65⁰ for the perfect egg?

Can you cook a perfect egg?

Can you cook an egg? It is harder than one thinks to cook a (near) perfect egg. The film Julie and Julia that we are currently enjoying makes the point firmly, to learn cookery one starts at the beginning, cooking eggs.

This eggs / 65⁰ eggs

For some reason, although we have had the sous vide circulator for a while now, and use it frequently when cooking meat, I have not before tried the famous 65⁰ egg. It should probably be called the ‘This Egg’, or «Œufs This» since this temperature is the result of work by French molecular gastronome Hervé This.

So for today’s experiment I am making myself a couple of 65⁰ eggs. The sous vide is the ideal way to do this, avoiding the terrible error of 64⁰ eggs.

During lunch at a local bistro, I notice a 65-degree-Celsius egg on the menu, served on a fricassée de girolles. As the plate is set down, This says: “That’s not a 65-degree egg. It’s a 64-degree egg.” The yolk is soft, and the egg white, while completely opaque, is so delicately jelled and fragile that it breaks apart slightly when it is plated. “Eh, oui,” the chef sighs; he is having des ennuis regulating the heat of his stove.  (Quoted from Discovery)

According to This’ research at 65⁰ one gets soft creamy yet set whites and a soft not quite runny yolk, pretty much how I like my eggs. For Barbara I may have to do some 67⁰ eggs, but today is about me 🙂

As the featured image shows, my 65⁰ egg is as described, the whites are opaque (though only just) and are indeed creamy, and as promised a ‘revelation’. The yolks, however, are almost set, and so for me less than exciting.

The quest for my ‘perfect egg’ continues…

This only cooks his eggs a short while, that might be the answer, but the Chef Steps egg calculator suggests that the perfect egg for me with a pretty firm white and yet pretty runny yolk would use 75⁰ for 15 mins or, after 12 mins ice and reheat… I may try that next week.


PS, these This Eggs were topped with a lemmony mustard mayonnaise, but does anyone know a quick easy foolproof way to make hollandaise?

75⁰ eggs

Update: 75⁰ eggs

Since the 65⁰ eggs were not perfect for me, I tried again, this time the 75⁰ for 12 minute version. The idea is that cooking at the higher temperature for longer makes the whites firmer, while cooking for a limited time 12 mins limits the damage to the precious yolk. One also rewarms the 75⁰  eggs for about two minutes which firms the whites a little more. My hope was that by rewarming Barbara’s eggs longer than mine I could give her a softer version of the cannon balls she prefers, while getting a ‘perfect egg’ for myself.

On the right in the photo above is a 12 minute 75⁰ egg, whites too soft, on the left a 13 minute egg, whites still a touch too soft. But the real killer is that in each case the yolk has begun to set a little. Maybe I’ll have to try 80⁰ eggs for various times…

PPS for Micaela’s eggs in their shells with ‘soldiers’, I suspect 12 minute 65⁰ eggs might be just right, the whites are soft enough to dip the ‘soldier’ through and should attach nicely. (Till now the problem with eggs and soldiers, the yolk is finished and the white remains alone and unwanted…)

PPPS or maybe I’ll try Kenji-Lopez style, he says:

I cook my eggs just like I’d cook them for a normal three-minute egg—plunging them into boiling water for three minutes, then shocking them for a full minute in an ice water bath. After that, I drop them into a 143°F water bath and let them cook for 45 minutes, which sets the whites to tender perfection all the way through while leaving the yolk warm, golden, and ready to flow.


2 thoughts on “65⁰ for the perfect egg?”

  1. I think the problem is the perfect egg requires an impossible difference in doneness between white and yolk (unless you do like the chef I saw on Netflix and cook the two parts separately).

  2. That is the source of the difficulty, and I suppose cooking them separately cuts the Gordian Knot, but as with Alexander’s solution is somewhat unsatisfying. Also simply poaching comes so close…

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