During my chicken workshops I cover how to wash eggs. It’s not really a complicated subject but you might be surprised at how many people are concerned about bacteria on eggs (especially with that big Salmonella scare last year) and want to know specifically how to clean them.
I get it, I get it. Eggs come out where??? Poop is gross. Poops on eggs is even more gross. But let’s talk a little about those eggs.
First of all when eggs are laid, they are covered with a thin oil coating that makes the shell impermeable to water (and therefore bacteria.) Because of this, you don’t need to refrigerate an unwashed egg for up to a few (3 tops) days. (Of course I tell people that they shouldn’t ever leave any eggs in a very hot kitchen or in direct sunlight.)
Most people don’t like any kind of dirt (especially poop) on their eggs. Not a problem, but all you really need is a little water and a soft sponge.
This is how I wash all of our eggs:
I use gloves, but I use thin plastic (reusable gloves) so that I can retain a certain amount of feel for the eggs. If you have any cuts or scraps on your hands, gloves are a requirement. (If you choose not to use gloves then make sure you use lots of soap and hot water afterward to wash your hands.)
I use a soft plastic bucket (I use the bottom of an old salad spinner) and fill it halfway with warm (not hot) water. Each egg gets gently placed in the bottom of the bucket (I only do about 10 eggs at a time to make sure they have room around them.)
Any eggs that float or whose butts tilt upward are discarded because it means that air has entered the shell and you can no longer guarantee that they haven’t been contaminated. Throw those suckers out.
Each remaining egg is then picked up and with a soft sponge (dollar store sponges work great) I gently scrub off any dirt. You’ll soon discover that a light touch is all you need. Continue reading