In cooking, coddled eggs are eggs that are gently or lightly cooked in water just below boiling temperature in or out of the shell or other container. They can be partially cooked, mostly cooked, or hardly cooked at all (as in the eggs used to make Caesar salad dressing, which are only slightly poached for a thicker end-product). Poached eggs are a type of coddled egg cooked in water.
There are two methods of coddling eggs. The first is to cook the egg in its shell, by immersing it in near-boiling water. This can be done either in a pan where the water is kept below boiling point, or by pouring boiling water over the egg and letting it stand for 2 to 5 minutes, based on starting temperature of the eggs, number of eggs cooked at once and amount of boiling water used.
The second method is to break the egg in an egg coddler, porcelain cup or ramekin with a lid, and cook using a bain-marie. The inside of the egg coddler is first buttered in order to flavor the egg and allow it to be removed more easily. A raw egg (sometimes with additional flavorings) is broken into the coddler, which is then placed in a pan of near-boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes to achieve a solid white and yolk.
Coddled eggs do not always reach temperatures required to sterilize potential contaminants and pathogens. In the United States, eggs have around a 1 in 30,000 risk of exposure to salmonella and other bacteria. Using fresh eggs that have been washed and kept refrigerated, or pasteurized eggs is recommended to minimize the risk. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm, and the water temperature should be 74–82 °C (165–180 °F). Children, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are advised against eating lightly cooked eggs because of the risk of exposure to salmonella infection. In the UK raw eggs can be safely eaten by pregnant women, infants and the elderly as all eggs bearing the lion mark have been vaccinated against salmonella.
- Coddled Eggs. CooksInfo.com. Published 08/18/2004. Updated 03/12/2010. Web. Retrieved 11/27/2012 from http://www.cooksinfo.com/coddled-eggs
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- Foodsafety.gov. "Eggs and Egg Products". www.foodsafety.gov.
- The Culinary Institute of America (17 April 2009). "Poaching Eggs from the World's Premier Culinary College" – via YouTube.