How-to Pasteurize Eggs

Eggs resting on the counter.

Every now and then we stumble upon a recipe that uses fresh, raw eggs (either the white, yolk or both) as a primary ingredient. This is common for dressings, mayonnaise, egg nog, ice creams and frosting; particularly royal icing.

As tasty as these foods may be, consuming raw eggs raises the potential of getting salmonella, or food poisoning. Now don’t get me wrong. Most eggs are perfectly safe to eat and according to the American Egg Board only about one in 20,000 eggs may contain salmonella.

Despite this fact, one should err on the side of caution when it pertains to food safety. Thankfully, the risk of salmonella can be avoided by using pasteurized eggs in your favorite raw egg recipes. Nearly all packaged liquid egg products (egg beaters and such) available at the local grocery store come pasteurized. But, what happens when you don’t want to by a quart of egg whites because you only need three eggs worth? That’s where the do-it-yourself method to pasteurize eggs comes into play.

Pasteurizing an egg is really easy. Before you begin, make sure to use only fresh, clean whole eggs. Discard any eggs that have cracks on the surface.

How-to Pasteurize Eggs


Eggs resting on the counter.

1. Allow the eggs to sit on the counter for about 15 minutes. This will bring the eggs to room temperature; which helps ensure the eggs reach the proper temperature to kill salmonella.

Pasteurizing eggs in hot water.

2. Fill a small saucepan with cold water and gently lower the eggs into the water. Place pan on the stove and cook over medium heat. Bring water to 140° to 150° F. It is best to use a thermometer for accuracy but if you don’t have a thermometer, 150° F is right about the time bubbles begin forming on the bottom of the pan. This step goes pretty quickly so don’t wander too far away from the stove while cooking.

Eggs sitting in warm water on the counter.

3. Once the pan reaches 140° to 150° F, remove from heat and allow the eggs to rest in the water for 3 minutes.

Your eggs are now pasteurized and can be used in recipes just like any other unpasteurized eggs. Just be sure to keep the eggs refrigerated until ready-to-use.

54 thoughts on “How-to Pasteurize Eggs

  1. FDA says there is NO SAFE WAY to pasteurize eggs at home. Don’t do this unless you want salmonella poisoning. This “great idea” will kill you.

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  5. I’ve read that the egg needs to reach 170F for the salmonella to be killed. OR alternatively, cook at 140F for over an hour.

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  10. Hi i want to preserve Liquid Egg white for a period of almost 3-4 months .
    Please tell me more about it , how can i do this and what i should be needed for this.
    Please provide me some sort of information.
    Thank you
    Basant

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  12. However, not ALL strains of Salmonella can be killed at the temperatures you instruct us to use. There are super-strains of Salmonella that are more rare, but nevertheless are still a risk to health, & need to be killed at higher temps. I don’t want to risk it.

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  15. Hello,
    I have spray dried egg white powder.
    Can I pasteurized it in OVEN @ 140* C for 3 mins .
    Will pasteurization Breaks Avidin-Biotin Bond and Inactivate trypsin inhibitor ???

    Please help..!!! Thanks

    • As I understand it, ALL egg products in the US are required to be pasteurized. Only exception is eggs themselves – though you can indeed get pasteurized shell eggs.

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    • Good thing to pasteurize the eggs from chickens you raise. Unfortunately, you can’t tell which chickens carry Salmonella. If a chicken carries Salmonella, the bacteria can get into the eggs while the eggs are inside the chicken BEFORE the shell is put on, before the egg is laid.

  17. Thanks so much for this information! I LOVE home made eggnog, and I hate the store bought stuff. Store bought is not even close to the real thing! I don’t have a thermometer, and I looked elsewhere for the information on how to tell when the water is ready… This was the most helpful information I could find and it worked! Only a very small portion of my egg white turned white, the rest was still clear, and I used the whole egg for the sugared cranberry dish I made to Thanksgiving Day… Really good, helpful information. I bookmarked this page, I will come back… Thanks!

  18. HALLELUJAH! My family will be so happy because I can make my eggnog recipe again. I use vanilla ice cream
    thinned down with milk and bourbon. I stopped makinag it when a salmonella scare broke out.

  19. Tried this today for a mayo for my pregnant wife. Stopped the stove when thermometer at 145 to make sure not going over 150. The consistency was the same as a raw egg but egg white had turned white. Mayo rose very well… good tip…

    PM

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  23. I used your tutorial to pasteurize eggs for some homemade mayo I made. My eggwhites also came out partially cooked, but I decided to use them anyways. When I say they were partially cooked, what I mean is that they’d just begun to turn white but were still consistently runny. Anyways- my mayo turned out perfectly. It was super easy! Thanks!

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  26. Thank you very much for this. I wanted to assemble protien shakes using eggs for some time now. I was always afraid to do so because of the risk of getting getting sick. Now that I know how to pasturize my own eggs I can. Thanks

  27. The pastuerized eggs you buy in the store also look like he white is partially cooked (ie., pasteurized). They work fine except maybe (????) for whipped egg whites for frosting for example. Don’t know, I haven’t tried them for that, but I HAVE had salmonella from raw egg mayo. I play it safe now.

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    • I made royal icing recently and followed an internet recipe. It wasn’t until after I made the icing and put it onto cookies that I realized it said to use pasteurized eggs. Is it ok or shall I throw the cookies away?

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  31. Love this!
    With all our food allergies and my love for all things from scratch, I use this first step for my home use mayo with grape seed oil and lemon juice!
    Easy peasy!
    Thanks

  32. speaking of no thermometer to use, I tried it and the eggs white came out just a bit cooked. I took the sauce pan off the stove when the bubbles appear to almost cover the bottom of the sauce pan and waited about three minutes..What did I do wrong, pls. advice..thank you so much !

    • I used a thermometer & also had the partially cooked whites. Hmmmmm????
      Wondering if the altitude makes any diff. also – as we’re at a mile high here near Denver….

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    • @Jan at The Delightful Repast: I’d be happy to. This method was assembled from a couple different sources; including: Oregon State University Extension Service, The Baker’s Manual by Joseph Amendola and an eHow tutorial found here.

    • The pleasure is mine. I look forward to sharing many great ideas with you.

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