margouillatphotos/iStock/Getty Images

At around $10 for two, silicone egg cookers may seem less than economical, but if you’re a cook who can’t crack the puzzle of a perfect poached egg, they’re a good deal. The colorful, dishwasher-safe silicone cups float on top of boiling water. No need for carefully cracking an egg into a pot of simmering water and guessing when it’s done, and since the egg never touches the water when it’s cooked in a poaching pod, it retains its rich, eggy flavor.

How to Use Silicone Egg Poachers

Bring about 2 inches of water to boil in a saucepan with a lid.

Brush the inside of a silicone pod with butter or spray with no-stick spray. Crack an egg into an egg poacher cup and carefully place the cup in the boiling water. Put the lid on the pot and cook for 4 to 7 minutes, depending on the size of the egg and your desired degree of doneness. Cook up to four eggs at a time.

Remove the pod from the water with a slotted spoon and slide the egg out of the pod. If the egg sticks, run a sharp knife down one side of the pod and slide it around the egg until the egg releases.

About Silicone Cookware

Silicone is made from a combination of bonded silicone and oxygen. The strong, flexible material is used in cooking utensils, muffin pans and baking mats. Typically sold in bright colors, silicone kitchenware can be used in the freezer or in an oven at up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Early research shows that silicone doesn’t hold any health risks, but it hasn’t been widely studied. Since it’s chemically inert, it doesn’t leach into food or produce gas. Silicone is a safe alternative to other non-stick materials like Teflon.

Purists may disagree that silicone pods produce “real” poached eggs because the egg steams rather than cooks in the water.

Silicone Egg Cooker Recipes

  • Eggs Benedict: Top half of an English muffin, toasted or untoasted, with a slice of Canadian bacon. Place a poached egg on the ham and drizzle Hollandaise sauce over. Making Hollandaise at home takes some skill, but prepared products are available in the supermarket if you prefer not to make your own.
  • Shakshuka: Shakshuka is a Jewish breakfast food that originated in Africa. Cook diced onion, garlic and bell pepper in a skillet until soft. Spice with cumin, paprika and cayenne and add canned or fresh, diced tomatoes. Traditionally, eggs are nestled in the pan with the seasoned tomatoes and poached in the sauce, but you can spoon sauce into a bowl and top with an egg poached in a silicone cup.
  • Hash: Cook peeled and cubed white or sweet potatoes, diced onion and bell pepper in a tablespoon or two of oil until tender-crisp. If the potatoes start to brown before they’re tender, put a lid on the pan for a few minutes to speed the cooking process. Season with salt and pepper and top with a poached egg.
  • Soup: Top ramen or tomato soup with a poached egg or make a classic Italian poached egg soup by putting a thick slice of toasted bread in a bowl, sprinkling it with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and pouring chicken stock over it. Set a poached egg on top.

About the Author

Meg Jernigan

Native New Yorker Meg Jernigan stayed in Washington, D.C. after attending the George Washington University, and worked in the tourism industry with the National Park Service for many years. She’s a dedicated foodie with an extensive cookbook collection and years of experience in the kitchen. Jernigan’s recipes have been published online and in magazines like Southern Living.