Not everyone is able to prepare a gourmet meal. In fact, just making dinner is beyond the ability of the many people who rely on pizza deliveries, GrubHub or the fast-food place that’s on the way home.
But if there’s one food that even the cooking-challenged can easily serve up on a moment’s notice, it’s eggs. Right?
In two of the last three years, “how to hard-boil an egg” finished in the top ten of Google’s food-related searches. Many home cooks, it turns out, really do need assistance when they want to make eggs.
Searching for help on Google is certainly one way to find help. But even with a “recipe,” eggs can be touchy. Getting the timing wrong by just a minute or two makes all the difference between a delicious breakfast and a complete disaster.
Thankfully, we live in a world where technology can rescue us from nearly anything, even the dangers of runny yolks. Countertop or microwave egg cookers are able to let you turn out perfect eggs every time, even if the closest you normally get to a kitchen is putting leftover pizza into the refrigerator.
It’s not just novice or reluctant cooks who can benefit from the glories of egg cookers. These appliances are wonderful time-savers, whether you’re trying to prepare breakfast for the family while getting the kids ready for school, making a quick dinner while multi-tasking at home, or poaching eggs for the gourmet frisée-lardon salad that you’re trying to get absolutely perfect.
TV ads for super-duper egg cookers that you catch out of the corner of your eye while checking Facebook, might lead you to believe that these machines are only able to hard-boil or soft-boil eggs. That’s far from the case. Most are also able to poach and scramble eggs and even prepare omelets, and some can do double-duty for tasks like steaming vegetables.
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Some members of the Your House Garden review team swear by their egg cookers, but others thought they were silly and a waste of money – that is, until they saw everything these (mostly) inexpensive kitchen tools can do, and how easy it can be to make eggs without having a pot or pan to clean up afterward. The skeptics on the team are now converts, too.
Our Your House Garden research helped convert those skeptics. Now you can benefit from that research as well.
Here are the ten best egg cookers on the market.
Best Egg Cookers
1. Cuisinart CEC-10 Egg Central Egg Cooker
You’re not going to have to pay more than 30 bucks for any egg cooker, so it makes sense to consider quality and features before even thinking about small price differences.
That’s why, even though the CEC-10 is one of the most expensive models we looked at, the Your House Garden review team had no trouble deciding that the CEC-10 is the best egg cooker you can buy.
The quality of some Cuisinart products has fallen off in recent years, but the Egg Central isn’t one of those products. It’s well-built and solid, with stainless steel used to manufacture both the cover and the interior (the base and egg trays are made from BPA-free plastic).
The egg-like shape of the machine and the brushed silver finish on the top make the CEC-10 extremely attractive, too, and it doesn’t have an enormous footprint (since it’s just seven inches wide) so it can fit easily on most counters.
The key to our love for this Cuisinart egg cooker, however, is performance. Hard-boiled eggs are impeccably-cooked, and soft-boiled ones are perfect, too. You can put ten eggs into the unit; seven eggs fit nicely into the built-in holder, and a second tier that lets you cook another three eggs comes with the unit and fits right on top of the primary egg tray.
There’s also an omelet tray and a poaching tray included (the manufacturer says you can poach as many as four eggs at a time, but the team thinks more than two would be living dangerously), boosting the Egg Central’s versatility.
This cooker comes with a marked measuring cup for determining how much water should be put into the reservoir, the piercing pin is sharp with a plastic cover, there’s an audio alarm when eggs are done but no auto-shutoff feature, everything but the base is machine-washable, and it’s incredibly simple to use.
The CEC-10 egg cooker defines what these appliances can (and should) do – make perfect boiled eggs every time, with options for poaching and omelet-making. It’s a bit more expensive than some competitors, but Your House Garden doesn’t consider that to be an issue at this price point.
Facts and figures for the Cuisinart CEC-10 Egg Central Egg Cooker:
2. Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EGC-207 Egg Cooker
Now that we’ve finished raving about the Cuisinart, it’s time to look at nine other egg cookers that are very, very good.
We start with Maxi-Matic’s EGC-207, which holds three fewer eggs than the Cuisinart, but is priced about one-third lower. That seems like a pretty good trade-off to us, if you don’t need the capacity to boil ten eggs at a time. (That price difference is for the Elite Platinum with a stainless steel base; you can also save another five bucks by buying an all-plastic model which is available in five attractive colors.)
The Maxi-Matic does a very good job cooking eggs, particularly soft- and medium-boiled ones. For hard-boiled eggs it may take some trial-and-error runs to adjust the cooking time/water level to fully cook the yolks, but once you’ve made a couple of batches you’ll have it nailed. And make no mistake, even while you’re still getting things just right, the eggs taste fantastic.
There are omelet and poaching trays, there’s an audio alarm and an auto-shutoff feature, and a marked measuring cup and a sharp piercing pin are included. The fact that you can see through the clear cover on the EGC-207 is nice, too.
Seven boiled eggs are enough for most families. The Elite Platinum is a great choice, at a reasonable price, to cook them.
More details on the Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EGC-207 Egg Cooker:
3. VonShef 7-Egg Electric Cooker
At first glance, you could mistake the VonShef for the Cuisinart Egg Central machine.
They’re similarly-shaped, they’re about the same size, they both hold seven eggs in the built-in tray, and they each look great with a stainless steel cover and black plastic base. There’s one big difference, though: the curved top of the Cuisinart allows you to put in another tier with three more eggs. The VonShef machine uses that extra space to accommodate larger eggs, as it’s one of the few egg cookers that can easily handle jumbo eggs for “boiling.”
There are other differences as well. The VonShef doesn’t have an audio alarm to tell you when your eggs are done, and it uses a combination omelet/poaching/steaming tray instead of having dedicated trays for each style of cooking. However, it does have an auto-shutoff feature, unlike the Cuisinart. One other difference to consider: it costs about ten bucks less than the Cuisinart.
The review team’s only hesitation about the VonShef is the fact the on-off switch is rather flimsy, and can stop working after a while. It cooks eggs so well, however, that we wouldn’t mind just plugging it in for use and unplugging it when we’re done.
There aren’t many egg cookers that can handle oversized eggs. The Von Shef can, and it does an excellent job cooking them.
Looking closer at the VonShef 7-Egg Electric Cooker:
4. Dash Rapid Egg Cooker
Don’t be misled by the name of this product; the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker isn’t noticeably faster at preparing soft-, medium- or hard-boiled eggs than other good competitors. It’s not any slower, however, and it prepares eggs quite well for a reasonable price.
Six eggs fit into the Dash’s plastic BPA-free tray (the entire egg cooker is made from the same material except for the heating element, making almost all the parts dishwasher-safe), and there are separate trays for cooking omelets or poaching eggs.
The piercing tool is sharp, but there’s no auto-shutoff, and there’s one other feature of this egg cooker you should be aware of: the buzzer that sounds when eggs are done isn’t loud. It’s LOUD. And it keeps buzzing until you shut the cooker off. For people who will be staying in the kitchen while cooking eggs, that shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to start your eggs and then go put on your makeup, it could become really annoying.
The Dash is available in five colors.
We’ve put the Dash cooker down here at #4 because it’s the first option that’s all-plastic – and because of the LOUD buzzer – but it cooks eggs very well and the plastic construction does mean that it’s a breeze to clean. It’s a great value.
Specs for the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker:
5. Coxeer Egg BoilerNo products found.
Here’s the best egg cooker you can use in your microwave.
The inexpensive Coxeer is admittedly rather small, able to accommodate just four eggs at a time. And it may take you a few tries to figure out exactly how much water to put into the bottom of it, since there’s no measuring cup and no guidance lines to go by. It’s basically error-proof, though, if you’re making soft- or medium-boiled eggs, and it only takes a few tries to get the hard-boiled ones right.
The Coxeer Egg Boiler is made from BPA-free plastic with an aluminum egg tray so you can put the entire unit into the dishwasher. And because of the way the vent holes are placed, there’s no need to pierce the eggs before cooking them; you just put some water in the bottom of the thing, put in your eggs, put on the cover and press “start” on the microwave.
Soft-to-medium eggs will take about 4-7 minutes, while hard-boiled eggs will require closer to ten. As you’d expect from a plastic unit that goes into a microwave oven, there are no trays for omelets or poaching. It weighs just seven ounces, so it’s perfect to take on the road as well.
For a little more than ten bucks, this is a great way to quickly and easily make boiled eggs in a microwave. Just remember Coxeer’s warning on their advertising material: “The egg is not included.”
A closer look at the Coxeer Egg Boiler:
6. Hamilton Beach 37530A Digital Food Steamer
If you regularly steam food (and you should, it’s a healthy way to cook!), you might want to consider a more versatile machine than just an egg cooker.
The double-decker 37530A costs about the same amount as the Cuisinart that’s #1 in the Your House Garden rankings, but it’s built to steam everything from fish and vegetables to hot dogs and chicken – as well as eggs. You do that by placing the eggs between the divots in the two steaming trays, and soft- or hard- boiled eggs come out just as good as they do in Hamilton Beach’s dedicated egg cooker, the 25500.
In order to properly steam other foods, you need a lot more than egg-shaped plastic with an egg tray inside. This is a full-fledged kitchen appliance made from BPA-free plastic, with a digital control panel that shows the amount of water in the cooker, a delay timer, a warming function (which turns on automatically when the timer hits zero) and a low-water indicator/alarm.
There’s even a rice bowl which lets you make yummy steamed rice.
This very affordable Hamilton Beach steamer doesn’t just cook eggs, but it does a darned good job of that, too. It’s a great alternative to the Cuisinart egg cooker if you do a lot of steaming in your kitchen.
Digging deeper into the Hamilton Beach 37530A Digital Food Steamer:
7. Dash Deluxe DEC012RD Rapid Cooker
The review team has already recommended the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker (#4 in our rankings, if you weren’t keeping track) as the best value in this category. Take that product, add a second tier, and you have the Dash Deluxe which lets you cook as many as 12 hard-, medium- or soft-boiled eggs at one time. The price for the Deluxe is higher, but you don’t have to pay twice as much to cook twice as many eggs – so we consider this model good value as well.
The Deluxe is nearly identical to the Rapid Egg Cooker in every other way, including the omelet and poaching trays, the ease of use and ease of cleaning – and the LOUD buzzer that sounds when your eggs are done. This unit isn’t specifically designed to steam other foods like vegetables and seafood, but it does that quite well also.
The Dash Deluxe is the right egg cooker for hungry families, with its 12-egg capacity. It takes less than ten minutes to cook them, too, so you can make seconds or thirds while the family’s eating their first batch.
Numbers for the Dash Deluxe DEC012RD Rapid Cooker:
8. Krups F23070 Egg Cooker
There are several things the Your House Garden team liked about this Krups cooker. One is that it has a water level indicator on the appliance, something we’ve only seen so far on the multi-purpose Hamilton Beach steamer and not on simpler egg cookers. Additionally, we were pleased to see a different type of design for the F23070: lower-profile and more stylish, with side handles that don’t get hot when the cooker does.
The keep-warm mode is something we appreciated as well.
The BPA-free plastic Krups can take seven eggs at one time for “boiling,” and it has separate omelet and poaching trays to use for those purposes.
There are two things that knocked the F23070 down to #8 in our rankings, though. One is that it has a loud buzzer that’s almost as annoying as the one on the Dash models; the other is there’s no automatic shut-off function so you have to either shut the machine off or switch it to “keep warm” mode to get some peace and quiet.
This Krups egg cooker does a good job preparing eggs, however, and that’s really what we were after in choosing appliances to put into our top ten.
A great design and good performance makes the Krups a solid alternative to some of our higher-ranked models.
Cheat sheet for the Krups F23070 Egg Cooker:
9. Maxi-Matic Elite EGC-007 Easy Electric Egg Cooker
The Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum showed up on our list way up at #2. The EGC-007 is a lower-level version of that egg cooker, and it’s our budget pick.
It’s quite similar to the Platinum model, able to “boil” seven eggs at one time, offering poaching and omelet features with dedicated, separate trays, and delivering very good performance for soft- and medium-boiled eggs with hard-boiled eggs requiring a learning curve.
What’s different? This unit is all plastic (BPA-free) without a stainless steel base, so it’s a little less durable; it doesn’t have a buzzer or any other type of alarm to let you know that your eggs are ready; and it’s the least-expensive, good-quality egg cooker on the market.
Your House Garden believes that the last part of that sentence is much more important than the first two – making this a great buy for the money.
The Maxi-Matic ECG-007 isn’t that much cheaper than its big brother Platinum, but it provides the same very good performance for an even lower price.
Looking closer at the Maxi-Matic Elite EGC-007 Easy Electric Egg Cooker:
10. Maverick SEC-2 Henrietta Hen Egg Cooker
We finish with what is probably the cutest egg cooker you’ll ever see.
This plastic Maverick appliance looks like – well, you’ve probably already guessed. It looks like a cross between a standard egg cooker, a hen, and a cookie jar, complete with beak, comb and tail, and it will easily fit into any kitchen with a country or kitschy décor.
As for the cooker itself, it would be a good choice even if it weren’t hen-shaped. It can hold seven eggs for soft-, medium- or hard-boiling, there’s a separate tray for poaching, and everything except the base can go right into the dishwasher.
One caution, though, is not to overfill the reservoir; Henrietta can leak pretty easily when there’s too much water in her. There’s no auto shut-off feature, but there is an audio alarm: Henrietta chirps to tell you that your eggs are done.
The Henrietta Hen cooker is rather expensive for the appliance itself, and not the most durable egg cooker in our rankings. But you may find her worth the money anyway, because she’s so incredibly cute.
More info on the Maverick SEC-2 Henrietta Hen Egg Cooker:
Best Egg Cooker Buying Guide
“She can’t even boil an egg.”
That’s become a catch-all phrase to describe someone who’s basically hopeless in the kitchen. As most chefs will tell you, though, properly preparing hard-, medium- or soft-boiled eggs isn’t as easy as it might seem.
Ask five skilled chefs the right way to make a hard-boiled egg – or search the subject on five authoritative cooking sites – and you’re likely to get five different answers. Six minutes? Seven? Twelve? Heat the water with the eggs in it, or put eggs directly into boiling water? Leave the heat on once the eggs are cooking, or turn it off and cover the pan? Only use filtered water…
The right technique in the right hands will always work. But the right technique in inexperienced hands can lead to undercooked eggs, overcooked eggs, rubbery eggs, cracked shells, or worse.
For amateur cooks, and even many grizzled veterans, the best solution isn’t to boil eggs at all. It’s to steam them.
Steaming eggs is a gentler method than boiling for cooking them, meaning there’s less chance of cracking, peeling or breaking. The cook will be better and more consistent – and perhaps best of all, steaming is faster than boiling.
Why are we bothering to explain all of this?
It’s because egg cookers don’t boil eggs. They steam them.
How an Egg Cooker Works
An egg cooker is really an egg steamer. You place your eggs into the appliance’s holder, with the small end always pointing down; some machines have cups and some have racks to hold the eggs. You pierce the tops of the eggs with a pin to prevent them from cracking (the pin usually comes with the machine), and fill the reservoir with the correct amount of water. Most models provide a measuring cup marked for hard-boiled, medium-boiled and soft-boiled eggs.
You then put on the cover and turn on the power. A heating element in the base of the cooker then boils the water to generate steam – and the steam, not the water, is what actually cooks the eggs. Steam rises above the heating element to surround the eggs, held in by the cover. An audio alarm sounds when the water has all evaporated and your eggs are done.
Some machines require you to then turn off the egg cooker and others will shut off automatically. One important fact: the eggs will still have heat inside of them, so they’ll continue to cook for a while after the unit is turned off. For that reason, it’s particularly important to remove hard-boiled eggs from the cooker and put them into cold water after the alarm goes off. That stops them from being overcooked, and avoids creating the disgusting green membrane you see between yolk and white when an egg hasn’t been hard-boiled correctly.
Pro tip: always use refrigerated eggs in an egg cooker. Room-temperature eggs will cook faster, so they’ll usually come out overcooked unless you put less water into the reservoir or cook them for less time than the instructions suggest.
Some egg cookers also have a separate area where a tray can be inserted in order to make other types of eggs (like poached), or cook other foods. We’ll talk more about that shortly.
Models designed to go into a microwave operate on the same basic principle. Eggs are placed into holders, the cooker is placed into the oven and the eggs are steamed gently. Microwave egg cookers can generally make “boiled” eggs, with no option for cooking techniques like poaching.
Most of these appliances are made from plastic, with higher-end ones constructed with stainless steel or aluminum bodies and plastic tops. (Obviously the ones that go into a microwave can’t contain metal.) Steel or aluminum egg cookers will normally look better on your kitchen counter and will last longer; they also won’t contain BPAs and other problematic chemicals that are in some plastics. They’ll also be more expensive.
The Best Egg Cooker: Buying Considerations
There are two basic issues to consider when shopping for an egg cooker.
The first is size, and that involves two different questions.
The second issue is versatility. Those who will only be using an egg cooker to prepare boiled eggs don’t need the extra features – or extra cost – of a machine which can also poach eggs in a separate tray, and may want to consider a microwave model. You’ll also find that some egg cookers can prepare a variety of other foods like omelets, French toast and even bread pudding. There are also egg cookers which include baskets for steaming vegetables or fish. That versatility requires extra accessories and different timers, adding to the price of the unit.
Once you’ve narrowed down the possibilities, here are some other matters to consider.
And of course, price and durability are always considerations.
Unlike appliances which are more of a gimmick than a useful tool, egg cookers really are a great addition to most kitchens. Taking a little time to choose the right one, like a high-quality rice cooker, will pay off big in terms of versatility and convenience. With a reliable rice cooker, you can effortlessly prepare perfectly cooked rice and enjoy its benefits in various dishes without the hassle of constantly monitoring the cooking process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Egg Cookers
Q: Is a stand-alone unit better than a microwaveable one?
Q: Will an egg cooker always make perfect eggs?
Q: Why is it important whether I fill up the egg trays?
Q: Does it matter what type of water I use to fill the reservoir?
Q: Does the size of the eggs matter?
Q: Doesn’t poking a hole in the top of the egg cause it to crack?