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Ideas for egg and muffin toaster

My husband surprised me with a Back to Basics egg poacher/muffin toaster. I've had it a couple of months now and haven't used it yet. He thought that since I occasionally eat a sausage muffin with egg at McDonalds I would enjoy it. Well, if that's all I can make with it, I might enjoy it twice a year. Can anyone here here give me some ideas for different things to make with it? You all are so creative. Please help before sweet hubby's feelings are crushed!

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  1. Oh, I love my Egg McToaster. My first one was super crappy quality and pooped out on us. So, we bought a double! It can do 4 slices of toast and 2 poached eggs at a time.

    Mostly we just use it as a regular toaster or to hard boil eggs. But, about once a week we make egg sandwiches. You can switch up the cheeses and put different vegetables on your egg sandwich, spinach, avocado, etc. I find Canadian bacon to be the easiest meat, meaning, it makes less mess than bacon or sausage.'

    Sorry that I didn't have a lot of creative ideas, but, the beauty of the McToaster is that it is uniquely designed to create a specific dish.

    ~TDQ

    2 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      I am eating a sausage egg muffin at this very moment. Pretty good, actually. I think I'm enjoying it more than McDonalds because at least I know for sure that my sausage was never on the floor! Maybe I will use it more than I thought.

      1. re: Driftbadger

        Yes, the best thing about it is that you can choose your own higher-than-McDonald's quality ingredients.

        ~TDQ

    2. I've never heard of such a thing, so I googled around and found a picture of one. Amazing. I want one!

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/imag...

      3 Replies
      1. re: soypower

        Now that I've tried it, I would highly recommend it.
        i would still love some different ideas, but this is pretty good!

        1. re: Driftbadger

          I heard McDonald's created the egg mcmuffin as a riff on eggs benedict, but more portable, so they used cheese instead of hollandaise. So, when you're trying to think of variations of the egg sandwich, in addition to all of the ways you can vary the cheese or the meat, think of all of the benedicts you can make:

          Eggs Blackstone: with bacon and tomato (neither of which I would steam)
          Eggs Florentine: with spinach. You can also do slices of asparagus.
          Irish Benedict: with corned beef hash or Irish bacon.
          Cajun style: with andouille sausage
          Eggs Maryland - with crab cakes (which, again, I wouldn't steam)
          Norwegian Eggs - with smoked salmon (which, again, I wouldn't steam)

          And a version I like once in awhile, which is probably gross, which I do in lieu of using cheese and meat. I spread a very thin layer of butter on my English muffin, then scrape on a thin layer of Vegemite over that. Add the egg and bottom layer of bread and you're good to go.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Now this is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you! I'm off to the grocery this evening.

      2. If my SO got me something like that I'd tell her to return it.
        What a waste of space...how often do you really think you'll use it?....besides cleaning it?

        Nothing beats a MCD sausage muffin with or without egg....something about their sausage.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monku

          It doesn't really take much more space than a regular toaster (it takes about as much space as a toaster oven). We got rid of our toaster when we got the Egg McToaster. We use ours every day, at least the toaster portion. We make egg sandwiches about once a week. I use it to hard boil eggs about once a week. Ours is well-loved and frequently used.

          ~TDQ

        2. How long does it take for the egg to cook? I remember using an egg poacher that had the three depressions in it over the simmering water, kind of like a double boiler, and it took forever to poach an egg. How difficult is it to clean the egg cooking part? My first inclination is to think this thing is a solution looking for a problem, but if it works fast and easy, well I'm impressed and a little surprised.

          5 Replies
          1. re: John E.

            My mom had one of those.
            The only way to poach an egg faster than cooking in boiling water might be a microwave. I can't imagine this thing is anywhere near as fast as the double-boiler gadget.

            And you can only make one at a time. I could go through two sausage McMuffin's before that gadget can probably make one.

            1. re: monku

              They also make one that will cook two sandwiches at the same time. Now, I will admit that I've never in my life had double boiler or any other way to make a poached egg. I used the washed out tuna can method. That being the case, I can't compare cooking times. I was pleased with the speed, but I'm sure this little 'toy' isn't for everyone. I'm starting to think I like mine though.

              1. re: Driftbadger

                We have the version that has four slots for toast and space enough to steam two eggs. Not the "Back to Basics" brand one, which is a little flimsy, but the Chefscape stainless steel one. http://www.amazon.com/Chefscape-TEMPR... It has four egg pans: two round and two square, that way you can have the shape of the egg to match your bread, whether its square or round. (The "back to basics" one only comes with a round egg pan.)

                This shape thing might sound trivial, except that one of the key advantages of this appliance is that your eggs come out shaped perfectly to perfectly match the shape of your toast/English Muffin/bagel, and it times the cooking so the eggs and toast/English muffin/bagel are ready at the same time.

                I didn't really think we'd need a double, but whenever my husband or I would make an egg sandwich, the other one of us would look on longingly and say, "Oh, would you make me one, too?"

                ~TDQ

            2. re: John E.

              It actually starts the egg cooking before it starts the toaster part so it's all done at the same time. Once the muffin pops up, the egg is done. It was surprisingly fast. The biggest pain as far as cleaning is that where the water goes for the egg is built into the machine so you have to turn up the entire thing over the sink to get rid of the little bit of water that's left. It's not heavy or anything, it's just a bummer that I can't toss it in the sink to be washed with everything else. The crumb tray just slides out of the underneath. I guess it's not too bad and the end result looked and tasted quite good.

              1. re: John E.

                Since it steams, not poaches, the egg, cooking time depends on how much water you pour in the egg steamer tray. When the water has evaporated, the eggs are done. The more eggs you cook and the harder you want your egg, the more water you need, and, of course, the longer it takes. I've never really timed how long it typically takes to make an egg sandwich, maybe 5-6 minutes?

                It comes with a measuring cup that is calibrated for how many eggs, how hard or soft you want the eggs. and whether you're "poaching" (really steaming) the eggs, or hard boiling them (again, steaming) them in the shell. The calibrated measuring cup as a "piercing" tool underneath that is perfectly shaped (concave) to piece the hard shell of a whole egg if you are going to "hard boil" (steam) eggs in the shell.

                The beauty of the McToaster is that, as someone has already said, it times the cooking of the egg and toasting of the bread so that everything finishes at once. So, you plunge your toast and push "start". It starts steaming the egg right away, but it doesn't turn the heating element on for the toast/English muffin until the end.

                For the "double" version I have, http://www.amazon.com/Chefscape-TEMPR... it has a removable crumb tray under the toaster so you can easily clean out the crumbs. (I can't remember if the "single" Back to Basics version had the removable crumb tray. The "single" version was pretty flimsy.)

                For the egg side, we toss all of the removable parts (which is a bottom tray and a lid, as well as a tray that holds whatever meat you're steaming, if any) in the upper rack of the dishwasher, except for the little round (or square) pans you actually cook the eggs in: we wipe those with a paper towel and then wash them in warm soapy water. The teflon or whatever coating on the egg pans is thin and easy to scratch. Also, I always cook using nonstick spray, even though they say you don't need it.

                The basin where the eggs steam is unfortunately not removable, so the only way to clean that is to wipe it with a sponge. I wish it were removable, but it isn't. I think they want to keep a tight seal there so there's no way water can leak into parts of the machine where you really don't want water.

                You don't need to babysit it any more than you need to babysit your conventional toaster. I usually start mine before I start packing lunches in the morning. You know it's done when your toast(English muffin) pops up, the same way you know toast is done with a conventional toaster.

                It's really only worth getting if you like egg sandwiches. We eat egg sandwiches about once a week. My husband eats toast every day (funny, isn't it?) so he uses the toaster portion every day. I like to hard boil (again, really steam) eggs in it, which I do about once a week. The "single" Back to Basics version of the toaster does 4 hard boiled (steamed) eggs at a time; the double version does, you guessed it, 8.

                Here's the version I have: http://www.amazon.com/Chefscape-TEMPR... I had the "single" version (I think mine was branded Paula Dean, but it was identical to the Back to Basics one, just different labels), but it was flimsy and broke after a couple of years of pretty regular use. When we replaced it, we got the double "Chefscape" brand one, which is much better made, although, still pretty flimsy compared to most kitchen appliances. I wish Black and Decker would make one, if you know what I mean.

                The "double" version also comes with "defrost" and "bagel" settings for the toast, and you can set the light vs. dark toast settings individually. That is, if we are making TWO eggs sandwiches and he likes his English muffin toasted dark and I like mine light, we can each have it our way. Unfortunately, it steams the eggs to the identical doneness, so if he likes his eggs hard and I like mine easy, one of us has to compromise. Or you can cook them medium, and you both compromise a little. :).

                ~TDQ

              2. Cute little appliance. I don't have the space for speciality items, however, so I make do with a toasted muffin and an egg "poached" in the microwave - egg in a small glass ramekin, covered and nuked for approximately 50 seconds - and a slice of cheese. Kids love 'em for breakfaast as do I.

                1. When I make the egg mcmuffins at home I use a couple of tuna cans that have had both ends removed. I spray the bottom of the skillet and the inside of the rings. I use a lid for the skillet and usually am impatient enough that I remove the rings after they've done their job at keeping the egg white in and flip them over easy for a couple of seconds on their way to the muffin.