Eggcyclopedia

Welcome to the The Incredible Edible Egg™ Eggcyclopedia, where you can access the latest egg information from A-Z. The Eggcyclopedia was developed by the American Egg Board (AEB) on behalf of America's egg farmers who are committed to caring for their hens and producing high-quality eggs for you and your families.

Just click on any letter below to bring up a list of egg terms and their related definitions.

Cooking Equipment

It’s easy to cook eggs with no special kitchen equipment. For example, you don't need to have a double boiler to cook egg sauces and custards. Simply use a heavy-gauge saucepan over low heat. However, there are some pieces of kitchen equipment designed especially for preparing eggs. Some of these items – such as an electric egg cooker – are limited to egg use only, while others – such as custard cups – come in handy for a variety of foods. As a rule, on top of the range, cooking is more even in heavy-gauge pots and pans. Baking dishes and pans of the proper size are particularly important for items that rise, such as breads, cakes and soufflés.

Beaters

Cooks once had to rely on muscle power to whip eggs. They used an assortment of large and small, flat and balloon-shaped whisks, many of which are still available. Today, most cooks use an electric stand mixer or a portable electric mixer. Blenders and some food processors can whip up a whole egg, an egg yolk or a mixture but do not produce stiffly beaten egg whites.

Bowls

There has long been a great controversy about the merits, if any, of using a copper bowl to produce volume in beaten egg whites. The copper in the bowl reacts with the conalbumin of egg whites much like cream of tartar to stabilize egg-white foam. With the addition of cream of tartar, a stainless steel or glass bowl works just as well, is much less expensive and avoids the possibility of copper leaching into food.

Because they tend to absorb fat, plastic and wooden bowls aren’t suitable for beating egg whites. Any film or residue of fat will keep the whites from forming a stable foam. The size and shape of a bowl is important. When you use an electric stand mixer, use the bowl that comes with the mixer. A deep bowl with enough room for expansion is best for an electric hand mixer. For hand-whipping with a balloon whisk, use a bowl that’s rounded at the bottom, at least 10 inches across the top and 5 to 6 inches deep.