Egg cookers are a convenient kitchen appliance that performs an otherwise potentially tedious 20-minute process (including water and egg boil times) all by itself without your direct supervision. But like many automatic slow cookers, egg cookers are scrutinized for their safety concerns.
Egg cookers are safe appliances if users follow the instructions and safety guidelines listed in the provided user manual. This will help mitigate common risks, such as overheating or undercooked eggs. Additionally, most models feature BPA-free plastic, but you’ll want to confirm this yourself.
In this article, we will discuss the most common risks and concerns associated with egg cookers and what features some of them are built with to limit them.
How Safe Are Egg Cookers?
When it comes to safety concerns, egg cookers often find themselves in the same group as other similar kitchen appliances, like crockpots and rice cookers.
Despite the convenience they provide to our daily lives, people are understandably skeptical of how safe it is to leave something cooking for extended periods without supervision. And, in some cases, this wariness is justified.
While egg cookers are predominantly safe to use, there are some models that are undoubtedly safer than others.
They’ll be equipped with features that prevent common risks or accidents from occurring, namely:
- Food-borne diseases
- BPA contamination
Below, we have listed various features you should look for in your future egg cookers to ensure it suits your needs in the safest way possible.
Arguably the biggest safety concern people have with egg cookers is the risk of the appliance overheating.
This could cause plastic components to melt, or it could overload its electrical components, resulting in internal component damage or short-circuiting.
In rare cases, overheating could burn or melt whatever outlet your egg cooker is connected to.
Realistically, the odds of these and more serious issues (ex., fires) occurring are slim, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take every precaution necessary by purchasing an egg cooker that is well-equipped to prevent them.
Features you’ll want to look for include:
- An over-temperature sensor: to ensure the egg cooker does not reach dangerous temperatures
- An automatic shut-off: to reduce the chance of overheating from delayed shut-off by the user
- A built-in timer: to prevent extended periods of use
- Audible tone/alarm when cooking is complete: to effectively alert the user to check the egg cooker
Many overheating risks with egg cookers come from their electrical components and the fact that they are constantly being powered via an outlet.
If you want to avoid these completely, you can opt for a cordless egg cooker that is microwave-safe instead.
Just remember to confirm that the plastics and other materials used in their design can safely withstand microwave conditions.
While you might be at a reduced risk of illness if you slurp down an uncooked pasteurized egg, most people aren’t fond of this practice, nor does it eliminate the potential of food-borne diseases completely.
Cooking your eggs completely in an egg cooker is crucial to killing harmful bacteria, namely Salmonella.
If an egg contaminated with Salmonella is consumed, the bacteria could cause an infection that comes with unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, to name a few.
Of course, the best way to avoid this is to purchase an egg cooker equipped with features that all but guarantee that your eggs are cooked perfectly and safe to consume every time.
Features to look out for include:
- A cook and look lid: to help users actually see how much their scrambled eggs have cooked
- A cook time display: to prevent premature removal
- A lid snaps and/or lock: to keep the lid firmly closed, allowing it to maintain the proper internal temperature
In addition to these features, you’ll want to see if the egg cooker comes with helpful accessories, like a piercing pin and measuring cup, that will further ensure your eggs are prepared properly prior to cooking.
BPA stands for bisphenol A, a chemical that has been linked to several health concerns. It is found in many plastics, including some food storage containers and water bottles.
While the FDA has determined that BPA is safe at low levels, some studies have suggested that it may be harmful to human health. As a result, many people prefer to avoid products that contain BPA.
Fortunately, the majority of egg cookers on the market claim to be BPA-free.
These cookers are made from materials such as glass, ceramic, or a BPA-free plastic alternative, and this status will be clearly marketed.
Another way to avoid BPA contamination is to purchase an egg cooker with a stainless steel or aluminum tray.
The tray is what comes in direct contact with your eggs within the cooker, so choosing one made of these materials all but eliminates your risk of BPA contamination.
However, be conscious that metals are conductors of heat, so these trays will get much hotter than plastic one.
This might increase the egg cooker’s risk of overheating or even the risk of users burning themselves when they try to remove it.
Despite the risks associated with egg cookers that we’ve discussed here, they are overtly very safe to use.
Yes, there are risks, but this is the same with nearly any kitchen appliance, from your toaster to your oven to your microwave.
That being said, being aware of these risks can help you know what features to look out for in a safe and efficient egg cooker that you can regularly use without sacrificing your peace of mind.