Jul 25
2013

Sous Vide—The Secret to Cooking Perfect Eggs

in Sous Vide Fuji

Soft Cooked Sous Vide Egg

Sous vide means under vacuum in French and is a cooking method where food is vacuum sealed and then cooked slowly in a temperature-controlled water bath.  Until recently it was a method that I had read about, but had no real interest  trying out for myself.  But then I stumbled across an article that talked about the ins and outs of sous vide cookery, which got my wheels turning.  No overcooked meat?  Cooking meats that turn out tender and juicy without having to add a bunch of butter or oil?  No guesswork?  Easy cleanup?  Yep, I’m listening!  About a week later my dad and I were talking about the best way to cook some lion steaks, and I suggested sous vide, as it would allow this very lean cut of meat to cook until tender, without drying out.  (Yes, this conversation truly happened.  My dad is the coolest dad on the planet.  Now you know why I love food so much…and why I’m weird.  Weird is good.)  My dad and I decided that we needed to start exploring the world of sous vide, and so I reached out to Sous Vide Supreme and they agreed to partner up with me in my quest with my dad.  Sous Vide Supreme sent me a Sous Vide Supreme Demi, vacuum sealer, and assortment of cooking pouches to get started.

Sous Vide Supreme Demi

I’ve now spent the past month and a half exploring sous vide cookery and am ready to start sharing my journey.  So how does sous vide work?  First, vacuum sealing traps in all the juices and flavors from whatever you are cooking.  The temperature-controlled water bath ensures that the item you are cooking will never go above the temperature of the water.  Think about it—if the interior temperature of a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak is 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (55 to 57 degrees Celsius), then all you have to do is set your water temperature to a number within that range and after your steak is done cooking, every single piece of it will be at a perfect medium-rare temperature.  No fooling with guesswork or meat thermometers.  If your steak is thicker on one end, no worries, it still be perfectly cooked all the way through.  Oh, and the cleanup?  It’s dreamy.  All you have to deal with is hot water.  No grease to drain, no little burned bits to soak and scrub off.  Just pour out your water and wipe down the inside of the container and your done!

Eggs

Okay, now that you have an idea of what sous vide cooking is like, let’s start with one of my favorite topics: eggs.  Let’s talk temperature.  Egg whites begin to coagulate between 140 and 149 degrees Fahrenheit (60 and 65 degrees Celsius), and egg yolks begin to coagulate between 149 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit (65 and 70 degrees Celsius).  Cooking eggs sous vide is about the easiest thing on the planet because eggs come already “packaged” with no vacuum sealing necessary.  All you have to do is slip them into the pre-heated water bath, walk away, and then come back in about an hour and they will be cooked to perfection.

After lots of experimentation with different temperature, I have come up with two numbers that I now use again and again.

(1) Sous vide “soft boiled” eggs: I adore anything with a runny yolk, so my egg “sweet spot” for a soft boiled egg sous vide style is 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), cooked for 60 minutes, where both the egg white and egg yolk are beginning to cook and thicken.

(2) Sous vide “hard boiled” eggs: For a hard boiled egg cooked sous vide style, I love 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius), cooked for 60 minutes.  At this temperature, eggs are a bit softer and creamier than the traditional hard boiled egg, making them more moist, but still capable of being cut into slices.  Soft Boiled and Hard Boiled Sous Vide Eggs

So what’s the advantage of cooking eggs sous vide over cooking them in a saucepan of boiling water?  In my mind, there are two huge advantages: Consistency and texture.  By cooking eggs sous vide, you will never be surprised when you break open that shell.  Your eggs will always turn out the same way when cooked at the same temperature.  But even more important than consistent results is texture.  Sous vide cooked eggs have the most incredible creamy, velvety texture I have ever experienced.  Now I can cook a dozen eggs at a time and guarantee that they will all turn out perfectly.  Now if I wanted to, I could whip up egg and avocado toast for a dozen people and know that every single one of those eggs was going to be gorgeous.

Egg & Avocado Toast

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }



Jayne July 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Love that lesser cooked runny egg yolk texture. I wish they sold sous vide machines over here. Either way, I love reading about your experiments.

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GaryODS October 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm

While the Sous Vide Supreme is a wonderful appliance, there are less expensive ways to accomplish pretty much the thing.

An old crockpot (slow cooker – one with a manual dial switch) and a Dorkfood DSV (you can find one on Amazon). The limitation is the size of the crockpot, if you find you like the method, an old tabletop roaster oven is a large improvement.

I have 3 untrimmed tri tips cooking in mine right now.

I have no connection to Dorkfood (funny sounding name but works great) other than being a satisfied customer.

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Aaron April 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Temperature controllers can also be used with an electric burner (I use this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000690WNU/ref=twister_B00SKOG7Q4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1). I prefer this method as you can use whatever size pot you want and if you set the power to max it will get the water up to temperature faster than a Crock Pot will.

If anyone wants to use an electric burner just make sure to turn the power down once the food is in the water, otherwise the “Max” setting will leave enough residual heat to overshoot your target temp by a few degrees even after the controller has turned it off.

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Elijah Nicolas October 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Great article! It’s exciting to see all the new Kickstarter Sous Vide projects that include a circulator or timer and such. I ordered the Sansaire version solely because of the circulator and the fact that it’ll work with almost any container. I can’t wait to get it in November.

Keep up the awesome blog. I’ll definitely be bookmarking this site for your recommended temperatures on eggs. You’re also the first link I clinked when I search on google btw.

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Alice November 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is
great, as well as the content!

Reply



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Geo February 18, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Kenji has done quite a bit of testing with sous vide eggs here: http://mobile.seriouseats.com/2013/10/sous-vide-101-all-about-eggs.html

I was born in Japan, lived in Okinawa for a couple of years pre-teen and visited Hawaii several times when I was older. I love bento …but yours makes no mention of Spam. :-)

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Awni Sawan December 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I like that method of cooking & wish to have the same in UAE .
Pls feed me back if this way of cooking is available in my country .
Thanks
Awni

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Viola Robertson December 28, 2016 at 1:30 am

I recently afforded sous vide machine. I just started to practice things with it. Your article on eggs made my day. With this, I’m going to make best attractive recipes out of eggs and enjoy the delicious taste of it.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) February 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Yay, I’m so glad! Thanks for commenting Viola!

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Sous Vide Guy February 10, 2017 at 7:13 am

Eggs might be the best thing to make with sous vide. They are so hard to get perfect without using sous vide, but so easy to have them perfect everytime with using sous vide.

I’m curious how you like your Supreme machine? I personally use the immersion circulators that are pretty new to the market (last couple years). They’re so much smaller! I’ve used the Demi as well though, and if I were to use a big all-in-one machine, the one you have is what I prefer. The Sousvant is also good too.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) February 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

The Supreme is great, though I’m now using the Nomiku almost exclusively because it’s so much more portable and I can vary the size of the container that I’m cooking in!

Reply



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