Every week, the Culinary Society gets a handful of questions on food stuffs. Do you have questions about how to cook a certain type of food, how to use certain kitchen appliances, or do you just want to know cooking tips? If so, Culinary Queries is here to help! Let us help you demystify your cooking experience!
The Question: My recipe calls for 2 large eggs, but I bought extra large eggs. Can I just use one of those bad boys?
The Answer: To answer this question, we need to understand how eggs are classified. In the U.S. chicken eggs are labeled as jumbo, extra large, large, medium, small, and peewee (though I have never seen a dozen eggs labeled as “peewee”). Eggs are sized according to their weight per dozen. The United States Department of Agriculture classifies jumbo eggs as greater than 71 grams, extra large as greater than 64 grams, large as greater than 57 grams, medium as greater than 50 grams, small as greater than 43 grams, and peewee as greater than 35 grams. Each country varies in the exact classification weight distributions. If you go to England to cook a cake using an American recipe that calls for large eggs, make sure to look up their definition of a large egg. (For future reference eggs in the UK come in four sizes: very large, large, medium, and small. A large egg in the UK (63-73 grams) is about the size of an extra large egg in the U.S.)
Large eggs are most often referred to in recipes. One whole large egg equals about 3 to 3.5 tablespoons of liquid and three whole large eggs are equivalent to half of a cup. An extra-large egg will have about 4 tablespoons of liquid and a medium egg will have 3 tablespoons or less. If you have a recipe that calls for a medium egg and all you have is an extra large egg, don’t fret! You can beat the extra large egg then remove half a tablespoon of the egg mixture to even it out.
Since your recipe calls for two large eggs, you can use two of the extra large eggs that you bought. When recipes call for more than six or so eggs you should pay attention to the size of the egg that is needed. If you are making a rich pound cake that calls for 13 medium-sized eggs, using 13 jumbo eggs would be like adding 4 more eggs. Refer to the handy chart below from the American Egg Board to figure out your egg substitutions.
Egg Size Substitution Courtesy of the American Egg Board
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