HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


scrambled eggs for 125, sous vide possibly?

I occasionally cook brunch for my wife's church.Among the items I prepare are scrambled eggs for 125. They have an ancient electric range and no pan large enough to cook all the eggs in one batch. It always creates last minute stress for me. Does anyone have any suggestions about possibly cooking eggs slowly in a hot water bath? I have a bunch of sous vide equipment so I could get a large volume of water heated, say in a cooler, then put the eggs in sealed Ziploc bags and submerge. I've seen scrambled eggs cooked in bags @ free breakfast buffet hotels but I've never paid much attention. Can I buy these type of ready to boil scrambled eggs @ a food service distributor like Restaurant Depot or Sysco? Do they taste good? I'm reluctant to try to bag my own for fear of the bag opening during cooking. Any ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have done "omelettes" in baggies. You put onions, peppers, ham, etc, some cheese, and a couple of beaten eggs in a quart size ziplock Baggie. Press the air out and seal. We just cooked them in a big pot of boiling water for 20 minutes... They came out good (I was pretty sceptical), even looked like omelettes. A sous vide would work better, you could hold them for as long as needed that way.

    1. Scramble eggs require you to make curds out of the egg mixture...simply cooking them in a water bath probably would not make make very good Scrambled Eggs.

      Instead, have you considered making smaller batches, transferring them into Ziplock Bags....and reheating in the water bath?

      1. I vote you swap to baked or poached eggs and skip the scrambled for so many at once nightmare....

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ttrockwood

          I agree.
          I cant imagine sous vide scrambled eggs turning out very well ...they probably wouldn't be much different or any better than your garden variety steam-table scrambled eggs. Which are always pretty lousy (but, in the interests of full disclosure: I confess that I've never had ANYTHING cooked via sous vide that I can say I enjoyed, or thought was in _any_ way better than food more conventionally prepared).
          I think the baked eggs are a MUCH better idea...and as much as I love scrambled eggs, the baked eggs would be a far more 'interesting' and unique choice.

        2. Yes you can get those eggs ready to go at any food supplier. They taste decent and are very dependable plus are treated (with lemon juice I think) so they don't turn color which apparently is an issue at times, after a certain amount of holding.

          They are not called "sous vide" however, but by the more plebian name of "Boil in a Bag". I can't imagine NOT using them for so many people. Here is the brand I am most familiar with but others I have tried as just as good.

          4 Replies
          1. re: coll

            I'm going to use boil in the bag eggs. I see the Sunny Morning brand you linked is frozen. Do you know if any other manufacturers offer them refrigerated? I have access to Restaurant Depot or could get a chef friend to order from Sysco.
            Thanks for your help!

            1. re: zackly

              I seem to remember that some of the boxed ones might come fresh/refrigerated. But those you have to pour to cook. OK I see it on the bottom of the second page, it is called Liquid Eggs. They do come in smaller cartons, like a quart, which are perfect for omelettes. But what you probably want is the one next to it, two 20 lb bags. Your friends can give the yield, I think an ounce equals one egg but ask them to find out for sure.

              Others may pooh pooh but really, for a crowd, these are consistently decent and frees you to concentrate on the side dishes instead. Just the thought of breaking all those shells gives me the heebie jeebies!

              1. re: coll

                I called Sunny Morning and they do not distribute their products in the New York City area where I live. Papetti's supposedly has a similar product which is distributed by Sysco & Restaurant Depot but I don't see them on their Website and nobody knows nothin when I called RD.I posted on their Facebook page asking for info. Thanks again!

                1. re: zackly

                  Papetti is good too, I've sold both. I really don't think there's any difference. Every distributor sells a different brand, that's just how they do it. If you ask Restaurant Depot for liquid egg product without mentioning a brand you should be able to get something. Sysco, it probably IS Papetti or Sunny Morn but they have a thing of slapping their own name on everything they sell. They're all good so just get whatever one you find. And good luck with the breakfast!

          2. beat eggs with salt and water.
            Add to hotel pan
            Bake. Stir several times during the baking process.
            Thet will not turn out proper, if you are looking for soft curds if you overcook, but if you watch them like a hawk and stir several times during baking, this might be your new method.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gordeaux

              I've seen a hotel do it that way. They were ok... not great but it got the job done.

              The only other way I could imagine doing it is with a 11" x 15" electric skillet. I think you could do 20 eggs each batch.
              Unfortunately, you would need 300 - 400 eggs. That is 15 - 20 batches. Even with 3 skillets, you're talking 5 - 6 waves.

              On second thought, a hotel pan is the way to go.

            2. The men who make breakfast now and then in a volunteer organization that I'm in use real eggs. They break them into big bowls, stir them up real good, put a generous layer of oil in the bottom of a big soup pot, dump in all the eggs, put it on medium low on the stove, and stir away. They are the most delicious eggs ever - and the perfect texture. They're creamy and soft curds, no dry parts.
              I can ask one of them for more details, if you like.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kitchengardengal

                This sounds like the best way to make scrambled eggs for a crowd.

                I remember getting e-mail some time ago about the advantages of making omelets in a Ziplock bag. That kind of plastic is not made for the the high temperature of boiling water. I also do not think the results of boiling a bag of eggs would make the best egg breakfast. A low simmer might work ok, but I'm still not convinced the plastic in a Ziplock bag is intended for this use.

                1. re: John E.

                  These eggs are so good, I told one of the old guys' wives that I'd marry him for his scrambled eggs.
                  They do some cheese eggs, too. Oh my, are they good.

                  1. re: kitchengardengal

                    My 82 year old widowed father has a plan. He says he will be shot by the irate husband of a 38 year old woman as he is climbing out of her bedroom window. Having goals in life helps us to live longer.

              2. I've been cooking breakfast for 400+ at church camp for years. I use a frozen scrambled egg that I purchase from Ben E. Keith. A couple of tips to making them taste great:
                1. Don't cook them too long. As they boil, remove the bag from the water periodically and shake the bag vigorously to keep the product well combined to avoid overcooking, especially around corners of bag. Once they start pulling away from bag and look mostly cooked, remove them from water and allow them to rest. They will continue to cook for a bit.
                2. Thaw them out the night before. This helps them cook more evenly as well as quicker.
                3. SEASON THEM!! They are unseasoned, so I add bacon grease mixed with oil and plenty of salt and pepper. I use a large old fashioned potato masher to blend them and chop them up for easier serving.
                The info on the product is as follows:
                Eggs Scrambled in a Bag
                Item # 3930835 Brand Pappett
                6/5# bags per case (I usually prepare 1 bag per 25 people)
                Ben E. Keith Foods
                Hope this helps. Good Luck!

                1. As others have pointed out, sous vide scrambled eggs are HIGHLY improbable! How ya gonna stir them while they're cooking? However! You do get GREAT Japanese onsen tomago (spa eggs) with sous vide. There are "recipes" (instructions) all over the web, but basically you sous bide them at 62.5C (144.5F) for at least an hour or more. At that time you can cool them quickly with an ice water bath and store them until you're ready to use them, at which time you simply rewarm them in water of that temperature the way a poached egg is reheated. Cook and store in the shell. For service, shell is optional. They can be served as soft boiled or as a substitute for poached.

                  I sous vide them (perfect duplication of the Japanese hot spring spa eggs), then ease them out of their shell and serve them atop a mushroom risotto that is to die for. But you could set one of those puppies on a slice of Canadian bacon atop an English muffin and bury it in Hollandaise sauce and you've got BREAKFAST! ummm... aka "Eggs Benedict."

                  You could also reduce your stress levels by turning the whole breakfast for 125 into a quiche feast. To me, the advantage would be no scrambling to scramble on the morning of because you can do the quiche the day before. (AND assuming you have some way of refrigerating that much quiche overnight! I suspect there will be at least one or two people in that crowd who share my dislike of scrambled eggs sitting in their pool of sweat. You could claim to be catering to people like that if you need an excuse. '-)

                  Good luck! And how come other women get all the luck in finding GREAT husbands? You're a winner!!!

                  1. Could it be possible to just buy a hot plate or induction cooking plate or two? They aren't very expensive and it sounds like they would be useful for meals in that setting regardless.

                    1. Here are simple SV instructions

                      You have to break up the curds a few times but texture should be okay