The machine is called the Bulbed Egg Maker, or BEM, which can soft-boil an egg in about six minutes, roughly twice the time it takes to cook the egg the traditional way.
He loved soft-boiled eggs, but found them too difficult to cook. “I always thought that cooking a boiled egg was labour intensive,” Rhymes said. “I could never make the effort.”
The idea came to him when he read an article about energy efficiency. “I read that it was just as efficient to leave lights on in the house to heat it, rather than using central heating,” he said.
He was inspired, and used a friend’s desk lamp to experiment with his first egg for a class project. “I started to experiment and cooked an egg under a table lamp and that took about half an hour. Then I came across the halogen lights and adapted them to put in the BEM
. I experimented with about 600 eggs. I got sick of testing them but now I can produce the perfect boiled egg every time.”
The egg is lowered into the 30cm-high glass and metal machine, which has four halogen bulbs. In six minutes, the egg is cooked, and a simple push of a button cuts off the top of the eggshell at a circumference of 40mm – determined by the inventor to be the perfect width for toast soldiers.
“Hopefully the machine will become a common household item like a toaster,” he said.
The method uses one third of the power required for traditional boiling.