What’s the deal with Starbucks’ sous vide egg bites?

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Everything you need to know about Starbucks’ new sous vide breakfast item.

If you’ve entered a Starbucks in the past few months, you may have noticed a puzzling new menu item: sous vide egg bites. Offered in two flavors—bacon and gruyere or egg white and red pepper—Starbucks brought them on their menu to offer a high-protein breakfast alternative to the standard carb-heavy items.

A protein-rich breakfast is one of the best ways to start your morning. Not only is protein more satisfying and filling, but it helps your body build and maintain muscle, and it contains a healthy dose of nutrients that are hard to find in other sources. However, many common breakfast proteins don’t translate well to a chain hoping to cater toward on-the-go morning commuters. After yogurt cups and bottled protein drinks, what healthy, low-fat alternatives are there to offer?

Eggs and sous vide: a perfect match?

Enter the humble egg. Packed with protein and other nutrients, it’s the ideal breakfast food. But cooking and serving eggs on-site would be a logistical nightmare, and many of the traditional eggy breakfast dishes (quiche, breakfast sandwiches) come loaded with the very fat and carbohydrates. This is what makes Starbucks’ sous vide egg bites such a smart idea: eggs accommodate many other ingredients, allowing for other flavors to suit customer tastes. And the sous vide cooking method allows the eggs to be prepared without a surrounding crust to add calories.

In fact, sous vide offers many advantages for anyone looking for the perfectly-prepared egg. Anyone who has ever tried to soft-boil an egg knows how difficult it is to strike the perfect balance between hard yolks and runny whites. But with sous vide, you can easily bring an egg to exactly the right temperature, without having to keep your eye on a timer. And while other preparation methods, such as baking, can yield eggs with a rubbery texture, sous vide eggs are soft, velvety, and far less fussy to prepare.

Sous vide is more than a trend.

The precision provided by sous vide allows Starbucks to produce perfect and consistent results. And because Starbucks can handle production from a central location, it reduces the risk of contamination and food borne illness. After all, the less food preparation training on-site staff require, the less chance an employee error will lead to a costly food crisis.

In fact, Starbucks isn’t the first major chain to hop on the sous vide band wagon. Last year, after weathering several outbreaks of food-borne illness at various locations nationwide, Chipotle turned to sous-vide as a safer alternative. They now use the technique for their steak, beef barbacoa, and port carnitas. And it’s not just for food safety reasons: chefs worldwide have long recognized sous vide as producing more tender and flavorful results.

Panera Breads has also been using sous vide for years to prepare meats both for in-store use, and in their “Panera at Home” line of grocery products. They find the sous vide method helps seal in flavors, ensures the meat cooks evenly from edge to edge, and better preserves the natural nutrition of the ingredients.

Preparing sous vide egg bites with the CoolCooker

By now, you may be wondering how you can have sous vide eggs for breakfast every day, without adding a trip to Starbucks to your morning routine. Fortunately, the CoolCooker has the precision time and temperature controls necessary for any kind of sous vide recipe.

If you’re interested in making sous vide egg bites of your own, here’s our recipe:

Ingredients:

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. milk

2 Tbsp. diced bell pepper

2 Tbsp. diced turkey breast

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together and pour into a glass container, one with a tight lid. A glass jar with a lid, or a glass bowl with a tight-fitting plastic top also works.
  • Place into cook pot, and fill with water until close to the top of the glass container. It does not have to be submerged.
  • Cook in the CoolCooker for 4 hours at 200 degrees.
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