Hard Boiled Eggs- what went wrong?

Hi All

I followed the Anova App recipe- 45 min at 160 for solid whites and yoke. I am curious as to why my whites came out very runny. The yokes seemed to be cooked well.

I am assuming this temp/time works or it wouldn’t be on Anova site.

I would like to learn why so I can use the experience to improve eggs and also my next cook!



Hmm. Was the water bath at temperature before you started timing? 160F is the start of when the whites will be fully formed. Looking at the guide over on SeriousEats, I think I’d be more tempted to cook them at 165F:

Me, I tend to make deviled eggs a lot, so, I’d be tempted to increase the time a little bit too - with hard boiled, you’re really not looking at having any of it “soft”. An extra 10 minutes could make a difference if you have an extremely cold fridge (i.e. colder starting temperature for your eggs).


Try raising the temp a bit. I get good results for “large” eggs at 45 min at 165F for hard boiled. An extra large or a jumbo would need a bit more time. In order to make them easier to peel, before SV cooking, I put the eggs into boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then fully cool them in an ice bath (5-10 min or so) before putting them in the SV bath.


We get Jumbo eggs from a farm and they take a little longer to cook. I think they are all the ones that are too large or have double yolks.

The difference in taste is amazing and I don’t mind paying a little more for them. Once you get the process down it is very repeatable.

1 Like

Thanks for advice! Trying again tonight at165 for 45 min and 1 hr.

How fresh were the eggs? As an egg ages the white degrades slightly and you finish up with a very watery section of white as well as the fresher thicker white. I’m wondering if what you saw as unset white was the watery thin white section.

1 Like

I notice that i have the same issue too - my whites tend to be runny even though the yolk is perfect. Time doesn’t seem to matter; I’ve left them in for 2 hours and still got some liquid whites… Personally, I find that my previous method of cooking eggs works better when I want something fully-set.

I’ve made hard boiled eggs a lot of ways. I have used microwave hard boiled egg makers. I have used the Instant Pot. I’ve used Sous Vide. For me, nothing beats the perfect eggs, that are easy to peel when I make them in a boiling pot of water on my stove using this method.

Southern Dad - Boiling Perfect Eggs - YouTube

Eggs are fragile things. Only the freshest egg will give you perfectly set white, however then they are difficult to peel.

The white of the egg, when freshly laid, will be thick and almost semi gelatinous. When cracked the yolk will stand high and proud, and the white will pool together and not spread all over the plate. As the egg ages, the white slowly breaks down, becoming less dense and watery. The watery white will never fully set.

have you ever managed to get them right? i will try again with a higher temperature and a bit more time…

Have you managed to get this right yet? i have now ruined about 2 dozen eggs…perhaps they should be room temperature before cooking? i have written to the support people, but not yet received a reply.

Eggs are a lot more sensitive to time and temperature than most other things.

I cook mine at 165°F for an hour. I use farm fresh Jumbo eggs. These are larger than your normal grocery store eggs so I cook them a little longer.

I start out with the eggs out of the refrigerator and put them in the water that is as hot as I can get it from the tap letting the Anova get it to 165°F. I start my timing from when they go in the water. This works perfectly every time for me.

With eggs I never vary my process.

I am still having trouble, but the first thing was that the Anova wasn’t coming up to the right temperature. I sent it back and received another one (whew!).
My most recent egg-speriment (sorry) was me trying to do 14 eggs at once. disaster. I guess you have to do less than 12 at a time?
I found the temperature of 160 to be a little low; I got this from a sous vide book.
One of my issues is that during the winter, I work in the Caribbean, and the eggs do not have a date on them. When the yolk separates almost completely from the white when I am poaching, I know that they are ANCIENT.
Anyway, THANK YOU for your response, sorry I haven’t looked at this site for a while! And I can now get lovely, fresh JUMBO eggs, what a treat.

Perhaps the best way to do this experiment is to weigh the eggs and over time you will have times for different ones. For me the fresher the better with eggs. Lately I have been making egg bites in small mason jars. I add everything I like in an omelet to the mix. I have also found the more flavorful cheeses work far better than the normal cheddar or American.

Hey John, do you have any particularly good ingredient combinations you could recommend for egg bites? I’m thinking it’s time to surprise the wife with something different and tasty!

I like ham or bacon along with freshly chives from my garden. For cheese I like gruyere or swiss. It really comes down to personal preference. If you want to use peppers or onions remember they will not soften at all during cooking.

1 Like

Caramelize onions down to a jammy consistency and put them in the bottom of the jar. Add goat’s cheese to the custard or other sharp cheese to the custard. They’re not only yummy, but look pretty impressive when turned out.

1 Like

Thanks @Ember - another one to try! (And for cheese I’ll be going “Feta” - my wife’s favorite! :slight_smile: )

Feta is an interesting cheese because it does’t really melt in. Crumbling it into the custard just before you decant into the jars and you’ll get little pockets of flavour through your egg bites.