Here’s a situation: You’re in a rush at the store and need to grab a carton of eggs. There’s an entire wall of yellow, white and blue boxes each labeled cage-free, free-range, organic—and countless other selling points. You’re not picky. You quickly grab a carton (and take a peek to ensure they aren’t broken) and continue to checkout.
While the eggs may look similar enough, there’s one thing you might not consider when purchasing at the store. Egg size.
Unless you’re gathering eggs from the backyard or your local farmer’s market, eggs are labeled with a standardized size set by the USDA. These guidelines classify eggs according to their weight by the dozen and sort them into groups:
- Peewee: 15oz.
- Small: 18oz.
- Medium: 21oz.
- Large: 24oz.
- Extra Large: 27oz.
- Jumbo: 30oz.
*Peewee and small eggs are a pretty rare find here in the U.S.
While there will be some inevitable variation between the individual eggs in your carton, on average, this means a large egg should weigh about 2 ounces and a jumbo egg should hit about 2.5 ounces on your scale. (Extra large fall somewhere in the middle around 2.2 ounces per egg.)
Why Does Egg Size Matter?
While size may not make much of a difference if you’re whipping up scrambled eggs or one of these other classic egg recipes, size does matter when baking. Most baking recipes (including our own!) specify to use large eggs in the ingredient list, as even a half-ounce egg can throw off a recipe. For example, cakes with too much egg can become tough and rubbery, while a cake with too little egg can turn short and crumbly.
What If I’m Baking With Jumbo?
Don’t fear! With simple math and a digital scale, you can convert jumbo eggs to large eggs. Simply multiply the weight of a single large egg (2oz.) by the number that the recipe calls for (e.g. 5 x 2oz. = 10oz of eggs). Then whisk your jumbo eggs in a small bowl. Place a separate bowl on your digital scale and pour the whisked eggs until you reach your desired weight.
You may have a little leftover but that’s OK. Simply save it for tomorrow’s breakfast scramble for more eggy goodness.
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