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 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 omelet 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.
If an egg cooker is on your shopping list, take a look at our five selected products. To learn more about choosing and using an egg cooker, we invite you to continue reading this shopping guide.
Egg yolks are among the best sources of vitamin D in the human diet.
How egg cookers work
Electric egg cookers operate on the principle that various amounts of water are required to prepare hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, and omelet 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.
Did you know?
The average hen provides between 300 and 325 eggs per yearand needs 24 to 36 hours to produce one egg.
Choosing the right egg cooker
How many eggs?
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 omelet factor
Some egg cookers can prepare omelets while others cannot. If you’re a die-hard omelet fan, consider the type of omelet you want to make in your egg cooker. Some units allow you to prepare restaurant-quality omelets. Others assist you in preparing thick-textured omelets that are akin to a quiche or baked egg dish.
Some egg cookers are plain and functional. Some take on a novel egg shape. Others go all out with the cuteness: chirping noises, hen shapes, and so on. Visual aesthetics are certainly important, but at BestReviewswe believe that ease of use, durability, and the quality of the end result are also highly important to consumers.
When we evaluate an egg cooker, we take a look at the lid to make sure it’s well-made and fits properly.
Most egg cookers work with a few simple steps and have straightforward controls. When we assess an egg cooker, we determine if it fits these criteria.
Some quality egg cookers include multiple inserts for making different types of eggs. We check to see if the models on our research list simply boil eggs or include the components to make other egg dishes, such as omelets and poached eggs.
We want to know if an egg cooker includes extra accessories such as a measuring cup and piercing pin. When these useful items are included, we take note.
Many well-made egg cookers have an alarm or LED light to let you know when the eggs are done. We appreciate products with this feature.
We assess the size of an egg cooker. Does it take up a lot of counter space? Is it compact and easy to store? These are considerations that help our readers choose the best model for their needs.
In our research, we evaluate how quickly each model heats up and cooks eggs. We want to know if the results are consistent and if the unit prevents eggs from overcooking.
The appearance of an egg cooker is important to some consumers. We factor aesthetics into our evaluations.
The number of eggs an egg cooker can accommodate is important for consumers to know before they buy. We note that the capacity may be as few as six eggs or as many as 14 eggs.
The water level indicator is a crucial feature of an egg cooker, as it helps determine cook times and achieve desired results. We look at these indicators when deciding which models to recommend to our readers.
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 list, above.
Water level indicator
- An LED and/or audible alert to let you know when the eggs are finished cooking
Less than $10
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.
"Some — but not all — egg cookers allow you to make omelets with a special insert. We’ve seen this feature on egg cookers by Cuisinart and Maverick, two prominent egg cooker brands."
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."
- 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.
- Prior to inserting your eggs in the machine, prick a small hole at the top of each one. This prevents the shell from cracking during cooking. Most egg cookers have some sort of built-in pin, either in the unit itself or in an included measuring cup.
- If you plan on opening a neighborhood breakfast place, you could dole out as much as $1,500 for an egg cooker that prepares 120 eggs per hour.
Not all egg cookers can be used to make omelettes. If omelette-making is important to you, check the specs of your chosen product before purchasing it.
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.