Sous Vide Eggs

A guide to making Sous Vide-Style Eggs

Eggs are a staple source of protein for every person. It is easy to cook and doesn’t require much effort in preparing. But because of the introduction of new cooking equipment such as a vacuum sealer and water circulators, you can now cook eggs in sous vide-style.

Sous Vide eggs are not really cooked using a vacuum seal since they can be cooked with their eggshells, they might be more aptly described as slow cooked eggs or slow-cooked eggs to be more accurate. But by still using the equipment in cooking sous-vide (vacuum-sealed) foods, the term for sous-vide eggs got stuck.

This method is one of the most common and often used means of a sous-vide styled water circulator and it allowed chefs to cook eggs with textures that they could never achieve before.

Now let us first look at the main and only ingredient that we have, namely the egg. You might generally think an egg has only two parts—the white and the yolk—while there are actually three. These are known as: the yolk, the tight white, and the loose white. Take this in mind because by cooking the sous vide egg, different parts are affected in different ways.

The Yolk

Considered as the main source of the forming bird embryo, and contains most important nutritive value of an egg. It has a tightly bound membrane which kept it in the egg. The yolk contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and a rich source of lipids and amino acids. When cooking this is the part that is least affected with the heat since it is located in the centre of the egg.

Tight White

This part of the egg consists of mostly of water with about 10% of the rest is composed of small amounts of protein glucose, minerals, and fatty acids. Included in it also is the most delicate membrane which is directly in contact with the yolk. And it is slightly smaller compared to the full size egg.

Loose White

This last part is considered to be outside the membrane of the white part of an egg, the loose white is the liquid that freely detached from the rest of the egg. This can be readily observed when the egg is cracked open, the whites spreads out freely from the egg. Its nutrient composition is very similar to the tight white, but it has a lower concentration of it making its density similar to water

So now that we have tackled the egg, the question still remains; how to make sous vide eggs? The answer would be pretty much another question, how do you want your eggs? Cooking the eggs in different temperatures and times can have different effects on the eggs and its parts. Now when you set your equipment’s temperature in about 40 minutes you will achieve the following results:

130°F (54.4°C)

At 130°F an egg will have no gelling effect taking place. This is a great way to sterilize your raw egg if you are planning to use it by making homemade mayonnaise or a heavy protein shake.

Loose white: Looks the same as raw

Tight White: Looks the same as raw

Yolk: Looks the same as raw

135°F (57°C)

At this heat the proteins begin to unravel and the egg white turns cloudy in appearance. But texture-wise, this version still looks indistinguishable from a raw egg.

Loose white: Slightly cloudy but texture remains the same

Tight white: Slightly cloudy but texture remains the same

Yolk: Looks the same as raw

140°F (60°C)

This is the heat that marks a huge change for the egg white. At 140°F it will start to firmly hold their basic shape and look. But any provocation can easily make them crack and spill.

Loose White: Loose and Water-like

Tight White: Pale White and Barely Set

Yolk: Looks the same as raw

145°F (62.8°C)

At this temperature you can now make the egg look like it was poached or soft-boiled. The egg whites are firm enough that you can scoop them with a spoon, but yolk remains looking raw.

Loose White: Watery and Broken

Tight White: Opaque white with a bit of pale fringe, set enough

Yolk: Barely the same as raw, a tiny bit thicker

150°F (65.6°C)

This is the heat that marks a huge change for the yolk, at this temperature it will begin to be a soft, and malleable texture. Egg whites are completely opaque and firm.

Loose White: Watery with coagulated protein

Tight white: completely opaque and firm, can be scooped and cut by a spoon.

Yolk: Tender but malleable and firm enough hold its shape

155°F (68.3°C)

At this temperature the egg yolks are similar to the egg whites in terms of firmness. You can now cut the egg into two parts but the yolk will still be very moist and liquid at the centre.

Loose White: Watery with coagulated protein

Tight White: Opaque and Firm, but tender

Yolk: Fudgy in texture but Malleable

160°F (71.1°C)

At this point the loose white have been heated sufficiently that they have coagulated completely. They become a skin like solid that you can peel away from the tight white.

Loose white: Solid and skin-like

Tight White: Opaque and Firm, but Tender

Yolk: Firm but still Malleable

165°F (73.9°C)

With this temperature you can now make a hard-boiled egg. This kind of egg is ideal for making an egg salad and is completely firm and can be sliced in half without it breaking its shape.

Loose White: Opaque and Firm, Skin-like

Tight White: Opaque and Firm, slightly Tender

Yolk: Completely firm but still a bit moist, but outer part crumbles

So there you are, the different ways you can cook the sous vide egg. In all honesty the process is very similar to boiling an egg, the biggest difference is you can accurately set the temperature that gives you the power to control how the egg will cook. This technique is very useful if you plan on preparing a meal that needs egg preparations.