In cooking, to coddle food is to heat it in water kept just below the boiling point.[1] In the past, recipes called for coddling fruit,[2] but in recent times the term is usually only applied to coddled eggs.[3] Coddling differs from poaching in that the coddled ingredient is not placed directly in hot water, but instead in a small dish placed in a hot water bath. [4] The process is either done in a regular pan or pot filled with water, either on the stovetop or placed in the oven,[4] or through the use of a special device such as an "egg coddler" (originally known as a pipkin).[5] The oven technique is similar to the preparation of baked eggs, the difference being that the preparation of baked eggs does not have to employ a water bath.[4]

Coddled egg

The word coddle evolved from the name of a warm drink, "caudle", and ultimately deriving from the Latin word for warm drink, calidium.[6]

Comparing the coddling cooking technique to boiling when it comes to whole eggs, the process of coddling takes a longer time due to the use of a lower cooking temperature, but it produces a more tender egg.[7]

See also


  1. Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2012). The Culinarian: a Kitchen Desk Reference. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. p. 137. ISBN 9780470554241.
  2. Hess, Karen (transc) (1981). Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery; and Booke of Sweetmeats. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 96, 239. ISBN 0231049307.
  3. "Restodontê | Descubra receitas a partir de seus ingredientes". Restodontê (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  4. Alfaro, Danilo. "How to Gently Cook Coddled Eggs". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  5. Stradley, Linda (2004). "Coddled Eggs". What's Cooking America. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  6. Online Etymology Dictionary. "Coddle". Douglas Harper. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  7. "Coddled Eggs". Retrieved 28 February 2014.

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