So what’s the deal with Duck Eggs?

 

We need to talk about duck eggs. Years ago I discovered duck eggs and have been on the lookout for them at farmers’ markets every since.

Duck Eggs are much bigger than Chicken Eggs

Larger Duck Egg is on the right.

Duck eggs make a huge difference in baking at high altitude

The duck egg on the left has a significantly larger yolk than the chicken egg on the right.

There’s no time like the present to experience the difference a duck egg can make in your baking.

First, for the most part, duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs. Their yolks have a higher fat content (many people use the word “silkier” when describing the texture difference when you bake or cook with duck eggs) and a higher water content. They also have a larger yolk, percentage-wise, than chicken eggs do.

The shell and membrane of a duck egg is a little sturdier than that of a chicken. You’ll also notice that the egg white is a little more viscous than that of a chicken egg. You might even need to scoop the egg out of the shell with a spoon.

I first played around with duck eggs when I lived in Colorado at an elevation of close to 7000 feet. I really had to work hard to get baked goods to turn out right at that altitude. Using duck eggs in my brownie recipe made all the difference. Those duck eggs stabilized the batter and gave me perfect brownies; I didn’t make any other altitude adjustments. At this point, I live right on the edge of needing to adjust for altitude. Most of the time I don’t need to make adjustments but if I find that I do, duck eggs will do it for me.

Usually the yolks of duck eggs are a deep yellow or orange. The flavor is slightly different and richer than chicken eggs. A simple breakfast of scrambled duck eggs can be a real treat. An entire omelet or a fritata made with duck eggs is sheer heaven.

Often, finding duck eggs for sale can be a challenge. We’ve found that the best place to start is the local farmers market. (If you’re in the NC high country, try the Watauga Farmers Market and look for New Life Farms. They’re usually selling duck eggs.) I’ve also seen them listed on Craigslist. In fact, if you google “where can I buy duck eggs in ___________” and fill in the name of your city and state, you’ll be amazed at how many listings you find.

I have the personal philosophy that it’s always good to try new foods. Duck eggs are definitely worth going on the list of things to try. (If you have finicky or NON-adventurous eaters, you can probably slip some duck egg research right past them because they aren’t THAT different than chicken eggs.)

Duck eggs

What about you? Have you used duck eggs? Do you have any favorite recipes that you like to substitute duck eggs for chicken eggs?

Barb

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  1. I absolutely LOVE duck eggs. You just get so much more “bang for your buck”. The taste is heavenly. I haven’t had a chance to use them in baking, but I can only imagine my friends and family asking what my secret is and going crazy for some baked goods made with duck eggs. If you haven’t tried them, don’t be afraid, you won’t want to go back to chicken eggs.

  2. Well, there’s one more thing I’m going to have to try sometime. You are a wonder! How does the price compare with chicken eggs?

    • They ARE more expensive than chicken eggs. If you buy the free range chicken eggs at the farmers market, the price is much closer to comparable. Of course you use fewer eggs for things like omelets and fritatas. For me the very biggest value comes from their stabilizing properties for a couple of really fragile cake recipes I make. If the cake turns out and I don’t waste all the ingredients in a cake, the duck eggs are actually worth the extra cost!