This Trick Will Prevent Your Sous Vide Eggs From Cracking

If you actually know the French derivation of sous vide, this might not be considered a trick so much as a sound cooking procedure. So let's start at the beginning. Sous vide is essentially a water bath, according to Bon Appétit, in which food is slowly brought up to the correct temperature via immersion circulators, aka the heated coils on the sous vide machine. It's controlled and precise, and a great way to cook meat, eggs, veggies, and a host of other foods. There's a reason, after all, that virtually every chef uses sous vide in their kitchen.

So why are all your sous vide eggs cracking? Well, as sous vide makes its way from the trendy thing chefs use to a popular home cooking technique, some common mistakes are being made by new users. While eggs are one food you can add to a sous vide pot without a container (via Serious Eats), some new users will, as Delishably notes, throw "a bunch of eggs" into the water (versus a slow immersion with a spider ladle or fine-meshed strainer). This can lead to cracked eggs and, further, any tiny cracked shells you're unable to retrieve from the water can lead to future mechanical issues with the machine.

How to sous vide perfect eggs

Sous vide in French essentially translates as "under vacuum." So when top chefs are sous vide cooking steak, chicken, pork, or fish, Bon Appétit observes, it's in a vacuum sealed bag, often with marinade, herbs, and spices included. Why should eggs be treated any differently? Thus the trick, per Delishably, is to put your eggs into plastic bags and vacuum seal them before attempting to cook them in the sous vide pot.

Once you're clear on the proper preparation, the controlled cooking temperature of sous vide translates to amazing consistency and texture in your eggs. Chowhound offers excellent tips on poaching eggs sous vide-style at home, as does Lifehacker (both recommend using plastic wrap). And lest one worry about the effect of using all these plastic bags or plastic wrap in cooking, Chowhound visited a professor of plastics engineering to find out whether using vacuum sealed plastic bags in sous vide is safe. Hint: It is, although there are some guidelines you should follow (via Bon Appétit).