I use this $20 unitasker to make hard-boiled eggs in half the time of traditional methods with absolutely no guesswork

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  • The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker ($19.99) allows you to make up to six hard-boiled eggs in half the time of traditional methods with absolutely no guesswork.
  • The mini appliance heats water to steam eggs to your desired doneness and automatically plays a jingle and shuts itself off when your eggs are cooked.
  • The gadget also comes with accessories to make poached eggs and omelets, but they don't turn out as well as the hard-boiled eggs.
Hard-boiled eggs are one of the greatest mysteries of the kitchen for me. Every food blogger, recipe developer, and pro chef seems to have a different method, they're all deemed foolproof, and they're all, for some reason, oddly complicated. Some will have you start in a cold pan, some want you to drop your eggs into already boiling water, some have you take them off the heat to cook. I've even read one that wants you to bring your eggs to a boil and then put the whole pot into a preheated oven to bake.Advertisement

The problem with all of these "recipes" is that they're all so different that I can never remember them off the top of my head, and I have to google how long to cook hard-boiled eggs every time. I always found it more trouble than it was worth. But at the end of the day, all you need is a pot and some hot water, so for those with a tried-and-true method that they can actually remember, it's not that hard of a kitchen task.

When I discovered the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, I was ready to write it off as what celebrity chef Alton Brown would call a unitasker — a kitchen tool that serves a single purpose, takes up too much space, and solves a non-problem. What I discovered after using it was that I finally had a truly foolproof method for cooking hard-boiled eggs that required no googling, no multi-step techniques that I had to remember, and took less time than traditional methods by more than half.

How does it work?

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The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker doesn't actually boil your eggs; it steams them. But don't worry, the result is indistinguishable from actual boiled eggs. The base of the egg cooker contains a heating element that you add water to. The cooker fits up to six eggs that sit suspended above the water in a plastic tray. As the water heats and turns to steam, your eggs cook to your desired doneness.

You determine your doneness by the amount of water you add to the tray. The egg cooker comes with a small measuring cup with fill lines on it. On one side are lines for soft-boiled, medium-boiled, and hard-boiled eggs, and on the other side is a line for poached eggs and omelets — more on that later. On the bottom of the measuring cup is a small pin. You'll want to puncture the shell of each egg once to let steam escape during the cooking process. Once you puncture your eggs and add water, you press the only button on the machine — it really is foolproof — and your eggs will steam until the cooker senses there's no more water left in the tray. Once all the water is gone, a cute jingle will play to alert you that your eggs are done. After that, I tend to plunge them into ice water to prevent them from overcooking, but that's not a necessary step. Advertisement

I've found that the suggested water levels leave my eggs a little underdone for my taste, so I've taken to adding a smidge more water than suggested. It might take a couple tries to get your eggs cooked the way you want them, but once you've nailed the perfect water levels, just take a marker to your measuring cup and draw yourself some new lines.

The eggs come out wonderfully, taste just like regular hard-boiled eggs, and are reasonably easy to peel — though I've always been notoriously bad at peeling eggs, so I still had some trouble.

Where the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker really shines is in its efficiency. Traditional hard-boiling methods can take up to 20 minutes from start to finish by the time you boil water and actually cook your eggs. The Rapid Egg Cooker claims to churn out soft-boiled eggs in seven to 10 minutes and hard-boiled eggs in 12 to 16 minutes depending on how many eggs you're cooking, But I timed the cooker, and in my experience, it produced soft-boiled eggs in five and a half minutes and hard-boiled eggs in 11 minutes, so it's a bit quicker than advertised.Advertisement

Because it's so easy, I've eaten more hard-, soft-, and medium-boiled eggs in the two months that I've had the egg cooker than I have in the past several years combined. I can pretty much have a soft-boiled egg ready in the time it takes to toast the bread to eat it with.

Wait, didn't you mention poached eggs and omelets?

The Rapid Egg Cooker comes with two cooking trays that allow you to cook poached eggs and omelets in the steamer, but you're really better off sticking to hard- and soft-boiled eggs. The poached eggs (again, not really poached, but steamed) were unevenly cooked with the edges getting a bit rubbery and the centers being a bit soupy. It's a decent imitation of a poached egg, but I much prefer a soft-boiled egg if I'm looking for something with a runny yolk.

The omelet was a similar story. The cooker produced a slightly rubbery steamed disk of egg that tasted good enough. It wasn't all that satisfying to eat on its own but might have been better on a breakfast sandwich where you don't have to pay too close attention to the texture of the egg.Advertisement

The bottom line

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The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker really lives up to its name, producing hard-boiled eggs in a fraction of the time of traditional methods. It takes all the guesswork out of the process with its "just add water" steaming method. And it's made it so much easier for me to make a healthy breakfast in the morning. The cooker is reasonably priced at $19.99, and at six inches in diameter, it's not going to take up a ton of cabinet space.

It's also easy to clean. The lid, egg tray, and poached egg and omelet cooking trays should all be washed with soapy water, and the heating element can be wiped down with a damp cloth once it's cooled. Just be sure not to submerge the base in water. You may start to notice some mineral buildup on the heating element over time, especially if you have hard water. Dash recommends using a vinegar solution to clean it, but I haven't had to do that yet.Advertisement

This model makes up to six hard-boiled eggs at a time, but if you have a big family or regularly make large batches of deviled eggs or egg salad, Dash also has a two-tiered Deluxe model ($29.99) that holds up to a dozen eggs. I haven't tested this version, but I imagine the simple steaming technology is pretty easy to scale up.

The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is a wonderful little gadget if you're a fan of hard- or soft-boiled eggs, want to streamline the process, want to make meal-prepping easier, or simply want to eat a bit healthier with minimal effort. Pros: Takes the guesswork out of hard-boiled eggs; faster than traditional methods; easy to use, clean, and storeAdvertisement

Cons: Only cooks six eggs at a time, poached eggs and omelets don't turn out as well, can take some trial and error to get your desired doneness

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