The One Tool You Need to Throw the Best Brunch Party

August 11, 2017

Cancel your brunch plans—the ones where you and your friends meet in front of the restaurant, wait an hour for a table, and pay $16 dollars for a rapidly cooling plate of eggs, which were supposed to be over easy, but are really more over hard.

The new plan is brunch at your place, which comes together without touching a spatula. This brunch is ready even if you wake up 20 minutes before your guests arrive. This brunch rests on the shoulders of one tricksy, clever tool from our Shop. The egg coddler.

You, this weekend. ^^

The egg coddler requires little more than cracking an egg, adorning it with toppings, splashing on cream, clasping the lid of this glass pot shut, and simmering it all in a pan of water. The result: creamy eggs you can spoon through. Grab snips of herbs, crumbles of sausage, puffs of potato as you go.

Less messy than an omelette, less opportunity for rubbery and watery eggs than a scramble, less chance of overcooking yolks (and heating up the room) than baked eggs, less time-intensive and exacting as eggs cooked-to-order. And with a parade of bowls set out, with toppings upon toppings, your guests can customize their eggs with glee.

It's a cinch to use. 1. Butter the coddler. 2. Drop in heavier toppings (more on that below). 3. Crack the eggs in. 4. Salt and pepper. 5. Sprinkle on any cheeses. 6. Splash the cream on top. 7. Clasp the lid shut. 8. Lower in simmering water. 9. Wait about 7–9 minutes. 10. Eat!

This video will help:

For a 4-person brunch you'll need:

  • (4) 8.4 ounce egg coddlers—they each fit about 2 eggs, a good serving size for one person
  • (1) half pint of cream (heavy or half and half)
  • Butter
  • A bevy of bowls filled with toppings galore
  • (3) friends, plus you

Toppings, Etc.

Now let's set up the toppings. (Well, they don't all go on top. So some are.... under-ings?) These are just a jumping off point, so pick, choose, and add at will. They should generally be added in this order:

  1. Heavy toppings, like meats, vegetables, and sauces
  2. The eggs
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. Cheeses, herbs, spices
  5. Splashes of cream


All your meats should be already cooked, and should go at the bottom of the coddler.

  • Crumbled chorizo
  • Finely diced chicken sausage
  • Proscuitto ripped into small pieces
  • Chopped smoked salmon
  • Chunked white fish or salt cod


Make sure they're already cooked!

  • Eggplant
  • Potato
  • Zuchinni
  • Sauteéd spinach


Sauces go at the bottom of the coddler, too.

  • Tomato sauce
  • Babaganoush
  • Cheesy grits
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hot sauce


Spices can go on over the meat and sauce, so it dribbles down and seasons them.

  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Red pepper flakes

Here's where you add the eggs!


The cheese can go on top of the egg, but before the cream.

  • Fontina
  • Feta
  • Cream cheese
  • Monterey jack

Here's when you add the splash of cream!

Post-coddling toppers:

For sprinkling after the eggs come out of the water.

Count them as vegetables.


Your call whether you like the herbs cooked with the eggs, or sprinkled on top after. Experiment!

  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Mint

Dunkers/Spread Upon-ers

Coddled eggs are more fun sans forks.

That ba-dunk-a-dunk.

For the cooking-shy guests, here are some starter combos to hold their hands as they coddle for the first time:

For the spread:

Bowls, bowls, and more bowls. Bonus: you don't need to dirty too many plates because your guests can eat right out of the cheery glass pots.

Favorite egg topping combos: go!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Marit.Island
  • DelawareMom
Olivia Bloom

Written by: Olivia Bloom

Has a soft spot for string cheese.


Marit.Island August 12, 2017
I got a pair of coddlers from Martha Stewart years ago. While I tend to be pretty much an egg and cream girl, these darlings make it easy to create magical eggs. You want them. Really.
DelawareMom August 12, 2017
This is my favorite way to eat eggs; second best is poached. I like to dip avocado toast "soldiers" into my coddled eggs. Just mash up an avocado and spread as thick as you like on the toast, sprinkle with a little of your favorite salt, and slice the toast into four slices. Yum...I think I'll coddle some eggs right now!