Sous Vide Question

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I got an Inkbird Sous Vide to try it out. I've been curious for a while.

I started with eggs, setting it for 63°C to get a soft egg, what the charts suggested. After an hour, I cracked the egg, and the white was runny, still quite liquid.

I bumped the thermostat to 65° (149°F). After 15 minutes, still liquid.

I shound say I'm very near sea level, if that matters, and I double checked with my thermapen— yep, 65° C on the button.

Can anyone suggest what's going on? Of course, I'm going to bump the temperature until they come out right, but it seems that eggs should come up 2° when in warmer water for that long. Unless the charts are off. Or is there some secret to sous vide I don't know? (trick question. I'm sure there's a lot)
 
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The perfect yoke is about 6 degrees F lower than the perfect white. The best approach I've found is to sous vide the egg at the right temp for the yolk, then dip it briefly in hotter water to set the white. My method is to take 3 oz-ish ramekin, stick plastic wrap down in it, spray with a touch of cooking spray, crack the egg into it and tie off the top into a purse.
 
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Thanks for the tips, phaedrus. I was confused and thought it was the other way around, so I was surprised when my yolks were set and whites still runny.

Great idea about how to contain the egg. I'll give it a shot today.

Shame someone doesn't make big short rubbers to hold the eggs, that would be handy.
 
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One thing to keep in mind with sous vide eggs, there are actually 2 different types of egg "white" in the shell....there is a part of the white that remains runny and loose up until about 158-163f. If you crack a fresh egg on a plate or in a bowl you can actually see the 2 types of white...one is firmer and hugs the yolk, the other is almost watery and is noticeable around the edges. The older an egg is the more "loose" white it has.

Like I said, the "loose" part of the white won't ever set until you get to hard boiled egg texture.

I've found that draining the egg on a slotted spoon over a paper towel or (like phaedrus said) a quick dip in water. Usually that runny white part just slides off or through a slotted spoon though.

You don't often want to crack a sous vide egg right onto/into what you're serving, best to drain first.

EDIT: actually, here is a link to serious eats sous vide egg primer, which does a better job (with pictures) of describing what I was talking about Sous vide egg primer
 
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Have you tried the higher temperature for less time ( 75C for 15ish minutes)?

Unless you are using sous vide to hold for service, in which case that wouldn't work.
 
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sgsvirgil, maybe I should back off to say this: We are looking for a better way to make poached eggs, so we can offer them in our small restaurant on busy weekend mornings. We had been poaching, then holding in ice water. The eggs came out raggedy, and sometimes contained water— kinda yucky. We tried getting absolutely fresh eggs from a farmer, but that did not help. I got the sous vide hoping it would make things easier, and we are still in the middle of experimenting.

So far, it seems there are a couple approaches that may help us for our setup. Phaedrus' suggestion of eggs in plastic wrap and Someday's hint of discarding extra uncooked egg white. Phatsh's and Someday's article was excellent (eggcellent?) in giving a lot of info about what's actually going on with the egg. I haven't digested all the info yet, and have not had the time to fully explore all the ideas. Fatcook's idea also works well, essentially softboiling the eggs at a precise temp and time.

I'm really grateful for all the help, it's put us on a good track.
 
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sgsvirgil, maybe I should back off to say this: We are looking for a better way to make poached eggs, so we can offer them in our small restaurant on busy weekend mornings. We had been poaching, then holding in ice water. The eggs came out raggedy, and sometimes contained water— kinda yucky. We tried getting absolutely fresh eggs from a farmer, but that did not help. I got the sous vide hoping it would make things easier, and we are still in the middle of experimenting.

So far, it seems there are a couple approaches that may help us for our setup. Phaedrus' suggestion of eggs in plastic wrap and Someday's hint of discarding extra uncooked egg white. Phatsh's and Someday's article was excellent (eggcellent?) in giving a lot of info about what's actually going on with the egg. I haven't digested all the info yet, and have not had the time to fully explore all the ideas. Fatcook's idea also works well, essentially softboiling the eggs at a precise temp and time.

I'm really grateful for all the help, it's put us on a good track.

Let's hope so. But, is sous vide really the best solution for poaching eggs? Back in the day when I used to do brunches, we would push through on average 250 to 300 poached eggs per brunch. That's during a brunch that lasted from 11am to 1:30pm. We did it by keeping it simple. A poached egg takes 4 minutes if the eggs are room temperature. So, as part of the prep, we put out the eggs so they could come up to room temp. Next, I would put two people on the eggs. We would poach the eggs in a large saute pan that had a star shaped insert that divided the pan into 8 sections. On busy days, we would have up to 3 of these pans going at once and two people handling the eggs. That's 18 poached eggs every 4 minutes or so, all done to order so there was no holding.

I think you're going to find that the key to a properly poached egg is in the temperature of the water. It has to be a shade under boiling for the egg to cook properly. The yolk and the whites are going to cook at different rates given their differences in density. The hot water ensures that the white, which is mostly water to begin with, cooks as quickly as possible without overcooking the yolk that is insulated by the yolk. By the time the white is thoroughly cooked, the yolk has been heated sufficiently to serve. Et viola!

The relatively low temps used in sous vide are not going to cook the egg properly nor will it solve your time issues. If you increase the temperature of the sous vide to just below boiling, you may as well just poach the eggs in the traditional method.

Cheers! :)
 
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Furthering my advice, I wouldn't take tips on sous vide from people that have no idea what they're talking about (with regards to sous vide). You'll find people on here will denigrate sous vide for no other reason than they don't properly understand it's utilization in the professional kitchen.

You can pre-cook/poach as many eggs as you want several days before, then keep them in a holding bath for service. If you go through a 1000 eggs a week you can cook a thousand eggs at once for the week (assuming you have the appropriate space and circulators)

You can cook them at a low enough temperature so that they won't cook at all (still be raw looking/tasting) but they will become pasteurized for things like aioli and mayonnaise for immunocompromised people.

No futzing with water temp, no burner space being monopolized by 2-3 rondeaus, no feathering, no comets, no overcooking, no labor cost to pay someone to stand over a pot of simmering water for minutes/hours poaching eggs in advance. Easy peasy.

I used to be the chef of a medium size restaurant that ran a very successful and busy brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings...we used sous vide for our eggs. It worked like a charm. The key is to dial in your cooking method (i.e. the time/temp that works best for you, your menu, and your guests) and drain the loose whites before they hit the plate.

We kept a pot of poaching water for people that wanted eggs poached medium or hard...but really all we had to do was crack our sous vide eggs into that. Took up one burner for service.

Feel free to PM me if you need/want any further specifics.
 
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Thanks Someday....Used to do just that during Sunday brunch. Egg Benny for 500 to 800. We poached 750 eggs on Saturday and placed them in ice water.
 
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you are playing with Salmonella, I don't think it's worth to spend time for sous-vide eggs, suggesting you the tradition way. or use silicone mold for Combi-Oven. I am having average breakfast eater of 200+, and we cook them fresh.
 

phatch

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Chef Piya, pasteurization is a time and temp curve. It seems you're used to the instant pasteurization of higher temperatures for salmonella. But longer times and lower temperatures can also work.
iu
 
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Chef Piya, pasteurization is a time and temp curve. It seems you're used to the instant pasteurization of higher temperatures for salmonella. But longer times and lower temperatures can also work.
iu
Are those times expressed in that graph realistic when it comes to eggs?
 

phatch

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The ground beef for salmonella would be similar for eggs. But it's not just putting eggs in 135 degree water for 27 minutes. The timing starts when the egg is at that temperature. According to serious eats, that's about 40 minutes. So you're looking at 70ish minutes for a refrigerated egg. Anova, who sell sous vide recomment 90 minutes at 135.
 
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And how would this sort of time requirement be factored into a busy kitchen during brunch as compared to the poached to order method? What are the differences in factors such as production control, purchasing, prep etc.

At first blush, it would seem that the most crucial aspect would be having enough of these eggs prepped in advance to accommodate orders, no? :)
 
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I will answer my own question. The problems presented by sous vide eggs far outstrip any meager benefit that it may provide. The logistics in terms of prep time, kitchen resource consumption and manpower renders the use of the sous vide technique utterly impossible in a busy kitchen during a brunch or breakfast service. To compound the matter, C Chef Piya is right. Sous vide eggs is playing with salmonella and that risk is increased if the eggs are purchased farm to table.

In contrast, an experienced cook can produce poached eggs to order using just conventional pots with dividers at a rate of 16 to 24 eggs every 4 minutes or so depending on the number of pots; more than fast enough to keep up with the busiest of services, not to mention maintaining the necessary food safety standards.

Cheers! :)
 
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I see the "back in my day" crowd is out in full force.

You sous vide the eggs ahead of time...not to order. You can do a few dozen or a few thousand (as long as you have the space), it doesn't matter. Once they are cooked you can hold them for service in large batches for hours if needed.

If they are handled properly and cooked properly, the sous vide eggs become pasteurized during the sous vide process, making them MORE safe to eat. As Phatch pointed out above, pasteurization is a function of time/temp, not just temperature.

Sous vide eggs are not necessarily for saving time during service (though it can help with that), but for consistency of product, saving labor and saving space.

Some of you are spouting off about sous vide from a place of low understanding....if you have never done the technique before in a professional kitchen, why would you come into a thread and spread false and misleading information about it? Especially when you CLEARLY have no f-n idea what you're talking about.

How can someone say something like "the problems outstrips the benefits" when they haven't done both techniques in order to compare the two in the first place? Someone who had successfully integrated a sous vide SOP into their brunch/breakfast set up wouldn't say that, lol.
 
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I don't like sous vide not because I don't understand the concept, but because:

1. It will always feel like boil in a bag to me
2. The cooking times on some of these items are bordering laughable, I meant come on, a hour for a soft poached egg?
3. Some people come off elitist or condescending about it versus traditional cooking methods.


I understand a lot of people like this type of cooking and the results, I don't think it's fair to assume anyone who doesn't is some rube. There's nothing wrong with reinventing the wheel when it comes to some of these methods, just as there is nothing wrong with not wanting to embrace them either.

As for the OP, we used to just poach off eggs either to order, or if you needed a large amount you can either shock and reheat or hold in perforated pans to avoid that watery issue you talked about.
 

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