Eggs are the most versatile ingredient in the kitchen, so there’s always something new to learn about them.
When you’re around eggs as much as we are, you collect a lot of egg wisdom, such as egg storage tips, baking with eggs, and perfect preparation – from the fluffiest meringue to the creamiest mayonnaise. That’s just the beginning. We’re always hungry for more!
We’ve gathered some of our favorite egg facts, tips, and trivia here for your reading pleasure.
Taking Care of Our Eggs: Storage Tips
Our eggs come to you fresh from the farm; in most cases they are processed, packed, and delivered to your local market within a week of being laid. They’ll stay in good condition for at least four to five weeks past their package date. Take care to keep them cold (below 40°F), as eggs will age more in one day at room temperature than they will a week in the refrigerator.
Store eggs in their original cartons, which do the best job of holding in cold air. Keep them in the coldest part of your refrigerator, usually the area nearest the freezer and towards the back. Don’t store them in the egg racks found in some refrigerator doors. They might not stay cold enough, as they’ll be enveloped in warm air every time the door opens and closes.
Older can be better. As eggs age, their whites become thinner and more transparent, and their yolks flatten slightly–but their nutritional value doesn’t diminish. Older eggs have their uses, too. They’ll peel more easily when hard-boiled, and their whites will be easier to whip into frothy foams. Cooking experts recommend using your freshest eggs for cooking and your older eggs for hard-boiling and baking.
Boiling a Perfect Egg
For perfect hard-boiled eggs, don’t think of them as boiled! Gentle cooking ensures the eggs will have the best taste, texture, and appearance. Here’s Carol’s favorite method:
- Place eggs in a saucepan just large enough to hold them in a single layer, without touching (but not too much space for them to roll around and crack). Add enough cold water to cover by two finger-widths (about 1 inch).
- Turn the heat on high and bring just to a boil. Don’t cover the pan.
- As soon as the water begins to boil, remove from the heat. Cover the pan and let the eggs stand in the hot water to gently cook. Set the timer right away: large eggs will take 12 minutes, medium eggs 9 minutes, and extra-large or jumbos around 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if you’ll be using the eggs cold, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and place in the sink to quick-chill the eggs. This prevents overcooking and helps avoid the unsightly (but perfectly safe) greenish ring that can form around the yolks when not carefully cooked and cooled.
- Drain the eggs and use immediately if serving hot. If using cold, place them carefully in the ice water to quick-chill them thoroughly, at least 10 minutes.
When eggs should be warmed before using—and why
For most recipes, you can use eggs straight from the refrigerator, but when a recipe calls for “room temperature” eggs, you’ll get best results by taking the time to warm them first.
For example, when you’re making a meringue, angel food cake, mousse, soufflé, or any recipe that requires beating egg whites to a foam, room-temperature whites will whip up more easily and incorporate more air, giving you a bigger volume. And room-temperature eggs blend better with sugar and fat than cold eggs, so they’re better for making cookie doughs, cake batters, or cheesecakes. Too-cold eggs can cause the fat to harden and make the batter lumpy.
Note that if you need to separate eggs for a recipe, it’s easiest when they’re cold. Separate them first, right out of the refrigerator, then let them stand at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
To bring eggs to room temperature, take them out of the refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes or so—or, if you need them more quickly, place them in a bowl of warm water for 15-20 minutes.
Size Matters: Substituting different-sized eggs in recipes
Most recipes are based on using large eggs, unless otherwise specified.
You can use any size egg for boiling, poaching, scrambling or frying—but for more precisely measured recipes such as baked goods, soufflés, and custards, you’ll get best results by using the proper egg size, or using the below chart to substitute smaller or larger eggs. Source: American Egg Board.
If your recipe calls for a large amount of eggs and you need to substitute, it’s best to calculate by weight.
- 1 large egg = 2 ounces
- 1 extra-large egg = 2 ¼ ounces
- 1 jumbo egg = 2 ½ ounces
- 1 medium egg = 1 ¾ ounces