Have you ever eaten coddled eggs? Perhaps you have but you may also be saying, “What in the world is a coddled egg?” Many people have never heard of coddled eggs or an egg coddler. If that is you, that all changes today.
Originally called a pipkin, egg coddlers have been used in England since the 1800s. The lid of the coddler has a ring to easily set them in and lift them out of boiling water. Coddled eggs are made using any heatproof container, like an egg coddler or a ramekin by placing an egg in a dish and then placing that dish in water. As you’ll see below, using an egg coddler is not only easy and convenient but also stylish as these vintage egg coddlers were made in a wide variety of patterns and sizes by many different companies.
Hot water? Won’t They Craze?
I speak a lot about crazing and how to prevent it, including not putting fine china in the dishwasher. Mainly because of the temperature fluctuations that can cause bone china to craze. Egg coddlers differ as they are not made from bone china but hard porcelain designed to withstand the high temperature of boiling water. Some coddlers were also made of glass by Pyrex also made to withstand the heat of this cooking method.
How Big is Your Coddler?
According to the website www.egg-coddler.com, a site devoted entirely to egg coddlers (yep, that’s a thing!), these fantastic little cooking vessels were produced in 4 different sizes. The standard size was designed to cook one egg. The king-size was bigger and used to prepare two eggs. Royal Worcester still produces this size of coddler. The jumbo size and the maxime size were quite similar and usually used to prepare a small meal like a stew. Coddlers have often been used to warm up baby food as well.
Caring for Your Coddlers
As with any collection, there is time and care involved in preserving your investment. If your coddlers are display-only items, they should still be periodically washed and inspected to ensure their condition. Although coddlers do not craze, they should not be put into a dishwasher put rather washed by hand with gentle dish detergent.
If you do use your coddlers, rinsing your coddler after use will make clean up significantly easier. In the event that there are some particles unwilling to dislodge, repetitive soaking is recommended. Do not use scouring pads or other abrasives.
The metal ring should be used to place and remove the coddler from the water and should not be used to tighten the metal lid. Tighten the lid by turning the lid and not the ring. Be mindful not to over-tighten the ring as this can cause damage resulting in a weakening of the glue that holds the ring to the body.
How Do You Make Coddled Eggs?
It is quite simple. All you need is a pot of boiling water and your egg coddler. First, you brush a bit of butter to coat the inside of the coddler, crack your egg, and add your seasonings. You can even add finely chopped onions, ham, bacon, or cream to your coddled egg to make it just the way you like. Coddled eggs will vary by cooking time depending on whether you are using a standard (1 egg) or king-size coddler. See our recipe below.
Simple Coddled Eggs
- Egg Coddler
- 1 eggs
- Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Bacon Optional
- Onion Optional
- Line your saucepan with a kitchen towel to prevent the coddler from rattling
- Fill Saucepan With Water And Bring To A Boil, The water must reach the neck of the coddler
- Butter The Inside of Each Coddler Using a Brush
- Add 1/2 tsp of Heavy Cream To Each Coddler, if desired
- Add 1-2 Eggs To Each Coddler Depending on Size and Season to taste
- Screw on the lid and place egg coddler in boiling water and simmer for 5-7 minutes
- Turn off heat and let stand for 6 minutes
- Remove from pot, remove lids (avoid using the ring to unscrew the lid) and serve immediately
As coddled eggs produce a soft yolk egg, please be mindful that eating undercooked eggs poses an increased risk of contracting a foodborne illness, such as Salmonella poisoning.
Ready to start your collection? See our full selection of egg coddlers here.
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