Like many people in Japan, the editing department at RocketNews24 recall an episode of the family-themed anime Sazae-san where Sazae’s father brings home an automatic egg cracking machine. It was a wonderful fantasy and kind of depressing that in this age of smartphones and reusable candles we can’t have an automatic egg cracker.
Then word came of such a device from the distant shores of America which could easily shuck the shells from hard-boiled eggs. Although lambasted as a “stupid cheap flimsy product” online, the temptation was too great for them to resist. They quickly placed an order and started boiling some water.
However, in hindsight they probably should have waited a week or so for it to arrive before boiling.
■ “A waste of time and money”
Called the Eggstractor this simple piece of plastic can shed your hard-boiled egg of its shell in a single press of the hands. It’s sold on Amazon for US$18.99 where it maintains a two-star rating as of this writing. Here are some of the comments:
“Maybe I just need to give it some more practice, but I’m doing everything it says and it won’t work for me.”
“I hate this, would not recommend it to anyone.”
“It boggles my mind that there are any positive reviews of this product.”
“Out of 11 eggs: 3 came out with half of the shell still on. 8 basically exploded into anywhere from 4 to a dozen pieces, all with the shell still on the whites.”
“4 Dozen eggs, multiple reviews of the instructions (which I followed perfectly!) and I never ONCE had the dang thing work properly. The only positive I can possibly think of is that is was like a puzzle I was trying to solve, but unfortunately never could.”
“In a nutshell it doesn’t work at all.”
■ Get Crackin’
Kuzo was designated the Eggstractor technician and followed the instructions. Fist he whacked the wide end of a hard-boiled egg onto the table to put a crack into it. It’s important to do this to the wider end.
Then he put a smaller crack into the thinner top part of the egg using a pointy protrusion on the Eggstractor.
After that he sat the slightly cracked egg into the seat with the wide end facing down. Then he placed the “bellows” (and accordion-like plastic sleeve) over top.
Next, with all his might, Kuzo pushed down on the bellows with a plate ready underneath.
In the end a white egg popped out the bottom of the Eggstractor like a stone. It’s shell remained in the seat like the discarded molted skin of a snake.
They performed two eggstractions in this way and both times deemed it a successful peel. There were a few remnants of shell on the ends that could be easily removed but overall it did take a shorter time than hand peeling would have.
But more importantly for our reporters, it was addictively fun to use. Eating a hard-boiled egg is hardly the most exciting thing in the world but the Eggstractor went a long way in improving that.
They also aren’t sure why other people had such trouble using it. Perhaps it was a difference between Japanese eggs and American ones. The only advice our team could give to those struggling with Eggstractors is “Make sure you pierce the thin film under the eggshell when you make the initial punctures.” and “When you push the bellows, do it firmly and without fear.”
In staunch disagreement with the Amazon comments, it’s been nearly two years since the Eggstractor was first tested and it still has a home in the RocketNews24 office. Now everyone’s cholesterol is through the roof but we enjoyed every triglyceride of it.
▼ The classic Automatic Egg Cracking Machine Episode of Sazae-san (Japanese)
▼ Of course such machines exist for industrial purposes
[ Read in Japanese ]