.
  • Step 5. Peeling. When your eggs are easy peelers, they shell perfectly even if still warm. Otherwise, you are wise to refrigerate the eggs in their pan of cold water an hour or more to firm the egg white.
  • To remove the shell, tap each egg gently all over its surface breaking the shell into tiny fragments.
  • Then hold the egg under a thin stream of water and start peeling membrane along with shell from the large end which, because of the air pocket, should start you off easily.

Video

Julia’s mission and how it started

I never had realized until I started our research on the subject that so very many people, not only private individuals, but people in the food business have real problems with the hard-boiling and peeling of eggs.

I never had realized until I started our research on the subject that so very many people, not only private individuals, but people in the food business have real problems with the hard-boiling and peeling of eggs.

Since doing the program, (Julie Childs cooking show on TV) I have gathered even more facts, from viewers and from people in the egg business such as the Georgia Egg Commission and from the American Egg Board. Therefore, in this first section of the chapter, I have tried to bring up all of the hard-boil problems and answer all the questions that have so far come my way. But I am sure, as in all things culinary, there is more to know. And surely that is one of the many reasons cooking is such a fascinating art: you can never know it all because new facts, products, and processes are continually appearing.

The Source

The book from Julia Child’s Kitchen by Julia Child.

Final comment on the results

Personally, I am a fan of Julia Child. But not being bias. Following her instructions, everything came out as she had stated it would. Except, the first time I pierced the egg and put it in the water, egg white did come out. The second time I did it, egg white did not come out. Either way, the egg itself did not crack under the pressure of the heat or the boiling water.

The eggs did not have a green over cooked ring. The taste, Julia was right, coddling made for a better-boiled egg.

Other Ways To Boil Eggs

Steamed Eggs is another boil egg method that produces a perfect hard boiled egg and it is easy to peel. Visit our page below, on how to perfectly steam eggs.

How to steam the perfect hard boiled egg