The best egg gadgets

Updated on 10 February 2011 | 0 Comments

Whether you're a fan of boiled eggs, poached eggs or fried eggs, here are the best gadgets to use in the kitchen.

Whether you’re a fan of boiled eggs, poached eggs or fried eggs, here are the best gadgets to use in the kitchen.

First up, poached eggs.

The perfect poached egg

The perfect poached egg is no mean feat. The egg must be fresh, the water must be the right temperature and you’ve got to cook it for just the right amount of time. But all that’s a bit fiddly isn’t it?

In step egg poaching gadgets that should produce perfect poachies every time. But they don’t always. There are three different types – which one works best?

Egg poaching pan

When I was little, poached eggs on toast at my house always came in that distinct dome-with-the-flat-bottom shape that typical of any poaching pan. While it’s not glam, a poaching pan does the trick – as long as you keep your eye on the time.

Many pans today like this one have a non-stick covering so it’s easy to get the egg out when it’s done, but if you’ve got a more old-school version with plastic poachers you’ve got to grease them up before you pop in your egg otherwise it can be tricky getting it out.

Technically though, these pans are not really poaching the egg, as it’s not submerged in the water but sits above it. It’s more like coddling or steaming it, so you’re not getting the real deal. Plus, the shape of your egg doesn’t matter if you’re going to cut it up on a piece of toast – maybe with some mushrooms like this recipe - but that preformed plastic look on a warm salad, or a dish like these Turkey Bubble and Squeak cakes is not that appetising.

Silicon poach pods

These are little silicon pouches that you crack your egg into and then float on top of the boiling water in your pan to poach. 

Again, you’ve got to grease them to stop the egg sticking once it’s cooked. I found it fiddly – almost as fiddly as actually getting the cooked egg out. The instructions suggest you pop it out by turning the silicone pod inside out, but the pod was almost too hot to touch and when I did get it inside out, a lot of the white stayed stuck in the pod.

You also need to make sure you’ve got a pan with a lid, because if you don’t cover your boiling water the top of the egg doesn’t cook. So you’ve got overcooked bottom, undercooked top. But leaving the lid on means you get a layer of water on the top of the egg when it’s done which you have to drain off.

The pouches I used were the Eddingtons Silicone Egg Shell Egg Poachers which were a bit flimsy. You might get better results from the Fusion Brands Poachpods which are a bit more sturdy.

But with either you’ve still got the conundrum of the eggs not truly being poached as they aren’t submerged in the water. So while the shape is better, it’s the same principle as the poaching pan.

Hook-on poacher

These nifty little poachers – the one I used is also by Eddingtons - hook on the side of your pan and submerge under the water level for a proper poach. They have perforations in the bottom, allowing the water to move around the egg, but the shape stops the white dispersing everywhere.

It is made of steel so did get quite hot; tea towels at the ready when it’s time to get it out of the pan. But the egg came away from it quite easily and the perforations in the bottom allowed the water to drain away with no effort from me.

The shape still isn’t hugely snazzy, but it's certainly an improvement on the poaching pan. 

So are they worth it?

If you’ve got slightly older eggs and not much time, I’d say using a poacher is definitely worth it, but I'd go for the hook-on poacher which gave me the best results and is the only one to truly poach your eggs. 

Other top egg gadgets

There are tons of other egg gadgets out there. One of my favourites is the Egg Perfect colour changing egg timer that turns from red to green just when your boiled egg is cooked on the outside but with a lovely runny yolk.

An egg pricker – like this one – is also part of my essential kitchen kit. It’s simple but making a small hole in the shell stops exploding boiled eggs. Plus you can get really convenient magnetic ones that stick on the fridge ready to use.

And I do have a soft spot for fried egg moulds. This heart one would be perfect for a twee valentines breakfast, or you can get ones in the shape of a bear or a star to make eggs more fun for the kids.

You can also get egg toppers, designed to slice off the top of a boiled egg. However they can be messy and lead to crushed egg tops rather than clean-cut ones, plus you don’t really need it – what’s wrong with using a knife?

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