Coddled Egg

Vintage Egg Coddler

Vintage Egg Coddler

by Cat, Oct 2013 (Photo, right, from What’s Cooking America)

See also: Eggs: Soft- or Hard-BoiledMorning full-meal Smoothie

Years ago I bought two cute little pyrex containers for coddling an egg, but until then, I had no idea what a coddled egg was, I just bought the containers for display in my kitchen. Sometime later, a salmonella scare from raw eggs hit the news and everyone was advised not to eat raw eggs; that a reasonable substitute would be to coddle them.

Of course, I realize that not all eggs carry salmonella, and the way to avoid that horrible bug has to do with how the hens are raised, and cleanliness in the kitchen. Hens raised in pasture – especially locally-raised hens – offer the best protection from disease. Also, the shells should not be washed with soap and water until you are ready to use the egg, as all eggs have a natural protective coating provided when the egg is laid, that protects the interior from infection from outside.

But, coddling eggs is a good idea if you don’t know the source of your eggs, by heating the egg’s liquids just hot enough and long enough to kill any bacteria inside the egg.

There are basically two ways to coddle the egg: in its own shell, or in an egg coddler.

Coddled in the shell:

Adapted from What’s Cooking America (2).

  1. Remove egg from fridge and allow it to warm to room temperature for best results.
  2. Place whole egg in a cup and pour boiling water over the egg.  Add cream or seasoning as desired.
  3. Let it rest 10 minutes before removing the shell.

Coddled in an egg coddler:

Adapted from What’s Cooking America (2).

  1. Remove egg from fridge and allow it to warm to room temperature for best results.
  2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a bain marie, double boiler or a steamer; reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Butter the inside of the coddler, to flavor the egg and to make it easier to remove the egg.
  4. Break the egg’s shell and pour contents into buttered coddler; Add cream or seasoning as desired. Secure lid.
  5. Place coddler in bain marie or steamer basket and cook 5 – 8 minutes.
  6. Remove lid NOT by lifting the ring on the lid, but rather by unscrewing the lid, protecting your hand with a dishtowel.

A related way to do this is illustrated in the Food Cooking Guide 1 minute video (3).

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Put egg and seasonings in buttered porcelain ramekin; cover ramekin with aluminum foil, and set in a baking pan.
  3. Pour boiling water into pan, halfway up the outside of the ramekins.
  4. Turn oven off and place pan in oven for 15 minutes.

Cat’s Coddled Egg for Breakfast Smoothie

I used to use whey or brown rice protein powder in my morning smoothie, but recently discovered I have a food sensitivity to all protein powders tested – they give me intestinal upset. I didn’t want to give up my smoothie, but I need a source of protein for a balanced meal, so I decided to coddle an egg.

My method is similar to using an egg coddler. But I find it hard to clean the coddler, so I use a 1-cup custard cup, buttered well. I don’t add a lid, but you could use a square of aluminum foil secured over the top of the custard cup, if desired.

Ingredients & Equipment:

Steamer Pot & Steamer Basket

Steamer Pot & Steamer Basket

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh cream
  • custard cup, 1-cup size
  • Steamer pot with basket and glass lid (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)


  1. Bring water to a simmer in the steamer pot.
  2. Meanwhile, butter the custard cup, bottom and sides;
  3. Break the egg into the buttered custard cup, add the cream, and gently whip with a fork to combine.
  4. Set cup in steamer basket, replace steamer lid, and let steam gently for 5 – 7 minutes.
  5. If you steam more than 5 minutes, the egg will begin to rise, as for a soufflé, but only on the surface. The inside will still be liquid unless you steam more than 12 minutes. I find I rather like that soufflé texture in the smoothie, so I steam about 7 minutes.


  2. (also has great photos of vintage egg coddlers)
  3. Video: How to Coddle an Egg:

About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Eggs, Simmered and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply