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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Officemade Soft-Boiled Egg Experiment

In keeping with my New Year's resolution of getting into shape and eating better, I have been trying to eat breakfast everyday. I'm not normally a breakfast person.* But, everyone has been telling me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I've been trying to eat breakfast everyday.

Last week, I discovered that I really liked toast with peanut butter and dunking that into coffee with plenty of cream and sugar. This week, I am experimenting on officemade (as opposed to homemade) soft-boiled eggs. The photo at the top of this blog entry is my goal (though I would like the yolk to be even runnier than that). Today, I put an egg into a coffee cup (the insulated fuzzy kind that is so popular in offices everywhere), and poured hot water from the coffee maker into the cup. I let it sit for 10 minutes, then drained out the water and repeated. Then, I cracked open the egg on one end.

The egg white was done on the outer most layer, but the "inside" of the egg white was still runny. (By "runny," I mean it was still in that cottage cheese phase and had not progressed to the Jello Jigglers phase.) However, the egg yolk was done. It was still the color of a sunnyside up egg yolk, but it was definitely just done. (I couldn't have sopped up the yolk with my toast.) Now, why would the yolk be done, but the white be still a bit runny? What should I do if I want whites with the consistency of Jello Jigglers, but a runny yolk with the consistency of sunnyside up yolk?

* This is related to my naturally late waking hour. Eating at 10:30am may ruin my appetite for lunch at the standard noon hour. Plus, if I am starving by noon, then I feel "justified" to pig out. However, I always get up at 7am to feed the cats. Before, I would feed them and go back to bed for an hour but, lately, I've been riding the stationary bike and watching my BBC shows instead of going back to bed.


stillman said...

you can buy a toaster that also cooks an egg at the same time. press go at 7 am and you're golden.

Nonny Nu said...

But I want to know how to cook an egg using office equipment...

MonkeyPig said...

Super-heat water in a a cup of water for 5-7 minutes. That'll bring the temp above boiling. Then put your egg in the cup of super-heated water. Remember, when you are using the microwave, you can bring water above its boiling temp.
Another option is to put salt in the water in your cup. The addition of the NaCl will increase the boiling point of the water.
Hey...that's amazing..the last time I have fluid dynamics was in the 1990.

Cl. Panic said...

Apparently I was right! The yolk part and the white part of eggs are made up of different proteins that cook at different temperatures. It's possible to create a reverse-boiled egg.

Someone with more time than any of us figured it all out for you.

Nonny Nu said...

I am going to try the salt method suggested by MonkeyPig, but I am worried that when I drop in the egg, the shell will crack. WEl'' seee what happens. Good idea to raise the water temperature by adding NaCl.

Cl. Panic said...

What happened? Did you try it this morning?

Cl. Panic said...

If it doesn't work you, you might consider one of these which will also give you the option of cooking a sausage every now and then.

Nonny Nu said...

I haven't tried it but I'm going to do so after my 3:30 meeting.

Nonny Nu said...

Cl. Panic, I just read the link you provided. It contradicts itself. At the beginning, it specifically says that the yolk has a higher cooking temperature than the white, which is why, if you cook an egg at 65 degrees, the yolk will not cook but the white will (white has a 65 degree cooking temperature and yolk has a 70 degree cooking temperature). However, he later states that when he cooked an egg at 65 degrees for an hour, the white was runny but the yolk was firm. How did the yolk get firm if the water never reached the yolk cooking temperature of 70 degrees?

Anyhow, today, I stopped by the supermarket and got 6 eggs for the office. I heated a cup of water to boiling (I didn't add NaCl to superheat it because I wasn't sure if there would be an egg explosion at the office--they like me there but they don't like me that much). While I was heating the water, I soaked the egg in a cup of hot water from the coffee machine (to warm it up as to avoid the cold cracking egg effect). Then, I placed the egg into the boiling water (covered) for 15 minutes. It turned out runnier than yesterday's, but still not runny like a sunny side up egg.

I will try again tomorrow (there are 5 left in the kitchen fridge on the M side of the office).

Nonny Nu said...

Today's egg.

MonkeyPig said...

Superheat the water by heating it longer tomorrow. Your egg will be better.
Science makes life better.

MonkeyPig said...

No, I am not Earl Grey. I hate Earl Grey tea.

Arlynda said...

You write very well.