Thermos Scrambled Eggs

I have become rather partial to a ‘train picnic’. Everything is more exciting when there’s a meal involved and train travel is no exception. Obviously I’m not talking about the shite they sell in the buffet car (gin in a can obviously excepted), but a carry on home made effort. Nowadays I look forward to these picnics as much as I do reaching my destination which was, in this case, Bristol.

The picture above shows what we decided to call breakfast. The Joselito ham was pretty special (if it’s good enough for Ferran Adria it’s good enough for me); the gran reserva in particular had fat packing the kind of complex flavour which makes heart disease seem like quite an appealing option if this is the way to go about acquiring it. We also ate a banon goats’ cheese that tasted stunning but totally honked (sorry coach C), all washed down with beer. What do you mean cheese and beer aren’t for breakfast? Pffft. But what about the eggs? We couldn’t have a full breakfast without eggs. Thankfully Mr. Egg Obsessive had thought about this the night before.

Could we scramble them in a Thermos flask? Only one way to find out. A vac pack bag was first filled with a silly amount of butter because that, as any good egg scrambler knows, is an essential foundation. Six eggs were beaten, seasoned highly and poured into the bag, before it was sealed using my nifty vacuum sealing machine (I think a good quality sandwich bag may suffice if you’ve not yet signed up to the Food Tosserati).

Smear the bag with butter…

Add the eggs 

Into the flask (a thermometer is useful)

The cooked eggs looking very appealing in their bag

The Thermos was filled with boiling water at 7.30am, and then topped up from the train buffet car at around 9.15. In went the eggy bag (a messy business best done away from your seat for the obvious reason of water displacement) for 20 minutes, which we thought would be long enough to cook them. It wasn’t. Another top up and a further 20 minutes however and they were good to go. In fact, the were really rather fine. I was half expecting the kind of solid yellow lump one finds lurking under the polystyrene lid of a Maccy D’s breakfast (serves you right for not ordering the sausage and egg Mcmuffin) but what came out was soft, loose and genuinely well cooked.

A pretty good result!

Having been optimistic from the get go, we’d packed chives to garnish, extra black pepper and a packet of really rather good smoked salmon, which had been sent, fittingly, as part of a ‘Best of Bristol’ food hamper* (from The Valley Smoke House). We scarfed the lot with a slice of (pre-toasted) sourdough.

That is how to make a train journey fly by. We were full of very good things, slightly drunk and had mastered the art of guerilla scrambling. Not bad for a morning’s work.

*To win your own hamper, go here. Hurry, the competition ends today. 

Thermos Scrambled Eggs

Let’s face it, the results here are going to be highly variable. You all know what eggs look like when they’re cooked, right? If you’re going to be making scrambled eggs in a Thermos flask on a train, then I’m guessing you’re not too hung up on health and safety issues anyway.

6 eggs
Salt and pepper
Some kind of bag for sealing the egg mixture
A Thermos flask full of boiling water

Fill the flask with boiling water before you get on the train. We waited an hour and a half before we put the eggs in to cook.

Put an indecent amount of butter in the bag. Beat the eggs, season them well and tip them into the bag also. Seal the bag with whatever means you have. Obviously if you don’t have a vacuum sealer (what? Really?), then you’re going to want to keep that bag upright.

It’s worth topping up the bag with extra boiling water on the train if you can. Lower the eggs in before you do this, to avoid getting water everywhere. After twenty minutes check the eggs and give them a smoosh about with your hands (scrambled, remember). We then topped up the water a second time and cooked the eggs for a further twenty minutes. As you can see from the thermometer, the temperature was around the 70C mark.

I can highly recommend washing it down with a ‘Fursty Ferret’ (that’s a beer).

Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs, Far Out Crazy, Picnic | Tags: , , 43 comments »

43 Responses to “Thermos Scrambled Eggs”

  1. donald

    *takes a bow* :)

  2. Helen

    Very modest, Donald

  3. Food Urchin


    (Maybe on the vomit comet on the way home tonight)

  4. Helen

    I knew this would be up your strasse, Danny. I think the night bus would totally appreciate your efforts. I must say I am now thinking about what else can be cooked in a Thermos on a train.

  5. Alicia (foodycat)

    Magnificent effort! I love that you packed garnishes.

  6. Helen

    Hell yeah! If something is worth doing…

  7. Lizzie

    WOW. that is some seriously impressive dedication! Did you have to do the washing up in the loos?

  8. donald

    the great thing about cooking it in the bag is that you just throw the bag away… minimal washing up there

  9. Helen

    Washing up? Pah! I laugh in the face of washing up (we packed everything into the nifty picnic rucksack and took it with us)

  10. Mise En Place

    That is Gangster!

  11. Helen


  12. Chris Pople

    We were in Coach H, actually.

    I just don’t want anyone labouring under the misapprehension we travel anything other than first class.

  13. Helen

    Too bloody right!! H for ‘hahahahahhaah my breakfast is so much better than yours’

  14. Shed


  15. Helen

    You may as well just set up some kind of automated comment system – much easier ;)

  16. Shed

    I can’t help it that when I type ‘Helen and Donald are brilliant’ it autocorrects to ‘knobs’.

  17. Helen

    HAHAHAHHAHA (auto correct is er, correct)

  18. Tara (aka Craftilicious)

    You must get different trains to me – I get the evil eye if I even open an M&S salad box on a train! Love the idea of portable eggs though.

  19. Kerry

    Also love train picnics – this scares me a little but I may have to try it the next time I have a long morning train!

  20. Helen

    Well, a table is obviously essential. Oh and we did pay a fiver to upgrade to first class ;) Yep, total tossers.

  21. Helen

    Do it! Live on the edge!!

  22. siepert

    Spoke to Donald about this the other week: Have you had a look at sous vide desserts yet? Found this post about Crème Anglaise/Brulée recently and it makes a lot of sense (well, it made a lot of sense before I googletranslated it for you):

  23. Helen

    Oooh no not yet. That link isn’t working can you post again?

  24. Helen

    And now of course it IS working. Very interesting! We need to dust off the sous vide actually,it’s been at least a month since I used it and I am defiantly not one of those people who will let it sit in the corner unused.

  25. Catherine Edwards

    You. Are. A. Legend. That is so impressive, garnish and all, and pre-toated sour dough. Love it!

  26. Helen

    Ha ha, cheers. Incidentally I think it’s important to use a good sturdy bread like sour dough that won’t mind hanging around for a couple of hours once toasted.

  27. Nickie C

    This is one of the most pretentious things I’ve ever seen.

    I love it so much.

    I hope someone was wearing Harris tweed!

  28. Helen

    Ha! Sadly not. More Topshop I’m afraid. Sorry to shatter the dream.

  29. Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    Great idea for camping or any sort of long journey :)

  30. Helen


  31. Roger

    A search on youtube on thermos cooking will lead to load of different recipes, e.g.

  32. Russ

    MacGyver Eggs! Actually that sounds a bit wrong…

  33. Helen

    What, you mean, people have done this BEFORE?! I’m not having any of it.

  34. Helen

    No duct tape required…

  35. Explody Full

    hahhah I love this sounds like fun! when I read ‘Train picnic’ I immediately though of those delicious bentos you get in Japan. This looks just as good.

  36. Helen

    Hmm yes *slightly* different

  37. Clare

    Hmm I don’t have the kit for eggs on the train, however I am heading to Bristol tomorrow for a weekend away. Any tips on where to go for drinks/dinner/breakfast/lunch? Thank you.

  38. msmarmitelover

    Love this sort of thing. I remember having some sort of half baked plan to do a car engine cook off with Browners and other bloggers!
    Hmm sous vide in the water tank?

  39. Helen

    I have been to a great restaurant and bar er, let me find out and get back to you! Ooh try the Grillstock BBQ restaurant though.

  40. Helen

    Yes! Browners loves that kind of stuff. Dishwasher salmon sticks in my mind!

  41. Helen

    Clare, the restaurant is called Source.

  42. Kavey

    Ha, love it. TOTAL dedication and on a train, no less.
    I have some of the ham too, bloody good stuff, shall post about it soon.
    Did you ever see my omelettes in the sandwich maker?

  43. Helen

    I’ve not but I shall take a look. Although, why would you need to cook it in the sandwich maker if you’re already in a kitchen? Just for fun I’m guessing?

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