About the product
The VonShef electronic egg boiler is a small electric kitchen appliance specifically designed to perfectly boil eggs every time. The boiler base has a plastic outer shell with a single on/off button and a heat plate, the lid is brush steel with a plastic handle. In addition to the boiler, the box contains instructions, a egg rack, a poaching bowl and a measuring cup.
The egg boiler is designed to boil up to 7 eggs at a time or poach one egg, by heating a small quantity of water to create steam which is then trapped under the lid heating the eggs. The heat plate is designed to cut out, should all the water evaporate.
When I discovered that someone had actually invented a kitchen appliance which boils perfect eggs, I knew I just had to have one. It has been one of the tragedies of my life (slight exaggeration there) that I love soft boiled eggs but I’m absolutely appalling at making them. The whole process is a bit of a faff to my mind, and I always end up with eggs which are either raw or hard boiled. So, with Christmas money in hand I turned to Amazon and purchased the VonShef egg boiler, which had good reviews and was a best seller. I was disproportionately excited about the prospect of perfect soft boiled eggs so I suppose I should have been expecting disappointment.
When I took the egg boiler out of the box, it all looked good. The boiler is compact with a black plastic base and a metal lid which looks reasonably stylish. Inside the boiler you can either choose to use the poaching tray provided or a rack for 7 eggs. Not that it’s important but I can’t work out why the rack holds 7 eggs when they come in cartons of 6…
Before using the egg boiler for the first time I read through the instruction manual which I found very basic. It may as well have just said, add water and hope for the best. There was a small chart which suggested how much water you should use and for how long to get different types of egg (soft, medium, hard) however it didn’t tell you whether the instructions change depending on how many eggs you are cooking at a time and it had a small disclaimer to say that these times were just recommendations.
Despite the lack of instructions I managed to work out how to use the measuring jug to add the correct amount of water for the number/type of egg I wanted. I then had to use the rather nasty looking pin in the bottom of the water jug to poke a hole in one end of each of the eggs. Ready to go I set my alarm for 6 minutes and turned the boiler on, unfortunately 6 minutes later when I tried to turn the boiler off I discovered that the on/off switch was more of an on/on switch and as a result I had to turn the egg boiler off at the plug socket. This was annoying but regardless I dished out the eggs and cut the first one open to find that it was still far too raw to be eaten. This was disappointing but I just made a mental note to add on a minute or two next time.
With the eggs back in the boiler I set my alarm for a further 3 minutes. At this point I should mention that the heat plate is supposed to automatically switch off should it run dry to prevent damage to the appliance and the possibility of fire. For whatever reason, this didn’t happen so I opened the lid of the boiler just in time to be greeted with a nasty burning smell and a dry, burnt heat plate. As a result of the second 3 minutes, we now had hard boiled eggs, this was not what I wanted but it was better than nothing.
For the sake of giving the boiler a fair chance I tried it again the next day. This time I was only boiling 2 eggs so I filled the boiler with the recommended amount of water and set my alarm for 7 minutes. Once the 7 minutes were up I opened the boiler and tested one of the eggs. It was once again still raw. A further 4 minutes and this time the egg was perfectly soft boiled.
For such a simple device which only has one purpose I’m at a bit of a loss as to how VonShef could get it so wrong. Mechanically the egg boiler seems to be poorly made given that the on/off switch and safety off switch both broke during the first use. In addition the egg boiling function itself is unreliable given that my first use provided a hard boiled egg after 9 minutes and my second use provided a soft boiled egg after 11 minutes. With experiences like this it is impossible to predict how long eggs need to be in the boiler and as a result the boiler is next to useless.
EDIT: I have since tried to use this egg boiler once more and as a result the trip switch for my kitchen was triggered and the egg boiler now has a 1inch long burn in the plastic base! As a result I’m upgrading my review of the product from “next to useless” to “damn right dangerous!”. I really do recommend that you avoid this product at all cost.
Where can I buy it?
If my review hasn’t put you off purchasing a VonShef egg boiler you can purchase it on Amazon however I would suggest you try the alternative.