Dec. 5, 2011 -- How do you like your eggs?
There are about 100 different ways to prepare an egg, but two of the trickiest ways are hard-boiled and poached eggs. That's the void in the kitchen the Chef'sChoice Gourmet Electric Egg Cooker 810 hopes to fill.
The Gourmet Egg Cooker, which looks like it could be R2D2's pet, is designed to cook up to seven boiled eggs or three poached eggs at once. It measures 8.5 inches across and 6 inches high. Sold at most kitchen gadget retailers, KitchenKapers.com sells the cooker for $39.95.
For this review, I tested each of the cooking options on the Gourmet Egg Cooker -- soft boiled, medium boiled, hard boiled, poached and the "Vari-Cook" option -- and yes I ate about a half dozen eggs to do it.
How It Works
First, assembly is easy and intuitive (one part goes on top of the other), and the cooker comes with two egg-cooking tray options: boiled and poached. About ¾ cup of water (as directed in the instruction booklet) goes into the base, which is more or less a bowled hot plate; one egg tray goes on top with the raw eggs in it, and then the stainless steel dome covers the whole thing.
Right away, one surprising feature with the cooker is I was expecting the dome lid to snap shut on the base. It doesn't, so don't force it.
A lever can be moved to whichever marker the user wants their eggs cooked to, which is clearly labeled. When the user flips the On switch, steam fills the dome and cook the eggs. The "beeper" that goes off to let you know the eggs are done sounds more like a smoke detector alarm.
The Test Run
For boiled eggs, the cooker does its job well for all levels of cooked, even with multiple eggs. The fact that users have the option of cooking up to seven eggs at a time is convenient because that in turn will give the user enough to make 14 deviled eggs -- that's an entire party platter.
The "Vari-Cook" option, is designed so that you can make soft, medium and hard boiled eggs at the same time by removing the eggs from the gadget at different times and playing with the temperature. This option is useful for people with different palettes, but the cooking settings were a little off-putting at first.
Say you want a soft-boiled egg and a hard-boiled egg. According to the instruction booklet, users should go by what Chef'sChoice called the "upper" scale (the cooking levels marked above the lever) to first make both eggs soft boiled.
When the soft-boiled egg timer goes off and you remove the soft-boiled egg, the booklet then says to use the markers on the "lower" scale (below the lever) to cook the eggs into medium or hard boiled. But the "upper" scale also has settings for cooking a medium and hard-boiled egg. It seems Chef'sChoice would have done better to have all of the "Vari-Cook" settings together on the "lower" scale.
The poached egg feature is my favorite. Even for the more advanced chefs, poaching eggs can be very tricky because of the way you have to stir the raw egg a certain way in boiling water to get that folded appearance. While the Gourmet Egg Cooker won't give users that restaurant-quality, fluffy poached egg -- the egg actually comes out looking more like a McMuffin-type egg patty -- this does made the poaching process super easy and it's great for homemade breakfast sandwiches.
Click on page 2 for final thoughts
Is It Worth The Purchase?
So is the Gourmet Egg Cooker really better than the good old fashioned way of hard boiling eggs on the stove? Yes and no.
On the plus side, this gadget does cook the eggs to perfection without having to worry about setting a timer or guessing when they are done. It also frees up a burner on your stove.
However, it takes up about a dinner-plate size amount of counter space and it doesn't save the user much time -- eggs take up to 20 minutes to cook.
While the holding trays are handy for lifting the eggs out of the gadget, the user is still stuck with eggs too hot to handle when they have finished cooking, and the cooker doesn't come with tongs. In fact, according to the directions, it is suggested that users place hot eggs in cold water to make them cool enough to touch, just like you would if you were making them on the stove.
The Gourmet Egg Cooker is easy to use and would be a great gift for any egg enthusiast, especially someone who enjoys making devil eggs or breakfast sandwiches, but for the casual egg eater, save the cabinet space and bypass this gadget.