How to Pasteurize Eggs at Home, 2 Ways
Hopefully, you’ve been buying organic, local eggs and haven’t had to check your cartons. But, if you’re worried about the risks of Salmonella in your eggs, there are a few things you can do to significantly lower your risks:
Open the carton:
When you’re at the store, open the carton and make sure none of the eggs are broken. If there’s a crack, put it back (yes, you can quote me on that one!)
Keep eggs cold:
Eggs are naturally surrounded by a protective layer that prevents bacteria from penetrating the egg and multiplying. Our super-awesome government regulates that all eggs be washed with detergent, which removes the protective layer. Once the layer is removed, eggs need to be refrigerated, so keep them cold at all times.
Cook them eggs:
For goodness sake, if you’re worried or in a high risk group (children or anyone with a compromised immune system), cook your eggs all the way. Bacteria can multiply in temperatures from 40°F to 140°F (the danger zone). Eggs need to reach a temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 minutes in order to kill the Salmonella bacteria, so skip the runny yolks and loose scramble. If you’re making a frittata, quiche or custard, the eggs need to reach 160°F.
Pasteurize at home:
You can pasteurize your eggs, two ways, at home to reduce the risks of Salmonella:
The Outside Method:
Salmonella is usually found on the outside shell of the egg. When you crack the egg, bits of the shell come in contact with the egg white and yolk, contaminating the whole egg. The Outside Method pasteurizes the outside of the egg only.
Pasteurize only the amount of eggs you’ll be using right away. Remove eggs from fridge and allow to sit on the counter for 20 minutes. Add eggs to the appropriate sized pan (if you’re pasteurizing one egg, use a small pan; if pasteurizing a dozen eggs, use a pan large enough to hold them + the water) and fill with enough water to cover the eggs by at least 1″. Clip a thermometer on the side of the pan and bring the water to 140°F. Set the timer for 4 minutes, and allow the eggs to sit in this temperature until the timer goes off. Remove the eggs, and place in a paper towel lined plate, bowl or pan. Place the pan with the eggs in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes. Use immediately.
The Inside Method:
If you’ll be cracking and mixing eggs to be included in a raw recipe, such as a salad dressing or mayonnaise, you can pasteurize the egg whites and yolks in any liquid that will work with the recipe — water, lemon juice, flavorings or milk. Add 2 tablespoons of the liquid for each beaten egg or egg yolk (2 egg yolks, 4 tablespoons liquid.) Cook over low heat in a small pan, stirring constantly, until it just begins to simmer, mixture will be thick. Using a soft spatula, scrape the mixture into a chilled bowl, allow to cool for 3 minutes, and use in your recipe.