An egg-centric farmer from Boston has invented an elaborate contraption to produce the perfect poached egg at the push of a button.
Philip Ashton, who supplies eggs to the Happy Egg Co, has gone to great lengths to create his ingenious machine after considering how much time he has spent over the years in the pursuit of egg-quisitely poached eggs as part of his breakfast routine.
The former Boston Grammar School pupil has calculated that his egg cooking habit has cost him about 1,825 hours or 76 days over the course of his lifetime, a staggering amount of valuable time that he would rather spend on his farm taking care of his beloved hens.
Keen to find a way to win back some precious time, the inspiration for the cracking invention was born ... or hatched?
Commenting on his creation, Phil said: “It’s been a labour of love that kept me away from my girls longer than I would have liked this summer (the machine took almost 800 hours to make) but I’m already reaping the benefit and I wanted it ready in time for the shorter winter days.”
The 8x5ft machine is made from welded steel, copper and aluminium with 13 DC motors, servos and gears all controlled by eight microprocessors.
Phil said: “The machine really does make the perfect poached egg every time and if you are very particular like I am, it takes away the daily frustration of slightly under or overdone eggs.
“The eggs are timed to precision for 162 seconds.”
Phil admitted taking inspiration for the design from his childhood favourite films including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Wallace and Gromit.
He said: “Growing up on a farm I always had a knack for making things and my wife’s been calling me Wallace for years.
“As a kid I was always repairing machinery and working on tractor motors so really the cracking invention is just one of many contraptions and I’m sure it won’t be the last invention I have up my sleeve.”
At the press of a button a wheel is triggered, pumping water through a tube and into a brass galley where the egg sits.
The water flows down the gulley carrying the egg into a crane which then drops it into a pan of water.
When the water reaches the perfect level it switches on a pump, changing gear of the motor and powering the cog construction to turn the gas on and heat the water.
The basket is then triggered to swing and drop the egg down an open pipe.
Once it reaches the end of the pipe it is picked up by a crane, cracked and dropped into boiling water from a perfect height.
Once the egg is ready, a sieve is triggered to pick it up from its pan and placed on a plate.