Kit – egg timer

There are few things I love more than a perfectly cooked poached egg. A runny yolk and a neat white are a short road to happiness.
Frustratingly the perfect poached egg eludes me. Straggly and waterlogged whites hide a pale yellow bullet of yolk, and yes, I add vinegar to the water, swirling all the while with a wooden spoon. If I was still on my quest to make the perfect poached egg I’d probably use one of these, as my sis swears by them.
But I’m not. I’ve given up. There are only so many times I’m going to attempt poached eggs, and I’m afraid I’ve reached my limit. Life’s too short. Instead I’ve embraced the soft boiled egg and I think life’s much better for it.
They are equally delicious on toast, topping asparagus soup, or giving some added protein to a plate of zingy refried beans.  And with one of these timer widgets, they are so damn easy. Just whack it in the saucepan with the eggs you want to boil and turn the heat up. A black ring will start around the edge of the eggtimer, showing you how cooked the eggs are. Keep simmering until you get the level you want, soft, medium or hard. The clever widget will adapt the cooking time according to how many eggs and how much water there is, so you don’t have to do any of the complicated maths. And all this for a modest £1.75. The only proviso is that you do have to keep an eye on it as there is no alarm ping. Several online reviewers were buying a second one, due to melting the original. I like to think of myself as fairly inept, and I’ve had mine for a couple of years now, so I’m sure you’ll be alright. Claire xx


  1. The best thing about this piece of kit is that it only costs £1.99!! I have long been a follower of the “plunge a fork in the toaster to get small things out” school of toasting! I have doing it for so long that I barely even bother to turn the power off, not very intelligent I know. However when looking for stocking fillers for my wife last year I saw these and thought for a couple of quid, let’s try them. I really wasn’t expecting much, but staggeringly they are brilliant. My wife has very sensitive skin and can’t do too much heat, so these have made her able to have toast hot enough to actually melt the butter! Crumpets and muffins are now such a dream to do as well. The best thing is they are magnetic and stick to the toaster or, in our case, the microwave next to the plastic toaster, so they are always to hand.

    I got mine through Lakeland,however I am sure they are available in other places.

    • Yes, indeed, that’s the one.

      I have a post in the making about the perfect eggs benedict, including poaching a perfect egg. I hope to post it to my blog on Friday.

  2. Now I have to tell you please keep trying on the poaching front. It’s one thing I admittedly mastered by having to make them as part of my job. Practice & all that. I think if you swirl the water but do it when the water is on a full boil you will notice that the egg shape sets perfectly around the swirl. Once the shape is sorted, turn down to a low simmer and you should be fine!
    Funnily enough my husband is better at boiled eggs than me x

  3. The perfect poached egg also eluded me until I got chickens. You need a REALLY fresh egg and then the white is still like jelly and doesn’t whisp away around the pan. Heston said this too in his egg program. Fresh eggs…it’s the only solution. And you don’t have to do anything special, you just break them into some gentley simmering water and job done. In fact I’m about to go and have one now for lunch.

  4. You’re right –
    those boiled egg timers are ace –
    in fact, they are quite magical – I have no idea how they work.
    I understand the change in colour bit –
    but how do they allow for how many eggs/what size eggs etc.
    A complete mystery.
    poach pods =
    please, please, persist.
    These, too, are magical in their ‘perfect every time’ results.
    Wipe the inside of each pod generously with butter,
    crack the egg into it, with a screw or two of fresh pepper on top
    and then float on a pan of gently boiling water,
    pop on lid of saucepan
    and let them simmer for 5 mins exactly.
    you may need to drain some surface water of them before you
    remove from pods and eat.
    Little snowy white igloos with a sunshine heart.
    The only thing I would mention is not to overcrowd in the saucepan.
    The clear advantage of poached over boiled, especially if we are involving aspargus
    as we very soon will be,
    is that you don’t have to peel the eggs after cooking….

  5. i’ve given up on the vinegar and salt when poaching eggs. they do better without it i think. i love those egg timers – my kids insist on very runny yolks so the timer is essential! becca

  6. Nope. No vinegar, no swirling, the way to go is a super fresh egg, the freshest you can get, crack into a dish or bowl, boil the water in a kettle, pour into a saucepan and put on the hob on a low heat so it’s not even simmering. Pour the egg into the water and put on a timer for 4 mins.

    Scoop out with a slotted spoon, perfect.


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