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The 300 Minute Egg

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This traditional North African dish calls for roasting fresh eggs for 5 hours in a 100°C/212°F oven. The whites turn brown with a nutty flavor.

Some people can be very particular about their '3 minute egg'. How about 300 minutes? In Morocco, eggs are traditionally left for hours in embers or roasted in sand in bakers' ovens. I tried it last weekend using instructions from Mrs Wolfert's extraordinary The Mediterranean Kitchen. The results were very pleasing!

I warmly recommend you try, it is both an intriguing experiment and a delicious starter.

Soak fresh eggs in lukewarm water for a few minutes and heat your oven to 105°C/220°F. Lay the eggs directly on the grate and bake for 5 hours. That's exactly 300 minutes.

I just replaced my 18-year-old oven with a digital model that lets you type in the exact temperature and time but I think you could do it with an old oven on the lowest setting, or use an oven proof dish filled with water to cap the temperature around 100°C/212°F.

Some egg white will make its way through the shell and create brown pimples on your eggs (photo).

Remove the eggs from the oven and leave them for 5 minutes in a cold water bowl.

Remove the shell. The egg white has turned brown.

A rather unusual contrast!

The egg whites shrink a little during the long baking, making your eggs are conveniently flat on the bottom. You can easily stand them upright on a dish.

No runny yolks here, but the whites acquire a delicious nutty flavor. A whole new world for egg lovers!

You can serve these eggs whole or cut in half with the traditional Sephardic sauce made by crushing together a garlic clove, a few salted anchovies filets, lemon juice, pepper and then emulsifying with olive oil in a mixer as on the picture above. A very memorable starter!

This is one of the many excellent recipes in The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook by Paula Wolfert, a real must-buy and winner of the Best Cookbook of the Year Beard award.


Several readers tried this recipe at home and a few sent me their pictures. Here they are:

This one from a Dutch lady who liked the recipe very much:

Try it at home and send me an email at fx AT fxcuisine DOT com!



  • #1
  • Comment by Joel A. Burdick
We used to do something like that when I was a teenager, working at a sawmill. The sawdust would pile-up outside of the saw-room, and if you dug down several feet deep, it was quite humid, steamy and hot. First thing in the morning, we'd wrap eggs in aluminum foil and bury a dozen or so, cover them up and start work. In five or six hours, lunchtime, -we'd dig those eggs up again. The foil was quite hot, the eggs were fully cooked and quite delicious. Joel
  • #2
  • Comment by Coconut Oil
Is there no salmonella problems in this low slow cooking?
  • #3
  • Answered by fx
Joel, this is an amazing story! Self-fermentation of sawdust can start fires so I can figure how hot it must have been. Thanks for your comment!

Coconut, I am no food-safety expert but I can't believe any bacteria would survive being subjected to 5 hours of baking at water boiling temperature. The eggs become brown in the process, so it's fair to assume they are way more cooked than if you boiled them the usual way. If salmonella survives this 500-minutes-long baking, it would definitely survive only 4 minutes regular boiling. The temperature is the same.
  • #4
  • Comment by Aaron
To answer Coconut's question the answer is that there would be no problem.  Eggs only need to be cooked to a temperature of 155 degrees F. to be safe.  BTW this looks like a great recipe.
  • #5
  • Comment by Cags
Sounds like something I must try myself... I have to wonder though... is there no danger of the egg exploding in the oven?
  • #6
  • Comment by autumngrrl
Embers, not ambers.
  • #7
  • Answered by fx
Cags: Explosion - I don't think so. Eggs don't explode in boiling water and the shell would crack gradually if there was any steam building up in the egg, rather than blowing up. I had an eggplant blow up once though.

Autumngrrl: Embers, you are right, I fixed this. English is not my mother tongue, you'll have to pardon my French!
  • #8
  • Comment by Shai
This is actually a Jewish dish derived from an all night jewish stew called Hamin or Chulnt. It was very common in north African Jewish cuisine but also over Europe. Herve This (pronounced Tiss) discusses this in his book Molecular Gastronomy, the secret of Hamin eggs is in never letting their temperature rise to boiling point which would dry the eggs.The reason Jews invented this dish is because during the Sabath (Saturday) religious Jews aren't allowed to light a cooking fire (or even turn on a stove) so they needed something to eat on Saturday that can sit on a low fire or slow cooker... Hence the dish.Your method is nice but dangerous for flaky oven temperature control. I usually find the lightest oven safe covered container I can get, cover the eggs in foil and place dry/frozen bread on the base of the dish and over the foiled eggs. The foil and bread insulate the heat and thus prevent the eggs from burning, I slide them into the oven overnight on its lowest setting. You will know they are done by the very strong smell ;-)But then we need to discuss Hamin and Jachnun other very popular overnight dishes that go with these eggs. We also commonly eat them over Humus these days (optionally with some Fava beans).
  • #9
  • Comment by Rev
Excellent find... now to experiment with sauces and uses.Cannot wait to try it :o)
  • #10
  • Comment by Andrew
At this local Spa i work at the two sauna rooms are powered from a single wood burning steamer, now on top of that steamer we put all natural rock and sea salts used to enhance the sauna and to draw out "toxins".. but anyways .. while I worked there in the early mornings we would sneak in a dozen eggs into the "oven" if you will with some aluminum foil... Looks and tastes just like the way you guys do it
  • #11
  • Answered by fx
Shai, thanks a lot for the highly interesting background information. How can I have missed the Hervé This reference, his books are so interesting and that is one perfect topic for him. My oven is very precise but you are very right that maintaining this temperature for long is difficult. Some people cook them in ashes but that is very difficult to make work as William Rubel reports in The Magic of Fire.

Andrew, this SPA story is amazing, would you have any pictures you could send me at fx AT fxcuisine.com? I have to try this!
  • #12
  • Comment by Scott
Eggs are pasteurized like milk, the likelihood of getting any food poisoning from them is minimal. You could eat them raw and it would be the near-same as drinking a glass of milk.
  • #13
  • Comment by catherine nakechbaandy
Seems very interesting, looking forward to trying it!
  • #14
  • Comment by Andy
Salmonella is only found on the egg shell, so if you wash your eggs (yes, wash them) before you cook them there is no risk of contamination.
  • #15
  • Comment by Rant
Andy, you are not supposed to wash eggs! Their shell is slightly permeable and by washing you actually do more damage in terms of health issues than without.
  • #16
  • Comment by Heather
Oh my goodness this sounds delicious. Thank you for posting it!
  • #17
  • Comment by Nikki
Well, on a whim, I tried the roasted eggs - they came out brilliantly! - and, they're even better as deviled eggs.  :)  I wish I could have gotten pictures, but they weren't on the plate long enough to be photographed!
  • #18
  • Comment by Hillari
Excellent web site I will be visiting often.!
  • #19
  • Comment by Edilekpoide
We all love to eat tasty. And more than usual pleased to surprise friends original recipe. We offer you a cheesecake recipe .  Best wishes.
  • #20
  • Comment by alex
Really good site, and a pleasant suprise... Good Luck!
  • #21
  • Comment by Nicole
Thank you sooooo much!l
  • #22
  • Comment by Avi
I have used a variation of this Morrocan dish for the eggs my family eats on Passover during our Seder soup course (some have eggs in salt water first). I put a couple dozen eggs in a large pan with onion skins and water to cover. I cover the pan tightly and cook the eggs in a 200F oven overnight.  They come out brown and oniony.
  • #23
  • Comment by Crowley
I gave this a shot with my family and friends last night, and it was fantastic. Went over very well. I will say that the above comment about dryness is very accurate; I have a very old oven, and it's rather difficult to set exact temperatures. I believe I set it just a little too hot, so the eggs came out very rubbery. Next time, unless I have a better oven, I'll be putting them in the oven-proof dish. I also will probably make two small changes to the sauce, by adding just a touch of ground roasted cumin, and exchanging half the lemon juice for soy sauce.
  • #24
  • Answered by fx
There is another way of cooking eggs for a very long time without an accurate electric oven. You can simmer them for hours like the Chinese do, and obtain relatively similar results.
  • #25
  • Comment by Marilyn
Nice effect..
  • #26
  • Comment by Mikeloud Bernard
Je suis en francais le site de l oeuf que je vais tester je vois que google a alimente la pub sur ton site bravo
  • #27
  • Comment by Kevin
I decided to try this, as it sounds really appealing.1 word: FUBAR.Not sure how I did it, but the outside was a deep, carmelized brown husk. I ate parts anyway, and they were pretty good.It came out pretty poorly though.
  • #28
  • Answered by fx
Kevin I am most sorry to hear your eggs where FUBAR or rather FUBAE - Fucked Up Beyond Any Eating I suppose. It is quite clear your oven was a bit hotter than needed, which can easily happen unless you have a very recent oven with an electronic temperature gauge. But don't give up - all you need to keep the temperature down is add a bucket of water in the oven and just make sure there is always water in it, adding some regularly to compensate for the evaporation. The laws of physics will prevent your oven's temperature from exceeding 100 Celsius before all water is evaporated. If it's any confort these eggs are sometimes buried in ashes as a fire dies down, and most explode while cooking them like this. I hope this helps!
  • #29
  • Comment by yang
This one is simple & nice.
  • #30
  • Comment by hieteessila
Hallo please say me. How do I contact a site's webmaster?
  • #31
  • Answered by fx
I am the webmaster and you can contact at fx @ fxcuisine.com
  • #32
  • Comment by Deborah
I could not resist this "grande" experiment. What a huge success! The sweet smell in the kitchen when I arrived home was almost irresistable. But, I waited for dinnertime to enjoy the rich roasted flavour of these wonderful eggs. I have access to farm fresh eggs so I went to work with my imagination to showcase these eggs. I made a salad with an anchovy vinaigrette as follows and used the 300 minute eggs as a garnish. However, I would like to know if you have knowledge on how long you could "roast" quail eggs?
Anchovy Vinaigrette: 3-5 salt packed anchovies, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 c red wine vinegar, 1/4 c olive oil. I had some purple baby potatoes, nicoise olives, chives to add to the salad. It was delicious. Indeed, this method of cooking eggs is definitely a keeper! :)
  • #33
  • Answered by fx
Deborah, I am so glad the recipe worked for you! I fear that quail eggs, with their comparatively higher surface-to-liquid ratio, would dry up much sooner. Perhaps you should try with two dozens and try one every hour to see what it looks like. Or place them in a jug of water in the oven and boil them for ages. Let me know if you try!
  • #34
  • Comment by Susan
I keep my own chickens, Araucanas, who lay green & blue eggs.  I can't wait to try this...I'm always looking for ways to showcase their gorgeous shells.  
  • #35
  • Answered by fx
Susan, good luck for your home-hatched 300 minute eggs!
Fascinating site and well worth the visit. I will be back
  • #37
  • Comment by Willem
This website is Great! I will recommend you to all my friends. I found so much useful things here. Thank you.
  • #38
  • Comment by Carolina
I just found your site, love it so much. I am wasting time these past couple of days reading food blog after food blog. I will be back again after I do the work I have been neglecting for all this time. Thanks. Oh, the eggs do sound interesting, but I have a very old gas range, and am afraid to try this.
  • #39
  • Answered by fx
Carolina, thanks for visiting and I'm glad to hear you like my blog!
  • #40
  • Comment by Bonnie
This will be nice to cook on a chilly weekend morning when you want the stove on to add warmth to the kitchen!
  • #41
  • Answered by fx
Bonnie, indeed this one is nice if you need the heat outside the oven. You could also bury the eggs in the ashes of a fireplace but they are prone to break.
  • #42
  • Comment by earth lover
Hey...save the earth

don't waste so much energy and resources just for eggs
  • #43
  • Answered by fx
Earth lover, a man with your convictions could easily cook these eggs directly in the ashes of a woodcamp fire. I'm told wood is a renewable energy.
  • #44
  • Comment by Gary
I tried this last night with my charcoal grill when I was done using it.  I imagine the coals were too hot because eventually the eggs burst and burnt.
  • #45
  • Comment by jonah
would eggs cooked in this way pickle well??
  • #46
  • Answered by fx
Jonah, I am not sure how to pickle eggs but I guess if you can pickle regular hard-boiled-eggs, that should work even better with those 300-minutes-eggs!
  • #47
  • Comment by john
I enjoy your site very much! THANK YOU
  • #48
  • Comment by cathryn
 CHULENT EGGS! Yum!  Since I no longer am a sabbath observer, I haven't made them for years, and after reading your article, I miss them!  so, I'm making a cholent, (a stew - with meat, potatoes, onions, beans, barley...cooked either over a low flame and a heat disperser or in a crock pot, from friday afternoon until saturday lunch) and will be putting eggs into it.  it's nice to know that I can make them without the chulent, but, I'm sort of a purist in that... a steaming hot bowl of chulent, with the eggs, mashed up, both on top of it, and included in a green salad, with either a vinaigrette or tehina sauce over it!

thank you!
  • #49
  • Comment by Julie
Hi fx,
I have been lurking around your amazing site for about a week but thought I'd wait until got the time to try something before I posted a comment.  
This week-end I couldn't wait any longer and tried this recipe, but lost my nerve a bit as I was afraid the eggs might explode in my inaccurate gas oven. So, I put the eggs in water on the lowest setting (S).  It didn't work as they came out like ordinary hard boiled eggs but just not as rubbery. However, when I plucked up the courage to try it again without the water, as, after all, an exploding egg can't do that much damage, it worked perfectly. The anchovy relish went very well with them also. Thank you.
  • #50
  • Answered by fx
Julie, congratulations on making your first 300-minute-egg and thanks for trusting me enough to risk (in your mind at least) an eggplosion in your kitchen!
  • #51
  • Comment by Thom

Fx regards.
In spite of  Shem  claims to originality, my reading of ancient texts, Egyptian/Phoenhician/Greco/Balkin/Arian show this to be a 'common' food within the peasantry. (another case of parallel 'Knowing' within evolution)....and just why would it not be? the fires generally remained alight!  Much as you say on process is so.. and many  such varients. But there is good evidence to support yet another and equally as common method, that of long and slow, onion skinned infused, oil simmering. It would seem the ancient  culinists ( looking always to energy conservation), should 'yield' all they could to feed the baying mauls of kiddies..... and onions (Egypt) and eggs (South east Asia),( wild jungle fowl) for some, via India, but not all, duck and goose eggs( and beer) being the staple of the Nile Delta......any way... the recipe as follows (a Balkin cook text of circa the 20's)
 The skins of 2 kilos  brown onions  ( you have other purposes for the flesh)
 4 litres of Pomace or otherwise crap oil. You can use this steeping again and again. (When you are sick of the base, varnish  chiken house with it)
 Leave on the back of the slow stove for the night. Don't boil......
 Remove from heat in the morning, deshell, rub some fresh olive oil into the egg surface.
 Enjoy.....The beautifull saffron coloured yoke and the chestnut flavoured,coffee hued "white?' are a treat!
 Slow food.... the only way.... Regards Culpeper...... and rember what you eat today, walks and talks tomorrow..... Bon.
  • FX's answer→ Thom, this is a most interesting recipe! What do the onion skins bring to the dish? Do you have the full name of the cookbook?

  • #53
  • Comment by M.S.
Less than 5 minutes until I pull the eggs out of the oven!  Can't wait! -M.S.
  • FX's answer→ How did it go?

  • #55
  • Comment by M.S.
Wow, not only insanely easy but delicious as well!  What a great way to deliver one of my favorite foods: the egg!  I am looking forward to trying the topping.  Thank you for a great website and all the ideas!  Look forward to trying more.  --M.S.
  • FX's answer→ Glad to hear this worked for you! Have fun with one of the other 250 articles on FXcuisine.com

  • #57
  • Comment by Yani
How about cooking with hot air? I believe this should shorten the time
  • #58
  • Comment by Campington
I'm gonna try this overnight tonight. I've tested the fire alarm so all good. It might be on more like 500 mins so i might reduce temp to about 90C. Wish me luck. BTW i love your site. Keep up the great recipes.
  • #59
  • Comment by taylor

So I ate some of these eggs in Korea tonight and I believe they gave me food poisoning. Shouldn't these eggs be refrigerated after cooking? The eggs I ate were just stacked in a wicker basket...eaten with salt...and I am suffering greatly now.  :(
  • #60
  • Comment by Divya
I wish I had taken pictures so that you could put them up with a nice large caption saying "eggstreme stupidity looks like this." It was an utter mess... wish I'd read all the comments before attempting this... My oven has long established itself as crazy and had I known the eggs would be this fussy, I'd not have risked it... Tossed in half a dozen and could barely wait.. half of them exploded... the rest were cracked and exposed.. im positive if i went out and gnawed on my car tires they'd taste better than how these turned out... and the smell... poooieee.. Didn't realize that moisture would be such an issue.. or the temperature.. :-/.. would suggest you perhaps add a note in the body of your article that warns people about all that could go wrong.... Am a big fan of slow cooking... the flavours are just so radically different... but I certainly do have concerns over the consumption of so much energy.. :(... anyway.. think you're doing a fantastic job of this site and won't let this one disaster prevent me from trying out other stuff!
  • #61
  • Comment by amanda.skitt
Well I can imagine that the egg would taste burnt after baking for 5 hours. I dont think Id fancy that very much and it would be a waste of fuel if nothing else was cooked with it. It may not explode in an oven, like it would inside a microwave as an oven cooks from the outside in!
you can just use a relguar skillet and wrap the handle in a few layers of heavy duty foil. I just keep the foil in the pantry and reuse it later.
  • FX's answer→ OK

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