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Two Yolks, One Egg

I was just making myself some breakfast--fried eggs, I'm slack so I never put them in a bowl first. Anyway, upon cracking my first egg I took a double-take there were two yolks.

Is this a common thing? Did I just eat chicken twins? Did I just get 1000 years good luck according to the Chinese? Am I extra fertile?

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  1. My impression is that double-yolkers are pretty rare. I've only encountered them a couple of times in my 60 years, most recently about 3-4 years ago. I don't know about 1000 years of good luck but I think they're really special and am always hopeful when I crack an egg.

    1. The bigger the egg, the more likely chance of a double yolk. They are every bit as good as those with one yolk. Consider yourself blessed.

      1. I see them quite ofter when i buy jumbo eggs. It is not as common among smaller eggs. I have a carton or two where all of the were doubles.

        BTW I am an old Home Ec. I don't know where that non-sense about breaking an egg into another bowl first came about unless someone was using really old eggs that were suspect. Why get something else dirty? If your eggs are fresh there should be no problem.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          We see them too with the jumbo eggs. Sometimes we will find a double every couple of weeks or so.

          1. re: Candy

            It's done by Jews who keep kosher and do not eat blood (which is why kosher meat is soaked and salted to remove as much blood as possible before cooking). If there's a blood spot in an egg, it would contaminate the whole cake batter or whatever you were cracking the egg into. So you break the eggs separately and check them before dumping them into whatever you're making. It's also easier to get out any stray bits of shell at that point.

            1. re: JRBlack

              that makes sense, I'm jewish, but while my family is far from kosher, I do recall the blood spot thing from my mom.

              1. re: RaleighRocker

                Likewise; I remember my grandmother telling me a story from the days of food rationing during World War II. She was using a week's worth of rationed eggs to make a Passover spongecake, and the 9th one turned out to be fertilized. She had to throw out the whole mix.

            2. re: Candy

              my dad always told me; you never know when there is a bad egg. He told me no matter what, to always crack the egg in a bowl first. I listen to my dad, haha, dad knows best!

              1. re: Candy

                I'm not Jewish, but my mother taught me that for the same reason - so that you wouldn't contaminate the whole dish with blood, or eggshell bits if you did a bad job of cracking the egg.

                1. re: cookie monster

                  Yea, I'm Jewish but I thought the egg separating because of blood process was just for health reasons!


                2. re: Candy

                  Candy, have you ever gotten a bad egg? I did ONCE after more than 30 years of cooking. I know the meaning of gag reflex. I had to go sit down. New carton straight from the store.
                  Thank God I usually do just what Mama always said and broke that one into a small bowl first because sometimes I break them right into whatever I'm making.
                  Candy, one bad egg and you'll use a little bowl forever!

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    No, not ever. I'll put out that I'll be 59 come 10/24. Never had a bad egg. I've broken a lot of eggs, farm fresh or store bought. All have been fine except for a "wild" nest I found with friends as a kid under a holly in Savannah. The eggs were abandoned (why can't I spell tonight?) and truly rotten.

                    Of course if you do a bad job of breaking eggs, the easiest way of retrieving bits of shell is with a larger bit of shell. It is almost like a shell magnet

                  2. re: Candy

                    I have a winter source of eggs and a summer source.

                    The former is a small, local market producer and the cartons of very large, beautiful, white eggs she sells out of her mud room usually have a double - yoker in them. She tries to include one in each carton sold locally. This is not one of those factory operations with cramped cages and patented Shaver StarCross layers. But still, it is a commercial operation. Local word has it that no-one has ever encountered a bad egg from this farm.

                    My preferred supplier is an Amish lady who operates a stall on Saturdays. Hers are brown eggs so large that the egg carton often has to be held shut with an elastic band. These are free range hens that forage in addition to their commercial feed. Almost all the eggs are fresh that day, but the odd bad one slips through. Almost all have blood spots. So, yes, those eggs for sure are broken into a bowl.

                    As are the other ones.

                    The closer you get to real eggs, the more you should check.

                  3. My grandparents owned and operated a chicken farm when I was young and my sister and I often helped my uncle collect eggs. We found double yolks in the extra large eggs occasionally, and in the jumbo eggs pretty frequently. It was pretty rare but on occasion we'd find a jumbo egg that had a triple yolk in it. That was pretty exciting for a kid to see the egg cracked and 3 yolks come out.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      I've cracked a lot of eggs in my baking and pastry career, have seen a good number of double yolks but only one triple. They do happen every now and then, once in a blue moon.

                    2. Sort of like "chick twins." More common from young chickens who don't quite have laying down yet and you'll get this more commonly from barnyard eggs. Double yolk eggs are usually more elongated, larger and have thinner shells. They rarely hatch. Sometimes eggs can have no yolk.

                      I bought entire dozen cartons from a farmer as a treat for my children when they were small, which they thought was the coolest thing. The farmer said that they checked any eggs they suspected of being doubles by candling - holding them up to a bright light, allowing them to see through the shell - and assembling cartons of a dozen.
                      Some cultures consider them bad luck, presaging a death in the family. The farmer I traded with sold the doubles separately because he had a lot of Southern, African and Caribbean customers.

                      1. I constantly get double yolks whenever I buy jumbo eggs from the Tallegio egg lady at the GAP Farmer's Market.

                        1. Occasionally here in Wisconsin, I will run across someone selling eggs at a farmer's market who sells whole dozens and even trays of double yolk eggs. I dont know how they can tell which are double yolks and which are just jumbo eggs (I cant believe that they would 'candle' each egg to separate them, but what do I know?) but I have only gotten one or two out of many dozens purchased that turned out to NOT be double yolks. I would say that they are unusual, but not necessarily rare.

                          I did once get an egg that was double yolk AND double shell; I think that was pretty rare!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Fydeaux

                            Egg sizing and grading is voluntary for farmers' markets. For commercial sales, sizing is done by weight per dozen (ranging from peewee to jumbo) and there are grading standards determined by exterior and interior characteristics. They do candle them but it's now done by computers that match the eggs against normal profiles. That's why it's extremely rare to get double yolks in grocery store eggs.

                            Double yolk eggs are usually elongated, rather than "egg shaped," so a farmer has a pretty good clue just looking at them that they'll be double yolked. Egg candlers are pretty standard equipment for farms that hatch their own chicks and are fairly inexpensive. If farmers can get a premium for double yolk eggs or want to avoid selling them with regular stock, they may do it as a matter of course like my egg vendor did.

                          2. I have often seen double yolkers.

                            1. I worked with a fellow in the '80's who had chickens - no idea what variety. He gave me a dozen eggs a week for years, very rarely was there a single yolk! 80% were double, probably 12 -15% triple, once in a while a quad. He said that was just how they laid them...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: meatn3

                                I haven't seen a double-yolker since I was a kid! It used to be so exciting to see...

                              2. For a while I was buying mostly jumbo eggs, and I'd get a double-yolk egg in maybe two out of three cartons - but one carton had only ONE single-yolk egg in it! Then Trader Joe's here in SoCal began selling extra-large eggs for 99ยข, and I don't think I've seen a double yolk since.

                                1. I don't want to burst your bubble...but.... you can actually buy double yolk eggs by the carton. To get one in a regular carton is special though.

                                  1. I haven't heard of the 1000 years of good luck. At my parents' Chinese restaurant, I opened about twelve of them in a row from a large package of eggs. I noticed the eggs were slightly elongated. My dad noted the double yolks and we went straight back to work. If I'm supposed to have 12,000 years of good luck at this point, I'd trade it all for a single minute of buying the right lottery ticket. :-)

                                    1. My father has a friend who owns a chicken farm. For my high school graduation, he gave me 5-dozen double-yolked eggs. I don't think they're all that rare, especially the way chickens are bred these days.

                                      1. ok chowhounders, what do you make of THIS!?
                                        the carton of eggs we just finished had 12 double yolks.
                                        every single one was a double yolk.
                                        we cracked the last two just out of curiosity more than hunger!

                                        sorry, just read the ones immediately prior and noticed that this has turned into being quite common. but shouldn't the package say double yolks?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: alisonb

                                          If you go to the egg man in the Jean Talon market in Montreal you can purchase flats 30 eggs of double yolks. There are chickens that normally lay double yolk eggs and double yolk eggs have been part of my diet for over 60 years as my mother used to buy cartons and flats of double yolk eggs. They are available in all sizes and with white or brown shells but have only recently become aware that many people are not aware of their existence.

                                          Moe in Stanstead Quebec