While it’s easy to love eggs all year long, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we want to know how you love your eggs.
Scrambled? Fried? Omelet? Poached? Frittata? Hard-boiled? Shirred? Deviled?
Whether you prefer them scrambled, poached, fried, hard-boiled or in an omelet, be sure to cook the eggs all the way through for safe eating.
Here are some guidelines from the American Egg Board on how long your eggs should be cooked before being served and enjoyed immediately:
Scrambled Eggs, Omelets and Frittatas
Cook until the eggs are thickened and no visible liquid egg remains.
Cook slowly, baste the eggs, cover the pan with a lid or turn them to cook both sides thoroughly at the proper temperature. Cook until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.
Cook classic poached eggs by gently simmering them in water until the whites are completely set and the yokes begin to thicken but are not hard (should take about five minutes). You can also steam eggs using poaching “inserts” set above simmering water, and cooking until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard (should take between six to nine minutes). Avoid precooking and reheating poached eggs.
Baked Goods, Hard Boiled Eggs
These will easily reach internal temperatures of more than 160° F when they are done. Note, though, that while Salmonella are destroyed when hard-boiled eggs are properly prepared, hard-boiled eggs can spoil more quickly than raw eggs. After cooking, cool hard-boiled eggs quickly under running cold water or in ice water. Avoid allowing eggs to stand in stagnant water. Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs in their shells promptly after cooling and use them within one week.
French toast, Monte Cristo sandwiches, crab or other fish cakes, quiches, stratas, baked custards, most casseroles
Cook or bake until a thermometer inserted at the center shows 160° F or a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. You may find it difficult to tell if a knife shows uncooked egg or melted cheese in some casseroles and other combination dishes that are thick or heavy and contain cheese – lasagna, for example. Check that a thermometer at the center of the dish registers 160° F to ensure these dishes are fully cooked. Also use a thermometer to help guard against uneven cooking due to hot spots and inadequate cooking due to varying oven temperatures.
Soft (stirred) custards, including cream pie, eggnog and ice cream bases
Cook until thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and a thermometer shows 160° F or higher. After cooking, cool quickly by setting the pan in ice or cold water and stirring for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly for at least one hour.
Soft (pie) meringue
Bake a three-egg-white meringue spread on a hot, fully cooked pie filling in a preheated 350° F oven until the meringue reaches 160° F, about 15 minutes. For meringues using more whites, bake at 325° F (or a lower temperature) until a thermometer registers 160° F, about 25 to 30 minutes (or more). The more egg whites, the lower the temperature and longer the time you need to cook the meringue through without excessive browning. Refrigerate meringue-topped pies until serving. Return leftovers to the refrigerator.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the United Egg Producers Egg Safety Team!