Cooking Basics

Coddled eggs cooking tips

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egg coddler
To coddle an egg, you need an egg coddler
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Coddled eggs have been around since the Victorian Era

Before you can prepare coddled eggs you have to know what a coddled egg is. A coddled egg is sort of like a poached egg; however, a coddled egg is cooked slowly in its shell whereas a poached egg is cracked into an egg poacher and cooked in boiling water.

Coddled eggs are the result of submersing an egg in its shell into boiling water just briefly. The egg is coddled or slightly cooked. Coddled eggs are cooked slowly which allows the egg to keep a soft yolk. The white of the egg is tender. 

Use fresh eggs for coddling. When an egg is older than one week, the whites of the egg tend to thin out. When using fresh eggs, the whites of the egg gather neatly around the egg yolk. This results in a rounder and more symmetrical shape.

The primary way to coddle eggs is by using an egg coddler. An egg coddler? What in the world is that? 

An egg coddler is a kitchen tool that consists of a device with a bottom that is heat resistant. This portion is generally made from ceramic. The top part of the coddler consists of a tightly fitting lid that is either ceramic or metal. Egg coddlers are traditionally made from glazed porcelain. A coddled egg is cracked into the "egg coddler," and then cooked when the porcelain pot is set into a larger pot of boiling water. 


It is advisable to scrub the egg shell before breaking the egg. This prevents the spread of salmonella. When you are coddling eggs make certain that the egg coddler is absolutely clean and dry inside. The water that you put into the pan in which you will place the coddler should reach the coddler up two-thirds of the way. 

Greasing the inside of the egg coddler slightly is important. Butter is best but oil can also be used. Smear the butter around the inside of the coddler, distributing it evenly. Also smear butter on the inside of the lid. 

Many cooks advise breaking the egg into a bowl and then tranfering it gently into the coddler. If you wish, add some seasoning, such as salt. Now pour the egg into the coddler. When you pour the egg into the coddler be careful not to break the yolk. Close the lid securely. Now submerge the egg coddler in the boiling water.

If you want your egg only partially cooked, leave it in the coddler for five or six minutes. If you want it to be more like a poached or boiled egg, leave it in the coddler for seven to nine minutes. If you take the eggs directly from the refrigerator it may take a minute or two longer to coddle. Room temperature eggs won't take as long.

Be careful!

Turn the heat off under the coddler when the eggs are done. Use an oven mitt when you lift the coddler out of the hot water. Use the ring that is on the lid to lift the coddler. Don't burn yourself.

Put the coddler on a plate or saucer. Slide the egg from the pot onto the plate and you are good to go. 

Coddled eggs have been eaten since the Victorian Era and are often are put into a Caesar salad. 


Those with an impaired immune system as well as the very old and the very young should avoid eating coddled eggs because there is a slight change of salmonella when the yolk is undercooked.

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