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.

67 thoughts on “How-to Pasteurize Eggs

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