Without a burner or a timer, best electric egg cookers promise to produce excellent hard, medium, and soft-cooked eggs.
They can also prepare poached eggs and sometimes come with dedicated omelet trays. Six to ten eggs can be cooked at a time, though you can cook less if you want. Several of our recommended models, including our winner, have been discontinued or redesigned since we last examined these devices. So we started over, gathering six readily available electric egg cookers for under $30 and putting them to the test.
Essentially, these electric egg cookers are miniature steamers. A hot plate is built into the base of each model; you fill it with water, place cold eggs in a tray over the water, and cover the whole thing with a lid. The hot plate warms up and boils the water when the machine is turned on, creating steam that cooks the eggs. The electric egg cookers either tells the user that the eggs are done or shuts itself off after the hot plate reaches a particular temperature (typically after all the water has been cooked off).
Electric Egg Cookers Are Fast
The volume of water you use varies according to the number of eggs you’re cooking and the doneness level you want. Counterintuitively, the more eggs you cook, the less water you need. It turns out that using cold eggs is important here. As the hot steam comes into contact with the cold eggs, it condenses back into water and drips down onto the hot plate, lowering the ambient temperature of the interior and beginning the steam cycle again. The more cold eggs there are, the greater the opportunities for condensation to occur, so the less water you need to start. With fewer cold eggs, less condensation is created—steam just escapes through vents in the lid—so you need more water to make sure there’s enough steam to cook the eggs properly.
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Because these small gadgets use so little water—a little more than a tablespoon in one case—they cook eggs faster than traditional methods, which require you to bring bigger amounts of water to a boil. In the best model, it took just under 9 minutes to make 10 soft-cooked eggs, compared to around 14 minutes to make six eggs using our stovetop method.
Most Electric Egg Cookers Have Performance Issues
The problem was that the electric egg cookers didn’t always do a good job of cooking the eggs. When filled to capacity, all but one model produced flawless hard-cooked eggs, and the majority were also suitable for cooking smaller batches of hard-cooked eggs. However, they regularly failed with poached, soft-cooked, and medium-cooked eggs, either undercooking or overcooking the eggs, especially when we didn’t fill them to capacity. What was going on?
The majority of the models came with a measuring cup with instructions for how much water to use based on the number of eggs being cooked and the desired degree of doneness. However, we discovered that the majority of the quantities provided were incorrect, resulting in either too much or too little steam—and hence overdone or undercooked eggs. Specific amounts were not even specified in two of the models; the measuring cups merely provided generic quantities that did not account for the quantity of eggs.
To be honest, eggs vary a lot in terms of weight, water content, and size, which could explain why some of these markings were so vague. However, in practice, you may have to fiddle about a little more than you’d want to get the perfect amount of water for your eggs.
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