Julia Child's Secret to Poaching Eggs

Perfectly poached in every way.

Julia Child
Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images

We trust Julia Child on the subject of all things kitchen-related. That's why, when we heard she had a secret for preparing perfectly poached eggs, we had to share. In her 1999 television series co-hosted with Jacques Pepin (called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home), the two chefs offer two different strategies for poaching eggs.

With her signature knack for making new culinary strategies approachable, Julia Child shares her go-to poaching method, which has since been adopted by beginners and seasoned chefs alike. You might find it works for you, or you might find you take to Jacques Pepin's strategy more readily. Either way, the clip is worth a watch, and you can see it here. Julia Child's poaching instructions as shared on the show are summarized below. To complete it, you'll need your egg poaching ingredients as well as a pin—a pushpin works best, but you could also use an open safety pin.

Julia Child's Poached Eggs


  • Fresh Eggs
  • A pot of simmering hot water
  • A bowl of ice-cold water


A pin

A kitchen timer

Egg poachers

A slotted spoon


1. Poke a hole in the large end of each egg using the pin. This will release the air inside.

2. Boil the eggs for 10 seconds. You can count to ten slowly or use a kitchen timer.

3. Crack the eggs and pour them into egg poachers submerged in 4 inches of water.

4. Poach the eggs for 4 minutes.

5. Remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon, and slide them into a bowl of ice-cold water to halt the cooking process.

6. Remove the eggs from the cold water with a slotted spoon, and enjoy!

What's your favorite way to prepare eggs? Will you try Julia Child's poaching secret when you're next in the kitchen?

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