Bad cooks sometimes say “The only thing I can do is boil an egg.” But the truth is that some people can’t even do that. Used to the speed and safety of a microwave, many would-be cooks find it obnoxious to have to be tethered to the kitchen while the eggs boil in a pot. Worse, unless you follow Julia Child’s method, which includes submerging the eggs in a separate bucket of ice, you may have a mess when you go to peel off the shell and some of the skin peels off with it. An unappetizing proposition at best. Complete disaster if you’re making devilled eggs.
If this sounds at all familiar to you, you need an automatic egg cooker.
An automatic egg cooker is a small appliance that will cook your eggs to the desired level without much intervention on your part. Most egg cookers operate on the same principle. You fill them with a little water, insert the eggs into the proper position, and turn the machine on. Most of them will ring or ding when the eggs are done. No more guessing how many minutes it will take to make a really good soft-boiled egg. Automatic egg cookers take the guess work out of the process.
Leading brands for automatic egg cookers include Krupps, West Bend and Toastmaster. But when it comes to egg cookers, Oster is head and shoulders above the competition due to a special feature not found on any other model. The Oster Automatic Egg Cooker (Model # 4716) automatically turns itself off when the eggs are done.
If you don’t hear the buzzer, or you don’t have time to get the eggs out of the cooker on other models, you’re likely to end up with hard boiled every time. But with the Oster Egg Cooker, the eggs stop cooking when they’re supposed to, and there’s no worry about safety. It entirely frees you from the kitchen, so that you can get other work done. And when you return, your eggs are ready for you.
Oster Automatic Egg Cooker’s strange little unit consists of the heating base, a poached egg dish, a hard-boiled egg rack, and a cover with slots to let the steam escape. It’s compact and tucks neatly away on your countertop and is small enough to fit into a cupboard. It’s not pretty, but it makes perfect eggs every time.
You can cook up to eight soft, medium, or hard-boiled eggs at once. The egg tray has a needle in the middle which you use to puncture the top of the egg shell before placing each egg in the tray. This is a snap, and allows gasses to escape the shell so that it doesn’t explode. (If you’ve ever tried to cook an egg in a microwave, you know that this happens.) You can also cook up to four poached eggs at a time by spraying the poaching tray with a little oil, and cracking eggs into it. This tray is also handy though, if you don’t need a perfectly shaped hard-boiled egg.
For example, if you’re only going to use your eggs for egg-salad, there’s no point having to peel the hard-boiled eggs, when you can just crack them into the poaching tray and set the water level to hard-boiled. Many a quick lunches can be made this way while you dash around in the morning getting ready. Clean up of the unit is easy – wipe it down after each use with a damp sponge.
There are two down-sides to the Oster Automatic Egg Cooker, and both of them are very minor. First, the sulfur that escapes the eggs as they cook isn’t a pleasant scent, and it will build-up in the form of residue on the base-tray if it’s not cleaned regularly. (Cream of Tartar is said to help with any residue or mineral build up.) Second, if you’re making devilled eggs, your whites will retain a little line at the top where they were pierced with the needle. No one has ever complained about my devilled eggs because of the unusual needle-mark, but if you’re interested in perfect appearance and can’t hide it with paprika, then you’ll want to boil your eggs the old fashioned way.
Overall, the Oster Automatic Egg Cooker is the best egg cooker on the market. Priced at about $30, the Oster Automatic Egg Cooker sells out everywhere it’s offered, so if you find it online, snatch it up. This little gem will make your life easier; it’s the appliance you never knew you needed. And once you have one, you’ll never go back.