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"thin" cooked egg yolks.. what could they be doing?

I've gone to this place that's supposedly known for good egg sandwiches--farm eggs on house-made cheddar biscuits.

Not only have they failed, three out of three times, to give me an over-easy egg (the closest might arguably have been over-medium), they cook the eggs in a way I've never done or had done.

Somehow, the yolk come out all... thin. That is, cut the sandwich in half, and the cross-section of the yolk part of the egg is like 2 or so millimeters thick.

I've cooked lots of eggs, and my yolks are never so flattened. What on earth are they DOING to those eggs?

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  1. Probably splashing a good bit of oil on a flat top.

    1. Maybe the yolk broke and they lost some - though that would be unacceptable 3 times in a row. Or, is the yolk sticking to/absorbed by the biscuit?

      1. The eggs aren't fresh. The yolk membrane weakens with age and the yolk flattens as a result. (from Harold McGee)

        6 Replies
        1. re: GH1618

          This is what I think too. Old eggs. I was the breakfast cook at a local deli for many years, so I know my eggs!

          1. re: coll

            Part of the place's claim to quality--and I'm not saying they actually fulfill this claim--is that they use fresh eggs.

            They're a farm stand, and they use a combination of eggs from another farm and their own (they don't produce enough of their own to use exclusively). I don't know which they use for the egg sandwiches, the eggs they bring in or their own (the latter they sell for 2x the price per dozen as the ones brought in).

            The yolks aren't actually spread out--i.e., they're contained within the white. I guess they can break a yolk when flipping yet still have it not spread out--i.e., sort of just collapse?

            1. re: Scott_R

              Well then as I said below, it could be the health department is watching them closely, if it's a new place, or just a little mom and pop. You're not supposed to serve runny yolks, but hard cooked fried eggs are a deal breaker for me.

              1. re: coll

                I totally agree about the hard eggs. A runny egg is a wonderful thing.

              2. re: Scott_R

                Well if they can sell their own eggs for 2X the marked-up price of the others, I'm going to guess they use the brought in ones for their sandwiches.

                1. re: Scott_R

                  A lot of times when I flip frying eggs instead of turning them with a spatula one or both yolks will break, and they do stay encased in white. Since I like them however they come out if they're to be plated, I don't mind at all.

            2. If they grew up eating the same egg sandwiches I did they broke the yolks, as a matter of routine. I was in my mid-twenties and living in Alaska before I met anyone who left the yolks whole and runny … and they were astonished to learn that anyone did it differently. But back in the Midwest I'd never had an egg sandwich at home or in a restaurant with an unbroken yolk. And that's how I continue to make them.

              3 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  Could never stand fried eggs with any runny yolk. Still can't eat them that way.

                  1. re: mcsheridan

                    Oh, I do like runny yolks all right, just not running through my fingers! Or into my lap.

                2. They are probably breaking the yolks because the fried egg is being put into a sandwich. It would be rather sloppy to eat a sandwich with a runny yolk. Have you tried ordering a breakfast platter there instead?

                  11 Replies
                    1. re: Atomic76

                      They don't have breakfast platters.

                      Actually, a sandwich with a runny yolk can be a wonderful thing. Here's my favorite place for that:
                      http://gothamist.com/2012/12/05/brook...

                      1. re: Scott_R

                        If my egg sandwich wasn't runny, I would be sorely disappointed. The runny yolk is the best part! Health inspector be damned (although now that I think of it, that might be the reason for the well cooked eggs too; maybe he had just made a visit).

                        1. re: coll

                          They're allowed to cook eggs runny, if requested. They're supposed to post the cooking temperature warnings, though.
                          "Shell eggs or foods containing shell eggs are to be heated to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.8 degrees Celsius) or greater unless an individual consumer requests preparation of a shell egg or food containing shell eggs in a style such as raw, poached or fried which must be prepared at a temperature less than 145 degrees Fahrenheit in order to comply with the request."

                          1. re: Scott_R

                            I'm assuming you requested runny? There was one girl at our deli that was incapable of making eggs that were not well done, and this was before the days of this salmonella law. If I walked in and she was working, I'd walk out or get something else! Not going to be a happy ending.

                            But I've never seen a grill man with a thermometer measuring an eggs temp, you are now told to cook until the white and yolk are firm, period. Another reason I prefer my breakfast at home!

                            1. re: coll

                              I specified each time.
                              I don't use a thermometer either, but it's no big task to cook over easy *when asked to*. Again, it's not against the health code to cook runny yolks when the customer asks for them that way.
                              I wouldn't really think it's a big deal except
                              1) this place is known for their egg sandwiches
                              2) I emailed the place ahead of time and the owner said I could have them any way I wanted, including over easy

                              In this instance, my question was over why the yolks seemed so thin. There was this thin little sliver of yellow peeking out between the whites, like there was barely any yolk there at all. Maybe they're easy to overcook when they're so thin.

                              1. re: Scott_R

                                This is just what an egg with a broken yolk, broken right after adding to the pan and not stirring, looks like.

                                1. re: Scott_R

                                  I think you should name this place, so I never darken their doorstep!

                                  1. re: coll

                                    I sent them a polite message about my experience through their Facebook page two days ago; if they don't bother to respond within another day or two, I'll post their ID.

                                    1. re: Scott_R

                                      Cool, I'll be watching just in case.

                              2. re: Scott_R

                                Not sure where your info paste is from, but check out Suffolk County's exact specs someday when you have the time (it's PDF so I can't link)...and we're not even getting into HAACP here. They are covering themselves from all angles unfortunately.

                                But the little sliver of yellow says something more to me that just well done. Something is not right.

                        2. When I make a fried egg, I always break the yolk. I like it much better that way, although that's probably because I like my yolk well-cooked. If I break the yolk, it cooks faster.

                          But...that's probably what they're doing.

                          1. Maybe using very small eggs with tiny yolks.