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Tip: How to Pasteurize an Egg

Posted by Hallee on Jan 23, 2010 in Hallee's Galley, kitchen & cooking tips |

Since posting my recipe for homemade mayonnaise, it has come to my attention by more than one person that there is a fear of getting sick from the raw egg yolk used in the recipe.  A good friend of the family (and eventually a guest blogger with recipes for all kinds of yummy and authentic French cuisine if she will just heed my pleas) provided me with information on how to pasteurize an egg yolk which should eliminate these concerns.  I tested this technique today to ensure that my mayonnaise recipe still works and I am happy to report that it works — to all appearances and taste — exactly as a raw egg works.

I will be honest, now, and tell you that I– personally — do not intend to pasteurize my eggs.   This was a family decision.  The possibility of sickness from consuming a raw egg is not a deciding factor for our family while the certainty of getting more nutrition from raw foods over cooked foods is more of a factor.  Kelly The Kitchen Kop (who has been a guest blogger here — hint, hint Sabine),  a good friend of ours and a lady I respect so very much, recently asked and answered the question, “Are Raw Eggs Safe To Eat?”  Her post is packed with a lot of really good information and also helped to solidify our personal decision with respect to raw egg.

However, if this information is useful to you and blesses you, then I’m happy and blessed in return that I am able to provide it.  Please continue to give me feedback because the chances are that if you have a question or a concern, other readers have the same question.

How to Pasteurize an Egg

The following information is the technique needed for the pasteurization of an egg, and you can use this technique for any mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce recipe or similar.

Separate your yolks from your whites, and reserve the whites for another usage, such as royal icing, meringues, soufflés, a spinach eggwhite omlete, or an Angel Food cake.  You get the idea.

Fill a metal bowl with enough cold water to cover the egg yolk.  Gently place the yolk in the bowl.

Fill a saucepan with some water and heat to boiling.  Place the metal bowl over the saucepan (or you can use a double boiler if you have one — which, oddly, I don’t – ha!).

Pasteurization of an egg happens when you heat it to 140-150° degrees F for about 3-5 minutes.  Any higher than that will start to cook your eggs, so you need to be careful.

Use a thermometer.  When the water temperature that the egg is in reaches about 135° degrees F, take the saucepan off of the heat — the water underneath is still producing steam which is still heating up the water in which your egg rests.  Start your timer, and time it for 5 minutes.

I had to take the bowl off of the pan for about a minute because it was heating up quickly and I’d gotten to 146° degrees F and was still rising.  When I pulled it off, the temperature went up a couple of degrees then started to come back down.  By the time the timer went off, it was still hovering around 140° degrees F.

Gently drain the egg and use it in your recipe.  Here is the mayonnaise I made today with the egg I pasteurized as pictured above:

Hallee


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