Making Perfect Soft-boiled Eggs at Home - Part 2Wednesday, August 17, 2011
In a recent post, I have mentioned the use of the tap, pot and induction cooker method to maintain the constant temperature needed to make 'perfect' half-boiled eggs. This is a "Manual Sous Vide" method or sometimes called "Ghetto Sous Vide."
Having experimented further, there are other ways of doing the 62C-45M eggs. The length of time (45m) remains, but these methods need less attention. You can "close and forget" - sort of.
Before I proceed, let me show you pics of eggs from a shop in Kota Baru which my brother sent to me. He stays in Ipoh. It looks like those on my post. It has solved a mystery for him. He has always wondered: how did they do it? He may not need to go all the way to KB for these if he can make them at home. :)
|Eggs from a coffee-shop in Kota Bahru - this pic is sent by my brother. He loves the eggs there.|
The Thermal Magic Pot Method
|Thermal Magic Pot|
|The pot in the insulato|
The better ones (more expensive) retain heat better. I suppose some salesperson will wise up to this and demo it's use for soft boiled eggs.
|After 45m, temp dropped from 66 to 62|
That said, there are other factors to consider. It is best that the egg is at room temp when the 45min count starts in the thermal insulator so that it gets cooked at 62-66°C during that period. If not, lengthen the time by 5 or 10 mins.
Experiment and get this right and it will pay off if you already own a thermal magic pot. This method requires the least fuss. The results, though better than the conventional 7-8 mins way, is "less perfect" than SV methods, and these will be discussed below.
The Sous Vide Magic Method
The other method is to use a Sous Vide appliance. Many have said that this will be a popular way of cooking in the future: vacuum-sealed food cooked at a constant temp water bath. Set the temp and time and the food comes out exactly the same way each time.
|A Sous Vide set up using my retired rice cooker, which has since taken on a post-retirement |
career change as an egg cooker.
|The temp sensor is held in place behind the racked eggs|
So, let me introduce Sous Vide Magic, a PID* temperature controller. This thing which looks like gadgets I used to see in labs when I was a Chemistry student. It can be had for about USD150.
|Bottom in green is the set temp, above is the actual.|
|30 eggs being "sous vide-ed"..to be consumed by my staff|
...which they did!
It's usefulness for 62-45 eggs is obvious and in fact eggs is about one of the easiest foods to SV as it comes already "vacuum-sealed."
Google "Sous Vide" and you will find many helpful informative sites to guide you along the way if you are interested in it. This site has some great info.
Conclusion and Results
For the comparisons below, I used the same type of eggs (regular). I am still experimenting and hope to perfect the various methods. Meanwhile, here is my experience:
1. Manual Sous Vide Eggs
|"Manual" Sous Vide regular eggs|
Once you get used to a way of keeping the temp constant, you need only periodic attention for this set-up. If you have an Induction Cooker, it is easier as there are no flames to mess around with. If you use a
stove, consider using ice or other ways to keep the temp constant. The results are good, comparable to a proper Sous Vide set-up.
The disadvantage is the attention it needs. You can still fine-tune your set up to minimise the attention needed. It is definitely not practical for longer cooking times, such as the 48-hours beef short ribs!
If you love eggs and these results enough to bother, use it. I would. Especially if I am cooking for others.
2. Thermal Magic Pot Eggs
If you already own this pot, here is one more use for it.
|CP Fresh Chilled egg the Thermal Pot way|
Temp range: 63-68°C
It is more convenient as it is fast to set up and needs no attention during the cooking time.
From my experience thus far, though the results are not as 'stunning' as the regular SV methods, they are pretty good. I transfer to the insulator at 66°C and after 45 mins, it dropped to 62°C. As there is no heat being applied throughout and as the eggs were cooked at a temp range, I find it difficult to repeat the "perfect" results I get from the other methods. My hunch is that the inner core temp of the eggs may be lower than the water at any given time. With this method, you have to be satisfied with the results of cooking within a small temp range.
|Thermal Magic Pot regular eggs: Range: 61-65°C|
See the photos. The results are pretty good, comparable with those done by coffee-shops that you frequent. Do experiment with yours, with different starting temps.
If someone out there can find a way to use this pot and perfect the results, do let me know. Will I recommend this method? Definitely, especially if you already own this. If you are cooking a batch, this method is convenient. You will need a thermometer.
|Sous Vide Magic regular eggs - |
this picture says it all
You can purchase the Sous Vide Magic online here at Fresh Meals Solutions.
If you can find another way of using home kitchen tools to make these eggs, do let me know. The readers here will be grateful.
These are of course a different kind of soft-boiled eggs: the Onsen Tamago (hot springs egg) way. You can cook the usual type using the plastic drip and other 6-8 min ways, but the results are not the same though you, like millions round the world, may have been enjoying eggs this way.
All three methods are also good for making large batches of soft-boiled eggs. Some coffee-shops do it this way. As they do it daily, they do not need a thermometer and have got the system all worked out.
|Breakfast at home. |
This can be had after 2 minutes of warming up chilled cooked eggs
For my family (which includes me!), I cook a batch, chill it in some ice (for safer food hygiene) and fridge it immediately. For the next 2-3 days, we will take them out, warmed it up in hot for about 5 minutes and enjoy a glorious breakfast. I mentioned in my earlier post about my preference for CP Fresh Chilled Eggs.
If you are making a batch for the week, spending more time to get it perfected makes sense. The chilled cooked eggs can also be used for salads and other dishes. You can even sunny side them.
|For dinner...Served chilled, sprinkled with some Jap herbs and spices, silken tofu at the bottom.|