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boilsover

Sous Vide for Soft-Boiled Eggs

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5 hours ago, rotuts said:

yet

 

there are more of them out there  circulating  than I though.

 

And they'll all soft-boil an egg in 45 minutes.  How did anyone manage without sous vide?

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8 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

one can do a soft-boiled egg in the traditional way after much practice and experimenting, but they can also do that perfectly every time again after much practice and experimenting with sous vide.

 

Well, the ChefSteps chart I used could use a little more experimenting--my soft-boiled egg yesterday was still completely pourable.   I could have failed at the old way 9 times while waiting for that fail.  Counting the time for the circulator to bring up the bath temp (I used hot water to "save time"!), it was probably more like an hour, so I could've SB'd a full dozen.

 

This taught me the "Food Processor Lesson"--for many things, especially small batches, SV is not worth the effort.  

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15 hours ago, boilsover said:

 

And they'll all soft-boil an egg in 45 minutes.  How did anyone manage without sous vide?

 

they made crappy eggs, and tough grey banded meat.

 

that's how

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7 minutes ago, weedy said:

 

they made crappy eggs, and tough grey banded meat.

 

that's how

 

Speak for yourself on the eggs, kimo sabe.

 

I totally see a value for SV'd meat, especially larger, tougher cuts.  But poached eggs?  Basically, you wait 45-49 minutes, THEN open and poach them.  Why not just poach them?  Sort of the same for green vegetables--just blanch and taste...


Edited by boilsover (log)

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11 hours ago, boilsover said:

 

Speak for yourself on the eggs, kimo sabe.

 

I totally see a value for SV'd meat, especially larger, tougher cuts.  But poached eggs?  Basically, you wait 45-49 minutes, THEN open and poach them.  Why not just poach them?  Sort of the same for green vegetables--just blanch and taste...

 

 

Eggs have a safety aspect which is meaningful for some folks. That's basically why I bought a SV circulator, so I could cook stuff safely for my mom, who is immune compromised. (Eggs, meats mostly.)

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it depends what you want from a "poached" egg.

 

you can get textures via SV that you simply can't other ways

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re : eggs

 

just because it ' takes '  45 min or so  for what you are trying to do w and egg

 

it just means you have to plan ahead

 

Ive done 12 ++ eggs at a time , rapidly chilled them

 

then re-therm'd them  

 

for a weekend breakfast    that takes no time at all.

 

during the week ? other methods , even eating them right pout of the refrigerator.

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I'm mostly on that 13-to-14-minute 75C egg tip recently. Yields a slightly firmer white than "usual" SV eggs and takes a fraction of the time.

 

But yeah, SV eggs aren't "poached eggs" and if you want a poached egg, you should poach that egg. A poached egg on a salad? YES! A SV egg on a salad? GROSS!

 

But on a benedict? Who cares. I hosted a Mothers' Day brunch for my family this year and did benedicts for 8 people. I would not have done that without a circulator. I could have. But getting 16 poached eggs hot and ready for service isn't my idea of a fun challenge. SV eggs also make perfect "onsen" eggs for ramen. My mother HATES eggs. She never eats them. Unless I make them. And one of her favorite things in the world is a 63C yolk. Last Christmas she asked me to SV a dozen eggs for her to enjoy in my absence. I keep telling her to get a Joule so she can have eggs whenever she wants. Still hasn't happened...

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5 hours ago, rotuts said:

it just means you have to plan ahead

***

for a weekend breakfast    that takes no time at all.

 

Well, it takes 45 minutes on Day 1, chilling them, storing them, and then "re-therming" them on Day X.  How long does that take?  Plus setting up the baths and waiting for them to come to temp, dumping them a second time. 

 

Sounds like the antithesis of "no time at all".  Compared with 3 minutes in simmering water?

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4 hours ago, btbyrd said:

I'm mostly on that 13-to-14-minute 75C egg tip recently. Yields a slightly firmer white than "usual" SV eggs and takes a fraction of the time.

 

This is useful, thanks.  I'll try that.

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I agree a SV egg is not a poached egg.  But I'm anovaing half a dozen eggs as we speak...sitting here in a comfortable chair, reading eGullet, waiting for my bread to rise.

 

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23 hours ago, boilsover said:

 

This is useful, thanks.  I'll try that.

Fooled around with this today and found the 14 minute egg to be just about where I would enjoy it most.  13 minutes was still too goopy. Actually I think a 13 minute and 30 second egg would be even better and that will be my next try. I am using relatively fresh supermarket eggs graded large. 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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6 hours ago, Anna N said:

Fooled around with this today and found the 14 minute egg to be just about where I would enjoy it most.  13 minutes was still too goopy. Actually I think a 13 minute and 30 second egg would be even better and that will be my next try. I am using relatively fresh supermarket eggs graded large. 

 

This is room temp, or straight outta da fridge?

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8 hours ago, boilsover said:

 

This is room temp, or straight outta da fridge?

Straight outta da fridge. 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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On 10/27/2017 at 11:47 AM, boilsover said:

 

This is useful, thanks.  I'll try that.

 

Hmmm.  The soft-boil attempt (75C for 13:30) was another epic fail.  Every bit as liquid and mixed clear and white "white" as the 45:00 at 65C.  Basically, the eggs exploded when the clacker was applied. 

 

Per advice, this was 4 eggs straight from the fridge into 8Q of water.  After the 3 egg grenades, I put the 4th one back in the bath--after breakfast, the white was just barely uniformly white.

 

Next time, I'll verify the Anova does 75C/167F when it says it does.

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7 minutes ago, boilsover said:

Next time, I'll verify the Anova does 75C/167F when it says it does.

 Perhaps you are hoping for something very different than what is possible with this method.  I do not think a photograph conveys the actual texture.  I am very happy with it but agree that it does not match the texture of the white in a conventionally soft boiled egg.  The white of a soft boiled egg (and even of a conventionally poached egg) in my experience will have a discrete shape if you spoon some of it from the shell. Not so with the sous vide egg where the white will tend to puddle. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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As I was typing this, Anna beat me to the punch. But.

If you want a soft boiled egg, soft boil an egg. It takes less time and will give you the firm whites you seem to be wanting. And it should be noted that I've never seen anyone advertise a SV egg as a close alternative to a soft boiled egg. A poached egg, sure. But not a soft boiled egg. You may have set yourself up for failure simply by having inaccurate expectations about the result.

 

I don't know how you're eating them, but if you're using a "clacker" to do it and eating it directly from the shell... I'd just leave SV eggs alone. Best practice for serving SV eggs is to first crack them onto a plate or into a slotted spoon so that the loose whites will run off. Using fresh eggs can help things there, but you'll still have problems some of the time. There's always some percentage of egg white in low-temp eggs that's goopy and less than appetizing. Or you could boil your SV eggs for 3 minutes before-or-after their time in the bath to set up the whites. But that's silly.

 

I'd just boil an egg. 

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4 hours ago, btbyrd said:

As I was typing this, Anna beat me to the punch. But.

If you want a soft boiled egg, soft boil an egg. It takes less time and will give you the firm whites you seem to be wanting. And it should be noted that I've never seen anyone advertise a SV egg as a close alternative to a soft boiled egg. A poached egg, sure. But not a soft boiled egg. You may have set yourself up for failure simply by having inaccurate expectations about the result.

 

I don't know how you're eating them, but if you're using a "clacker" to do it and eating it directly from the shell... I'd just leave SV eggs alone. Best practice for serving SV eggs is to first crack them onto a plate or into a slotted spoon so that the loose whites will run off. Using fresh eggs can help things there, but you'll still have problems some of the time. There's always some percentage of egg white in low-temp eggs that's goopy and less than appetizing. Or you could boil your SV eggs for 3 minutes before-or-after their time in the bath to set up the whites. But that's silly.

 

I'd just boil an egg. 

I think you misunderstand how firm I want.  This was like egg soup.  It would have taken additional time or a hotter bath to approach even a coddled state.  These were only medium eggs, too.

 

But thanks for confirming that SVing a soft boiled egg is a waste of time. It's what I figured, but I suckered into the whole precision/better texture thing.  Silly me.

 

I may give it another go, if for no other reason than to assess the internal temps vis a vis refrigerated start and room temp


Edited by boilsover (log)

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It's strange that your whites were still on the "egg soup" end of the spectrum -- especially if they were medium eggs. They shouldn't be soupy, though I wouldn't describe them as firm. They should definitely be opaque and non-fluidlike -- at least for the firm white. Anyway, the real draw of SV egg-cookery is precision with yolk texture. The egg whites are always a little gross. Dave Arnold's egg chart video is a good indicator of what you can expect at various temps for the yolk and white.

 

 

As far as soft boiled eggs are concerned.... I mean, SVing a soft-boiled egg isn't always a total waste of time. It depends on how much time you've got and how much you care about producing a particular result. It's just that to get a proper soft-boiled texture on the whites, you have to do 2-stage cook, and that's very fussy for most cooks and applications. But if you were doing a tasting menu in a fine dining context, it could make sense. I mean... I've done the "boil it first, then SV it" trick on a couple of occasions when making ramen. But nowadays I just do it on the stovetop like an ordinary chump... because I know I can get good-enough results in very little time.

 

 

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1 hour ago, btbyrd said:

It's strange that your whites were still on the "egg soup" end of the spectrum -- especially if they were medium eggs. They shouldn't be soupy, though I wouldn't describe them as firm. They should definitely be opaque and non-fluidlike -- at least for the firm white. Anyway, the real draw of SV egg-cookery is precision with yolk texture. The egg whites are always a little gross. Dave Arnold's egg chart video is a good indicator of what you can expect at various temps for the yolk and white.

 

 

As far as soft boiled eggs are concerned.... I mean, SVing a soft-boiled egg isn't always a total waste of time. It depends on how much time you've got and how much you care about producing a particular result. It's just that to get a proper soft-boiled texture on the whites, you have to do 2-stage cook, and that's very fussy for most cooks and applications. But if you were doing a tasting menu in a fine dining context, it could make sense. I mean... I've done the "boil it first, then SV it" trick on a couple of occasions when making ramen. But nowadays I just do it on the stovetop like an ordinary chump... because I know I can get good-enough results in very little time.

 

 

Yup, it is very strange.  The whites were much less done than those pictured.  They were closest to Dave's 62Cs.  In retrospect, I should have done two cold eggs and two at room temp, to gauge the difference.

 

Thanks for the additional information.


Edited by boilsover (log)

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I hadn't previously seen the MC 'boil three minutes then SV' technique and I confess to being dubious - boil an egg for three minutes and you're just about there anyway, I'd have thought.

 

But something I have read about somewhere on eG is cooking your egg SV to the desired yolk consistency per Douglas Baldwin or Dave Arnold, then giving it a quick dip in boiling water to firm up the white.  I've done this and it works; the dip need be no longer than 10 seconds or so. 


Edited by lesliec Correction: 'yolk' should have been 'white' (log)

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1 hour ago, lesliec said:

I hadn't previously seen the MC 'boil three minutes then SV' technique and I confess to being dubious - boil an egg for three minutes and you're just about there anyway, I'd have thought.

 

But something I have read about somewhere on eG is cooking your egg SV to the desired yolk consistency per Douglas Baldwin or Dave Arnold, then giving it a quick dip in boiling water to firm up the yolk.  I've done this and it works; the dip need be no longer than 10 seconds or so. 

 

Firm up the white?

 

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On 30/10/2017 at 1:07 PM, boilsover said:

Yup, it is very strange.  The whites were much less done than those pictured.  They were closest to Dave's 62Cs.  In retrospect, I should have done two cold eggs and two at room temp, to gauge the difference.

 

Thanks for the additional information.

 

 

OK, so I ran the 75C/167F 14-minute program for soft-boiled eggs again.  Same batch of medium eggs, but I kept 2 in the fridge until the start.  The other two had come to 65F overnight.  The Anova was spot on in reporting 75C.

 

The room-temp eggs were marginally better; there was no soupy clear white.  The fridge pair was the same fail.  After the tops came off, I measured the temp at the center of the eggs.  The reefer egg was 149F/65C, and the ambient egg made 152F/66.6C.

 

Obviously, more time would have been required to firm up the whites, but with a high setting of 75C, the yolks would be putty-like at that point.

 

Based on the Arnold video, I'll try the 45-minute at 62C, just for the callenge of it.  I just don't see the point of SV for this.

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I think egg freshness also has a major impact on the 'wateryness' of the whites. 

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2 minutes ago, weedy said:

I think egg freshness also has a major impact on the 'wateryness' of the whites. 

 

Maybe.  These were from a friend's hens, <1 week old.

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