How to Coddle an Egg

So I’m a big fan of coddled eggs. I eat them for breakfast all winter long, which means that I occasionally rhapsodize — at length and out loud — about how truly spectacular a thing coddled eggs are, which means that my friends can often be found walking around looking deeply confused when they’re with me.

I mean, that would be the case anyway. But coddled eggs are a thing. A truly spectacular thing. Trust me!

Or don’t! Why should you take my word for it? You should experience the awesomeness of a coddled egg yourself. And then you will know.

Hey, trust but verify. Right?

How to Make a Coddled Egg

A coddled egg is basically just a soft boiled egg, but one that’s been cooked in a special, egg-shaped type of porcelain container rather than in its own shell. This makes it hella easier to eat, and also allows you to have pretty little egg coddlers lying around in your cupboards, which is a thing that gives me great joy.

I mean, look at this one. So pretty!

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It’s even a Royal Worcester!

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We’re all friends here, so I know we all watch Antiques Roadshow (UK version), so  we all know right off the bat that this makes this guy really happy.

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Henry Sandon, Porcelain Expert, Royal Worcester Historian, and Chortler Extraordinaire

And since you also watch Antiques Roadshow (UK), and you’re so very much like me, you will now read the rest of this post with his adorable little chortling voice in your head. Yes sirree. That is exactly what you will do.

So where can you get your hands on your very own egg coddler? Well, I was incredibly lucky and a friend of mine sent me this amazing egg coddler, totally out of the blue, as an unexpected gift, because people you meet on the internet are awesome. But you can find your own at a flea market or an antique shop, or you could even just pop on over to Etsy and see what they’ve got for egg coddlers these days. Chances are, they’ve got something good.

To get started, just open up the little screw-top lid.

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Now crack an egg and drop that sucker inside.

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Fasten the lid back on, nice and snug.

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Bring a pot of water to boil, making sure that the water will completely cover the egg coddler once it’s boiling. You don’t need to cover the little handle on top of the lid, but you do want the whole vessel to be submerged.

(You probably know what a pot of boiling water looks like, but I’m going to go with the flow and show you a picture of that, too.)

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Once the water is at a full, rolling boil, set the egg coddler upright in the pot. You can drop it in (carefully) with your fingers holding on to the handle on top of the lid, or just use a pair of tongs to lower it into place.

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Remember to make sure that the water completely covers the chamber of the coddler. You want that entire egg to be surrounded by hot water, not just the bottom half or two thirds.

Now set your timer (do NOT leave this part to chance) to exactly 7 minutes. I actually like to set my timer for exactly 7 minutes and 14 seconds, but that’s just because 7/14 is my birthday and I’m a total little princess like that. Experiment a little (HINT: This means you get to eat a lot of coddled eggs, in the name of SCIENCE) to find the time that gives you the kind of egg you like best. I like a very runny yolk with practically no runniness at all left to the white, and 7:14 does that for me almost every time. If anything, I occasionally have to give it another 10 seconds rolling around on its side, just to finish off that last little bit of runny whites on the top.

But not this time. Because this egg is PERFECT.

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OMG

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Will you just look at that perfect egg!

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SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.

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For the eating of the egg, I like to just toss a little kosher salt in there and then nom nom nom the night away. But some folks need to get all fancy with their coddled eggs. For instance, you could line the inside of the coddler with little slices of ham or cheese before you drop the egg in, or you could sprinkle some finely diced bell peppers or shredded parmesan on top. Basically anything you like to eat with your regular eggs, you can incorporate somehow into your coddled egg. Just keep in mind that there’s not too much room in there for anything besides one whole, glorious, spectacular egg.

And what else do you really need? Honestly. I ask you.

So if you like soft boiled eggs, or runny eggs in any form, get yourself a coddled egg one of these days. It requires a little bit of equipment, but egg coddlers are relatively cheap and, as mentioned above, they look swell in your open shelving. Like you’re a real proper lady or something. And isn’t that all any of us really want?

Personally, I think coddled eggs are a huge improvement over soft boiled eggs the way I used to eat them, which was over toast, just like Mom used to make for me when I was sick. Only the toast soaks up all that amazing runny yolk way too fast, and I could never get the bread-to-egg ratio just right. This cuts out that messy little complication and simplifies the whole ordeal.

Now it’s just me and my egg. An egg and her girl. The egg and I. I’ll stop.

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