Making your raw, home-grown eggs safe for mayonnaise is easy.
If you raise your own chickens and have plenty of healthy eggs, like chickens our editor Karin raises, there’s little to fear from salmonella. But for those of us bringing eggs home from the supermarket, that fear may creep into the fun of cooking.
True, chances are very low that any egg I have in the fridge is going to carry salmonella. But how many times haven’t I reluctantly skipped over delicious-looking recipes for fearing of using raw eggs?
With a little basic science and a thermometer, though, you can make raw eggs safe. Pasteurize them. Since salmonella-bearing bacteria (if any) live on egg shells, start with the freshest eggs you can find. Farmer’s markets like this one in Israel, or this one in Beirut, are a good choice.
Pasteurized eggs have cooked for just a few minutes at a high temperature, then immediately cooled. Following these instructions exactly, your eggs will still look and behave like raw eggs, but any stray bacteria is killed. Once pasteurized, the eggs should be stored in the refrigerator like any others. How to Pasteurize Eggs
Have ready a cooking thermometer (I use a long glass thermometer from a chemical supply shop). Fill a pan with water and place the eggs inside. If using a digital thermometer, fit the probe onto the pan (follow manufacturer’s instructions).
Turn the heat on low. When the water temperature reaches 60° C – 140° F, count 3 minutes. Using a timer is best.
Do not allow the water to become hotter than this. Slide a heat dispersing pad under the pan, or remove it from the heat for a few seconds, if it gets hotter. Keep an eye on the thermometer to maintain a steady temperature.
Take the eggs out of the pan and put them in a bowl full of cold water. Make sure they’re thoroughly cool before storing.
These instructions are for eggs up to size large. For XL eggs, cook 5 minutes.
Enjoy your safe eggs. Now, about that mayonnaise…
Egg recipes on Green Prophet:
Photo of eggs in a basket by Miriam Kresh.