Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Recipe By Julia Child, "The Way to Cook"

  • 1 to 4 Eggs
  • 2 quarts water -- * see Julia's note below
  • High (not wide) Saucepan with cover
  • Bowl w/ice cubes & water (large enough to completely cover eggs)

*Note: Water should cover the eggs by 1 inch, so use a tall pan.

1. Lay the eggs in the pan and add the amount of cold water specified. Set over high heat and bring just to the boil; remove from heat, cover the pan, and let sit exactly 17 minutes.

2. When the time is up, transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice cubes and water. Chill for 2 minutes while bringing the cooking water to the boil again. (This 2-minute chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.)

3. Transfer the eggs to the boiling water, bringing to the boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds - this expands the shell from the egg.

4. Remove eggs, and place them back into the ice water.

Chilling the eggs promptly after each step prevents that dark line from forming. If time allows, leave the eggs in the ice water after the last step for 15 to 20 minutes. Chilled eggs are easier to peel.

The peeled eggs will keep perfectly in the refrigerator, submerged in water in an uncovered container, for 2 to 3 days.

NOTE: It pays to be finicky like this about hard boiling eggs. The perfect hard-boiled egg has a tender white, and a yolk properly set. There is not the faintest darkening of yolk where the white encircles it (a chemical reaction caused by too much heat in the cooking process). Eggs cooked this way can also be peeled neatly.