I got surprised by these little devices one morning when I requested some donuts from the local grocery store. These are little egg shaped containers made of silicone with plastic screw covers that can be used in boiling water. They are part of the “As Made On TV” series of products are are proported to be useful for making soft boiled and hard boiled eggs without the chore of removing the shell after cooking.
I smiled as I unwrapped them and thought, “I think I have a couple of egg coddlers in the pantry that are almost identical to this.”
Egg coddlers are ceramic or porcelain containers with a waterproof closure that are used for making coddled eggs. These were introduced in the 1800s. Coddled eggs are typically cooked more slowly at temperatures below boiling and may have butter, herbs, cheese or other flavorings added.
The Egglets are designed to be used in boiling water.
I read the instructions with the Egglets and had to start laughing about the false information that is sometimes provided with product. The instructions indicated that that cooking times varied depending on the type of stove top. This is patently absurd: the cooking time is dependent upon the volume of egg and the temperature of the water used for cooking. If there is enough heat to keep the water boiling, it doesn’t matter what the course. Water boils at different temperatures depending upon the altitude and barometric pressure. At sea level water boils at 100 C. In Denver, water boils at about 95 C. This will make the difference of how long it takes to cook the eggs.
The other difference is the volume of egg in the container… Medium, Large, Jumbo.
Another variable is the age of the egg. As eggs age, some of the water in the egg white separates from the albumin. This changes the protein concentration and how the egg cooks.
As an experiment, I decided to try using the product to cook eggs for various times in the suggested ranges and see how they come out. I used Jumbo eggs that were several weeks old.
Six minutes was definitely too soft. This was a double yolk egg and had a lot of uncooked white.
This wan’t too bad as far as a soft egg. Another double told, but not as “watery” as the 6 minutes. The unbroken yolk was starting to thicken.
This was a fairly good soft boiled egg. Many restaurants would serve this as a soft boiled or poached egg.
Another variation was 11 minutes in the Egg Coddler.
Again, the egg white was firm and the yolk was starting to thicken.
Bottom line is that the Egglets provide a nice alternative to a soft or hard boiled egg in the shell, with the chore of shelling after cooking.
The Egglets and egg Coddler are nice for providing an alternative to poached eggs where you have problems getting a nice looking egg. I personally prefer the poachers I reviewed previously.
The experiment showed that the range for the egg you like can be very different from the manufacturer or what you see in your cookbook. If you want to make a great poached egg or boiled egg, try cooking them for different times to find one you like. You might also want to find out how many eggs you can put in your pan without the water cooling. Fresh eggs always work best!