Gadget or Gimmick: OXO Egg Poacher

Poaching is one of those scary cooking activities that requires relatively few steps, but can be intimidating. You're literally dropping an egg into a swirling vortex of boiling water, letting things get weird, and then pulling it out after an amount of time you're hoping is correct. It's scary enough that a number of devices, from silicon pods to entire pots, have been designed to simplify the process.
I pride myself on having conquered poaching as a life skill, but I still get the appeal of a time-saving or effort-saving gadget. After all, unless you're poaching a very fresh egg, some egg whites usually get left behind. It's also hard to poach more than one or two at a time, and, at least for me, the fear of dropping in the egg at the exact right time remains, even years later.
But the gadgets I've seen are all lacking in one way: they cook eggs near water, but not in it. Silicon pods sit in the water, and pots have trays where eggs are cooked above it with steam. Instead of a beautifully poached egg, you get something that was cooked by heat from boiling water in a perfect sphere shape. So I kept poaching in water, mostly fine with accepting the drawbacks, until I saw OXO's egg poacher.
Unlike typical silicon egg poachers, OXO's actually allows you to cook eggs in the water while still keeping them contained. The individual silicon molds are shaped like an hourglass, with a bottom filled with holes and a solid top. Placing the side with holes down in a pot, you fill it with water and bring to a boil. The top half of the poacher, sticking out of the water, acts as a sort of funnel that drops the egg into the bottom half. The holes then allow water to pass in and around the egg, poaching it in water — but still all contained in one spot. Once it's done, you lift the mold out of the water by the tab and remove the egg with a slotted spoon. I followed the guide for poaching times included with the molds, and, in just over three minutes, I had a perfect poached egg — no egg white left behind and no stressful swirling required.
The only drawback is that it would take a large, shallow pot to hold both molds at once. However, because of how neat the entire process is, it would definitely be possible to cook a few poached eggs, one after the other, without the pot getting too messy. They also cleaned up easily with just a little scrubbing in the sink. Even if you're not as obsessed with eggs as I am, my bet is that you'll enjoy this genius little gadget just as much.

More from Food & Drinks

R29 Original Series