A cooking utensil that is made to hold an egg so it can be soft cooked, preparing by using a method that is referred to as "coddling" eggs. Cooked more slowly than a boiled egg, a coddled egg is prepared with a container referred to as an Egg Coddler or Coddling Dish. The Coddling Dish is made as a glass or porcelain container with a secure top that either clamps on or screws on the dish. The process begins by coating the inside of each Coddling Dish with cooking oil or butter before placing the contents from an egg into each Coddler. The cover is then firmly screwed onto the Coddler containers. The Coddling containers are placed in a low-sided pan of water that has been heated until gently boiling and the eggs are allowed to remain in the simmering water for 8 to 10 minutes. If the water is too warm, the eggs will cook too quickly and become firm around the edges. Therefore, it is important to make sure the water is simmering and not boiling when the containers are placed in the pan of hot water. Coddling an egg provides a result that is more tender than the typical method of boiling an egg, since the egg cooks very slowly and softly begins to firm.
Similar to the procedure referred to as "bain-marie" the process for making coddled eggs differs basically by using individual Coddling Dishes rather than a large pan with more than one egg. A "bain-marie" groups all the eggs being prepared in one dish that is then placed in a pan of hot, simmering water instead of each egg placed in individual containers.
It is important to realize that the size of the egg and the temperature prior to coddling will affect the cooking time. If the egg is large or extra large in size it will require a longer cooking time than a small or medium size egg. Similarly, if the egg has just been removed from refrigerator and is to be cooked immediately, it will require a slightly longer cooking time than an egg that has warmed to room temperature. Some Egg Coddlers are made in different sizes to accomodate smaller or larger eggs.