Cooking eggs to the right temperature
May 25, 2016

Proper cooking is the last step in ensuring the safety of the eggs your family eats. Adequate cooking brings eggs to a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria that might be present in the egg yolk or egg white. The table below provides a guide on the proper temperature to cook eggs:


Part of egg Temperature
Egg white 144-149 F
Yolk 149-158 F
Whole eggs 144-158 F



If you’re making a recipe with other food items, dilute the eggs with liquid or ingredients, such as milk or sugar and cook the mixture to 160 degrees F to destroy harmful bacteria. Use at least ¼ cup liquid or sugar per egg, as in custard.

Use a meat or food thermometer if you have one available. If you don’t have a thermometer, follow these visual guidelines below.

Egg Dish Guidelines on Doneness
Scrambled eggs, omelets, frittatas Eggs will be thickened with no visible liquid egg remaining.

Fried eggs, over-easy, over-hard and basted


Cook until whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.


Poached eggs


Cook until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard (about 5 minutes in simmering water, or 6-9 minutes in poaching inserts).


Hard boiled eggs


Eggs will easily reach internal temperatures of more than 160 F when following these cooking directions.


Baked custards, quiches, casseroles, French toast, stratas


Cook until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Insert a thin-bladed knife about 1 inch from the center of a one dish custard, midway between center and edge of cups. If knife is clean dish is done, if any of the dish sticks to the blade bake a few minutes longer and test again.


Stirred custards, eggnog, ice cream bases


Cook until thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film. After cooking, cool quickly by setting the pan in ice or cold water and stirring for a few minutes to prevent overcooking. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly, at least an hour.


Pie meringues


Bake a three-egg-white meringue spread on a hot, fully cooked pie filling in a preheated 350 F about 15 minutes. For meringues using more whites, bake at 325 F (or a lower temperature) about 25-30 minutes or longer. The more egg whites, the lower temperature and longer the time to cook the meringue through without excessive browning. Refrigerate meringue-topped pies until serving. Return leftovers to the refrigerator.


Our sources are the Incredible Egg and Egg Safety Center’s tips for cooking egg dishes safely.

For additional questions and recipe ideas, visit Incredible Edible Egg, and for ongoing egg safety information, visit our Egg Answers, blog archives or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.