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Perfect egg yolks

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

     For so long, the perfect egg yolk has eluded me. While there are may recipes for poached or confit egg yolks online, most of them are just too flawed. many of them require an immersion circulator, which, for the average cook, is simply too expensive. Some even suggest cooking the egg in the shell at a precise temperature and then separating the yolks from the whites, but, in my opinion, that is a massive waste of egg whites. For a few weeks now, I've been experimenting with different methods of cooking egg yolks and I think I've found one that is just right and possible for any home cook. You'll need a ziplock bag, olive oil, a pot of water, a thermometer and binder clips. First, clip one of the binder clips to the side of the pot and use it to hold the probe of the thermometer inside the water so that you can moniter the temperature. Bring the water up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Put some olive oil in a ziplock bag, and add your egg yolks. submerge the bag almost all the way under the water, and with just the top sicking out, seal the bag to vacuum seal the eggs and oil. using a second binder clip, clip the bag to the side of the pot to keep the eggs from moving around too much. try to keep the water between 145 and 165 degrees. If you put your stove on low, it should stay within that range. Every five to ten minutes, remove the bag from the water and gently squeeze the egg yolks between your fingers. Once they have started to gel and feel sturdy enough to handle, remove them from the bag, carefully, and they're ready to use. Below is a picture of a dish I made using these egg yolks along with some mussels and pancetta in a scallion broth. The yolks are creamy and disolve into the broth, making it rich and flavorful.

 

If anyone has any sugestions of other ways to achieve a perfect egg yolk, or dishes that utilize them, I'd love to hear about it.

post #2 of 14

I put the yolk in a bowl of cold water in the (heated) oven.

 

timing is everything.

post #3 of 14

Somewhere I have a picture of something like this, except the bag is clipped to a chopstick laying across the top of the pot, so the eggs are not touching the sides.  Wonder if I can find the photo?

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #4 of 14

I can cook egg yolks in my silicone single unit cupcake molds.

Think layer of water in baking sheet, cupcake molds with egg yolks, 

In the heated oven for just a bit. 

Comes out fine :P

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

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post #5 of 14

Abaff, your method is very similar to making the perfect poached egg, wrapping the whole egg into oiled cling film. 

BTW, very nice mussel dish!

post #6 of 14

I think perfection is overrated.  I'll take an egg yolk any way I can get it.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post
 

I can cook egg yolks in my silicone single unit cupcake molds.

Think layer of water in baking sheet, cupcake molds with egg yolks, 

In the heated oven for just a bit. 

Comes out fine :P

 

I've heard that this method works, but my oven can't be set below 170 degrees, so any time I try cooking an egg yolk in the oven, the bottom of the pan gets too hot too fast and it cooks unevenly.

post #8 of 14

this came up recently in one of the pro sections.

 

egg yolks cook as follows:

at 145'F/62.8'C they start to thicken

at 158'F/70.0'C they are firm through and through but still 'orange' colored

at 170'F/76.7'C they go crumbly, pale yellow and rapidly form iron-based green discoloration.

 

so let's assume for the moment you can do some controlled experiments and thenceforth learn:

for the perfect amount of gooeyness to my egg yolk on X, they need to be cooked to 148.6'F/64.8'C

 

wonderful.

now the problem is how to re-create that temperature at will, and consistently.

 

one can abandon all hope of the simplistic

"Do this for X minutes" because

- the start temp of the yolk

- the start temp of water, if used

- the oven thermostat - most are of limited accuracy

- the color of the pan - dark absorbs heat more readily

- etc etc

 

a whole long shopping list of variables which make blindly "Do X for Y time" really iffy.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillbert View Post
 

this came up recently in one of the pro sections.

 

egg yolks cook as follows:

at 145'F/62.8'C they start to thicken

at 158'F/70.0'C they are firm through and through but still 'orange' colored

at 170'F/76.7'C they go crumbly, pale yellow and rapidly form iron-based green discoloration.

 

so let's assume for the moment you can do some controlled experiments and thenceforth learn:

for the perfect amount of gooeyness to my egg yolk on X, they need to be cooked to 148.6'F/64.8'C

 

wonderful.

now the problem is how to re-create that temperature at will, and consistently.

 

one can abandon all hope of the simplistic

"Do this for X minutes" because

- the start temp of the yolk

- the start temp of water, if used

- the oven thermostat - most are of limited accuracy

- the color of the pan - dark absorbs heat more readily

- etc etc

 

a whole long shopping list of variables which make blindly "Do X for Y time" really iffy.


The exact reason why I came up with this method. Unless you have an oven which is acurate to the degree, which none are, or an immersion circulator, it is nearly impossible to time the yolks perfectly, but this method allow for constant monitoring, and a gentle squeeze can tell you exactly what stage an egg yolk is at in the cooking process. As long as you have the patience to keep checking the yolk, it works great.

post #10 of 14

>>the bottom of the pan gets too hot too fast

 

yup.  one of them there variable things.  a dark pan - for example - will absorb radiant heat much faster than "other" colored things. 

 

I use a Pyrex clear glass bowl... and "test" with the (blunt) handle end of a dinner fork.  or chopsticks, whichever comes faster to hand... because I could be cooking them in a oven temp anywhere from the 235'F to 425'F  - so attention to the cookee is imperative.  in a hot oven, could be done in 5-7 minutes, might take 15 in a cooler oven.

 

regardless, I'm a big fan of "if it works for you, then that's the best way!"

post #11 of 14

I love threads like this, it got me to playing around at work. I put a yolk in a coffee cup. I put water in a sauce pan and brought it up to 168F. Poured it over the yolk and up to the top of the cup. Wrapped the entire thing in cellaphane and put it back in the sauce pan of water, making sure tha water didn't come up over the top of the cup. Let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the water in the cup was at 148F.Because the process is done off the heat, time is not all that crucial, 15 minutes-20 minutes-30 minutes, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference. Here is the result. Of course the texture and degree of doness could be altered by adjusting the water temperature up or down to achieve different results. Also by using pastuerized eggs, any concerns about salmonella are eliminated

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post #12 of 14

deleted - user error


Edited by Dillbert - 1/27/14 at 3:18pm
post #13 of 14

well excuse me

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

I love threads like this, it got me to playing around at work. I put a yolk in a coffee cup. I put water in a sauce pan and brought it up to 168F. Poured it over the yolk and up to the top of the cup. Wrapped the entire thing in cellaphane and put it back in the sauce pan of water, making sure tha water didn't come up over the top of the cup. Let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the water in the cup was at 148F.Because the process is done off the heat, time is not all that crucial, 15 minutes-20 minutes-30 minutes, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference. Here is the result. Of course the texture and degree of doness could be altered by adjusting the water temperature up or down to achieve different results. Also by using pastuerized eggs, any concerns about salmonella are eliminated


This is a cool technique. It reminds me of the beer cooler sous-vide technique. Did you bring the yolk up to room temp or use it straight out of the fridge? I'd love to try this.

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