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# All about "sous vide" eggs

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Okay, I've just made my first attempt at replicating my stovetop HB egg method in my immersion non-circulator (a Presto Kitchen Kettle and a thermapen). The only purposeful variation I made was to use a larger water to egg ratio, so that we could be sure we're talking about a larger bath. I had about four inches of water for two eggs.

I settled on 200 F for 10 minutes and then into an ice bath. Almost constantly, I measured the temp with the Thermapen at various locations. Although I occasionally saw measurements of 199 or 204, I'd say 90% of the readings were 200-201.

I purposely took one egg out at the 9 minute mark because I knew the difference I should see.

Conclusion: The temp was just slightly too low, but the results were good. Not for HB eggs, but something between HB and SB. In the 10 minute egg, the yolk was just solidified all the way through, but was still gelatinous. The 9 minute egg yolk had a gelatinous exterior but a 'molten' core.

The whites in both cases were very good and tender. In fact, just trying to pick up one end of half of the 10 minute white caused it to break in half. I think I'd want to replicate one of these results if I just wanted to eat a boiled egg.

But a hard boiled egg probably needs around 205F.

Oh, and the eggs were right out of the fridge.

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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The below is from an email I sent on 24 August, 2009.

A number of months ago, Alex (of Ideas in Food) and Martin (of Khymos) asked me to computing the cooking time of eggs in a 70C--80C water bath so the center will be 64.5C. In the past, the perfect egg'' referred to cooking the egg in a 64.5C (148F) water bath for 45--60 minutes. The only problem with this egg is that only one of the three main proteins in the egg white has denatured --- at 61.5C conalbumin (12% of the protein) denatures, at 70.0C ovomucoid (11% of the protein) denatures, and at 84.5C ovalbumin (54% of the protein) denatures --- which means it forms to loose of a gel. The goal is to denature two of the (main) egg white proteins so it is a slightly firmer gel, but still heat the yolk to only 64.5C/148F. But to get both, we no longer have a "set it and forget it" egg, but an egg which requires a tape measure and an egg timer ;-).

While I already had the numerical algorithms to compute the times, I didn't know what to use for the thermal diffusivity, the shape parameter or the surface heat transfer coefficient. Finally, two days ago, I super-glued pencil erasers to 14 eggs (a mix of medium, large, and extra-large chicken eggs), inserted a needle probe, and data logged the temperature for around 45 minutes. The raw data is attached to this email as "allData.dat". After fitting the thermal diffusivity to be 1.85*10^(-7) m^2/s, \beta = 1.8, and the surface heat transfer coefficient to 200 W/m^2-K I got the error in the attached plot ("EggModelError.pdf").

The error is a little more than I expected. I believe the source of this error is (a) the difficulty in placing the tip of the probe at the center of the egg and (b) the non-uniformity in shape of the eggs, which ranged from almost spherical to surprisingly cylindrical in shape.

Nonetheless, the calculated times are attached as "Egg Cooking Times.xls".

Edit: Note: I had to change the xls file to pdf since it won't let me upload an xls. Also, if you'd like me to compute tables for a lower than 64.5°C center temperature, just let me know and I'll post it.

EggModelError.pdf

Egg Cooking Times.pdf

Edited by DouglasBaldwin (log)

My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."

My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK

My YouTube channel — a new work in progress.

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LIttle experiment 195F for 20 minutes. I think I'll cut the time to 18 minutes to shoot for a softer yolk but the white was nice and soft. The top is my favorite type of Jidori egg and the bottom is what I mentioned above. Storing eggs with truffles and imparting flavor. Worried about the freshness of the egg I only stored it over night. It had a strong truffle smell and flavor, people will really enjoy me working these into dinners.

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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Looks like an oeuf mollet to me: a classic egg preparation that is rarely seen anymore.

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I tried the aerated scrambled eggs from the Ideas in Food book today (eggs, milk, salt, butter whisked, bagged and cooked in 72.5C bath for 25min, loaded in siphon with 1 charge). Result wasn't what we expected--more of a slightly foamy liquid sauce than solid foam scrambled eggs. My only variation was to scale down from 6 eggs to 2 eggs.

Has anyone else tried this? Are these the expected results?

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Wow: 91C. (At 47, I must be finally learning metric, as I had to convert this to celcius to understand it.) That's way above the usual hard-boiled temps recommended.

Are those whites solid enough to hold some tasty deviled yolk?

Chris Amirault

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I tried the aerated scrambled eggs from the Ideas in Food book today (eggs, milk, salt, butter whisked, bagged and cooked in 72.5C bath for 25min, loaded in siphon with 1 charge). Result wasn't what we expected--more of a slightly foamy liquid sauce than solid foam scrambled eggs. My only variation was to scale down from 6 eggs to 2 eggs.

Has anyone else tried this? Are these the expected results?

Percyn did scrambled eggs at 72C, though his post isn't clear on time. I'll ping him to see if he can weigh in. They look delicious.

Chris Amirault

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I tried the aerated scrambled eggs from the Ideas in Food book today (eggs, milk, salt, butter whisked, bagged and cooked in 72.5C bath for 25min, loaded in siphon with 1 charge). Result wasn't what we expected--more of a slightly foamy liquid sauce than solid foam scrambled eggs. My only variation was to scale down from 6 eggs to 2 eggs.

Has anyone else tried this? Are these the expected results?

Percyn did scrambled eggs at 72C, though his post isn't clear on time. I'll ping him to see if he can weigh in. They look delicious.

My eggs looked similar to Percyn's photo, perhaps a little looser, before going into the siphon. Coming out of the siphon was the problem -- more of a sauce than a stiff foam as I expected...should have taken photos...

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Haven't tried the Ideas in Food method yet.

While my "eggsperiment" was not very scientific, I recall the egg mixture being in the 72C-73C range for over 20 minutes. There was a bit of trial and error as the "correct" consistency is a bit subjective. I like mine on the looser side but cooked through. They also firmed up a tad once removed from the water bath.

Hope this helps - happy to do more experimentation if needed.

TravelBlog - Bombay, Chicago, Stockholm & Paris.

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Yes, let's do more. I think that those scrambled eggs look heavenly, percyn.

Chris Amirault

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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My water circulator arrived but not my vacuum sealer so I decided to try some eggs last night. I put a dozen in at 154F for 2+ hours. The yolk was great but the white was not what I wanted. The eggs rolled around a lot in the tank does that matter? Thanks

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Edsel, I tried your soft boil eggs tonight from that link you provided on p.1

They came out great basically what you had in that photo. 7.5 minutes at 194F and then 5 minutes at 130F.

Thanks!

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OK, so I did some more egging around...

Decided to use 4 Large Eggs, 1/8 cup Cream (half&half), a tsp Truffle butter and a few shavings of Truffle Cheese

Mixed the eggs, cream and truffle butter by hand.

Instead of taking out the vacuum sealing machine and bags, I put it in a ziploc type bag which you can pump the air out off.

At first, I started it at 73C. After 20 minutes, it had the consistency of Crème anglaise or an ice cream base. The ingredients I used were straight from the fridge so were a bit cool. Around the same time, I came across some articles which said they had good results at 75C - http://www.fiftyfourdegrees.com/lang/en-us/archives/607

So, getting a bit impatient, I raised the temp to 75 on the immersion circulator and presto - within 7 additional minutes, I had lucious, custard like scrambled eggs.

Topped with Miti Sottocenere cheese w/truffles from Italy.

Topped w/Columbus Secchi Salame

And couldn't resist topping it with some smoked Duck Breast from D'Artgnan.

So to summarize, whip up a few eggs, cream and (tuffle) butter, place in an air tight bag and 75C water bath for 25-30 minutes (depending on how many eggs you have) and you should be able to enjoy these wonderful eats.

TravelBlog - Bombay, Chicago, Stockholm & Paris.

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That is excellent, percyn. What do you think would happen if you kept them in longer?

Chris Amirault

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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If it was in longer, at 75C it might have firmed up a bit more. If the temp were higher, it may take on the consistency of an omelet, which is too thick for me.

I also came across an article saying a small amount of acid in the eggs will yield fluffy eggs due to a reaction of the acid and the protein in the eggs.

TravelBlog - Bombay, Chicago, Stockholm & Paris.

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Coz, glad to hear that the SB egg technique was successful. My main problem has been peeling the eggs once they're done. The whites are very tender and have a tendency to shred when the shell is removed.

Percyn, interesting thought about using acid to make the eggs fluffy. I'm assuming one would use a very tiny amount so as not to screw up the flavor. Your results look very good as-is, though. Thanks for posting your results.

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Question -- if I make sous vide egg in the shell (my normal MO has been about an hour at 146.5 deg F), will the eggs be safe for awhile if I lower the temperature? I want to keep the eggs warm for dinner (roasted asparagus/miso butter and a sous vide egg) but also warm up my proteins (SV Chicken and 72 hour short ribs). If I drop my bath to say, 120 deg F, would it be safe to keep my eggs in the bath until serving, along with the warmed proteins (to be seared/deep fried right before serving)?

I'm thinking of keeping the eggs at temp for the cooking time, quick dunk in an ice bath, while the water cools, then back in the bath until dinner.

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Stomsf, as you may know, please all over the world keep hard boiled eggs at room temp for a day or two. Not a safety expert here, but I would think that if you make a "hot spring egg" at 146.5 (63.6C), cool them rapidly, store in fridge until ready to reheat, that they should be fine.

TravelBlog - Bombay, Chicago, Stockholm & Paris.

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Lots of home cooks (and restaurant chefs I know) do what percyn is suggesting all the time.

Chris Amirault

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Messing around with quail eggs I found that 146 for 20 minutes is my favorite. I was able to pop them out of the shell only losing one out of 5.

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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Thanks, ScottyBoy. I've been wondering about quail eggs for a while...

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Great to see this topic here. Our book has cooking times, temps and reasons for many of these eggs and the desired results. To add, we found quail eggs at 75 °C for five minutes produced wonderful onsen eggs and well, the book does tell a ton more than I can type.

if there are questions, please feel free

h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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I don't see much white in that photo. Did any of that fall out or is it just very translucent and look like the yolk?

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Great to see this topic here. Our book has cooking times, temps and reasons for many of these eggs and the desired results. To add, we found quail eggs at 75 °C for five minutes produced wonderful onsen eggs and well, the book does tell a ton more than I can type.

if there are questions, please feel free

Alex and Aki, congratulations on your book, it is as informative and inspiring as your blog.

TravelBlog - Bombay, Chicago, Stockholm & Paris.

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Thank you, Douglas, for your Egg cooking time table in post #28.

I did "perfect eggs" for the first time. The eggs had 14.0-14.5cm circumference, so at 75°C your table recommends 16 minutes.

With 16 minutes, to our taste the egg yolk was a bit overdone with just a small creamy center. So I tried 14.5 minutes, the yolk had remained creamy, rather a bit liquid, and the white was also a bit liquid, the eggs easily slided out of the decapitated shells. The third run with 15 minutes resulted in "the perfect egg" to our taste with a sufficiently firm yet soft white and a perfectly creamy yolk. So at 75°C it is really time-critical, and next time I'll start with 1 minute less than recommended in the table.

For fast and easy removal of the eggs from the water bath without scalding my hands, I had placed them in an ordinary plastic bag with a few dozen holes punched in it to allow free circulation of water, and suspended on a skewer.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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