Posts Tagged ‘boiling eggs’

Perfect egg yolks

Monday, April 18th, 2011


Maybe I have a hangup on soft boiled eggs, but I’m deeply fascinated by how something simple as an egg can be transformed into such a wide range of textures. I’m talking about pure eggs – no other ingredients added. Playing around with temperature and time can result in some very interesting yolk textures – yolks that are neither soft nor hard, but somewhere inbetween. Two examples from the blogosphere are Chad Galliano’s 90 min @ 63.8 °C egg yolk sheets and David Barzelay’s 17 min @ 70.0 °C egg yolk cylinders (both bloggers giving credit to Ideas in food and Wylie Dufresne respectively).

In 2009 I wrote about my journey towards the perfect soft boiled eggs. Equipped with a formula I knew what I wanted, but it wasn’t so easy after all. Since then I’ve tried to model experimental data from Douglas Baldwin as well as data from my own measurements of egg yolk tempereatures when cooked sous vide (pictures of how I did this at the end of this blog post). I never got around to blog about the results, and now there’s no need for it anymore: The egg yolk problem has been solved! And the question that remains is: How we can utilize this in the kitchen?

The break through came this year (more…)

Towards the perfect soft boiled egg

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

egg-tray

Many cookbooks suggest the following for boiling eggs: 3-6 min for a soft yolk, 6-8 min for a medium soft yolk and 8-10 min for a hard yolk. If you are satisfied with this, there is no need for you to continue reading. But if you’ve ever wondered whether the size of an egg has any impact on the cooking time you should read on. And if you search the ultimate soft boiled egg we share a common goal! From a scientific view point, a cooking time of approximately 3-8 minutes to obtain a soft yolk is not very precise. A number of important parameters remain unanswered: What size are the eggs? Are they taken from the fridge or are they room tempered? Are they put into cold or boiling water? And if using cold water – when should the timer be started? When the heat is turned on or when the water boils? And would the size of the pan, the amount of water and the power of the stove top matter?

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Perfect eggs?

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

I just came across this fancy egg boiler. It’s designed by Simon Rhymes and bears the name BEM. The egg is cooked in about 6 minutes by the heat from 4 halogen light bulbs with a total output of 500 W.

bem.jpg

It sure looks fancy, but I doubt that these eggs can rival the texture of those prepared by the low temperature methods I have described. The reason for this is that the halogen lamps heat up the eggs above the temperature required for the white and the yolk to set. This gives the white a rubbery texture. And even though the BEM has a timer, you still have to figure out (by experimenting?) for how long to cook your eggs…

I think the best part is the cutting ring with a 125 g mass which is raised and dropped to create a crack around the top of the egg. But there is no need to buy the BEM, because a similar egg cracker can be bought separately here for instance! You place the cup on top of the egg, raise the steel ball and drop it. The energy is transferred to the egg, creating a perfectly circular crack. This is actually very neat!

clack-egg-punch.jpg