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Refrigerating Eggs

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A few days ago I was enjoying an Alton Brown episode, and he suggested bringing eggs to room temp before using them in certain recipes. He commented that the French don't refrigerate their eggs. That got me to wondering why we, in the US, refrigerate our eggs. Is there something different in the way we produce our eggs, in how our chickens produce the eggs, or is it just our US mindset where everything has to be sanitized and that we must be protected from germs and every possible negative eventuality? I seem to recall a number of peple who didn't refrigerate their eggs and they're still alive and have no debilitating illnesses, and the French are still with us.

Shel (who is sometimes very tired of our overprotective society)
post #2 of 16
My mom always told me not to fret too much over not getting them back in the refrigerator immediately. Once I left them out overnight and called her all upset over throwing out over a dozen eggs. She told me it was no big deal and just put them back in the refrigerator. We ate them and didn't get sick!

It depends on what I'm cooking whether I bring them to room temp but for baking I always do.
post #3 of 16
In my experience, most of Europe doesn't refrigerate them at the store but usually do so once at home.

This is what I recall hearing, but have no documentation for it. So take it as hearsay.

Eggs have a natural protective coating that contributes to a somewhat prolonged shelf-life. But that coating is easily disturbed. Eggs are washed in the US and so that coating is removed. Hence they require constant refrigeration. Eggs are sold unwashed in Europe and the quick turnover at the stores gets them refrigerated soon enough at home.

The pastuerized eggs available now are waxed as the pastuerization strips the eggs of the protective coating and heats them. They need additional protection of the wax to keep them safe.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
I recall that about the washing and the protective coating.

Pateurized! Sheesh ... why don't they just cook 'em and pre-scramble then in their shells. I'm so sick of all this over protection of the consumer.

Shel
post #5 of 16
Hi Shel :)


I've noticed that a good number of recipes ask that you bring the eggs to room temperature too...I wonder what advantages the warm eggs have in cooking or baking?

I wonder if the reason why our eggs are best refrigerated is because our grocery stores don't buy from local farmers. Many times the eggs in the grocery store are quite old (in egg terms) before we even bring them home.

I could remember eating eggs that were so freshly laid they were still warm. The taste...the texture was/is nothing like the runny bland eggs I buy in the grocery store.

dan
post #6 of 16
Not a good practice to have an egg that has been chilled to sit out a long period of time before using.
Eggs that have not been chilled from the chicken to your home do not need rrefrigeration. Also hearsay, but from the FDA guidelines. And this was about 6 yrs. ago.
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #7 of 16
gonefishin said: "...I wonder what advantages the warm eggs have in cooking or baking?"

For baking purposes you are often creaming fat (butter, etc) and sugar and then adding in eggs, one at a time. This creates an emulsion. A well emulsified cake batter, for example, should not be curdled or weeping liquid, which is exactly what will happen if cold eggs are introduced to a room temperature butter/sugar mixture. And if the emulsion then 'breaks', the batter loses air and you get a product (cake, whatever) that is flat and grainy, creates an uneven rise and/or sinks, contributes to a dry end product, etc.

Couple of extra notes, it's actually better in most cases if the eggs are slightly warmer than room temperature. Secondly, a lot of folks always think of the entire egg when talking about bringin eggs to room temperature. But it's easier to separate eggs when cold, and it's also quicker to warm up the eggs outside of the shell so separate them first if you need to and crack your eggs into a bowl or something to warm up. If I"m short on time I usually crack the eggs into a ziplock and drop it into a bowl of slightly warm water for a few minutes.
post #8 of 16
Room temp. eggs will whip higher and have more air incorporated in them than cold eggs, thus creating better rising power. As for the whole refridgeration issue, due to our farming practices here in the US (large industrialized farm-factories) we have a much higher rate of salmonella than in many other countries, countries in which smaller scale farms are more the norm, thus it is wise to keep eggs cool to help protect against this nasty little bugger.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Alton Brown suggested putting the entire egg into a bowl of warm water.

shel
post #10 of 16
I seem to remember that eggs were out of the fridge in american supermarkets once upon a time (1970s) but maybe i'm mixing up what goes on here and what goes on there. Here they do keep them on the shelf in the store. They used to be uncoated, but now, as i discovered trying to make ukrainian easter eggs, with a sort of wax resist batik method, wqhen i went to wipe the wax off, holding it over the candle, the color came away with it! so annoying. But they lasgt much longer that way, i must say. They couldn't be pasteurized, i think, because they would cook, no? pasteurization is heating, and that cooks eggs.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 16

Eggs

Nowadays salmonella is unusual in eggs from British flocks - only about one in 330 eggs tests positive for salmonella - although some imported eggs have alarmingly high levels. Thankfully, nearly a third of eggs sold in supermarkets are free-range (some supermarkets do not - hurrah! - even sell eggs from battery chickens, or products containing battery chicken eggs!).

In the United Kingdom supermarkets are instructed to store and display eggs at a temperature not exceeding 20° C (68° F) - they simply sit out on the shelves at ambient temperature. Consumers are recommended to keep eggs in the refrigerator, but I suppose that's simply because eggs typically sit in your fridge for much longer than they sit on the shelves of a supermarket. I've never been in a commercial kitchen that refrigerated eggs.
post #12 of 16
[QUOTE=siduri;159078[ They couldn't be pasteurized, i think, because they would cook, no? pasteurization is heating, and that cooks eggs.[/QUOTE]

I don't know if they're pasteurized or not but pasteurized eggs are not set by their pasteurization. They're not heated to the level where they cook.

This thread http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/showt...pasteurize+egg

has a link to how it's done in general terms. They don't show the actual pasteurization step as that's a "trade secret" but as it's a patented process and patents are public documents the information is available.


Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #13 of 16
Jacaranda said: "only about one in 330 eggs tests positive for salmonella "

Was that supposed to make me feel better? :eek:
post #14 of 16
Here ya go Shel...

Egg Safety Action Plan
1998 & 1999


As far as the ratio of eggs infected with Salmonella, I've seen numbers all across the board. All of which were from, assuming, reputable sources. I think they all have their reasons and agendas.

according to the above Presidential study, as many as 1 in 20,000 eggs are infected (best I could tell, 1994 figures)

( aside: Thanks mochefs :))

dan
post #15 of 16
I seem to remember my food science professor (she's from england) saying that her mother used to keep their eggs in this gel-like stuff and then keep them in their cellar or something like that, and they would keep for quite a long time (at least a month she said).
post #16 of 16
Blade, that would be sodium silicate (sometimes known as "liquid glass"). Storing eggs that way dates back a long, long time.

The idea is that any minor cracks or holes that could let in air are sealed by the stuff, and, thus, the eggs last longer.

Does it work? Depondent sayeth not. But remember: people used to relish lots of things that would, to our modern palettes, taste rather high if not spoiled altogether.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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