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Surprising Appliances You Can Use to Cook Eggs

There’s an old legend that says the many folds in a chef’s hat represent the 100 ways to cook an egg. While that may or may not be true, it is evidence that eggs are infinitely adaptable in the kitchen, even in stories passed down through generations. You might reach for your favorite skillet when considering your next egg recipe, but instead, why not add to the hundreds of ways eggs can be cooked by expanding your repertoire to include the other appliances that might be underused in your kitchen.

Your kitchen is likely stocked with various appliances tailored to cooking eggs in different styles, such as hard-boiled, softly scrambled, or delicately poached. Harnessing the full capabilities of your investment in equipment might just surprise you by elevating an ordinary egg into a perfectly cooked masterpiece. Taking advantage of these appliances also frees up your stovetop, allowing you to focus on other essential components of a recipe.

Your Instant Pot speeds up egg salad and more

Instant pot with bell peppers

Creamy egg salad can be a labor of love to make from scratch — boiling, peeling, and then dicing all those eggs can be frustrating and time-consuming when you’re in the mood for a sandwich. You’ll be glad to know there’s a way to speed up the process by cooking them in your Instant Pot (without peeling the eggs, either). Steaming a batch of raw eggs cracked into a pan that fits your pressure cooker results in a cake-like disk of perfectly hard-cooked eggs. Then, you just need to dice them up and add them to your favorite recipe.

Don’t just save this trick for egg salad, either. A batch of Instant Pot hard-cooked eggs is the speedy way to enrich your potato salad. They’re a super easy way to meal-prep eggs for weekday salads, too. Add them to Niçoise salads or save them for your next brunch as a base for avocado toast.

Espresso machine eggs to go with your latte

steaming milk with espresso machine

If your espresso machine has a steam wand for warming and foaming milk, don’t overlook that nearly instant source of high heat as a way to get a quick scramble. For a quick (and dirty, but more about that later) way to scramble an egg or two in the morning along with your morning dose of caffeine, whisk up the eggs in a heat-proof cup or milk pitcher. Add a bit of soft butter or a dash of silky crème fraîche, and stir the mixture up well. Then, just steam the eggs for a minute or two the same way you’d make milk foam. Watch for curds of egg to form in the swirling mixture, and stop while the egg is still soft and somewhat wet to get the best result.

While this is a super fast way to get your morning egg fix, you’ll need to fully clean out the steam wand to prevent egg particles from ruining your next cappuccino. Wipe the outside of the wand and soak the stem in hot water to loosen any egg that cooked on.

Air fryer poached eggs are done in a snap

air fryer with carton of eggs

Of course, you already know your air fryer is the super fast route to all things crispy, but that heat can also be used to make the easiest poached eggs in a snap. If you’ve ever fumbled with slipping eggs into a skillet of simmering water or wound up with soggy English muffins due to waterlogged poached eggs, you’ll love this foolproof method to get a perfectly shaped egg to top your brunch creations. 

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The eggs cook in the consistent heat of your air fryer, assisted by a bit of water in a ramekin to help them steam a bit. You might need to do a test egg or two to find the perfect timing for your air fryer, although a good starting point is the lowest temperature your machine has for four or five minutes. If the yolk is underdone, you can always just cook the egg for another minute or two.

The oven is great for sheet pan eggs and more

breakfast egg casserole

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Your oven is an obvious choice for making a brunchy frittata or a deliciously cheesy quiche, but don’t snooze on this method for getting a whole sheet pan full of eggs done in a jiffy. Whether you have a kitchen full of guests or just want to get some breakfast prep checked off your list for the week, using a preheated sheet pan in your oven to cook eggs is the way to go. It’s the surefire way to get a quantity of sunny side up eggs finished all at once for special breakfasts — and even for topping your kimchi fried rice or a grain bowl with some added protein.

The sheet pan is not your only oven baked egg choice, either. Beautifully elegant shirred eggs, also known as eggs en cocotte, are baked in individual ramekins, giving you a nicer table presentation and the option to individualize ingredients in each portion.

Your microwave can multitask

microwaved egg cup

If you’ve only been using your microwave for bags of popcorn or reheating leftovers, you’re missing out on this energy-saving appliance’s full ability to make your life easier in the kitchen. The next time you’re in the mood for a simple scramble, reach for the microwave instead of your stovetop. Whisk your eggs with salt and pepper in a microwave-safe container and cook them in 30-second increments until done. Use a fork to mix the eggs between zaps if you want a loose, traditional scramble, or just leave them as is if you want to put your eggs on a breakfast sandwich — they’ll hold together with each bite that way.

If you prefer your egg whites and yolks not mixed, you can easily hack the poaching method with your microwave, too. While this method is not great for a larger group, it makes getting a couple of poached eggs for your French bistro salad so convenient you might just eat more salads!

The slow cooker gets eggs just right

slow cooker eggs

When you have more time on your hands, the trusty slow cooker can be an invaluable assistant, and that goes for making egg dishes, too. The low and even heat of the cooker keeps egg proteins from getting rubbery and overcooked. Plus, it can keep your food warm on the buffet table, too. It’s true that this is not the best appliance to choose for your everyday breakfast eggs, but if you want to make a creamy frittata or savory breakfast casserole when friends and family come for brunch, your slow cooker is a great option to free up your attention. One important step to keep in mind for eggs in the slow cooker is to butter the insert to prevent egg proteins from sticking.

Your slow cooker can also tackle zesty shakshuka. Cook the vegetable base ahead of time, and 15 minutes before you want to serve, crack in the raw eggs. Turn the heat up and serve when the eggs are at your preferred doneness.

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