How to Pasteurize Eggs Should You Wish To

How to Pasteurize Eggs

I confess, I am unafraid of raw eggs; it is estimated that 1 in 20,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella. What are the chances it will be the occasional one I eat raw?  I make my own mayonnaise with raw eggs and have never gotten sick from it, nor from licking the beaters after making cookies.

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This is not to say that there is no risk. Those risks are higher in small children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. If you’re nervous about raw eggs, you can easily pasteurize them. Pasteurizing eggs is a process of warming them without cooking them, in order to kill bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This reduces the already small risk of food-borne illness.

Pasteurized Eggs

You will need eggs, of course. You will also need a pan of water, an instant-read thermometer, and a timer. (An induction burner is a help, but hardly essential. More on that in a moment.)

Put your pan of eggs in water over very low heat. Monitoring the temperature of the water, bring it to 140F. No higher, or you’re going to get cooked eggs, which is not the aim of this process. When the water gets to 140, set the timer for 3 minutes. As soon as it beeps, take the pan off the heat, drain the hot water, and flush the eggs in several changes of cool water to stop the process.

How to Pasteurize Eggs
How to Pasteurize Eggs Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

How to Pasteurize Eggs

Put your eggs in a saucepan and cover them with water.

Put them on a hot burner and bring the water to 140° F (60C) (you'll need an instant-read thermometer).

Maintain them at that temperature -- no hotter or else you'll cook them - for 3 minutes.

Then immediately pour off the hot water and rinse the eggs with several changes of cold water.

Store in the refrigerator or use right away.

KIZEN Instant Read Thermometer
KIZEN Instant Read Thermometer

That’s it. You can now use your pasteurized eggs immediately, or you can put them in an egg carton, carefully labeled “pasteurized” so you don’t waste them by using them to make scrambled eggs. Stash them in the fridge, where they will keep for 3-5 weeks. If you’re a fan of things like egg nog, you may as well do a dozen at a time.

How to Pasteurize Eggs
Pasteurized Eggs

About induction burners: these seemingly magical burners work by magnetically vibrating the molecules in your pot or pan. No, I am not kidding. This means you must use induction-friendly cookware on them, which would be any pan that will attract a magnet. Some pans come with an “induction friendly” symbol on them:

Is Your Cookware Induction Ready?

But why would you want an induction burner? What, if any, are the advantages? For pasteurizing eggs, the answer is that an induction burner can be set to a specific temperature. It will then hold said temperature yea, unto eternity, or until your food is done (or, I suppose until the power goes out). This means you can set your burner to 140 and be sure that it will not get warmer than that. It can also be used in place of a slow cooker and a deep-fat fryer, either one. I have one I use to make Dr. William Davis’ l-reuteri yogurt, which needs to be incubated at 100 degrees for 36 hours. It’s a snap with the induction burner. (I actually bought an extra one for this purpose.)

Rosewill Induction Cooker 1800 Watt Induction Cooktop
Rosewill Induction Cooker 1800 Watt Induction Cooktop

However, the thing I use my induction burner for most often is boiling water for tea. It just heats the water faster than my gas stove. This alone has earned on a full-time position on my counter.

One other advantage: since the burner itself does not get hot, except from the heat of the pan itself, it is quite safe. It will not heat up at all unless it senses induction-friendly cookware is on it. No worrying about a stray dishtowel catching fire. Induction burners start at around $57.

Maybe Santa could bring one!

More Low Carb Recipes & Articles by Dana Carpender.

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