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OliverB

How to open an egg in a straight line

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Once in a while I see photos of soft boiled eggs or eggs made into something else and then put back into a shell, where the top of the shell has been removed in one wonderful straight cut. Not a break, no cracks, just a straight cut. Had one of these at the French Laundry, and I'd like to replicate this at home.

Any idea how it's done?

A sample can be seen here beautyful dishes, scroll down to image 15.

Almost looks to me like it's cut with a power tool of some sort. Or do they use that odd egg cracker I saw somewhere, a long tool made of metal, a small cup the size of the top you want to cut off on the bottom, and a little weight that you slide up and then let drop down. This would only work for eggs of a particular size I guess.

I like this presentation, a shell like that could even be used to fill with other things for a little surprise.

Thanks!

Oliver

PS: the other images on that pare are also wonderful, worth a visit!


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I have a Matfer egg topper it works well, but takes some getting used to. I find that setting the egg on a soft surface such as a dish towel and then topping the smaller side, by bringing up the weight about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way works best.

http://www.matferbourgeatusa.com/products/index.php/domestic-egg-topper.html


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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Yeah, there are special tools designed for this procedure. Modernist Cuisine suggests using a Dremel, which I'm planning on trying. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Edit: To clarify, they suggest using a Dremel to cut through the shell, and then a scalpel to cut through the membrane.


Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Recipe for Arpege Eggs:

Recipe for Arpege Eggs:Edited to include a link to some pictures of egg scissors - lots of info on the web:

Egg Scissor

I bought a scissor for quail eggs (the membrane on them is really tough) that very neatly slices off the top of an egg. The same tool is available in larger size for chicken eggs (maybe also larger for duck ones?).

It came from an online store in Japan, stainless steel, plastic handles looks like a regular scissor except one blade is is a flat ring shape that you insert the top of the egg into, the other blade a serrated and sharpened triangle. When you close the scissor the point of the blade pierces the egg and then slices off the top of the egg in 2 seconds flat.

Not sure if it was as perfectly cut as the one in the photo on your link but it was pretty tidy. I didn't keep the shells for service last time I had quail eggs but it sure made it easier than trying to use a nail scissor or knife to get the eggs out without breaking the yolk.


Edited by lstrelau (log)

Llyn Strelau

Calgary, Alberta

Canada

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interesting options, thanks!

I have a dremel and scalpel, maybe I'll try that. Could even cut at an angle with that I think. The egg topper was the tool I meant, could not remember the name. I think I'll try the dremel first, have to look in MC where they talk about this.


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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You can get circular saw blades for your dremel and also thin abrasive discs that would work well, just be careful not to breath the dust, probably not good for you and it will be messy! Could work wet but that could get your dremel wet too. I am a jeweller and a jewellers saw with a fine blade would work really well if you want a very precise edge. But after all that work you would probably want to keep the shells for more than one go-round - cleaning between uses would be tricky.


Llyn Strelau

Calgary, Alberta

Canada

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Sounds interesting.. I have dental drills!!

p


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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I just had this vision of a bunch of us sitting in the garage sawing eggs with fine tools, LOL.

I have lots of attachments for the dremel, I think just a cutting disk would be best. Also might be best to mount the dremel fixed on the workbench and hold the egg carefully, so as not to cut too deep.

I'll have to play with that, not sure I'll get to it this weekend, but I'll try. Would be fun to cut an oval out of the egg or actually gut the top off on the long side (make it boat shaped I guess), fun things like that.

Dental tools should work easily, maybe I'll try a diamond tip as well. With practice and patience one could probably even cut non round wavy shapes out.

If I get to it I'll post pictures, not sure I'll make a video tough.


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Wow, I'm thrilled to discover that 'Moderist Cuisine' mentions a device I already own! Maybe I should keep my dremel in the kitchen from now on... Although I would assume that the dremel is the best way to do this, UK chef Martin Blunos simply uses a serrated knife and a lot of patience. His technique formed a segment of the Australian Masterchef series last year, where both he and a contestant had to make his recipe for 'boiled egg and solidiers'.

You can see the clip from the show on Youtube.

The video is a great example of not only the difficulty of the task, but also Martin's approach and demonstration of his own method- he talks through the knife technique and you get plenty of useful closeups.

Hope this helps.

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Most of the time.. I just hit it with the heel of my chefs knife.. then you can pop the top off


Its good to have Morels

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Earlier this morning I went to a local diner where I watched one of the cooks prepare soft-boiled eggs in the shell, in egg cups, for a party of women (not all had the eggs).

I couldn't figure out what he was using to remove the top part of the shell and asked.

He showed me how he used one of these Jewelers saw blades

clamped in a small needlenose vise grip,

to SCORE around the shell, using the top rim of the egg cups as a guide.

He then used a piece of tape - I think it was the paper first aid tape, to lift off each shell cap without disturbing the white part of the egg.

He did it so quickly I had to ask him to show me with another egg (I paid for) step by step.

He told me before he "retired" to part time work and moved up here, he worked in a hotel kitchen and that's the method he was taught years ago.

I think that's a pretty clever way of doing it.

The exterior of the white was firm, the inner part was still soft and the yolk was runny - perfect for me.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Sounds interesting.. I have dental drills!!

Cool, then you can do this.

Or, How 'bout lasers?

Actually, there is a lot on the web regarding laser cutter hacking. I've never dealt with such things, but it looks like with the very basics - laser diode, power supply, a slow rotating gear motor - and a clever mechanical setup, you could pretty easily build a laser eggshell topper. Add a cam mechanism to move the egg up and down during rotation, and the top edge could be scalloped.

[ETA]Oh, and I bet any non vibrating power sander could be used with a fine grade sandpaper and some care (and a good rinsing afterwards).


Edited by IndyRob (log)

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it looks like with the very basics - laser diode, power supply, a slow rotating gear motor - and a clever mechanical setup, you could pretty easily build a laser eggshell topper.

This must be attempted. Please. The world needs this.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Handling lasers can be extremely dangerous unless in very controlled conditions.

I know several artists that are using laser-cutting equipment. This is not something you do offhand.

I have one of these

which is a handpiece much lighter and easier to control (although you do need an air compressor to operate it) than a Dremel or even my dental engine.

I used it for engraving in glass and crystal and for gem carving.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If you use a laser, and I'm all for it, you will likely need some cooling. Cutting lasers eg CO2 lasers generate a lot of heat. You might partially cook the egg.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

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So .. I messed around with my dental drill!!

It appears that Diamond impregnated drill bits work better that carbide tip.. First use a round diamond to pierce the shell, than a taper fissure diamond inserted in the hole... works well for carving.. carbide tips chatter to much.

PB


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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Handling lasers can be extremely dangerous unless in very controlled conditions.

And we ask why men tend to rise to the top of the trade. Because we revel in being idiots!

Fire, smoke, lasers...Hell, Navy Seals (and other Special Forces) cook over a small bit of C4 plastic explosives.

DISCLAIMER: Please wear rated eyewear when using lasers of any sort. And never cook with C4.

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Handling lasers can be extremely dangerous unless in very controlled conditions.

And never cook with C4.

You can do it as long as your food is sealed. I think it's just the fumes from the burning C4 that are toxic. There's little or no risk of explosion without an actual detonator.

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I have a Matfer egg topper it works well, but takes some getting used to. I find that setting the egg on a soft surface such as a dish towel and then topping the smaller side, by bringing up the weight about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way works best.

http://www.matferbourgeatusa.com/products/index.php/domestic-egg-topper.html

I bought a similar gizmo from Amazon. The one I have is spring-loaded. It appears that the Matfer one uses a weight to impact the cutting head.

I've had mixed results with the one from Paderno World Cuisine, but it's usually because the membrane tears. I need to try using an Exacto knife to cut the membrane.

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