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Baked Eggs

Am I the only one that seems to have difficulty with baked eggs? And by difficulty, I mean maintaining soft yolks. I've resorted to separating my whites and yolks and adding the yolks for the last couple of minutes.

Is there a secret I'm missing?

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  1. How exactly are you cooking them? Water bath ?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I'm cooking them with a mixture of greens, prosciutto, and a sprinkle of cream. The recipe calls to cook at 450° for 7-10 mins. The time seems appropriate for the whites to firm up.

        1. re: FoodChic

          Maybe your eggs are a bit smaller than what was used in the recipe, try A water bath so it is more even and gentle and try to make sure that the yolk is in the middle-ish

          1. re: FoodChic

            I made a dish very similar to what you're describing, but my experience was the opposite of yours - I found the eggs undercooked at 12 minutes. Four large eggs baked on a bed of sauteed greens surrounded by thinly sliced sopressatta which was topped with mozzarella, all in an 8-inch cake pan. After 12 minutes at 450 degrees, the whites didn't look quite set to me, so I let it cook more, checking at one or two minute intervals. All told I think I cooked them for 17 minutes, which was too long as the yolks were very firm. Next time I'll pull the pan at about 14 minutes, which I think will be the right time.

            Are you doing individual ramekins with one egg each, or are you doing a casserole like mine? How deep is the bed of greens you are using, and what is the temperature of the greens? If the greens are hot and in a thick layer, that may cause your eggs to be overcooking.

            1. re: janniecooks

              I agree, I make frittatas quite often and they take at least 12 minutes at 400-450F but with smaller servings in ramekins it's quicker

              1. re: janniecooks


                I'm using a large gratin dish. I sauté the veggies and ham prior to putting in the oven. I make wells, add the eggs, and the. Put in the oven. It sounds lik we're making nearly the same dish.

                1. re: FoodChic

                  It does indeed sound like we're making the same dish, FoodChic, at least in the mechanics if not the precise ingredients. Perhaps by doing just a visual check, I was mistaken that my eggs weren't cooked enough at 12 minutes. But I'm pretty sure the whites weren't even fully opaque by then. I keep a thermometer in my oven, so I'm confident the temperature was 450 degrees. Have you checked your oven temp lately? Is it a gas or an electric oven (gas ovens fluctuate more)?

          2. No, baked eggs are difficult for precisely the reason you cite.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mwhitmore

              agreed, getting the timing just right is a challenge for me. I'm always amazed how restaurants can get these right.

              I can now only make them in my house, in my oven, with my ramekins - and I can get them to come out right. If I try to do them in someone else's oven or in a different vessel - forgetaboutit.

            2. What kind of baked eggs? I often make egg nests in little cups and the yolks seem to stay soft. I usually either bake at 400 or broil for a few minutes to set the whites but this is in a small ramekin dish no more than 8 oz usually.

              1. I'll put corned beef hash in a cast iron pan and then in the oven for 10 min. or so, then 2-3 eggs on top and back in the oven. In a 'few' min. they're done. Take them out sooner then later, they will still continue cooking in the pan.

                1. I am giving up on baked eggs. Made them again this week, on a bed of sauteed spinach, tomatoes, and garlic. I swore that this time I would not allow the yolks to get overcooked. However, by the time the whites were set the yolks were mostly overcooked. I pulled the dish out of the oven after 13 or 14 minutes, still the whites were not fully set - dipping the edge of the spoon in one white showed it completely transparent under a slightly coagulated skin - so back in the oven. Not satisfied with baked eggs anymore, I'm going back to topping my sauteed greens with poached eggs. At least I have a bit more control there.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: janniecooks

                    Have you tried them on the stove top? Ramekins placed in pot with water half way up. Maybe the heat coming through from the bottom will help.


                    1. re: youareabunny

                      I was thinking maybe in the oven, placed fairly close to the bottom, with only the bottom element on, and cracking the eggs in after the rest of the ingredients are heated.

                      The problem is that yolks actually coagulate at a lower temperature than whites. This is usually compensated for by the fact that the whites are on the outside/bottom (boiled, poached) and get heated first or are thinner (fried) and heat through faster. With baked eggs and ingredients all starting at room temperature, the yolk could easily solidify before the whites, no matter what the temperature or time.

                      1. re: youareabunny

                        I have cooked eggs en cocotte with success in the past. The dish giving me problems is eggs baked on top of lightly sauteed/wilted greens. The greens are right out of the skillet, into a casserole. Top with eggs - room temp or cold doesn't seem to affect the outcome - and top with shredded parmesan. Can't seem to get runny/creamy yolks and set whites.

                        The casserole is set on a rack set in the lower third of the oven. After three attempts, I guess the desire to perfect the dish is just not there!

                      2. re: janniecooks

                        Have you tried room temperature eggs? I've never had issues with baked eggs though it always takes longer than I think it should, I can seem to get runny yolks and solid whites. Or perhaps put a lid on the stove and just let them steam

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          This time I did actually use room temperature eggs - part of my strategy to ensure the yolks didn't overcook this time. But it made no difference. It's heartening that you and others are able to achieve egg perfection in a baked egg dish, but for my dish of sauteed greens topped with eggs, I'm giving up and sticking with poached from hereon out. Perhaps just simply baked eggs - by themselves - in ramekins are an option for the future, and I've had success with that.

                          1. re: janniecooks

                            Janniecooks, I've had the same issue over and over again. I've tried everything, I just don't get it. I've literally resorted to separating the whites and yolks, and adding the yolks back in after the whites are nearly set.

                            I'm baffled by it.

                            1. re: FoodChic

                              I'm thinking that the bed of greens might be acting as an insulator. Whatever the reason, they're history for me!

                      3. FoodChic, Here is a method we just tried, based on doing a little web research:

                        Eggs en Cocotte, method for avoiding overcooked yolks

                        Butter 2 ramekins, have a bain marie dish or pan ready that will fit them
                        Preheat oven to 350
                        Separate 4 eggs (don’t break yolks – duh)
                        Salt and pepper the whites and, for a consistent texture to encourage even cooking, break up and beat gently (no froth)
                        Divide whites into ramekins
                        Fill bain marie with boiling water, place ramekins in bain marie, bake in oven for 10 minutes
                        Remove from oven, add 2 T heavy cream, gently place yolks on top, more S&P, add 1-2 T grated cheese. (If using other ingredients like sautéed mushrooms, spinach etc. place on top of whites before adding yolks, nestle yolks in, don’t leave it mounded on top like a cherry on a sundae.)
                        Return ramekins (in bain marie) to oven, bake another 5-7 minutes, check after 5 mins to ensure yolks are to your liking.