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What is an Egg Timer?

An egg timer is a simple yet ingenious kitchen gadget designed to measure the time it takes to cook eggs to perfection. Whether you prefer soft-boiled, hard-boiled, or somewhere in between, this tool ensures your eggs turn out just right every time. Curious about the history and mechanics behind this culinary helper? Let's crack into the details together.
Sonal Panse
Sonal Panse

Good cooking is not just about getting the type and amount of ingredients right, but also about getting the cooking time right. Some people get the time right by instinct. Others need a bit of help, which is where the egg kitchen timer comes into the picture.

Egg timers were originally devised to correctly gauge the cooking time of an egg. Since it is practically impossible to tell how far an egg is cooked from looking at its shell, it was necessary to have some type of time telling device. An egg kitchen timer keeps a tab on the time required to boil an egg.

Egg timers are useful when preparing boiled eggs.
Egg timers are useful when preparing boiled eggs.

The cook can set the time for a three minute soft-boiled egg or a hard-boiled egg of a longer duration. The egg timer then starts to count the minutes to that time. Once the three minutes have elapsed, the egg timer gives out an alarm to tell the cook that the egg is probably done now.

Aside from cooking eggs, these devices have now found other uses. They are regularly used to set and measure the required time in practically all kinds of cooking projects. Many modern kitchen applications like microwaves and ovens have built-in timers.

The earliest egg timer was an sand timer. Before modern clocks came along, the sand hourglass clocks were used in almost every task that was required to be timed. A specific amount of sand down the upper reservoir could accurately indicate the specific amount of time that had passed.

Then, in more modern times, came the mechanical egg timer, followed by the digital egg timer. The advent of the Internet brought forth a variety of online egg timers that can be run on computers and cellphones both. It is a simple matter to download the required egg timer software.

Some egg timers count up the minutes while others count down. Some egg timers are capable of both counting versions as required. The timer alarm can be customized to any musical file of choice. In some devices, when the timer is not being used, the egg timer works as a regular clock.

Another popular egg timer is the reusable egg perfect timer. This is a bright orange plastic disc with a scale marked soft, medium and hard-boiled. It is placed with the eggs in a water-filled pot. On being heated, the disc color darkens and shrinks along the marked scale. From the position of the color shrinkage it is possible to tell to what stage the egg has been cooked.

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    • Egg timers are useful when preparing boiled eggs.
      By: Natika
      Egg timers are useful when preparing boiled eggs.