How to pasteurize eggs at home using one of three simple methods: stovetop, sous vide, or microwave (for egg yolks). Once pasteurized (heat-treated to reduce pathogens), you'll be whipping up tons of treats, confident in the fact you can avoid any food-borne illnesses.
For this method, you will also need a kitchen thermometer, a pot with water (to warm up the eggs in), and a bowl with ice water.
Transfer the room-temperature eggs to a saucepan with cold water (about 1 inch above the eggs), and heat up over medium heat until the temperature reaches 140ºF/60ºC.
Maintain that temperature for at least 3 minutes (3.5minutes to be extra safe) either by lowering the heat slightly or adding a little cold water. You don't want the temperature to go above 142ºF/61ºC; otherwise, the egg will begin to cook.
After three minutes, quickly transfer the eggs to the ice water/ice bath to stop them from cooking further.Once cooled, use them as required in your recipe or refrigerate them.
Alternative method: Stovetop (out of shell)
For an even "safer" egg pasteurization, you can do the process out of the shell. To do so, use a double boiler method (placing a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water – making sure the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl).
Using this method, you can pasteurize whole eggs, whites, or yolks – usually with a small portion of the liquid from whatever recipe you're creating (1/4 cup per egg, and 2 Tbsp per yolk or white). Bring the mixture's temperature to 160ºF/71ºC (since it isn't eggs alone), constantly stirring, so the eggs don't start to cook/coagulate on the bottom/sides of the bowl. When ready, either continue with your recipe immediately or place the bowl in an ice bath to cool down the eggs first.
Method 2: Using Sous Vide
For this method, you will need a sous vide kit, a pot with water (to warm up the egg in), and a bowl with ice water.
Set the sous vide temperature to 135ºF/57ºC and allow the water to warm up. Then place the eggs in the pot (using a slotted spoon or inside a plastic bag) and allow them to pasteurize for 75 minutes.You can also pasteurize the egg whites separately by placing them in a bag in the water.
Transfer the eggs to an ice bath for around 20 minutes to cool.
Method 3: Pasteurize egg yolks in microwave
For this method, you will need a microwave, 3 separate clean whisks or forks, an acid (other lemon juice or white wine vinegar), and water. Per 4 eggs, you will need 2 Tbsp acid and 4 Tbsp water.
Separate the eggs into yolks and whites and place the yolks in a microwave-safe dish, whisking well.
Add the lemon juice/vinegar and whisk again, then add the water and whisk once more. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a small plate).
Heat the egg yolks in the microwave until the surface of the eggs begins to rise. The exact time will depend on your specific microwave. However, 45-60 seconds is average. Once the surface begins to rise, heat for extra 8 seconds.
Quickly remove the dish from the microwave and whisk the yolks with a new clean whisk. Place it back in the microwave and heat on high again until the surface rises, plus an extra 8 seconds.
Remove it from the microwave once more and whisk one final time (with a new whisk) until smooth and creamy.
How to Store?
Any eggs pasteurized in the shell with last between 2-3 weeks in the fridge, though I aim to use them within a week. If storing pasteurized eggs together with non-pasteurized, I recommend marking the pasteurized ones with a "P" (or another marking). Alternatively, any eggs pasteurized outside of the shell should be used immediately!
Using different egg sizes: all these methods have been tested for medium/large eggs. If you want to pasteurize any extra-large eggs, I recommend increasing the cooking time in method one to 5 minutes (instead of three).
Method 1 accuracy: I feel like it's important to mention that I can't guarantee that this method will completely eliminate the risk of food-borne illness, but it should highly reduce it at least. The most accurate method would be using the sous vide, with longer "heating" times to kill germs more accurately, etc.
Use fresh eggs: they should be clean, contain no cracks, and be fresh.
If your eggs aren't at room temperature: take them out of the fridge to get to room temperature at least 20 minutes before starting the process, or until the shell feels close to room temperature.
The best thermometer: any kitchen thermometer will work for these methods. However, digital thermometers may be best at reading temperature fluctuations in a more precise way.
Check the blog post for answers to top FAQs and more helpful information!