E is for egg slicer.
An egg slicer is a wire cutting tool that slices hard-boiled eggs. These slices are then used in salads or on sandwiches.
The bottom half contains an egg-shaped depression for holding the egg steady, and the top contains a series of parallel wires that cut through the white and yolk . According to The Clever Cook’s Handbook, a wire cutting tool is necessary to cut through the yolk without mashing it. The depression has slots matching the wires so the blades can go cleanly through the entire egg.
Some slicers have a different blade. Instead of parallel wires, they have a series of intersecting wires in the shape of a radiating star. It looks similar to an apple corer, but without the center whole for the core. This blade is used to create wedges instead slices.
How to use an egg slicer
To use an egg slicer, start with hard boiled eggs.
- Peel the shell from the egg. Make sure all shell pieces are removed.
- With the handle raised away from the base, place the egg in the depression horizontally.
- Using firm, even pressure, press down on the handle. Remove the egg before lifting the handle again.
When creating egg salad, I will usually rotate the egg and slice again for a julienne chop of the egg. If I could hold it together to slice in a 3rd direction, I would have a perfect small cube cut for egg salad.
Styles of egg slicers
There are three styles of slicers that I have seen, although the first style is the most common by far.
The first style is the classic style shown in the photo. Some have a metal base, but usually the base is plastic. Many of this style have a metal handle that reminds me somewhat of mouse-trap. Many newer egg slicers have a plastic top as well as base. The blades are still wire, but they are surrounded by a plastic “o” shaped handle.
The second style has a long handle. Instead of closing from the open side, you press down from the hinge side. This style basically looks like a large garlic press.
Even less common is this model from Progressive International. Here, the blade and handle is not attached to the base by a hinge. Instead, you press straight down. The downsides that I can see to this are that it requires two hands to use while other models can be used one handed. Also, care is required to make sure you align the wire blades with the slots in the base.
Reviews on Amazon reflect this second issue with several people complaining of broken wires. Looking at customer photos, this particular product also seems to have smaller gauge wires than most other egg slicers. In one photo, the wire more closely resembles dental floss or fishing line then a kitchen tool.
The wire blades can be straight or wavy, but there is no functional different between the two, merely cosmetic, similar to the differences between a plastic or metal handle of the first style.
Other uses for an egg slicer
An egg slicer can be used for any smaller soft foods you wish to slice into uniform pieces. You can create sliced olives or strawberries easily with one. Smaller fresh mozzarella balls can also be sliced with an egg slicer to create the perfect look for Caprese Salad. Roma tomatoes are the perfect size for an egg slicer, but the flesh is just a little to firm and the wire blades will not pierce the skin. Mushrooms work well, although some people have reported breaking the wire blades on firmer, dry mushrooms. When trying any food that the slicer wasn’t specifically designed for, take precaution to see if the blades will cut it.
Personally, I have this cartoon-shaped Jo!e Wedgey Boiled Egg Slicer. I feel like I’m 5 while using it, but it gets the job done.