If you’ve ever had a proper whiskey sour or Ramos gin fizz, you know that raw egg whites can add a ton of fun to your cocktails.
But what about salmonella? Relax. There is a way to pasteurize your eggs at home, drastically reducing the risk of contracting salmonella when using raw egg whites or yolks in your cooking.
It’s surprisingly easy. It turns out you only need to bring the temperature of the egg yolk up to 138 degrees F to eliminate most harmful bacteria. There are just five steps to safely pasteurizing large eggs at home.
1. First, bring your eggs to room temperature (this will help them heat evenly).
2. Put them in a saucepan, and cover with 1 inch of cool water. Attach an instant-read digital thermometer to the pan (you need to be super precise for this, so digital is your best bet over, say, a candy thermometer).
3. Set the burner to medium heat, and cook the eggs until the thermometer reaches 140 degrees F (any higher than 142 degrees F, and the eggs may start to coagulate).
4. Keeping the temperature steady, cook the eggs for 3 more minutes. You may need to adjust your burner’s temperature or remove the pan from the heat briefly to ensure that the water doesn’t go above or below 140 degrees F.
5. Rinse the eggs in cold water until cool, or place them in a bowl of ice water until chilled (this stops the cooking process). Refrigerate the pasteurized eggs until ready to use.
Please keep in mind that pasteurizing your own eggs doesn’t absolutely guarantee their safety 100 percent. However, done properly, it should cut down the risk significantly more than using raw eggs.
With either of these methods, your eggs are ready to use in everything from a traditional mousse to homemade mayonnaise. And hey, if you use pasteurized eggs to make your cookie dough, it means licking the spoon (or eating the whole bowl) is no longer such a no-no.