Raw Eggs in Sauces & Dressings?

A couple of recent threads here had me re-investigating one of my fav cookbooks. It is full of delightful sauces and dressings, but almost all of them call for raw eggs. I am uncomfortable with this… and while I know you can buy pasteurized eggs, they are unavailable at my local Safeway.

What to do here? Just use them and hope they’re ok?

What do you do?

I get my eggs from a local farm, and use them to no ill effects. Some sauces have you coddle the egg a bit for the more nervous among us.

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Lucky you. Can you expand a little on the “coddle” statement?

I go farm eggs, and never need to refrigerate them. Every aioli I’ve made has been great. Trust the farmer, trust the eggs. Even farm eggs have jumped in price. 3 doz for $4 was the going rate forever. Now $7 for the same. Like raw milk, don’t take the risk if you get nervous.

Well, it’s one advantage of living in the boonies, I suppose - lotsa farms and cows, if yer into that :wink:

I can’t expand, as I don’t have any issues with using raw eggs. Hopefully, someone else can :slight_smile:

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You can pasteurize them yourself at a low temp with a sous vide circulator. Subs depends on the application. Meringue powder, mayo, etc. can be used to sub depending on recipe.


Eggs from small farms are no less likely to contain salmonella than eggs from large producers.


I’ll try to survive it. Haven’t gotten sick after these fine, soon to be, 54 years of life. From cookie dough to aioli, I’m one of the lucky ones. All these threats from real farms. You’d think farm kids would never survive. They rarely get sick, in reality.

So, you stay away from these menaces. I choose to enjoy them. That way, we’re both thrilled with the outcome. Ever eat a raw oyster?


I think the point is, you’re no less likely to contract salmonella from “farm” eggs as from “factory” eggs. So probably for every person like you who hasn’t gotten sick, there’s another who eats “factory” eggs and also hasn’t gotten sick.

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Most of these recipes are akin to a mayo, etc. Although I don’t have a sou vide, I can keep a close watch. What temp? How long?

So is freshness an issue here? I often have eggs in the fridge past the carton date. I measure the freshness by putting them in cold water (lie flat = fresh, stand up on end = ok, float = toss). So far no problems, but I am not using them raw.


But my eggs aren’t pasteurized.


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Most sources I have seen call for 135 F for 75 minutes. Would be difficult to maintain without a circulator.

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I may have to get a circulator. Final question… does the pasteurization process affect eggs for any other purpose? or should I only pasteurize them for use in recipes that require raw eggs/whites/yolks?

No, freshness is not the issue. The eggs get salmonella on them from being laid by the hens.


The whites of pasteurized eggs will be slightly cloudy and won’t whip quite as well. If you’re using raw egg yolks for things like mayo the acid in the recipe should be enough to make the end product safe. If you are interested in getting an immersion circulator to pasteurize eggs at home I recently purchased an Inkbird ISV-200W as a stopgap measure when my Joule cirsulator stopped working, Amazon has them on sale for $69.99 so if you’re looking for a relatively low-cost option I can certianly reccomend it. Not as powerful as the Joule, but it is very quiet, temperature is spot on (as measured by a thermopen) and it has on-board controls so you don’t need to use an app to operate it (but there is an app available if wanted). Of course, after I received the Inkbird I was able to get the Joule working again but it’s always good to have backups.


I buy extra large which jacks the price a bit, but we’re paying $16 for 3 dozen. The price for beef, pork, eggs etc. might be the only thing that could convince me to move back to the Midwest.

As to OP, “Just use them and hope they’re ok?” My answer (for me) is yes, just use and assume they’re okay. The US CDC says poached, sunny side up, etc. where yolk isn’t fully cooked may still have live bacterial contamination, and I’m not giving up my runny yolks, either. They estimate that as many as 1 per 20,000 eggs may have some salmonella contamination - at least on the shell. Even if the shell is fully intact, some can be contaminated inside the shell (contaminated prior to shell formation).

OTOH, the CDC also says (emphases are mine):

  • Salmonella can get on the shells of eggs when birds lay eggs or when the eggs touch bird droppings (poop) after being laid. This is not a problem for commercial eggs (for example, eggs you buy at the grocery store) because companies wash eggs before they reach stores.
  • Salmonella also can contaminate the egg’s contents while it is forming inside the chicken before shells are formed. Today, a lot fewer egg-laying hens have this problem than during the 1980s and 1990s, so eggs are safer. But some eggs are still contaminated with Salmonella.

Note also that bacterial infections are generally dose dependent. Wonder if you’d eat the full egg’s worth of the dressing in a single setting.

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Acid does not kill pathogens in food.