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Improve your baking with this one simple switch.

By Maryn Liles and Maryn Liles
April 14, 2020
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Cracking an egg over a bowl of batter
Credit: milan2099 / Getty Images

There are a million and one ways to use eggs in the kitchen, from making hot and melty cheese omelets to chilled, hard boiled eggs. But, when it comes to baking, you might be surprised to learn that your eggs will be best when used at room temperature.

The temperature of your eggs impacts the structure, texture ,and flavor of your baked goods, which is why first bringing your eggs to room temperature will help your favorite recipes turn out even better.

But, when you’re in a rush, taking the time to bring your eggs to room temperature is an important step that can easily be overlooked — since it can take over an hour for an egg to reach room temperature on its own.

Why are room temperature eggs good for baking?

Eggs play an important role in baking recipes — from classic cakes and cookies to more complicated recipes, like meringues and macarons. They are that special ingredient that helps create stability and structure in a batter, while also acting as the “glue” that helps all the other ingredients stick together.

Room temperature eggs are good for baking because they blend more evenly in batters and help the dough rise more easily than cold eggs straight out of the fridge.

Cold eggs, on the other hand, can result in lumpy batter, a stodgy texture, and require longer baking times — and no one wants that! That’s why learning how to bring eggs to room temperature quickly and, most importantly, safely is a must.

Why is leaving eggs sitting out until they reach room temperature a health risk?

Leaving eggs out on the counter for an hour so they can reach room temperature on their own is a bad idea.

A cold egg that has been left out on the counter can start to sweat as the cold shell warms faster than the egg’s insides, promoting the growth of bacteria. And, since eggs have rather porous shells, this bacteria could get inside your egg and pose a serious health risk.

Luckily, there are only three things you need in order to bring your eggs to room temperature quickly and safely: a bowl, warm water, and a few minutes.

How can you bring eggs to room temperature quickly and safely?

The fastest way to bring your eggs to room temperature so they’re recipe-ready  in a flash is by using warm water, and there are two methods that work best: the running tap water method and the water bath method.

How to bring your eggs to room temperature using the running water method:

  1. Place your eggs in a bowl or a container.
  2. Turn on the hot water in your kitchen sink and run your fingers through it. Make sure the water isn’t too hot or the eggs could start cook! Aim for a pleasantly warm stream of water — similar to an average shower temperature.
  3. When the water has reached the correct temperature, place the bowl in the sink and let the water run over your eggs for about 2-5 minutes.
  4. To test if your eggs have reached room temperature, take one out of the bowl and hold it in your hand. When the eggs have lost their chill from the refrigerator and feel warm to the touch, that’s how you’ll know they’re ready.

How to bring your eggs to room temperature using the water bath method:

If you’d rather not hover over your eggs while the water runs over them to check their temperature regularly, give this water-saving method a try instead.

  1. Place your eggs in a bowl or another container.
  2. Run the water in your kitchen sink until it feels warm to the touch — it should feel as warm as a nice, relaxing bubble bath.
  3. Then, fill the bowl with warm tap water so it covers your eggs completely.
  4. Let your eggs soak for 5-10 minutes, or until they are no longer cold to the touch.

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