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I've been cooking eggs sous vide and love the control over the consistency of the yolk; a perfectly jammy egg yolk is one reason the sous vide approach impresses me. However, there is one sticking point for me: the egg white sticks to the egg shell! I find it frustrating that whenever I cracked a sous vide egg, sometimes all that would come out was the yolk, and the egg white would be stuck to the inside of shell. Can someone explain what is going on?

Why does the egg white stick to the shell when a egg is cooked sous vide?

For what it is worth, I've found a method that helps overcomes this limitation. The traditional boiled egg approach cooks the egg from the outside in, yet relying on a watch and a pot of boiling water can yield inconsistent results and runs the risk of overcooking the yolk. After cooking an egg in the sous vide to the desired yolk consistency perform the following:

  1. Have an iced bath and pot of boiling water prepared.
  2. Take the eggs out of the sous vide and cool them in the ice bath for a few minutes. This will cool the egg some and mitigate the additional cooking of the egg yolk in the following step.
  3. Take the eggs out of the ice bath and place them in a pot of boiling water. Boil the eggs for 5 minutes.
  4. Take the eggs out of the boiling water and place them back in the ice bath.

I have found that "shocking" the eggs after cooking them sous vide helps firm up the egg white a bit and release the egg white from the shell, making them easier to peel, yet the results still aren't where I'd like them. It's almost like inverting the timed-boil approach and cooking the egg from the inside out. Can anyone explain why this approach is working, but isn't quite enough?

  • Have you tried leaving the eggs out of the fridge in the pantry for a few days (at least 3) and only then boiling them? Please leave a comment @Fabby if that helps and then I'll post an additional answer. – Fabby Jul 4 '18 at 12:44
  • What temperature are you setting and how long are you leaving the eggs in for? – GdD Jul 4 '18 at 13:13
  • @Fabby, is it food safe to leave eggs out of the fridge? – wherestheforce Jul 6 '18 at 22:11
  • @GdD, I cooked them 168F for 30 minutes in the sous vide. – wherestheforce Jul 6 '18 at 22:12
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    @wherestheforce Around here eggs are not stored in the fridge section of the shop, so the "Best before date" is calculated for them not to be stored in the fridge. As you didn't specify the country you're from, YMMV, but it's safe to assume eggs with a "Best before date" 2 weeks in the future can be kept 2-3 days in the pantry regardless of refrigeration. – Fabby Jul 7 '18 at 6:02
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It is because the outer most layer of egg white is not firm/tough enough to survive being peeled without ripping apart.

If you do not want to ice and boil it, you can torch the outside of the egg for up to a minute. This will cause localized boiling under the shell and physically separate the egg whites from the shell wall. Also, overcooking the outermost layer of egg whites will help the egg hold its shape for the softer styles of eggs.

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    I wonder if a brief dip in boiling water would also work. – mrog Jul 3 '18 at 16:16
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    The flipside might work, i.e. cooking the eggs less. The outer layer of white solidifies last, cooking it less leaves it liquid and the egg slides out. – GdD Jul 4 '18 at 15:31
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I never had this problem until I tried 167F for 13 minutes. The yolk was perfect but the some of the whites did not slide out with the egg. If you do a lower temp for an hour that won’t happen but I preferred this temp. The yolk was like butter!

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