Poach and Egg... Sous Vide Style

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Saw this on Lifehacker... interesting way to poach and egg.

 www.chow.com/videos/show/chow-tips/#!/show/chow-tips/55223/how-to-sous-vide-an-egg-at-home

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gillumhouse's picture
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It kept skipping to the next video. I never get beyond brushing the plastic wrap with your favorite oil! Darn!!

Came back & tried it again. Worked - thanks.

muirford's picture
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 Good way to make poached eggs for a crowd, too.  Just throw the bundles in the water after you serve the fruit course.  They'll be hot and ready for the main plating.

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Madeleine's picture
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I was under the impression that 'sous vide' cooking involved very low temps for very long periods of time. A restaurant here does a sous vide chicken dish that cooks for 72 hours. (Not sure if you have to call ahead or they just plan x number of those dishes for every night and when they're gone, they're gone.)

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Generic's picture
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I just got a new cookbook, so I checked a few things and this is suggested cooking times.

Pasturized egg, 55 C for 2 hours
Perfect soft-boiled egg, 64 C for 35 minutes
Perfect hard-boiled egg, 79 C for 35 minutes

There there are a few others listed, onsen egg 62-68 C for 35 minutes, Arzak egg blossom 85 C for 12 minutes.

Some of the recipes are interesting in that they boil the eggs for 2 to 3 minutes and then put them in the sous vide. Essentially cooking the whites hard and then "playing" with the yolks.

I also didn't realize that there was a difference between American and French scrambled eggs... but there are. American is less yolky and using a small amount of milk, French is more yolky and using more milk and butter. Oh the things that I learn by reading cookbooks.

Generic's picture
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Sort of... sous-vide cooking basically means that you cook something at that specific temperature. In the case of perfectly poached egg, 62 c or 63 c if you want it a bit firmer. Essentially everything cooks at that temperature, and since we are used to cooking from the outside in, getting it all to that temperature takes some time. So you put it in a vacuum bag, seal it and then let it sit at that temperature. In the case of a poached egg, it's about 60 minutes in 62 c water. (That's why this is sous-vide style, not sous-vide).

The other thing is that safe cooking temperatures aren't what people think they are. They are based on time. But over time, those temperatures can be much lower, because the half life of bacteria stretches. In other words, if normally we need ground beef to be 72 c, but you can also do 3 cm cut of beef at 55 c for 3 hours. A bit confusing.

In the case of the chicken dish, they can make extras that can just sit in that water bath and not worry about them overcooking, it can't, it's at the right temperature. And it's basically in a holding pattern, so if there is a few left, they can still serve it perfectly without any degradation the next day. No degradation at all, since it's bacteria free and can't be overcooked.

A steak restaurant can have all the steaks safely cooked to rare in a sous-vide boiler and then just sear the outside and serve it. Why sear the outside? Just for conventionality, because otherwise even the outside of the steak would appear the perfect colour of rare.

muirford's picture
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Madeleine wrote:
I was under the impression that 'sous vide' cooking involved very low temps for very long periods of time.

I wouldn't call this method a true sous vide (not that I'm a chef, only schooled in having watched every season of Top Chef so far), but it mimics some of the aspects. The length of time totally depends on what is being cooked - even at a low temperature, some things are done quickly (like eggs and fish).  One of the main features of a true sous vide is that the cooking liquid only gets to a certain temp required for thorough cooking of the food and then doesn't go above that, so the food is never overcooked.  I don't think this really counts - since the water is boiling, the egg could easily overcook.  I like it because of what she mentions in the video - no swirling away of the egg white, and you get a nice round egg.  A good way to do eggs without a lot of fuss.

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 Commercial kitchens have special "sous vide" cookers..if that's what you call them. Basically low temp waterbath. They use them on Iron Chef all the time. So it depends on the settings / temp it is cooking at I guess.

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 Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Chow has lots of other neat little videos.

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