What Does It Mean When You Confit Egg Yolk?

When you hear the term confit, it may immediately bring to mind fine cuisine. Duck confit, for example, is a French dish that is extraordinarily tender and delicious to the point of elegance. But confit has evolved from merely a noun or adjective; it is now also a verb. You can confit duck, pork, tomatoes, and even egg yolks.

When you confit egg yolks, you are slowly cooking them in fat that is purposely kept at a low temperature. Ideally, you want to hover around 150 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature at which the eggs are safe to eat, but the yolk won't fully solidify or coagulate. According to the Egg Safety Center, egg yolks coagulate at 149 to 158 degrees. However, at 160 degrees, the yolks solidify to a hard-boiled egg consistency.

To confit egg yolks, preheat your convection oven to 150 degrees while you separate the egg yolks from the whites. Fill an oven-proof saucepan halfway with your favorite cooking oil — olive oil is a popular option. Carefully add the egg yolks to the oil, making sure they are completely submerged, and cook for at least 40 minutes. When finished, you can remove the yolks with a slotted spoon and serve them over beef tartare, atop pasta, or with buttered toast — the options are limitless.

How to perfect your confit egg yolks

Making confit egg yolks is a straightforward and simple process. However, as you become more and more experienced, you will undoubtedly come up with your own tips and tricks that make your yolks unique. Here are a few creative springboards that will give you a head start.

Since a confit egg yolk is supposed to be a creamy ball of culinary joy, be careful about making too many at once. You don't want to overcrowd your oven-proof saucepan. Make sure there is enough room so the yolks aren't pressed up against each other and can cook properly. Also, after the cracking process, be sure to remove any yolks that break, as they may cling to the other yolks and produce a less than satisfactory outcome.

To give your yolks a little something extra, experiment. Consider trying different types of cooking oil and even play around with flavored oils, especially rosemary or garlic. If you want to get even more creative, add your own blend of herbs and spices for a custom aroma. And you're serving the confit egg yolks as a garnish, you could cook them in the same fat as the main element, or make them stand out by using a contrasting flavor like bacon fat.