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Many recipes for the raw-egg yolk sauces and dressings suggest using pasteurized eggs for safety, and say they are available in stores. I've never seen them for sale anywhere. Generally I accept the 1 in 30,000 risk of salmonella (healthy, young, comfortable with calculated risks); however, when I cook for others, I feel uncomfortable exposing them to the risk.

Now I'm wondering:

  • Where can I obtain pasteurized or irradiated eggs?
  • Are they only available in special stores, or in certain regions? Just in big cities, or in Europe?
  • Is there an easy way to pasteurize your own eggs (preferably in the shell) without affecting texture?
  • How does using pasteurized eggs impact the shelf life of homemade mayonnaises and custards?
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It's a good question, but hard to answer. I've been looking for pasteurized eggs where I live, at specialized retailers and haven't found them. The theory is to pasteurize them sous-vide at 57ºC for 1:15' –  BaffledCook Jun 25 '11 at 22:06
    
I know that safest choice has been mentioned, and you said the stores listed (Harris Teeter, and Lowes) don't seem to have them. I do know that Restaurant Depot seems to carry them as well. I don't know if you are near Charlotte, NC but it might be worth swinging by there. You just need to fill out an application that you do some sort of food service and membership is free, I think you run a food blog and I think that is enough. –  jeffwllms Jul 14 '11 at 4:41
    
Also you can check out this site here. It might not be the most exact method but might be better than nothing, since you can't buy them. Couldn't hurt to try it. The whits should cloudy but still have the basic texture. The yolk will most likely set up just a tad. Hold an uncooked egg or two from your batch to compare. Again probably not 100% but if you are really worried about it, it should be better than the raw. –  jeffwllms Jul 14 '11 at 4:44
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The theory is to pasteurize them sous-vide at 57ºC for 1:15'. You must be able to control the temperature, so specialized equipment is needed (ronner or similar).

The resulting egg has a different texture than ordinary (and I believe it tastes more 'yolky').

I've kept homemade mayo for more than two weeks without problem (off smell / taste).

Custards are heated, so no pasteurized eggs are needed, just like hollandaise sauce.

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what if I can't afford to buy or even home-build a sous-vide rig (yes, I have seen the $75 immersion circulator build)? –  BobMcGee Jun 26 '11 at 3:58
    
If you cannot do sous-vide, then you must resort to buying pasteurized yolks... if you can find them. –  BaffledCook Jun 26 '11 at 6:58
    
Are there ways to approximate this without an immersion circulator? Maybe a double boiler or somesuch? –  BobMcGee Jul 5 '11 at 17:28
    
You could try a double boiler with a digital thermometer and an induction precision cooker... Can't be too hard, can it? –  BaffledCook Jul 5 '11 at 22:09
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Pasteurisation requires fine control over temperature which would be very tricky at home.

According to 'Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs' at www.safeeggs.com, in North Carolina pasteurised eggs are available at Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter. That will hopefully mean more to you than it does to me!

As for shelf life, I would imagine there are few negative effects - if anything they should last longer as there will be fewer bacteria, providing you've used sterilised equipment.

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The local Harris Teeter definitely didn't have them, but I'll have to check other locations to see if it may vary. There's not a nearby Lowe's Foods to check. –  BobMcGee Jul 2 '11 at 18:32
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