A step-by-step tutorial for pasteurizing eggs sous vide at home. It’s much safer and simpler than you think.
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HOW TO PASTEURIZE EGGS SOUS VIDE
Some of the world’s most delectable recipes contain an ingredient that can lead to your worst health nightmare: raw egg.
Raw egg yolks and whites are essential for creating the texture and richness of some dishes that are only lightly cooked or not cooked at all.
The velvety texture of tiramisu, meringue, and buttercream icing, as well as the creamy richness of aioli and Caesar salad dressing, homemade mayonnaise, and hollandaise sauce, is created by raw egg. It also makes award-winning cocktail froth.
However, raw egg yolks are a breeding ground for pathogens such as Listeria and Salmonella bacteria. Consuming raw eggs can send you to the hospital with severe food poisoning.
It’s why your mother pleaded with you not to sneak raw cookie dough when you were a kid, coming into contact with an uncooked egg.
While raw egg yolks are frequently associated with food-borne illness, raw egg whites can also harbor Salmonella bacteria.
At the same time, there is no direct raw egg substitute that can replicate the texture or richness that raw egg recipes call for.
So, what are your options? There is a solution to the food safety concerns of cooking with raw eggs that will not compromise the taste or texture of your recipes: sous vide pasteurization at home.
As an added bonus, you’ll save a few dollars and a potential wild goose chase, as pasteurized eggs can be expensive and difficult to find in grocery stores.
WHAT ARE PASTEURIZED EGGS?
Pasteurization simply means “heating” a food to a specific temperature that kills harmful bacteria.
Pasteurized eggs are identical to regular eggs, but they have been gently heated to 140°F (60°C) in their shells.
This temperature is high enough to kill harmful bacteria while not being hot enough to cook the egg.
The USDA Pasteurization Requirements state that the temperature and holding time for pasteurizing egg whites using heat alone are 134°F (56.7°C) for 3.5 minutes or 132°F (55.6°C) for 6.2 minutes.
Because egg white proteins are particularly heat-sensitive, these lower temperatures are required.
METHODS OF PASTEURIZATION
You can certainly bring a pot of water to 135°F on the stove, add your eggs, and keep the temperature there for 1 hour and 15 minutes. However, it is difficult to maintain the exact temperature for that long, and the eggs will begin to cook at around 140°F.
A sous vide machine’s precise temperature control makes it ideal for controlling the water temperature for pasteurizing eggs and other foods. This is the method to use if your Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot has a sous vide function. It’s extremely simple.
I read an article on The Spruce Eats about how to pasteurize eggs in the microwave, but it was a little more hands-on and time consuming than I wanted to attempt. Simply crack the eggs (2-3) into a bowl, add lemon juice to raise the temperature at which the egg will cook, and microwave in short bursts, stirring with clean whisks after each cooking time. However, because the raw yolks are mixed with the egg whites, this would not work for recipes that only use the egg yolks. If you want to try this method, here are the full instructions: Microwave eggs to pasteurize them.
PASTEURIZING EGGS SOUS VIDE TEMPERATURE AND TIME
To achieve fully pasteurized shell eggs using a sous vide machine, the temperature and time should be 135°F (57°C) for at least 75 minutes.
Wait… Isn’t it supposed to be 140°F (60°C) to kill Salmonella?
I’m glad you inquired.
Remember that pasteurization, also known as food safety, is more than just a matter of temperature; it is also a matter of time.
When the center of a chicken breast reaches 165°F (74°C), virtually all Salmonella is killed. When heated to 160°F (71°C), the Salmonella dies in 14 seconds.
It takes 50 seconds at 155°F (68°C). It takes 3 minutes at 150°F (65.5°C). It will take 69 minutes to reduce the temperature to 136°F (58°C).
Setting the temperature to 135°F (57°C) and leaving the eggs in the water bath for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes kills the Salmonella in the whole eggs while leaving the heat-sensitive proteins in the egg whites unharmed.
You can tell the difference between a raw egg and a pasteurized egg by the cloudy egg whites of a pasteurized egg versus the clear egg whites of a raw egg.
HOW TO USE PASTEURIZED EGGS
Pasteurized eggs can be used in any recipe that calls for partially cooked or raw eggs without posing any health risks.
Pasteurized eggs can also be used to make classic breakfast dishes with soft, runny (and usually raw) egg yolks, such as eggs Benedict or poached eggs.
Pasteurized egg yolks are a particularly beneficial food for pregnant women and young children because they are an extremely rich source of choline, which aids in healthy brain development.
Pasteurized eggs can be used to make a variety of delectable dishes. Here are a few of my favorite sources of inspiration:
Tiramisu – This classic Italian tiramisu recipe is the ideal rich, fluffy indulgence for anyone who enjoys the flavor of coffee.
- The Kitchn’s Best Caesar Dressing. Make your own Caesar dressing. Only nine ingredients, loaded with garlic, parmesan, and fresh lemon juice, and can be made healthier by substituting extra olive oil for heavily processed or hydrogenated vegetable oil.
- Caribbean-Style Corn on the Cob with Homemade Aioli. Delicious Caribbean-style corn on the cob slathered in homemade aioli and topped with paprika, parmesan cheese, and parsley.
- Amber Moon Cocktail – Authentic Amber Moon Cocktail – by Taste Atlas. Made with a raw egg, whiskey or vodka, and tabasco sauce, this simple and classic cocktail is known as a “hangover cure.”
- Tastes of Lizzy T’s Homemade Eggnog. You’ll never be able to drink the carton stuff again once you’ve tried the homemade version of eggnog, which is both a blessing and a curse.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is pasteurization? To “pasteurize,” food is heated to a specific temperature for a set amount of time in order to reduce enough pathogens to make it safe. Pasteurization is frequently used in sous vide cooking.
They will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 weeks. If you have hens, I recommend using fresh-laid chicken eggs or recently purchased eggs.
That depends on the size of the container and how many people will fit inside. It takes the same amount of time to cook one egg as it does two dozen. The important thing is that the eggs are completely submerged and that the water can easily circulate around them. You wouldn’t want to stuff so many eggs into a bag that the water can’t completely surround each one.
To pasteurize in-shell eggs, the entire egg (including the yolk center) must reach 140°F and then be held at 140°F for 3.5 minutes.