Look at the Difference Between Sizes of Eggs
We always stress that following a recipe exactly – especially the first time – is of upmost importance if you want to achieve success. The specific ingredients called for should be purchased and prepped as described. This Tip is about egg size. We use eggs so frequently, whether we are making a large important celebration cake or simply whipping up weekend muffins or chocolate chip cookies for the bake sale. When at the market, make sure you are buying what is called for. The top image shows two pretty brown eggs: large on the left and extra-large on the right. You can see that they are different sizes. Most recipes call for multiple eggs. If you use the wrong size egg and then multiply it by the number of eggs in the ingredient list, you can see how by the time you get to the end of the recipe that you have completely thrown off the intended ratio. I deliberately chose differently colored brown eggs to point out that that makes no difference. White, brown, or even green or blue, as seen below, doesn’t matter. We are concerned about what is inside.
Now look at this image below of the same two eggs from the top image broken open into a bowl. Again you can see the volume of the extra-large egg on the right is greater. We use large eggs in our Test Kitchen and will always specify. Please use them. If a recipe you are using – or a guest recipe on Bakepedia calls for extra-large, or jumbo – then use that size. Also, as an aside, you can see the chalaza very clearly on the egg on the right.
Rose Levy Beranbaum and I chatted about egg size and you can read more about that in our interview. She talks about how egg volumes have changed for some very interesting reasons.
The USDA has guidelines for egg sizes and weights in the U.S. The weights are calculated per dozen as there will be small variations per individual egg. They are natural products, after all. (Note that small eggs are not typically available to the average baker. They are usually sold for commercial use, which is why you won’t see them in the supermarket).
Small – 18 ounces per dozen (about 1.5 ounces per egg)
Medium – 21 ounces per dozen (about 1.75 ounces per egg)
Large – 24 ounces per dozen (about 2 ounces per egg)
Extra-Large – 27 ounces per dozen (about 2.25 ounces per egg)
Jumbo – 30 ounces per dozen (about 2.5 ounces per egg)
If you must make substitutions, the American Egg Board does have a chart with recommendations.