Slow-cooked eggs and a bit of scientific fun

Eggs are amongst the first things I learnt how to cook. Boiling eggs is a good place to start – there’s no oil and no stirring, just a pot of water and an egg. Learning how to time an egg for soft/hard-boiling is another matter, and something which we try to perfect as we get more adventurous/picky with our food.

My mother recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong and presented us with an electric thermos kettle at Monsieur Poisson’s request. As the name suggests, it is an electrical device which is a hybrid of a thermos and a kettle. It boils the water for you and keeps it warm. Our poor stainless steel kettle is now wallowing in self-inadequacy in the corner of our kitchen, unsure of what to do with itself in the face of such competition. These hybrid devices have been available throughout Asia for many years where it is common practice to drink warm/hot water in any type of weather. What I didn’t know was that it can keep the water warm at a selection of temperatures. Constant temperatures! You probably know where I’m heading with this now.

So upon waking one fine Saturday morning, and with things such as eggs, ham and bread in our fridge to be used, it struck me that there is a 60°C setting on our new thermos kettle. The device manual suggests that 60°C is best for making up babies’ formula, whilst 80°C is best for green tea. There has been much discussion about the merits of cooking proteins sous-vide at lower temperatures, and especially so with eggs. And whilst I am able to boil, fry and scramble eggs without too much difficulty, poaching eggs is one of the cooking skills which remains elusive to me. There have been a number of attempts over the years, each resulting in some degree of failure.

Having tried slow-cooked eggs at places such as Koi, I was excited at replicating the smoother-than-tofu silken texture of the eggwhite enveloped around a perfectly runny yolk which bursts with a soft prod. The prospect of perhaps using the thermos kettle to poach eggs would be a convenient alternative to using a cooking thermometer (which, in any case, I do not own) and having to regularly check on the water level as well as temperature during the cooking process. Granted, the thermos kettle does not have a gauge of any sort to indicate an exact water temperature within, but I reasoned it would be good enough for my purposes. So in went four eggs for an hour – at which point is great to go and take a bath/read a book/do absolutely nothing – and then…

Success! *happy dance*

Perfect sprinkled with some salt and pepper, there is a myriad of ways you could serve the eggs apart from on toast. The possibilities to me are now mind-boggling and I bet Panasonic never intended for its thermos kettle to be used in this manner!

happy cooking!


  1. What a great idea! I might get one of these kettles myself. My kettle is old and ready to be retired. ;-)

  2. What an absolutely awesome idea! I can't say that after all these years I know how to cook the perfect egg, wether it be boiled, scrambled, fried or poached but being able to get your thermos kettle to do this is pretty inventive =)

  3. that egg is perfect, love a good runny yoke, but the whites are translucent.. yum!

  4. Oozing dripping runny yolk. You nailed it! I want a hybrid.

  5. This is genius! Why didn't we think of this sooner...

  6. I am an absolulte sucker for a runny egg. This one is just perfection.

    Great little device. Once Nina started on formula, I was looking around for something like this. Only found one brand that seemed to have some variation in temperature, but not as varied as this. Lucky you!

  7. So this is what your little experiment was... I need to get me one of these! I tried making slow-poached eggs using a stove top and a thermometer but they didn't work out as nicely as yours!

  8. Omg I want one of these! It's a mini sous vide machine at a fraction of a cost! So are you planning on any sous vide protein experiments? :)

  9. i'm jealous. i'm the worst chef EVER. i'm proud of you.
    i'm also a hater of yolk so i'll pass but the silken tofu texture does sound incredible.

  10. Add dark soya sauce, pepper, and serve shaken not stirred.

    because nothing beats "wet and gooey in the morning"

  11. Hello

    GoodDay, im just browsing the net looking around and i notice you blog and i found it interesting thanks for the knowledge you share


  12. looks like a pretty perfectly cooked egg :-) yummy!

  13. lol BRILLIANT!!! C'est magnifique! Those eggs are a work of art - now I have to get me one of those thermos kettles!

  14. Rita, you are soooooooo clever. I have made this slow cooked egg once and it's such a pain to constantly measure the temperature. I must get one of this thermo kettle!

  15. Having done this before I say a big thank you on your behalf (and your finer half's) to your mum. I tell you, this is much easier than standing by a pot, even if the creamy results are the same.

  16. That has to be the best looking poached egg ever! I never would've thought you could prepare it that way!

  17. OOH!

    I was so amazed with the 60/60 egg at Cumulus Inc a couple of years back, and this is totally recreating the magic.

  18. Those eggs look fantastic! I drink so much hot water (so Chinese I know) I need one of those things on my desk!

  19. I'm going to be on the look out for one of these kettles now! Your egg looks perfect...yummm

  20. Hey Joey, haha, a dual purpose investment!

    Hey Angie, my fried eggs are very reproducible but my boiled eggs definitely fluctuate in quality =p This now offers the perfect lazy alternative!

    Hey Thang, the eggwhites were beautiful!

    Hey Sara, it's a cooking gadget under a different guise!

    Hey chocolatesuze, porn of the best sort, my sunbeam!

    Hey Zina, ssshhh...not too loud, in case Panasonic want to repackage these under a different name and price!

    Hey Julia, I'm hoping this gadget lasts until I have kids for the purposes of formula! In the meantime, it can keep cooking me eggs =D

    Hey Jacq, haha, yes! A perfect lazy person's solution =D

    Hey Karen, I'm hoping to find a nice fillet of meat to play with soon...stay tuned!

    Hey Laura, I'm a fan of runny yolks but not necessarily yolks in general =p

    Hey Ninja, oh yeah! Would you like an olive served with yours?

    Hey Kathleen, thanks!

    Hey Mardi, this means I can delay learning how to poach eggs properly for the time being! =p

    Hey Simon, closest thing to perfect for me at the moment, yes!

    Hey Tambourine, not just a humble kettle!

    Hey Ellie, no no, not me that's clever - all the kettle's genius!

    Hey Kitchen Butterfly, I'm getting a lot of feedback agreeing with your sentiments!

    Hey Monica, slow-cooked egg poacher, kettle AND thermos!

    Hey Conor, it definitely transforms the humble egg to something entirely different!

    Hey Forager, haha, then you could have hot water and slow-cooked eggs for breakfast at work!

    Hey Dolly, haha, sexy, isn't it? =p

    Hey vintagemacaroon, it's the kitchen gadget I never expected!

  21. !!! That is SUCH a good idea for one of these things. You genius! :D

  22. this is really a great idea.
    Thanks for sharing it here.

  23. Asians always have all the good inventions! What a genius idea to slow cook the egg inside - it looks perfect. Was the shell hard to remove with such a runny interior?

    I always used to poach my eggs using an egg poacher until it got rusty & I figured I might as well try to poach free form. I had success the first time, but I was armed with some tips, such as making sure your eggs are very fresh so the white is still quite thick & using a small saucepan with not too much water. But they're probably not tips you need now you're armed with this kettle :)

  24. >Hey Agnes, I haven't tried sous vide-ing any meat but I've poached eggs many times in the thermos since.

    Hey nitrous chargers, a little unorthodox but, hey, it works!

    Hey April, the shell was easy to remove with only minimal white stuck to the inside. But one day - one day - I will master the art of free-form poached eggs!

  25. Hey mademoiselle délicieuse, no matter hor unorthodox it is, what matter is that it works. And it really do. I have tried it. It was simply good :)

  26. Hey nitrous chargers, good to hear from you again and that this worked for you!

  27. HAHA What a clever cookie! So have you tried doing it again ever since?

  28. Hey Phuoc, tried several times since and it works a treat each time!

  29. Hi - I have a steam oven - has anyone tried cooking these eggs in this? Also, do you think I should prick the eggs before cooking?

  30. Hi Anonymous, the most important elements are that the egg(s) need to remain submerged under water and that the water temperature be kept at a constant. Unfortunately I don't have any experience with steam ovens to comment but there's nothing stopping you from experimenting!

    The eggs shouldn't require pricking beforehand, as eggshells are porous and will slowly release tiny air bubbles from within during the cooking process.


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