Sizing Up Eggs
June 9, 2016

Does size matter when it comes to eggs? Ever wonder who determines whether an egg is small, medium, large, extra-large or jumbo?

Egg size is measured as net weight per dozen eggs. It does not refer to dimensions of an egg. While some eggs may look slightly larger or smaller than others in the same carton, the total weight of the dozen eggs indicates their size class, with the weight requirements listed below.

Small eggs= 18 ounces per dozen

Medium= 21 ounces per dozen

Large= 24 ounces per dozen

Extra-Large= 27 ounces per dozen

Jumbo= 30 ounces per dozen

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Large eggs are the standard in most recipes. If you don’t have large eggs, you substitute another size with this conversation chart from American Egg Board.

Who determines egg size?

Eggs are inspected for size and quality by a trained U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grader. Grading is voluntary and an indication of quality. (Note that a different inspection for wholesomeness and safety is mandatory.) Compliance with quality standards, grades and weights is also monitored by USDA.

Egg farms or companies that choose to have their eggs graded pay for that service from USDA, and the cartons they sell then feature the USDA grade shield.  These cartons will have a USDA Grade AA, Grade A or Grade B shield, depending on the inspectors’ assessment of internal and external egg quality.

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State agencies monitor egg packers who do not use the USDA grading service, and those cartons will bear a term such as “Grade A” without the USDA shield.

Now that you know how to size up eggs, check out our blog archives or Egg Answers for other egg safety topics. For ongoing egg safety information follow us on Facebook and  Twitter.