I am planning on making eggnog for the first time, and in looking across recipes I am finding both “cooked” and “uncooked” recipes. For example, Alton Brown's eggnog recipe on Food Network has both an uncooked variant (first half) and a cooked variant (second half).

I do not have much experience seeing eggnog made and have not tasted it before. I grew up in a country where eggnog is not a thing (Australia) meaning I have not grown up around people making it, and am living in another where that still seems true (the UK).

What's the difference between cooked and uncooked? What should I know when making a choice between which version to make? Is this just a personal preference thing?

Chef Treble comments on cooked having a richer flavour, at least for one recipe. I have read about people recommending pasteurised eggs for eggnog, and UMN says in their article about making safe eggnog that “using a pasteurized product means that no further cooking is necessary.” Should the uncooked version only be using pasteurised eggs, or something like that?

  • 5
    When dealing with egg safety, be careful to concentrate on sources that are based on the same processing as the eggs you can buy. For example in the US, eggs must be washed and refrigerated, in the EU they must not. I don't know about Australia. In the UK, laying hens are vaccinated against salmonella, so that's much less of a concern than in countries where this isn't the case
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 20:58
  • @ChrisH That's a relief to hear actually; I am living in the UK at the moment! I've updated just in case the country is particularly relevant to answers. Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 21:01
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    A BBC Good Food article reckons you should tell your guests if it's made with raw egg, but the Food Standards Agency (reported last year in the Guardian says raw eggs are fine, unless people are "severely imuno-compromised" - so they're OK in pregnancy and for babies (though the alcohol presumably wouldn't be)
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 21:07
  • 3
    You probably don't have time to use my egg safety technique -- buy eggs about 2-3 weeks before you need them, then keep them in the fridge and see if the news reports on any egg recalls. ... then use them.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 21:19
  • @doppelgreener Does my answer add something of value to you? If not I'll gladly delete... (see comment below it)
    – Fabby
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 18:31

2 Answers 2


Cooked or Uncooked eggnog is a safety decision.In US you get pasteurised eggs generally, unless you are in a raw food store or something. With pasteurised eggs you can use then raw in recipes without worry. In some other countries (like in India where I am now) eggs are not pasteurised. So to kill the salmonella etc, it is required to bring the eggs to above 160F in recipes. This you can see in Tiramisu recipes also where it similarly starts with a custard.

  • 3
    Pasteurized eggs are not the norm in US grocery stores. Most eggs are not pasteurized, however pasteurized eggs are generally available for a higher price.
    – Debbie M.
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 15:04

As you've never made any eggnog, stick to the uncooked version this year and ensure all of it is gone by New Year.

The cooked eggnog is what you use during the year to get rid of the excess eggs you have all year long from your chickens and then drink during the Christmas period.¹

Noter¹: Or at least, that's how my granny used to do it, so I've never bothered making the cooked version

  • Answer does not add useful info Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 5:01
  • It shows the difference between the two so the OP can make up his own mind whether or not to go the cooked route (or not).
    – Fabby
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 18:30

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