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JoNorvelleWalker

Kenji in NY Times

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I am excited* that Kenji Lopez-Alt is authoring a monthly food column in the NY Times.  Today's column is on how to boil an egg:  700 eggs evaluated double blind.

 

 

*yes, really.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I am excited* that Kenji Lopez-Alt is authoring a monthly food column in the NY Times.  Today's column is on how to boil an egg:  700 eggs evaluated double blind.

 

 

*yes, really.

 

 

 

I'm excited too.  I need to try his method of steaming them.  Have you tried it yet?

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Just now, ElsieD said:

 

I'm excited too.  I need to try his method of steaming them.  Have you tried it yet?

 

Sadly for the discussion I am not a fan of boiled eggs; but I am about to go make myself an omelet.

 

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We've been steaming since reading Kenji's 2014 article, mostly on the same subject, in Serious Eats.

 

Now that he has a larger group of test subjects available, he has statistics to back up the (to us) persuasive but largely anecdotal assertions he made in 2014. From the NYT article:

 

Quote

Ninety-six volunteers came through my restaurant, Wursthall, in San Mateo, Calif., in August to peel and taste more than 700 eggs, cooked with various methods, making this — as verified with a cursory search online — the largest-ever double-blind egg-boiling-and-peeling experiment in the history of the universe. (If anyone from Guinness is reading, I have pretty extensive documentation.)

 

Then he outlines his testing techniques, which are pretty sound. He follows those with his findings:

 

Quote

By far the most important factor in determining whether a boiled egg will peel cleanly or not is the temperature at which it starts cooking. Starting eggs in cold water causes egg-white proteins to coagulate slowly, bonding tightly to the inner membrane of the shell. The difference is night and day: Cold-water eggs show nearly nine times more large flaws and double the number of small flaws.

 

Steam!

 

Quote

. . . taste tests showed that steamed eggs were more tender than their boiled counterparts. This is because steam is gentler than boiling water, allowing eggs to cook through without any hint of rubberiness in the whites or chalkiness in the yolks. Steaming an egg may take a minute longer than boiling it, but you save that time and more during setup: Bringing an inch of water to a boil is much faster than bringing a whole pot of water to a boil.

 

On pressure cookers (including the Instant Pot): 

 

Quote

It’s not any faster or easier than steaming eggs; the eggs are no easier to peel; and the time it takes various models of pressure cooker to achieve cooking pressure (and thus start the countdown timer) can vary widely, which makes the method unreliable.

Moreover, blindfolded tasters confirmed that the whites were noticeably tougher (given the same internal yolk temperature). This makes sense, given the high cooking temperature achieved in a pressure cooker.

 

Age:

 

Quote

. . . doesn’t make much of a difference either. Even eggs still warm from the hen’s body peeled just as easily as the most grizzled specimen. (Taste tests also showed that most folks could not tell the difference between backyard eggs and supermarket eggs, and those who could were split on which were better.)

 

There's quite a bit more -- enough to make the entire article worth reading -- including his final sentence:

 

Quote

Even with evidence, I don’t expect everyone to adopt the steaming technique, and that’s fine. If you’ve got a method that works for you, stick with it (even if it’s the Instant Pot).

 

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To no one's surprise (or maybe just me), people steamed eggs BEFORE Kenji!

 

Quote

 

Which is hard to believe.  Though I am surprised it wasn't Alton.

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Kenji has made a nice career out of doing the sort of things eG folks work out for themselves.

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12 hours ago, gfweb said:

Kenji has made a nice career out of doing the sort of things eG folks work out for themselves.

 

Why is it I bristle whenever I'm read studies that guarantee be-all best procedures?    

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1 hour ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

Why is it I bristle whenever I'm read studies that guarantee be-all best procedures?    

 Me too. And Kenji isn't all that rigorous.

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Interestingly, just a few weeks ago I tripped across an article at The Kitchn which compared and contrasted multiple methods, and found that steaming (credited to ATK) was a close second-best to a boil-then-simmer method touted by Kenji.

 

Which, I guess, drives home the importance of the phrase "your mileage may vary."

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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10 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

Why is it I bristle whenever I'm read studies that guarantee be-all best procedures?    

 It is in Kenji’s jeans – – just remember where he started!   No it’s not a mis- spelling.  I just mean it is the baggage he took with him on his solo journey. 

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well

 

he recommended a Sichuan restaurant NW-ish of BOS

 

I went there and ordered  two of the dishes recommended

 

they were superb.   how he ever found this rest. in a plain vanilla town Ill never know

 

so I cut him some slack.

 

 


Edited by rotuts (log)
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my favorite part of the article , from the NYTime :

 

""  (Taste tests also showed that most folks could not tell the difference between backyard eggs and supermarket eggs, and those who could were split on which were better.) ""

 

I , of course , have known this for quite some time

 

based an studies done by  " FoodUnwrapped "  a British food show on British 4

 

I just couldn't let this infer pass on by !

 

suprise.gif.6a34517f189577fd99072c9f0b5005f0.gif

 

 

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I dunno.   Since we've had the opportunity to buy "pastured eggs" at Grocery Outlet for the price of factory eggs at supermarkets, I totally (believe I) can tell the difference.    They even look different, with bright orangish yolks.   Without being told what he is being served, husband even comments on the deliciousness of eggs I serve him.   

 

 


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yolk color is diet dependent

 

and possible breed dependent.

 

there is a flavor dependent component

 

that Ive encounter a few times even is supermarket eggs

 

and neighborhood eggs , that's a bit rare

 

the egg i.e. the yolk has a super eggy taste that's exceptional..

 

but Ive never been able to track what this flair is called , and what causes it.

 

its rare , and can be in a supermarket egg , from a genetically similar  set of chickens 

 

fed the same food.

 

when I taste , its like being in heaven.

 

however briefly.

 

however

 

@Margaret Pilgrim

 

Im pleased you like your eggs.

 

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P.S.:  chicken meat

 

just to complete my thesis 

 

is a completely different matter.

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2 hours ago, rotuts said:

yolk color is diet dependent

 

and possible breed dependent.

 

 

That really threw me when I moved to Edmonton. Alberta grows barley like the US midwest grows corn, so that's what commercial chickens are fed. The eggs there have a surprisingly dull and muted yolk...when I first arrived, it made me wonder WTH was wrong with the eggs out there. Turned out not to be a freshness thing, when all was said and done, but their feed.

 

Eventually I started buying from a little farm market, and the eggs from those (free-roaming, pastured) hens were more in line with what I was expecting. Eating with the eyes, and all that.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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