Unitasker Wednesday: Electric egg cooker

Egg CookerDid you ever boil some eggs in a pot and think to yourself, “There just has to be an easier way!?!” Well, the Electric Egg Cooker may not be much easier, but it sure is much more futuristic looking. The Electric Egg Cooker just may vault you into the future of egg preparation and make you the envy of all your egg-loving friends. From Williams-Sonoma:

The space-age look of this domed appliance belies its function of producing the simplest of foods perfectly—seven hard or soft-cooked eggs or four poached ones. Just place the eggs inside, add the required amount of water and set the switch. A buzzer alerts you when the eggs are done. The base is made of stainless steel.

The egg cooker measures in at 6 1/2″ x 6 1?4″ x 6 1/2″ high. In the size and scope of other Unitaskers, this thing isn’t a behemoth, but it sure isn’t small. So, if you are incapable of using a pot and boiling water on the stove top, this device that boils water on your counter could be for you!

**Unitasker Wednesday posts humorously poke fun at the single-use items that manage to find their way into our homes.

36 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Electric egg cooker”

  1. posted by Bobbi on

    I actually have a electrical egg cooker/toaster. It does both poached and boiled eggs while toasting bread or bagels. It’s a HUGE time saver.

    Personally, I hate boiling eggs. I can never get the timing down just right. Sometimes the yolk is a little soft and other times it’s kinda greenish on the outside. My egg cooker does it perfectly and I don’t have to worry about a boiling pot on my stove.

  2. posted by Andamom on

    As I sit looking at the egg salad sandwich on my desk…
    This isn’t a necessary gadget and it would end up at Salvation Army (my choice for goods donation) faster than I can boil eggs on my range in a regular pot (which generally takes 10-15 minutes after the water is boiling).

  3. posted by Marie on

    What’s up with that little pod thing on the side? Does that blast one egg into outer space?

  4. posted by Brian on

    I’m usually LMAO when I see Wednesday’s Unitasker posts – I mean dougnut makers and pannini presses are just ridicuulous. But the egg cooker is another story. Unitasker indeed – but clutter? No way. At least three mornings each week for 25+ years my mom fed a family of 5 a cheap and healthy breakfast in less than 10 minutes with her egg cooker. Pound for pound that thing brought 10x the time and cost savings of any other kitchen appliance and lasted for years. That being said, a less expensive model will probably do the job servicably.

  5. posted by ClickerTrainer on

    You know, my mother had one….as she developed Alzheimer’s, she would forget about the eggs on the stove, once starting a minor fire. It made things a little safer.

  6. posted by mary on

    Marie’s comment is cracking me up!!!! No pun intended.

  7. posted by Alex Corroborant on

    We use the egg cooker every day – the best way to make softboiled eggs. No guessing or timeing needed. No oil, etc. The blog seems to be in a slow slide. Sniping at unitasker items if just fill. Found a post today on reducing your RSS and online clutter. Unclutterer RSS is in the crosshairs.

  8. posted by Kelsey on

    Throughout my pregnancy complicated by type 1 diabetes, I ate egg salad on one slice of whole wheat bread nearly every morning for breakfast. I’d make one big bowl of egg salad for the week, typically on Sunday.

    I got my hard boiled egg routine down pat. It’s not difficult to boil the water, add the desired amount of eggs, set my timer for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to low, and then remove the eggs into a bowl of cold water once the timer expired. Very simple and I didn’t need any fancy gadgets. I’d use the same bowl that chilled the cooked eggs for mixing up the egg salad later, so it doesn’t even dirty very many dishes.

    I’m surprised so many people swear by this egg cooker… I consider it the epidome of a unitasker, and clutter!

  9. posted by Alex Corroborant on

    These things make perfect softboiled or poached eggs without having to be watched. You can do other things while they cook. We use one everyday and went looking for another when the old one broke. Sniping at unitasker items is “fill”. We get the point. I just saw a post on RSS and blog clutter. This site is under consideration for decluttering.

  10. posted by Erin @ Unclutterer on

    @Alex — Unitasker Wednesday has been a regular feature of our site for more than six months. It runs as the 10:30 EST post, the second post, each Wednesday. We highlight, in a humorous fashion, single task items that seem to find their way into our homes. Based on statistical data over the past year, many of the Unitasker Wednesday posts have been the most viewed and commented posts. Most of us on the Unclutterer staff even own a few of the items we’ve featured (I own the ice cream maker, for example). The point is to take a step back, smile, and remember that this site isn’t about brain surgery or anything life threatening — it’s about organization. Unitasker Wednesday posts help us keep what we’re doing in perspective. They’re not filler.

  11. posted by Angela Esnouf on

    Wow! When I saw this week’s unitasker I thought “no-brainer”. To me, this machine is so totally unnecessary as well as difficult to store with its odd shape and “egg-launching pod”. But there is a ground-swell of support for this little fellow. Interesting.

    I must say I found it also interesting to hear everyone’s recipes for boiled eggs, and that has astonished me even more. 15 minutes once the water boils?! No wonder people are looking for a time-saver. Here’s what I do, please give it a try. It’s so simple and far less likely to cause a kitchen meltdown. Put required eggs in saucepan, cover with cold water, cover. Bring to boil. As soon as it boils, turn off heat. Leave covered and set timer for 5 minutes for hard-boiled, a little less for soft yolks. Done.

  12. posted by J. Lynne on

    I’ve never been able to successfully boil eggs, so I loved my cheap little egg cooker, but my professional organizer made me give it up. I haven’t had hard-boiled eggs or egg salad since. 🙁

  13. posted by Erin @ Unclutterer on

    For amazing “boiled” eggs, just do what Alton Brown does … put them in the oven, in the shell. The best “boiled” eggs I’ve ever had. http://www.recipezaar.com/61856

  14. posted by tlord on

    To be a spoilsport … I want an egg boiler, if it would reliably make soft-boiled eggs. This is a task which my grandmother was expert at, my mom not-so-bad, and me, like throwing darts at a zepplin in flight.

    Sometimes I think I’ve hit on a perfect method (Cold water to start! Keeps eggs in pocket while water heats, to raise them from fridge-temp! Vinegar in the water! Vigorous boil! Then Lower the eggs in gently! Quick turn off the heat, wait 8.36 minutes! Rinse in cold water!), but the successes turn to failure soon enough, and I vary the formula in an attempt to pin down the one true way to soft boil eggs.

    What happens between egg boiling endeavors, exactly? Different eggs? Angry chickens? Coriolis effect? “We’ve secretly replaced this man’s eggs with Spanish slang words?” Doesn’t matter — the point is, this week alone, Monday’s eggs were far too runny, and yesterday’s were overdone. Today I did not press my luck, because I figured they might explode on my court clothes.

    So: a toaster? That I can replace with an oven. Sink? Who needs such a limited-function device, easily replaced with a big plastic bucket? But if egg boilers work as advertised, I will keep my chimney clear and take up worshipping St. Nick for a few weeks each year.*


    * Not really. But I could lightheartedly pretend to.

  15. posted by Christine on

    I think it’s a great device, specifically for the reasons people have cited – ease of use, quick breakfasts, etc. I would suggest, though, getting an electric steamer that has an egg tray. I’ve been using my steamer to make steamed veggies and other goodies for healthy meals for a few months now, but have used it to make hard boiled eggs (in only 18 minutes!) just about once a week.

  16. posted by KevinH on

    The best way that I have found to do hard boiled eggs is this.
    Start with cool water, add eggs and bring to boil. Boil for 3 minutes then turn off heat and cover pot until the water has cooled. Of course you can reduce the boiling time to get a slightly softer egg. This isn’t the fastest method but it makes perfect eggs every time.

  17. posted by Allie Orange on

    I also use my electric steamer for eggs as well as vegetables. The eggs come out perfectly every time! I can do other tasks while they are safely cooking since I no longer have to mind the stove waiting for the eggs to come to a boil. Our steamer also came with a rice bowl and have found this a much easier way to make perfect, fluffy rice. Well worth the cabinet space it is taking up!

    I can heartily recommend the steamer we have, the Oster 5712:

  18. posted by STL Mom on

    I have no problem cooking hard-boiled eggs on the stove but that gadget is so cute I want it for a pet!

  19. posted by Marie on

    @Mary: Haha, thanks!

  20. posted by K on

    My mom was in LOVE with her egg cooker. It was a Sunbeam EGG-cetera. It’s a 2-egg model. Under $10. Smaller than a baked potato. Cooks in less time as it takes less than 1/4 cup water. Doesn’t heat/steam up the kitchen. Perfect for a single or small family. She got one for her sister who also had mad love for it. I have now inherited both. One for now and a spare for when the first kicks it as this model is no longer made.

  21. posted by thisisbeth on

    I think the point of Unitasker Wednesday is to remind us that some things we may own are unitaskers. It should make us consider. Some items I look at and think, “Well, yes, I could use this on ocassion, but not often enough to make it worthwhile.” Others I own and realize that the space the unitasker takes up is well worth it for the amount that I use it.

    Me? I’d like one of these egg cookers, ’cause I hate boiling eggs; I don’t do it often enough to become proficient at it. Yet, I’d like to eat boiled eggs more, so I might use it if I had it. However, right now it’s not worth it for me to put it in my kitchen. There are other unitaskers that I use more often that I do use that I’d rather keep.

  22. posted by Minnie on

    I just wanted to say that I love Unitasker Wednesday! LOVE IT! It is fun to see these unitaskers, which may or may not actually be super useful; for the right person.
    When I see Unitasker Wednesday in my Google Reader, I click right away to see it, it’s usually funny, interesting, and draws a lot of comments which I really love to read too.
    So today I learned there is a machine to cook eggs, I mean I seriously had no idea! Some people love it, some people can do without, and I also learned other people’s ways of boiling eggs which was also cool. Informative!
    I learned that Alex doesn’t like unitasker Wednesday.
    So I wanted to post MY comment, which is:
    KEEP up unitasker Wednesday because it’s FUN!!!
    Even the people who post and say “I hate unitasker Wednesday blah blah blah” are entertaining to me.
    What can I say I’m easily amused.

  23. posted by lind on

    I cook eggs in a steamer cooker for 20 minutes, the same steamer cooker I use almost daily to make hot cereal and rice and to cook veggies.

  24. posted by Jason Baker on

    There is the small segment of the population to consider who may be able to eliminate their need for a stove/oven combo by grabbing a couple of “unitasker” cooking devices. A friend of mine has recently moved from into a small office/workspace and converted it into a livable apartment, with the assistance of a mini fridge, Foreman grill, and microwave. If you know someone with a penchant for a particular kind of food who doesn’t do much other cooking, going unitasker is certainly an option, and probably saves energy, too.

  25. posted by Keera on

    I grew up in a family that often served soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, boiled in a pan on the stove. When I won my egg cooker in a raffle, I was initially disappointed, since I already knew how to boil eggs. But the egg cooker saves water and energy and delivers a predictable result every time, especially important with soft-boiled eggs which I want with a firm white and a runny yolk. My toaster and coffee maker are unitaskers, too, come to think of it, but I won’t part with them. 🙂

  26. posted by David on

    I try to subscribe to the AB (Alton Brown) school of scoffing at unitaskers, but a good egg poacher/cooker is something I can’t pass up. “Just plop the pot on the stove and dump in the eggs” may work for many people, but not for me. I use my current device (which I suspect is much smaller than the pictured model) to poach eggs far more often than boiling them, but in both cases I consider the time saved and convenience of not having to watch a pot (or forget about it) well worth the relatively small expense and far less than a cubic foot required for its storage. I could use it to make omelettes as well, though I do not because I am a fan of much larger omelettes than its size can handle.

    I won’t snipe at the blog authors about this unitasker (though I would argue that it isn’t a unitasker, to start with), but it does seem to me that there’s a lot more basic utility to this device than most others I’ve seen in its space. Not everyone has the time or skill to cook eggs as close to perfection as a well-designed unit can.

  27. posted by The Bum on

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but I recently got an egg cooker and love it (don’t remember the brand). I wanted to start eating more eggs for the protein, but I have never been able to successfully boil an egg (I’m sure it’s a personality disorder of some type). With this little gadget, they come out perfectly. The poaching feature is also great and fast and there’s no mess. I’ve gone from eating almost no eggs to eating a dozen or more a week. I’m all for getting rid of kitchen gadgets, but this one’s a keeper.

  28. posted by Nancy Gragg on

    I just searched for egg-cetera and found this. the one pictured is much too large for me. Mine holds only two eggs and, since I’m the only one eating them, it is great. I can put my eggs on, take a bath, get dressed and my eggs are perfect every time. I used to use it for poached eggs, but the little plastic insert to poach eggs developed holes. Glad some of you have time to watch eggs boil and be there the minute they are ready – because I’m don’t. Thanks Sunbeam for a solution

  29. posted by Mark on

    I thought these egg-cookers were frivolous too….. until I discovered the consistent results (among other benefits) you can get from it. Hankscraft started making them in the early 20th century. Their final model in the 1960’s is like a flying saucer sitting on your counter. Handy little aluminum cups for poaching too.

    They’re also ideal for hurried weekday mornings. You can set it up before going to bed, and plug it into the timer along with the percolator. Your coffee AND hard boiled (or poached) egg are waiting when you get up. I picked up a Sunbeam Egg-cetera, still in the original box, for all of $7 on eBay, looks like a large egg, perhaps Sunbeam’s fun-nest appliance. Use distilled water with them to avoid build-up/corrosion. Earlier Sunbeam egg-cookers have glass poaching dishes, however, a little pyrex cup does the job just as well, and sizes the cooked egg perfectly for your English muffin……

  30. posted by Donna on

    For perfect eggs: 15 minutes in the rice steamer. Run under cold water til you remember to put them in the fridge.

  31. posted by Angela on

    I checked out the link to Amazon posted by Alli Orange. You know how Amazon often links items together and says “customers who bought this item, also bought this item”? The link is to an electric egg cooker (Oster 4716 Egg Cooker). No kidding.

    BTW I love mine. I can boil 7 eggs or poach 4. I’m also going to buy a food steamer as a Christmas present to myself, so thanks Alli Orange for the recommendation.

  32. posted by Angela on

    Oops. Allie, sorry about the misspelling. Also, I love Unitasker Wed. It usually cracks me up. Today is just one of those days where they just don’t understand how some of us cannot do something as simple as boil eggs.

  33. posted by Hardycat on

    I LOVE my egg cooker. Soft, hard, poached – it’s great! I can cook 7 at a time (can poach 2 at a time) and it’s better than my convection toaster oven!

  34. posted by Robert on

    I still have and use my little yellow Sunbeam Egg-Cetra (2) egg cooker that I received as a present some 40 years ago and it is still cooking great hard boiled eggs — fantastic product from Sumbeam!!!

  35. posted by Laetitia in Australia on

    Egg-cookers are uni-takers sure, but they’re efficient at what they do. I’d get one if I found a small one (I’m the only person in my house that eats eggs). I first saw an egg-cooker in Germany during 2003 (they’re not common in Australian households) and fell in love with it because I like soft-boiled eggs but tend to overdo them.

    I now have a plastic cup device for poaching an egg in the microwave and a little thing that is the size and shape of an egg to time boiled eggs. You put it in the saucepan with room-temp water and your eggs and it changes colour so you know when to take your eggs off the boil.

    The egg-boiler timer works fine but I’d still like an egg-cooker. Why? Because they’re great for people living in drought affected areas or who rely on rainwater tanks for whom a whole pot of water for one or two eggs (never mind letting water run over them and down the drain to cool them) is an extravagance they can’t afford. They also save having to hang around in the kitchen watching a pot. As I see it they save time, water and energy.

  36. posted by Jeni on

    Hey! I have this in my closet somewhere…would of never of known it was there until my roommate started using it…that’s so funny…

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