Pasteurize Eggs

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About: Architect/designer based in SE Minnesota. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to peek in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to m...

We use pasteurized eggs for dishes that require uncooked eggs. Homemade mayonnaise, salad dressing and eggnog!

Raising backyard chickens means that egg cleanliness can vary. It often does based around the season or the cleanliness of the coop. During wet weather the chicken feet track more mud around the eggs.

Here is the simple way we pasteurize our eggs.
The goal is to get their core temp to 140 degrees for 3min.

Step 1: Bring to Temp

The idea is to slowly bring eggs and water to 140F slowwwwwly. The trick is to keep the eggs off the base of the saucepan. If they sit directly above the heat you risk cooking the eggs through along the shell. Use medium-high heat to start before dropping to medium-low to maintain.

I use a collapsible vegetable steamer. Here's a 6" steamer on amazon for under $8 (Nov '18).

Step 2: Target Temp

Target temp is 140 F / 60 C. Even if you don't commonly use Farenheit it is best for this application because it allows you to effectively get an extra degree of accuracy.

The easiest way to hold the target temp is to maintain heat but start to shift the pot off the burner if the temp rises a degree. It quickly comes back to the target temp. It is a simple process of adjustment for the 3min.

Notes on Sous Vide --some notes are added below about using a Sous Vide to heat and manage water temp. While you can certainly use a Sous Vide to cook I personally haven't seen the value. Please make the case below if you find it to be genuinely useful... I continue to see it as another unnecessary kitchen gadget

I use the thermopro dual prong wireless thermometer. ----this older version was a prize from a past competition where I showed how I grill ribs. Thanks Thermopro!

Step 3: Cracks

You may notice a few air bubbles escaping. This is a sign that the shell isn't a perfect barrier. The trickle of air isn't a problem for commercial pasteurization. Any crack, as shown in the last photo, is reason to remove the eff from your pasteurized set.

An Instructables member dropkick has helped clarify that cooking eggs breaks down the natural egg membrane protecting the contents from bacteria in the air. Please cook eggs quickly and refrigerate after cooking.

Step 4: Remove From Water

Eggs should only be allowed to sit at 140 F for 3 min. A hotter temp or longer time can alter the interior of the shell. ---basically the whites will start to cook. they start to look milky

Step 5: Cool & Enjoy

After removing the eggs from warm water transfer to a cool water bath. It's at this point that I wipe the shells to remove any remaining smudges.

Hope you've found this instructable useful. Whether you raise your own chickens or simply want to pasteurize standard store bought eggs this is the simplest way I know.

Any tips are welcome.
Hope you see value compared to the high-priced pasteurized eggs found online.

Thanks, Jeff

Here are a few recent instructables:

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    16 Discussions

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    AnneR26

    2 months ago on Step 5

    back in the mists of time when I was a child, my father always kept a supply of eggs for cooking (as opposed to eating immediately) by putting them in a bath of eisenglas (spelling??), in an old tin bath kept at the very back of the pantry (larder)...and it was my job to lift them out carefully with a spoon.

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    M.J.JAnneR26

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Isinglass is a gelatin-like substance made from fish.Likely your father submerged the eggs in it to seal out air and this keep the eggs longer. Isinglass is now used primarily for glue when it's boiled down. I'm guessing the eggs were a bit sticky after being carefully spooned out by you? that's an amazing memory, I wonder if anyone still does that-I;ve heard of various things eggs were submerged in to lengthen their usable life, assuming that they'd be fully cooked, of course in their recipe.

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    AnneR26M.J.J

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    I think you're the first who's actually recognised isinglass usage! My memory is going back 65 + years, think on - but we had an old tin bath at the bottom of the under-stairs cupboard (which we used as a pantry) and my memory is that the fluid was water (??) certainly not jelly-like - so it must have been diluted somewhat. I know I had to fish them out with a spoon - and, yes, they were always used for cooking. I was the only one who could get down at that sharp angle (my mother was too buxom/fat and my brother was too small...!

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    jprussackGregE2

    Reply 2 months ago

    Greg - thanks for sharing... do you have a link? That sounds excessive to reach a core temp of 135...

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    sisterray68jprussack

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Pasteurization is a matter of *time* at temperature. You need to reach a core temperature and then hold it. At 130-135, you need to get it there and then hold it there for a long while; 75 minutes for 135 sounds completely reasonable. At 140 you don't need so much time, but you're probably still looking at a half hour or so to be safe.

    This is, I'm afraid, why people are recommending sous vide; if you want to pasteurize food without cooking it, you have to hold a low temperature for a LONG time, and that's what the tool's designed for.

    The time-heat scale is pretty much logarithmic, and this is why the recommended cooking temperatures are so high -- they're on the end where bacterial death takes less than a second.

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    dropkick

    Question 2 months ago

    Wanted to add a warning: Just as with boiled eggs, these eggs should be quickly cooled in ice water and then refrigerated, or even better, used immediately. They should never be left to cool in the open. When an egg is cleaned it loses it's coating and becomes permeable to the air. When you heat an egg as it cools the interior of the shell develops a vacuum and air is drawn through the shell into the interior, quite often botulism spores are also drawn in. Botulism can kill you. Improperly prepared and cared for boiled eggs are one of, if not the top, source of botulism poisoning in the U.S. (usually as part of a salad).

    I was a school trained professional cook and made my living doing so for many years.

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    jprussackdropkick

    Reply 2 months ago

    Will add a reference to your detailed notes. Thank you!

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    raphandropkick

    Answer 2 months ago

    That's perfectly right, moreover, spores aren't affected by pasteurization at 60°C, to be killed they need 121.1°C during 12 seconds. This is why it's so important to immediately cold the eggs and keep them in the fridge, to avoid a spore contamination.

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    jprussackcostumer341

    Reply 2 months ago

    Yes! If they start cold the risk is the course won't reach the 140 deg

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    dawndenver

    2 months ago

    google Pasteurized Eggs Sous Vide for better information

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    jprussackdawndenver

    Reply 2 months ago

    They sous vide fad is something I don't understand.... You can make your case DawnDenver....

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    ChuckC67

    2 months ago

    I'm sorry, but 140F is too hot -- it will cook the egg whites. You want 130F, and you can hold it for a long time with no cooking taking place and bad bugs die at that temperature. You want to hold it long enough for the entire egg to achieve this temp. Consult Howard McGee's On Food and Cooking for an authoritative source. Also, check out this source: https://www.seriouseats.com/2013/10/sous-vide-101-...

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    RayP24

    2 months ago

    Good information here, thanks!