I have a Caesar recipe that calls for 2 egg yolks from coddled eggs. It prescribes submersing the eggs in near boiling water for just under a minute. This is in contrast to merely separating the eggs.

When I separate these eggs from the coddling process, the only thing I notice different from separating a cold egg is it's warmer, some of the white has started to cook, and they seem to separate easier. The yolk also seems more durable, but not overly so.

So what is the science behind a coddled egg for a recipe like this? Or is it merely to make the separating process easier?

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    Interesting, never heard the word before (not a native speaker). Is "coddling" the "submersing the eggs in near boiling water for just under a minute"? Sep 20, 2016 at 16:45
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    @WillemvanRumpt Yes.
    – Joe M
    Sep 20, 2016 at 18:25
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    @WillemvanRumpt: The word is most commonly used in English in a metaphorical sense: to treat someone very gently, in particular when they might deserve harsher treatment, is to "coddle". Sep 20, 2016 at 20:57

2 Answers 2


Eggs are coddled for a Caesar dressing in order to make the yolk slightly thicker. This in turn allows for a slightly thicker dressing. From your description, it sounds like you are doing it perfectly!


Coddling is done to kill bacteria, from an otherwise raw yolk. You can coddle separated yolks in a stainless steel mixing bowl with low heat, by constantly whisking them until it starts sticking on the sides. Then immerse bowl into ice bath to stop cooking anymore.

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