How to Pasteurize Eggs At Home: the Methods to Do It With and Without a Thermometer

To safely use raw eggs in recipes, pasteurize them. This reduces bacterial risks. With a thermometer, heat a water-sugar syrup to 250°F (121°C) and mix with eggs. Without a thermometer, boil the syrup until bubbly and mix with whipped eggs. Alternative methods include using a microwave, bain-marie, or pasteurizing in-shell eggs at 142°F (60°C) for 4 minutes.

By Cookist
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When we prepare a recipe such a tiramisu, eggnog or mayonnaise, which involve the use of raw eggs, it is important not only to choose fresh, quality eggs but, to be absolutely safe, also pasteurize them, working them with a water and sugar syrup.

Pasteurization, in fact, is a thermal process through which it is possible to reduce the bacterial load of some foods, thus eliminating the risk of infection. Specifically, it occurs at a temperature of 250°F (121°C) and requires the use of a kitchen thermometer. If you don't have one available, however, you can also use one of our home methods to pasteurize eggs without this kitchen tool.

How to Pasteurize Eggs With a Kitchen Thermometer

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To pasteurize eggs with a kitchen thermometer, start by making the water and sugar syrup: into a saucepan, pour the sugar and water together and place them over medium-low heat. As the temperature reaches 239°F (115°C) you can start whipping the eggs. When the syrup has reached the right temperature of 250°F (121°C), pour it slowly into the bowl with the eggs, continuing to whisk to prevent the sugar from crystallizing when it comes into contact with the walls of the container.

This method allows you to whip and pasteurize whole eggs, but also just the yolks or whites, whipping until stiff before adding the syrup. In the first case, pasteurizing the egg yolks, you'll obtain a "pâte à bombe" cream; in the second, however, pasteurizing the egg whites, you'll make an Italian meringue. Once the water and sugar syrup has been added, the eggs will be pasteurized and ready to be used for your preparations.

How to Pasteurize Eggs Without a Thermometer

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Pasteurizing eggs without the help of a kitchen thermometer is much simpler than you might think, and you don't need to be an expert pastry chef at all. All you have to do is pay attention to a few simple details and follow our advice.

How to Pasteurize Whole Eggs Without a Thermometer

To pasteurize eggs, start by opening the eggs and whipping them together with 60 grams of sugar. In the meantime, put the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring them to the boil: when bubbles form on the surface, the syrup will be ready. Pour it slowly over the semi-whipped eggs, continuing to whisk until it is perfect blended: the eggs are pasteurized and ready for your recipe.

How to Pasteurized Egg Yolks Without a Thermometer

To pasteurize only the egg yolks, you will have to follow the same instructions, but be careful to change the quantities or water and sugar for the syrup. In particular, to pasteurize 4 egg yolks, whip them with 60 grams of sugar. In the meantime prepare the syrup with 60 grams of sugar and 50 ml of water. When the latter has reached the boil, you can pour it over the egg yolks continuing to whip until it is completely incorporated.

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How to Pasteurize Egg Whites Without a Thermometer

To pasteurize egg whites, start by separating the yolks and the whites. Whip the latter in a bowl until stiff. Meanwhile, melt 50 grams of sugar and 25 grams of water over a low heat. Boil the mixture and pour it into the egg whites, incorporating it evenly. When the mixture appears smooth and frothy, it is ready to be used.

How to Pasteurize Eggs in the Microwave

An alternative and effective method to pasteurize eggs without the help of a kitchen thermometer is to do it using the microwave, particularly if you are preparing savory recipes. To pasteurize 2 fresh eggs, get lemon juice or white wine vinegar, water, a microwave safe-container, and three forks. Separate yolks and whites. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with one of the three forks, add a spoonful of lemon juice and mix, also add two spoons of water and mix everything together: at this point, seal the container with cling film and place it in the microwave. Cook for a few seconds, until the mixture begins to rise to the surface, then turn off and wait 8 seconds before removing the foil and beating the eggs with the second fork. Repeat the operation again for the second time, until the mixture is creamy and ready to use.

How to Pasteurize Eggs in a Bain-Marie

Ideal especially for savory recipes, you can also pasteurize eggs in a bain-marie. Simply place the eggs in a bowl, which you will place over a saucepan filled with water. Turn the heat on high and keep it low, whisking the eggs as they heat through. Get a kitchen thermometer and wait for the eggs to reach a temperature of 140-142°F (60-61°C): make sure to not exceed the temperature to avoid them cooking.

How to Pasteurize Eggs In The Shell

It is also possible to pasteurize eggs in the shell. In this case, just pour some water into a saucepan and immerse the eggs so that they are covered by about 3 mm by the liquid. Also get a basin with water at room temperature and a container filled with water and ice. Bring the saucepan with the eggs to a temperature of 142°F; keep it constant for 4 minutes, adding water at room temperature when necessary. After the indicated time, transfer the eggs to ice water to prevent them from being cooked.

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