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When adding an entire raw egg at the same point in a recipe (not separating the yolk and white), what determines whether it should first be beaten, or dropped in whole? I've seen some recipes call for a beaten egg; others, specifically a meatloaf and a couple of cookie doughs, emphasize to not beat the egg before adding it.

The closest I found in here after an extensive search was this, which addresses why to add a beaten egg after the rest of the ingredients are mixed together, but doesn't explain why or when to beat it.
Why would a recipe say mix all ingredients, then add egg and mix again?

Other than the obvious mixing of yolk and white, how does beating it affect the proteins and other elements, and how do those effects impact other ingredients and cooking processes?

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2 Answers 2

The main reason TO beat an egg before adding it is that the mixture to which you are adding is not going to be sufficiently mixed afterwards to homogenize the egg. That is, if you are adding the egg and then just "stirring gently", that's not going to be enough to beat the egg.

This would also be the reason NOT to beat the egg. In a few cases (such as some meatloaf/burger recipes) cooks want the yolk and egg to remain mostly separate within the mixture. Again, this would be if you're adding an egg to a mixture which was not going to be stirred a lot afterwards.

Of course, the other reason not to beat the egg would be to avoid dirtying another bowl and a whisk.

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Adds air i.e. fluffs them, like you do before scrambling. This can affect the outcome of what you are baking/cooking.

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