Julia Child's Simple Trick for Perfect Poached Eggs Every Time

Tips from The Kitchn

We have a trick from Julia Child that will completely change the way you poach eggs. And by "change," I mean be prepared to make flawless poached eggs for the rest of your life. No exaggeration!

Even if you have a tried-and-true method, making poached eggs can be tricky. I've made more than my fair share, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I make a darn good poached egg. So, it takes a lot for me to be wowed by tips in this department. Though, I suppose if there was anyone capable of that, it was bound to be Julia Child.

Julia's tip is quite simple, yet the payoff is huge. All it takes is three easy resources to make it happen — a pin, a timer, and 10 seconds. You'll need a pot of water, a slotted spoon, and eggs, of course, but it's the pin, timer, and extra few seconds that really make the magic happen.

How To Make Julia Child's Poached Eggs

1. Boil the water. Bring a pot of water to a boil.

2. Make a hole in the eggshell with the pin. Use a pin to make a small hole in the eggshell. This will release any air that's in the egg, which could otherwise cause it to crack. And don't worry, the hole is small enough that nothing will come out.

3. Boil the egg for 10 seconds. Place the whole egg (still in the shell) in the boiling water for exactly 10 seconds. Remove the egg from the water, and lower the heat to bring the water to a simmer. Boiling the egg helps it to retain its shape once it's cracked and poured into simmering water later.

4. Poach the egg. Once the egg is cool enough to handle (this should take just a few seconds), poach the egg as you normally would, by cracking the egg into gently simmering water.

What's Special About Julia's Method

The real key to this process — and as a result, perfectly poached eggs Julia-style — is the 10-second boil. One of my biggest struggles in making poached eggs, and maybe yours too, is the wispy egg whites that pull away when the egg is added to the simmering water.

Using Julia Child's tip, you can say goodbye to those wispy whites! Once the egg is added to the simmering water (after poking a small hole in the shell and placing it in boiling water for 10 seconds), it completely holds its shape.

Have you ever used this method to poach eggs? How did it go?

(Image credits: Kelli Foster)