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What is a Coddled Egg?

Amy Pollick
Updated May 16, 2024
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A coddled egg is somewhat similar to a poached egg. The difference is that poached eggs are cracked into an egg poacher and lightly cooked in the boiling water. It can be cooked slowly in its shell, or it can be cracked and cooked in a glazed porcelain pot that is in a larger pot of boiling water. A coddled egg is cooked slowly and retains a soft yolk, and a tender white. Though coddled eggs aren't as popular in the United States as they were 100 years ago, they remain rather popular in Great Britain.

The coddled egg has been popular for many years, probably since man figured out that eggs were edible. These eggs are used in many recipes, some sweet, some savory. Coddled yolks may be used to make a sweet custard, but they are also used in a traditional Caesar salad dressing recipe.

Years ago, having beautifully painted egg coddlers was a point of pride in middle and upper class families. These little pots had flowers or other designs painted on and made a nice table presentation for company. This was extremely important in the Victorian era. The Royal Worcester Company still makes egg coddlers as they did in the 1800s. Some antiques enthusiasts also collect old egg coddlers, and they may be found online or in antique stores.

One method for making a coddled egg involves buttering the sides and bottom of an egg coddler and gently breaking an egg into it. The egg is then seasoned and the top is placed on the egg coddler, which is then lowered into the pot of boiling water for about 5-6 minutes, depending on the size of the egg and desired doneness. The egg coddler is lifted from the pot and placed on a saucer. The diner then slides the egg from the pot onto the saucer and eats it. All sorts of additions may be made to a coddled egg, including lemon juice, bacon bits, ham chunks, salmon flakes and other savory items. Recipes are available online.

Scrubbing the raw egg shells before breaking them is a good way to help prevent salmonella and using fresh eggs is also a good idea.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at DelightedCooking. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By anon56447 — On Dec 15, 2009

I have eaten "codled" (english spelling) for forty years, I am still here. After submersion in boiling water until the whites are firm (5 to 6 minutes). I eat them from the codler with a spoon and toast spears. Gene Fuller. Colorado

By anon41589 — On Aug 16, 2009

"From Julia Child's Kitchen", pg. 82, she refers to "The coddled method for hard-boiled eggs-the 17 minute sit-in" which is simply an alternative way of cooking hard-boiled eggs. Whole eggs are placed in just boiling water for a given time, then cooled and shelled.

I'd always thought that coddled eggs were prepared in a special way- not simply hard boiled, so I guess this reflects a change in thinking by at least one modern authority.

Stan Augenstein

By nasturtium — On Aug 06, 2008

I had no idea that coddled egg yolks were what was used in Caeser salad dressing - that makes me feel a little better than if it was just raw egg yolks like I thought.

Coddled eggs sound delicious but I must admit that I'm probably too scared of food poisoning to eat them.

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at DelightedCooking...
Learn more
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