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Eggs: Perfect Hard-cooked Eggs

This time of year I get a lot of e-mails asking me about the special technique for hard cooking eggs that I learned from Julia Child. When I was writing my  latest cookbook, Sara’s Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners, I made the process even easier and here it is:

Sara’s Hard-cooked Eggs

This is my streamlined version of Julia Child’s fool-proof method of hard-cooking eggs.  In a nutshell, Julia figured out that the way to hard boil an egg is to stop short of actually boiling it.  Boil it and all you’ll do is guarantee that the thing ends up damn near as hard and rubbery as a hockey puck. Instead, you start the eggs in cold water, bring them almost to a boil, pull them off the heat, and then cover and set them aside while they finish cooking.  Finally, you plunge them into ice water and let them cool completely before peeling, a little trick that eliminates the nasty green line that would otherwise appear between the whites and the yolk.  Do it this way and you’ll turn out perfect hard-cooked eggs every time.

Large eggs, at room temperature

Place the desired number of eggs in a saucepan large enough for them to fit in a single layer and add enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover it, and set it aside for 13 minutes.

Transfer the eggs to a bowl of half ice and half water. Cool them completely; then refrigerate or use as directed in a recipe.

2 Responses to Eggs: Perfect Hard-cooked Eggs


  1. B Ripple says:

    How do you make hard boiled eggs using a vegetable steamer? You had it on Jan.8, 2017 show. How much water do you put into the steamer? For how long do you steam the eggs?

    • moulton says:

      Here is the procedure for hard boiled eggs cooked in a steamer:

      Hard-Boiled Eggs

      Start to finish: 40 minutes
      Hands-on time: 10 minutes
      Servings: Makes 6 eggs

      Fit a collapsible steamer inside a medium saucepan and fill the saucepan with about 1 inch of water or to just below the level of the steamer basket (no water should be touching the eggs). Put the lid on top of the pan and bring the water to a medium-high boil over medium-high heat.

      Using a large, long-handled, slotted spoon, place the eggs in a single layer in the steamer, being careful not to burn your hand with the steam. Steam the eggs for 12 minutes. Transfer the eggs carefully to a bowl of ice and water and let them cool completely.

      When they are cool, crack them all over and peel them under cold running water, starting at the wide end of the egg, and making sure to get under the membrane (which makes it much easier to peel the egg).

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