Kitchen Egg Timer Boiled Soft Hard Medium Color Changing Boiled Hourglass JAPAN (WHL #19)
Look, we’re steering off track…even fewer electronic parts than in the last slimy post! We’re back to the steam era!
I’m not planning to become an universal gadget tester, but I had to check this one which was in today’s mail. I got it from eBay merely two weeks ago and I paid 4.99 USD for it, including economy shipping. And now I’m a proud owner of some Nippon stamp worth 180 Yen, which in itself is around 1.5 USD. I didn’t buy on Ali this time because they only offer generic or German “Pearl” branded items (go figure). They cost a dollar less, but hey, the cute chicken face is worth it And they wouldn’t have the absurd Japanese packaging…have a look:
The product is from Daiso Japan (or Daiso Industries Co., Ltd.), which lists this one in 16pcs bulk packs for 26.88 USD on the website, without any taxes. So the eBay seller probably makes a nice margin on this novelty item.
Anyway, the package is labelled both in Japanese and English, and the latter isn’t that bad. For instructions, it says
Put the eggs and timer in the pot,and let the water to cover both of them before lighting a fire.
Eggs are done when the timer changed to your preferred color.
The klemping part aside, that looks pretty straight forward to me. And so I did exactly that. With a huge pot and one egg. Well, it’s not that huge but I don’t have a smaller one, and with only one person available to eat the test results, I cannot handle larger sample sizes
One more thing: It explicitly says under the “Notice” part at the bottom:
You might smell the resin when you first start using it, but it’s harmless. Please refrain from using the timer in the pressure cooker or other kind of special cooking ware. Normal cooking pot on the stove only. The timer gets very hot while in use, Be careful not to burn yourself. Please fill the water to cover the timer completely, or the water will splash as it comes to boil. Please do NOT store in the place where direct sunlight hits the timer. Keep it out of reach of children.
No responsibility is taken for any damage produced due to the use of this product. We are not responsible either for claims or lost profit from third parties.”
So yes, it smells when heated . A lot. And it is some kind of resin, we have the exact same smell at work where it is used in the workshop to waterproof shipping containers. To me however, it is much more reassuring if a Japanese manufacturer says it’s not harmful, than some Wan Hung Lo Chinese bloke just adds that to the volatile product description. The “Made in China” remark doesn’t change that at all.
Here’s the timer in action:
It was only minutes later that I found that on the second image the pink color has already faded into white and that I should have taken it out at that point. When I was about to, I wondered why it didn’t do anything. Well, it was completely white already. And while figuring out that this is the final stage, I kept on boiling. And the egg was…boiled, solid yolk, but not bone dry. Just a tad too much. The pot however looked like this:
Combined with the pungent chemical smell, I wasn’t so sure if that residue is too healthy. I actually tried a teeny tiny bit (oh if only I was a chemist…), and it wasn’t from the pinch of salt that I added to the water. The pot cleans well, but from the next test run (spoiler alert), it didn’t look much better and actually showed some white deposit after rinsing:
Dripping some citric acid onto it, almost everything dissolves in an instant while bubbling heavily. So that’s for most parts the friggen lime from our hard tap water and not too much from the egg. Or, to put it in other words: I would need proper distilled water to say if there is anything tangible coming off of the egg. With that tap water, I cannot really tell. But the smell is there during cooking. The egg itself is fine and does not have any chemical taste to it.
So, second run – where I stared at the egg timer, trying to catch it at the medium stage:
Don’t you think that is the perfect time to get the egg out? I did, after taking the photo. And at that time, the color change has already moved to somewhere between medium and hard. I gave the egg a short rinse with cold water and set it aside.
Well, that’s very…medium.
But doesn’t it fit the description?
Medium: you will have soft yolks with runny egg white when the color is changed to “MEDIUM”.
I think that’s correct Runny white, soft yolk. Soft as in “fluid”, in fact. They delivered!
So I’d like to meet the person that likes their eggs in the “soft” state. I’ll try “hard” next time, but for today I cannot stand any more eggsperiments. Except boiling the living shit out of the timer, which resulted in the pot residue as shown above. And now it is placed in the dishwasher, let’s see if it survives and if it is still smelly after that.
Conclusion: You don’t have to buy in China to get a Wan Hung Lo product. Read the instructions carefully and be prepared to actually get what is described to you. Oh, I think that is also the topic for the next item, but I didn’t pay for it, someone else wanted it…