Last Updated Jan 2020 – Even if you’re usually offended by uni-taskers, an electric egg cooker makes an egg-cellent addition to your kitchen. Inexpensive, simple, and fast, these devices take all of the guesswork out of making eggs. Making a perfect poached, scrambled, hard or soft boiled egg is as easy as loading up the device and turning it on.
This frees up valuable time in your morning routine to prepare the rest of your breakfast, get ready for work, or simply relax while you let the egg cooker do its thing.
But which egg poacher should you choose? In this article, I’ll go over my top picks and explain why I think these are three of the best automatic egg poachers on the market. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each model so that you can choose the best egg machine for your kitchen. You’ll be making perfect eggs in no time!
The Best Egg Poachers – Top Product Reviews
The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is small, cheap, and reliable. While it doesn’t boast the same roomy interior as the other egg poacher machines on our list, its low price makes it a perfect starter option for most kitchens.
Like most of its kin, this egg cooker is essentially a double boiler. It utilizes an electric heating element to get a large metal plate at the bottom of the internal compartment hot. This metal plate in turn heats up the water you’ve poured in. The water turns to steam, gets trapped by the lid, and rapidly heats up your eggs from all sides at once.
Using this Dash cooker is pretty simple. You pour in a bit of water, put the eggs on the proper tray, close the lid, and press the button. The machine does the rest automatically. It’ll apply the right amount of heat for a couple minutes and then alert you when it’s done.
The noise it makes is pretty loud, so you don’t have to worry about missing your eggs. It turns itself off, too, so you’ll never burn your food by accident (although it’s worth noting that the cooking chamber will still be full of hot steam, so you might want to pull out your eggs fairly quickly if you want the yolks to be runny).
Instead of using buttons to control how long your eggs are cooked for, the Dash simply steams your eggs until it runs out of water. The included measuring cup has a handful of fill lines that correspond pretty well to different levels of egg done-ness.
This means that it’s easy to control exactly how soft or hard your eggs come out.
You can pour in a little water for soft boiled eggs, a lot of water for hard boiled eggs, or split the difference to get something in between. The fact that you can add any amount of water allows for near infinite granularity as far as cook times go.
The Dash is probably the best small egg poacher on the market. It weighs a single pound and takes up very little space on your countertop. While this means it’s got a maximum capacity of 6 eggs for hard boiling or 2 eggs for poaching, it’s absolutely perfect for small households. Even if you want more than two poached eggs, the machine’s rapid operation means that it’s not a big deal to simply make another batch.
There are a handful of downsides to the Dash. The biggest issue is probably that the trays are somewhat sticky. This isn’t really a non-stick egg poacher in the sense that you can load it up with no preparation and have your eggs slide right off. For consistent easy separation, you’ll want to use a bit of cooking fat.
This could mean butter, oil, spray, or even lard.
You don’t need to use a lot (you might even be able to get away with using none at all occasionally), but you may find that your shells stick to the machine every once in a while if you don’t prepare things properly.
Second, the alarm is loud. This is great for anyone who’s excited to munch on a batch of freshly cooked eggs, but it’s not a great experience for anyone in your house who might still be asleep. Expect complaints if you use this in the wee hours of the morning.
Third, while this unit does have an automatic shutoff feature, some customers suggest that it’s not perfectly reliable. Luckily, the loud alarm compensates for this somewhat. You’re probably not going to burn the house down if you let your eggs sit in the machine for a couple minutes after the buzzer goes off, but you might not want to turn it on and then drive to work.
While it’s not really a downside, it is worth noting that when I say this machine takes “a few minutes,” I mean it takes something like 10 or 15. This isn’t a lot of time, especially since you can take a shower or check your e-mail while the machine cooks things for you, but it certainly isn’t instant.
It’s very slightly more than the same amount of time that other egg cookers take, simply because the smaller heating element in this tiny cooker takes a minute or two more to heat up.
Even with a bigger element, however, steaming an egg takes ten or fifteen minutes – there’s no way around it. This egg poacher machine makes things easier, but it won’t turn a 10 minute cooking job into a 2 minute one.
Overall, I think the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is the best option for households on a strict budget, small households, and households where only one or two people like to eat eggs.
It’s an incredibly convenient tool that makes cooking hard boiled, poached, or scrambled eggs a breeze. With a bit of creativity, you can also use it to steam vegetables or even fish. It’s small, inexpensive, and incredibly easy to use.
If you think you can eat more than two poached eggs in a single morning, however, you might want to upgrade to one of the two models below. They’re a few dollars more and come with more room on the inside and more features that make your morning routine even easier.
This Cuisinart CEC-10 Egg Central is bigger and faster than the Dash egg cooker above. With more room on the inside, it’s easy to fit 10 hard (or medium or soft) boiled eggs, 4 more than the Dash. Poached egg lovers will be even more enthusiastic about the added space. The CEC-10 can poach up to 4 eggs at once, allowing you to cook for a larger (or hungrier) family.
As far as functionality is concerned, the CEC-10 is quite similar to the Dash. It operates on the same basic principles, using an electric heating element to heat water and produce steam, which then cooks your eggs. It comes with a similar measuring cup that you use to regulate the amount of water in the machine, which in turn controls how long your eggs are cooked.
Just like the Dash, operating this device is simple. You measure and add your water, lightly grease the tray, add your eggs, put the lid on, and turn on the machine.
It’s an incredibly simple process.
The CEC-10 has a heating element that’s notably more powerful than the Dash. This helps it bring the water up to a boil a little bit faster, reducing your cook times by a minute or two. It’s not a gigantic deal, but it is nice to know that this machine can cook more eggs faster than the smaller cooker above.
After eight to twelve minutes, your eggs will be done. The machine will emit a loud noise to get your attention. Unlike the Dash, however, this unit doesn’t turn off forever. Instead, it’ll sit idly for a couple minutes before restarting the heating cycle. This makes it a bit less hands-free than other units, since you usually don’t want it to turn back on.
Admittedly, this flaw makes this egg cooker a bit scary to leave unattended. With other machines, you can turn the cooker on, take a shower, and come back to wonderful eggs, even if you don’t attend to the buzzer immediately. With this Cuisinart, ignoring the alarm has the chance of causing a lot of headache.
Still, the beefier heating element and larger capacity make this a wonderful egg cooker. It’s quite affordable, it’s made by a very reputable company, and you certainly can’t ignore the alarm if you’re doing other things in the kitchen.
While you’re not quite as free to wander the house or go back to sleep, it’s still an incredible tool that will simplify your breakfasts, brunches, and egg-enhanced dinners.
The Hamilton Beach 25500 is larger than the Dash while still being incredibly affordable. Its roomier interior gives you room for 7 hard boiled or 3 poached eggs, while the slightly larger heating element tends to make each set of eggs take a little bit less time.
Overall, however, this Hamilton Beach isn’t a massive improvement over the Dash or the Cuisinart. Instead, it’s simply an additional option.
As you might have guessed, the biggest difference in between this egg cooker and the models above is size. The HB 25500 is perfect for people who want something in between the 10 egg Cuisinart and the 6 egg Dash. Its low price helps it to compete with the smaller Dash.
The other big difference has to do with the way the on / off switch works on this Hamilton Beach. Like the Cuisinart, this unit doesn’t turn off on its own. You’ll want to promptly respond to the timer and hit the switch on the bottom of this egg cooker to ensure you don’t burn anything.
In terms of basic functionality, the Hamilton Beach is again very similar to both of the options above. It works on the same principles and steams the eggs the exact same way. Like the other models, you control cook time with water instead of a dial.
The HB 25500 is cheap, small, and fairly reliable.
It’s a worthy competitor to the other products on this page. Personally, I think I prefer the automatic shutoff of the Dash and the large capacity of the Cuisinart, but this Hamilton Beach will probably be a better option for some households, especially if it’s on sale.
Its ability to cook eggs reliably with no attention after a few seconds of setup makes it a great addition to any countertop.
How To Use An Egg Poacher
Electric Egg Poachers
If you’ve got an electric egg cooker like the ones on this page, you’ll be able to poach and boil eggs without any other cooking devices. Here’s a quick rundown of how to perform both tasks.
Hard / Soft Boiled:
- Measure Your Water
First, determine how well done you’d like your eggs to be. Next, fill the measuring cup that came with your device to the appropriate line. If you’d like something in-between medium and hard boiled, feel free to stop in between the lines instead. Pour the water into the reservoir at the bottom of your egg cooker.
- Prepare Your Eggs
Take the egg tray and place it on top of your cooker. If you find that your egg shells tend to stick, brush the tray with a bit of oil or cooking spray. Arrange your eggs on the egg tray with the flatter side down. If you’d like, you can pierce the top of the eggs with a needle. This tends to make peeling the eggs much easier. It’s not necessary, however, so don’t panic if you can’t find a needle.
- Turn the Machine On And Wait
Simply plug the egg cooker in (if it wasn’t plugged in already) and hit the on switch. Don’t go too far,– your eggs will be ready in just a few minutes.
- Turn off The Machine And Enjoy Your Eggs
Remove the lid, but be careful of the hot steam. Remove your eggs and enjoy!
- Measure Your Water
Just like with hard boiled eggs, the amount of water you use will determine how firm your poached eggs are. Refer to the instructions that come with your device for a suggestion on how much water you should start with.
- Prepare Your Eggs
Take the poaching tray and add a bit of oil, butter, or other cooking fat. Crack an egg into each slot that you’d like to use.
- Turn On The Machine And Wait
You’re pretty much done! All you have to do now is turn the machine off when the buzzer goes off.
- Enjoy Your Eggs
The poached eggs that you make in an egg cooker might look a bit weird, but they’re incredibly delicious! Enjoy them over toast, with a salad, or as part of a fancy dinner.
Using A Regular Egg Poaching Tray
It’s not terribly difficult to poach eggs by hand, but it can be stressful or even wasteful. This is because there’s always a chance that your eggs will fall apart when you introduce them to the hot water in your pan. Experience and proper technique can minimize this risk, but even professional chefs will occasionally ruin a poached egg, especially when they’re stressed.
A poaching tray removes that risk. Egg poachers operate much like the electric egg cookers above. They sit above a source of steam, under a lid, and enjoy a steady supply of heat from all directions. Using these trays is quite simple, even for novice cooks. Here’s what you need to know:
- Prepare Your Water
Take a pot that your tray fits on top of. Fill it partway with water, usually about half. Put a lid on the pit and bring the water to a simmer.
- Prepare Your Tray
Brush the inside of each cup you plan to use with oil or use a bit of cooking spray to avoid sticking. Crack an egg into each slot and place the tray on top of your pot. Put a lid on it and wait.
- Let The Eggs Cook
Poached eggs tend to be done in between two and four minutes, depending on how firm you want them and a couple of other factors. Once your timer goes off, remove your eggs from the heat. You’re pretty much done! All you need to do now is enjoy your perfectly poached eggs.
Classy, Convenient Breakfast
Electric egg cookers are cheap, effective, and easy to use. These machines can turn a stressful task into a simple one and make your mornings much happier while providing you with a delicious source of protein and nutrients. They’re also great for egg salads, fancy dinners, and more.
Most electric egg cookers are pretty similar. I recommend the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker for its auto-shut off functionality and low cost. If you’d like something bigger, the Cuisinart CEC-10 is probably your best bet, while the Hamilton Beach 25500 is somewhere in between. All three of these options can produce perfect, hands-free poached eggs in just a few minutes.