Egg Toppers

Published January 1, 2013. From Cook's Illustrated.

Overview:

Egg toppers neatly slice off the tops of eggs, whether you are serving them soft-cooked or using a raw eggshell as a vessel. These devices claim to be faster, neater, and more precise than the standard method of cracking the shell with the back of a butter knife. We put four models to the test, priced from nearly $6 to more than $26.

The designs fell into two categories: scissor-style and spring-loaded. Not surprisingly, scissor-style toppers look like a pair of scissors that end in a loop instead of straight blades. The loop goes over the tapered end of an egg; when you squeeze the handle, metal teeth emerge to bite into the shell and remove the top 1/2 inch of the egg. Spring-loaded toppers look like little metal plungers: The bowl fits over the end of the egg like a dunce cap. Two pulls on the spring-loaded lever in the handle punctures a circle around the top of the egg that can be gently pried off.

Scissor-style models were faster and did the job, but their shell-puncturing teeth left a jagged edge flecked with shell… read more

Egg toppers neatly slice off the tops of eggs, whether you are serving them soft-cooked or using a raw eggshell as a vessel. These devices claim to be faster, neater, and more precise than the standard method of cracking the shell with the back of a butter knife. We put four models to the test, priced from nearly $6 to more than $26.

The designs fell into two categories: scissor-style and spring-loaded. Not surprisingly, scissor-style toppers look like a pair of scissors that end in a loop instead of straight blades. The loop goes over the tapered end of an egg; when you squeeze the handle, metal teeth emerge to bite into the shell and remove the top 1/2 inch of the egg. Spring-loaded toppers look like little metal plungers: The bowl fits over the end of the egg like a dunce cap. Two pulls on the spring-loaded lever in the handle punctures a circle around the top of the egg that can be gently pried off.

Scissor-style models were faster and did the job, but their shell-puncturing teeth left a jagged edge flecked with shell shards. One model’s flimsy handles bent after only a few uses. Spring-loaded versions fared better. We sliced a dozen eggs with each of these models; while neither perfectly topped every egg, our favorite produced many more shells with precise, clean edges. Its rival had a tighter spring that delivered a too-heavy, shell-shattering strike. Faster than a butter knife, easy, and accurate, our winning topper is a worthwhile purchase if you enjoy soft-cooked eggs.

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