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The average American eats 250 eggs each year. That means there are only two days per week that folks across the country go “eggless.”
Of course, eggs aren’t just a morning food. Who hasn’t enjoyed breakfast for dinner? Or a wonderful egg salad sandwich for lunch? Or a trip to the all-night diner for eggs, bacon, and potatoes after an evening of revelry?
Even the internet, with its vast ability to count and collate, fails the weighty task of quantifying the number of ways eggs can be served. But we do know that YouTube, the most prolific video tutor in the world, offers more than 5.5 million clips on eggs — everything from poaching eggs to putting the finishing touches on the perfect eggs benedict.
Luckily for egg lovers who lack cooking skills, a simple appliance exists that can boil, poach, and bake eggs to perfection: the egg cooker. Some renditions of this hands-off appliance can even create the perfect omelette for you as you go about your morning routine.
An egg cooker is easy to operate and, for those who like a protein charge in the morning, a godsend that deserves prime space on the kitchen counter.
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If an egg cooker is on your shopping list, take a look at our five selected products in the matrix, above.
To learn more about choosing and using an egg cooker, we invite you to continue reading this shopping guide.
Electric egg cookers operate on the principle that various amounts of water are required to prepare hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, and omelette egg dishes. Not all machines operate the same way, but they all include the ability to add the amount of water needed to cook an egg dish to perfection.
Step One: Place the eggs in the unit. Use whole eggs for hard or soft boiled dishes and beaten/stirred eggs for other recipes.
Step Two: Add the appropriate amount of water. Some appliances include printed “fill” lines for various recipes.
Step Three: Turn the machine on.
Step Four: When your eggs are finished cooking, eat and enjoy!
How does the egg cooker “know” when it’s done cooking? The rate of water evaporation is equal to the time needed to fully cook the eggs. When the water is gone, cooking is complete. The unit shuts off to avoid overcooking and overheating.
One way to determine whether an egg is raw or hard-cooked is to give it a spin. If it spins easily, you have a cooked egg; if it tends to wobble, it’s raw.
Whether you’re cooking eggs for a crowd or just want a few hard boiled eggs in your refrigerator, capacity is a consideration. A capacity of six or seven eggs at once is common, but some egg cookers offer double-stacking trays that can accommodate up to 14 eggs at a time.
The average hen provides between 300 and 325 eggs per year, and needs 24 to 36 hours to produce one egg.
As we mentioned above, some egg cookers can prepare omelettes while others cannot. If you’re a die-hard omelette fan, consider the type of omelette you want to make in your egg cooker. Some units allow you to prepare restaurant-quality omelettes. Others assist you in preparing thick-textured omelettes that are akin to a quiche or baked egg dish.
Some egg cookers are plain and functional. Some take on a novel egg shape. Still others go all out with the cuteness: chirping noises, hen shapes, and so on. Visual aesthetics are certainly important, but at BestReviews we believe that ease of use, durability, and the quality of the end result are also highly important to consumers.
Some — but not all — egg cookers allow you to make omelettes with a special insert. We’ve seen this feature on egg cookers by Cuisinart and Maverick, two prominent egg cooker brands.
Egg cookers are simple devices, but not all of them share the same set of features. Here are some features you may see in the spec lists for the egg cookers we recommend in our product matrix, above.
Water level indicator
A cooker with a clear lid allows you to monitor your eggs as they cook.
Egg cookers aren’t pricey, but if you come across one for less than $10, make sure it offers the functions that you want. During the course of our research, we found some attractively priced egg cookers that only perform one or two functions, such as hard boiling eggs, as well as some that require placement in a microwave in order to work.
You can find a multifunctional egg cooker of good quality for less than $50, although you’d probably have to spend at least $20 to get the most for your money.
The priciest of egg cookers often perform double duty as slow cookers, steamers, or rice cookers. You might also find some specialized models in this range that only perform one function, like poaching. For the average consumer, spending $50 or more on an egg cooker would probably be overkill. However, if you’re serious about eggs and want the utmost in luxury, you may wish to consider a product in this price range.
We recommend that potential buyers base their purchasing decision on factors such as egg capacity, design, and the ability to make omelettes.
Q. How do you cook eggs in a microwave?
A. Place your eggs in a bowl and cover them with water. Add ½ tablespoon of salt. Cook for 6 to 12 minutes on high; the exact timing depends on the wattage of your microwave. Allow the eggs to cool for two minutes, then douse them with cold water.
Q. How do you clean an egg cooker?
A. First, unplug your appliance from its electrical socket. Next, wash the lid and insert trays in hot, soapy water — or place them on the top rack of the dishwasher. To clean the heating unit, soak a moist paper towel with one teaspoon of white vinegar and wipe thoroughly.
Q. What’s the difference between a hard boiled and a soft boiled egg?
A. A soft boiled egg is at least partially liquid, but the yolk and white of a hard boiled egg are both solid after cooking. Some people find soft boiled eggs difficult to accurately prepare. An egg cooker takes the guesswork out of this tricky process.