One of my favorite things to cook for a group of people is brunch. For one thing, I love getting up early to be industrious (hence my love of Thanksgiving). I also like the idea of cooking a meal without the added pressure of planning a series of board games and movies. But if you think beyond the straightforward French toast and fruit, you'll get to the part of the meal that's the most difficult to coordinate: the eggs.
I'm a fan of medium-boiled eggs, but in an effort to prevent myself from disappointment, I've learned to love their soft- and hard-boiled counterparts. It seems to me that no matter how hard I try to achieve that quasi-runny yolk, some cosmic turn of events either causes me to take the egg out well before it's ready or way after the yolk has turned into a crumbly, flaky, Easter-style lump.
How does this kind of thing work? In order to understand the perfect boiled egg, you first have to understand the science behind it. Most guides will tell you that an egg should be cooked for about 4 minutes to be soft-boiled, about 6 minutes to be medium-boiled, and about 8 minutes to be hard-boiled. Cooking an egg for a specific length of time brings the inside to a certain temperature that corresponds with a specific level of doneness. Any less than 4 minutes and your egg could end up a runny mess. Conversely, an overcooked egg develops a thin green layer around the yolk, which is a reaction of iron in the egg's yolk and hydrogen sulfide, a byproduct of cooking sulfur-containing proteins in the white.
Some more dedicated egg-lovers have actually broken down the science of egg cooking into formulas that take into account the size of the egg, at what temperature the egg started, and whether you put the egg into boiling or cold water at the beginning (check out a graph that will help you extrapolate exact cooking times).
Not into number crunching in the kitchen? Yeah, I didn't think so. To make things easier on the consumer, some companies have developed specialized eggs that have color-changing ink. If you buy a pack of these eggs, then the ink will change color as soon as the eggs have reached the level of doneness that's specified on the pack you purchased. But not everyone likes their eggs to be cooked the same, which makes the Chef's Choice Egg Cooker the perfect brunch buddy.
The egg cooker takes the guesswork out of egg boiling, cooking anywhere from one to seven eggs exactly to your taste. You add water to the reservoir and turn the switch to your desired level. Not in the mood for the same eggs as your friends? The cooker uses something called Vari-cook technology, which cooks eggs in the same batch to different levels. It also has a specialized poaching tray with elliptical molds to create the perfect poach, and comes with a tray that can be lifted out to carry your guests' eggs to the table. Sounds much easier than the multiple-pot circus that I usually have to run if I want to make eggs to order.