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Is the $20 egg cooker with 4,000 5-star reviews on Amazon worth it?

Here's how one busy mom uses it to save time in the kitchen!

by Lyn Mettler / / Source: TODAY

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My family loves eggs. The protein-packed food is inexpensive, filling and (maybe best of all) it's zero points on Weight Watchers’ food list.

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Every few weeks, we have eggs for dinner, either as an omelet with spinach and ham or fried with hash browns. My mother-in-law’s classic ham-and-egg casserole always makes our menu for Easter, and I love to keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for a low-calorie afternoon snack.

But cooking eggs often results in a mess, with sticky pans and bowls to clean. Enter the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker, an inexpensive kitchen gadget that promises to make cooking eggs — hard-boiled, poached and omelets — simpler, quicker and less messy.

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I discovered this nifty gadget on Amazon's list of top 10 best-sellers in the specialty kitchen appliances category. More than 4,000 reviewers gave it a 5-star rating. So, my egg-loving family needed to give it a try!

This machine is essentially a hot plate and steamer with three inserts designed specifically for eggs. It allows you to poach and hard-boil eggs or cook an omelet.

I've had the machine for about five weeks and have been using it about once a week. If you cook eggs often and need a simple way to speed things up and reduce mess, it works great.

How does it work? First, pour a set amount of water on a metal plate (depending on how hard or soft you want your eggs). Then, set the uncooked eggs in an insert on top, pierce the eggs with the provided pin, and push the button to start. Wait until the buzzer goes off, open the top, and all the steam is gone, leaving you with properly cooked eggs. It also works well to steam small amounts of veggies, too — just enough for a side or snack.

  Amazon

The buzzer is a bit shrill, but certainly makes itself heard it if you’re in the next room!

This version of the egg cooker is designed to hard-boil six eggs or poach two at a time, though there is a larger version if you want to cook more eggs at once.

Hard-boiling eggs is very simple with this device. It saves the time of waiting for water to boil, and there is no dirty pot to clean. I hard-boiled two eggs in about 11 minutes, which normally takes me about 15 to 20 minutes after the water has boiled.

I’m also a fan of poached eggs. Growing up, I ate them mixed with butter, salt and torn up bits of toast as a comfort food.

  Amazon

To poach an egg with the Dash cooker, you simply crack an egg into either side of the plastic poaching tray, set it in the cooker, pour in the water and again, push the start button. I had to poach mine for two cycles to get them cooked enough, and my eggs stuck to the tray. So, I didn't love this functionality.

I recommend the Dash cooker to anyone cooking for large families who could use a time-saver. It truly saves time and avoids some of the hassle involved with hard-boiling many eggs at once!

While the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is the best-selling egg cooker on Amazon, here are a few other options.

For large quantities of hard-boiled eggs, consider the deluxe version of the Dash cooker. It lets you hard-boil 12 eggs at once. The company says you can also use it to warm tortillas, and steam seafood, dumplings, veggies and more.

This egg cooker will hard-boil up to seven eggs at a time and comes with a tray for poaching up to three eggs.

You can also hard-boil up to seven eggs in this egg cooker, and it comes with a lifetime limited warranty. The Elite Cuisine has a stylish design, allowing customers to choose from several fun colors, including lime green, red and turquoise.

Do you know the best way to take eggs out of a carton? TODAY Food has the scoop!

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