Eggs are jam-packed with protein and essential nutrients. They are the perfect food cooked on their own, and are an important ingredient in many dishes. Here’s everything you need to know about eggs.
The importance of eggs in cooking:
- add structure and stability to meringues and batters
- are a binding agent in recipes with other ingredients like meatloaf
- emulsify ingredients that don’t usually stick together (like oil and water)
- leaven other recipes such as angel food cake
- add moisture and richness to cakes, brownies and cookies
- egg wash adds a shiny gloss to bread
Nutritional Facts About Eggs
One egg has 6 grams of protein, which is powerful for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
And just a note: the eggs you buy in the store are not unhatched baby chicks. They have not been fertilized by a rooster. If the yolk looks different or has blood in it, that reflects the quality of the egg, which we will discuss later.
Egg Size Guide
What size egg should I use in cooking? If a recipe doesn’t specify, it means a large egg.
Does egg size matter in cooking? Using a different size affects the texture, flavor, and consistency – especially in baking.
- 1 large egg = 3 tablespoons
- 5 large whole eggs = 1 cup
- 1 large egg white = 2 tablespoons
- 8 large egg whites = 1 cup
- 1 large egg yolk = 1 tablespoon
- 14 large egg yolks = 1 cup
- 4 extra large whole eggs = 1 cup
- 6 extra large egg whites = 1 cup
- 12 extra large egg yolks = 1 cup
Egg Size Substitution Chart
If you need to substitute a different sized egg for a large egg in your recipe, use this chart.
What is the difference in egg grades?
Egg grading is measuring the quality of the egg. Inspectors use a process called candling to measure quality based on the egg’s shell, white, yolk, and air cell. They grade AA for highest quality to B for lowest quality eggs.
What’s the difference between a brown egg and a white egg?
The only difference between a brown egg and a white egg is the shell color which is determined by the chicken breed laying the egg. Nutritionally, they are identical. Did you know that eggs come in several different colors?
Why are egg yolks different colors?
Have you noticed that egg yolks from the store can range in color from straw yellow, to medium yellow to orange?
The difference in yolk color is caused by the laying hen’s diet. Diets containing carotenoids from green plants, corn and alfalfa will produce a darker, more orange yolk.
The only difference in the egg yolks is the color.
There is NO difference:
- in the quality of the egg
- in the nutritional value
- in the flavor
- in the cooking quality
What’s an Omega-3 egg?
An Omega-3 egg comes from a hen that is fed an Omega-3 supplement – usually flax seed – for the purpose of fortifying the egg with alpha-linolenic (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA).
How much Omega-3 can you get from fortified eggs? One Omega-3 egg can contain 100 to 500 mg per egg.
What is the best way to store eggs?
In North America our eggs are washed which removes the natural protective coating. These eggs need to be refrigerated below 40°F to ward off potential foodborne pathogens. European countries store their eggs at room temperature because their eggs have this protective coating.
Store eggs in the carton
- do not put eggs in the storage container of the fridge because it is on the fridge door & doesn’t protect eggs from damage when door moves
- do not store eggs on the fridge door – the temperature is a few degrees warmer than the main compartment
- carton keeps eggs from absorbing fridge odors
- carton protects eggs from damage
- carton has Best Before date on it – usually on one end
- eggs should be stored pointy end down to keep the yolk centered
Here are some egg safety tips to keep eggs fresh and to prevent salmonella contamination.
How to tell if eggs are fresh.
- Check the best before date on the egg carton.
- Check the raw egg in a saucer: yolk is high with a thick white on a fresh egg but yolk is flat and breaks easily with a watery white when egg is stale.
- Put egg in a glass of water: whether it floats or sinks will determine its freshness because the air cell in older eggs enlarges, allowing it to float.
Safely serving eggs:
- serve egg dishes immediately or refrigerate
- use refrigerated egg dishes within 4 days
- when serving cold egg dishes, keep on ice
- serve all egg dishes within 2 hours
- If a recipe requires eggs at room temperature, immerse in warm water for a few minutes
What is Salmonella poisoning?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 1 in 10,000 eggs are contaminated with a bacteria called Salmonella,
- Abdominal cramps
Symptoms from contaminated food can begin anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days after consumption and the illness can last 4-7 days. For a mild case, doctors recommend drinking a rehydration liquid like Pedialyte or take a medication like loperamide (Imodium). If symptoms become a problem or you have a fever, see a doctor because you may require antibiotics.
How can I keep from getting salmonella poisoning?
- Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or colder
- Throw out dirty or cracked eggs
- Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm
- Egg dishes containing raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as sauces, should be made with pasteurized eggs
- Egg dishes should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) or hotter
- Eggs & egg dishes should not be kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is warmer than 90°F ).
- Wash hands & all items that came into contact with raw eggs (counter tops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards) with soap and water because they can be contaminated.
Must-have Egg Cooking Equipment
Using the right kitchen utensils makes cooking easier and much more fun. Here are our must-have egg cooking equipment and a few fun additions.
- Same size as eggs
- Placed in pan with eggs, timer darkens as eggs cook
- Calculates cooking stages precisely by temperature, not by time
- Reacts to heat same way an egg does
- Adjusts for number of eggs, amount of water, altitude
- Indicates soft, medium, or hard boiled eggs for your preference
- Quickly and easily slice hard-boiled eggs into perfect 5 mm slices
- Holder cradles egg in two directions for round or oblong slices
- Raised handle for easy opening and closing
- Non-slip base provides a comfortable grip while slicing over a bowl or plate
- Top-rack dishwasher safe
Want more? See our new egg recipes.
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