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Aug 3, 2013 09:08 AM

Getting the most out of fresh pastured eggs

I just bought some eggs from Grazin' Angus Acres and they were definitely a splurge in comparison to regular eggs you get at the supermarket. At $10 a dozen, I dont want to waste it. What would you recommend to best appreciate their flavor? Seeing as they're fresh, boiled is probably out of the question. I can see eggs benedict and oeufs en cocotte as a good option. I suspect brioche would also be a good idea as would anything with a custard like an apricot flan tart. Maybe even fresh pasta. Or would fresh eggs be wasted on things like these?

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  1. Soft boiled, three minute eggs. Serve with a slice of the best bread you can find, lightly toasted.

    1. Simpler the better, I say. Sunnyside-up on toast, to appreciate the deep color of the yolk, and--I'm not sure what the names are--but fresh fried eggs have two distinct levels of egg white, with a higher kind of "shoulder" surrounding the yolk, and then a flatter part of white. Fresher eggs have great definition between the whites, whereas older eggs have the whites more broken down into oneness.

      My personal favorite is over-easy on toast.

      I think their freshness will be less apparent, the more they are worked into other forms and elements. That said, I could be wrong about some things I've never tried, like souffles.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Bada Bing

        We find the texture of the whites 'firmer.' And the yolks are just so darned perky :) A Serious Eats test showed that no one could tell a difference in taste and I don't think I can.

        Here's a link from our local co-op re pastured eggs. If you go to the bottom of page three you'll see the nutritional data which is what sold me on the notion of paying (only)$9/dz.

        My fave is soft poached or over very easy.

        1. re: c oliver

          The linked article contains at least one glaring piece of misinformation: It is illegal to feed chickens hormones in the U.S. Still buy local, though.

          1. re: pikawicca

            I missed that, pika. I'm somewhat associated with the co-op and will point this out to them. Thanks.

            1. re: c oliver

              however, i think a lot of consumers aren't aware of that. i see no-hormones on all sorts of egg cartons.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                I actually read something about that.

        2. re: Bada Bing

          +1 on keeping it simple. Over easy or poached on toast. Or, if it were still in season, with asparagus. Or on top of a salad of mixed lettuce greens.

        3. The less cooking the better. Eggs Benedict is a great idea. I don't think you'd notice any difference in things like custard or brioche.

          I get eggs from my farmer's market all the time (but they are much less than yours ... $5/dozen). Compared to grocery store, what I notice:
          1) Yolks are more orange
          2) Whites are thicker - They are noticeably thicker right around the yolk.
          3) They keep a lot longer.

          I took a soufflé class a few months ago and the instructor said that older egg whites are better for soufflés, so don't use these fresh eggs in something like that.

          3 Replies
          1. re: stockholm28

            Thanks for the pointer on souffle.

            I do know that fresh eggs are positively to be avoided for hard-boiling. For that, you want eggs on their last (l)eggs... Couldn't resist....

            1. re: Bada Bing

              Not so if you steam, rather than poach them. Steam for 18 minutes, immediately cool under cold running water, and peel. Works even with a just-laid egg. I like to crack it, then roll it around on the counter; the peel usually comes off in a single spiral.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                because most eggs are sold washed in the states, you can "age" the eggs, by leaving them at room temp. i think i read that 24 hours at room temp is equivalent to one week in the fridge. i do this often.

            2. Salad Lyonnaise

              Yes, I know, that it's basically a salad with a poached egg draped over it. But for me, for some odd reason, the combination of fresh greens (usu. some frisée or arugula), crisp bacon, a carefully, and lightly poached egg and some warm vinaigrette is just magical.

              And the crown jewel of the dish really is a fresh poached egg, the fabric that brings the entire dish together.

              1. $10 a dozen!! Holy Cow!!! $3 a dozen is max around here. I get $2.50 for mine and make money! ~ At $10 a dozen I wouldn't include them in anything...just eat the eggs your way.

                36 Replies
                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  There's a difference between pastured eggs and what a lot of people get from roadside stands or farmers markets. Pastured eggs are from chickens that are out in the pasture with cows, sheep, etc. They're eating grubs and other yummy things. The ones I'm getting are from hens that go into their portable coop at night (mounted on a little flatbed trailer). When the livestock is moved, so are the chickens.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Trust me, I understand. I also understand that anyone that pays $10 a dozen for eggs, be they pastured, free range or whatever else you wanna call it is getting taken advantage of. To put it nicely!

                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      So are your hens out with the other animals every day eating all those yummy bugs and plants? I'm getting what I pay for, a super nutritious food.

                      • 1/3 less cholesterol
                      • 1/4 less saturated fat
                      • 2/3more vitamin A
                      • 5 timesmore vitamin D
                      • 3 timesmore vitamin E
                      • 2 timesmore omega-3
                      fatty acids
                      • 7 timesmore beta carotene

                      As well as 4-5 time more calcium. The list goes on.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        No other animals. (Like this makes any difference) They do eat bugs and plants but no cow dung to peck in. They have their on 15 acre pasture to roam in. How about yours???

                        Sorry you are paying so much! I really am!

                        1. re: Uncle Bob

                          Actually I'm glad I'm paying that much. They come from a family farm and it's insanely hard to make a living farming. I can afford it. I want small farms and ranches to succeed. You might enjoy this link:


                            1. re: c oliver

                              Obviously the CoL is higher in your area, but I don't care if you're Bill Gates, $10/doz. is absurd. It's one thing to support your local ag., it's another to be exploited.

                              1. re: Scoutmaster

                                In your humble opinion, of course. sedimental below mentioned that her hobby costs $5/dz. There's a difference between having chickens in your yard and giving them what they need to produce the kinds of eggs we're discussing.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I have several local sources for pastured eggs from hobbyists ranging from $1.25-$3.50. Even the FM has them for $3.

                                  1. re: Scoutmaster

                                    Just repeating what sedimental reported. Cost of feed = $5/dz. She may be feeding higher quality feed. Like "organic," "natural," etc. people can call chickens pastured when they're not really. You know, like free range. My neighbor who used to give me eggs had hers in a pen and they got feed and that was it.

                                    1. re: Scoutmaster

                                      The cost of a small flock is very individual. I pay 30 bucks per month for their store bought feed alone. Then I supliment that too. I could pay just buy the GMO layer chow but it shows in the eggs, IMO. I also have a heated hen house for the cold months. I change the bedding frequently for cleanliness and pests. I use vet services if I am worried about a disease or illness. All this costs money. So, 5 bucks a dozen at least pays for my hobby.

                                      Some people just set the chickens out in the pasture, feed them scaps and collect the eggs. They survive and give eggs either way. So, costs can really be different for each situation.

                                      1. re: sedimental

                                        Thanks for explaining it as an insider in a way I never could.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          But prices will vary. The people I bought eggs from for 10 years are farmers. With a business. I trust their business ability. When I moved from that town I was paying 4.50/dozen. I have no reason to believe that they were selling them at a loss.

                                          It's just going to vary from place to place. And I suspect because this is not a hobby for them but part of their farm business, they might have more knowledge and ability to keep prices lower than a hobbyist would have.

                                          1. re: debbiel

                                            If you looked at the site I linked, you'll see it's a multi-generation farm/ranch, not a hobby.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              I was referring to sedimental's chickens, described below as a hobby.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            I am confused why being pastured with other livestock makes them better?

                            I have 14 hens and 1 rooster eating fermented organic Scratch and Peck feed and completely free ranging on about 1/2-3/4 of an acre. They also get quality table scraps and black oil sunflower seeds, plus the occasional dried mealworms.

                            When they finally start laying in the next couple of weeks, I expect the best possible eggs.

                            1. re: Becca Porter

                              Cause of the goodies in the poop :) And when one DOES have cows, etc. the hens keep the mosquito population lower. Another thing I learned from that article is that the eggs you see labeled "vegetarian" really aren't what you want since chickens are omnivores. Never thought about that before.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                those "vegetarian" hens are most often being fed soy and corn. not a chicken's first choice.

                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                    I don't know about soy, but our chickens LOVE corn. I understand it's not the healthiest for them - somebody once told me that feeding nothing but cracked corn to chickens is akin to feeding your teenagers an exclusive diet of Snickers bars and Pepsi.

                            2. re: Uncle Bob

                              It would be interesting to see what the range of price is around the country. I pay $4.50-$4.75/dozen, for eggs as described by c oliver.

                              1. re: debbiel

                                OP pays $10, I pay $9 and could probably get them for a dollar or more less from the farm. The cost of living in the area where the farm is isn't high. It's rural, away from even a small city.

                                1. re: debbiel

                                  $3.50 to $4 at my FM for pastured eggs grown by farmers who sell at the FM. I've visited two of the farms - the chickens are out there during the day eating bugs amidst the veggies and mingling with cows, sheep, and pigs. DC area.

                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    I pay $2/doz for true pastured eggs,in SW Ontario; grass and grubs supplemented by laying mash, which has vitamins, GMO soy, GMO corn, and calcium. The gov't restricts farmgate ungraded eggs, so they do run out sometimes because of high demand.

                                    1. re: jayt90

                                      Somehow GMO feed and pastured seem odd in the same sentence!

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        I am just being honest in my description.

                                        Most pastured chickens have access to a GMO feed bin. Ask and you will find out. The reason is cost. Organic feed with a similar nutritional analysis is available at the feed stores, but at double the cost.

                                        Since the chickens are picking up nutrients and vitamins off the ground, most farmgate growers opt for a low cost supplement.

                                        One other point: When I had backyard chickens, I was puzzled by the tags on the feed bags, showing nutritional analysis but never showing ingredients. I called, and the list was sent to me, but never published, organic or otherwise.

                                        1. re: jayt90

                                          I think you must be referring to your area. There is non-GMO feed available and, yes, it's expensive. That's probably why I'm paying quadruple what you pay. Just saying.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I am lucky to get a 40 lb bag of organic soy/corn feed for $30 through an Azure Standard drop (which is also great for lots of other organic food). I ferment my feed. It has a ton of benefits, including the fact that it cuts the amount needed way down and virtually eliminates waste.

                                            I feed 15 chickens on about 45 lbs a month.

                                            1. re: Becca Porter

                                              Thanks for that. Does organic mean non-GMO?

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Yes. Though you can also have non-gmo without the organic designation.

                                                1. re: Becca Porter

                                                  Thanks. Yeah, I understand that the organic designation can just be too expensive for some ranchers and farmers to go for.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Regular layer feed, with calcium for shells costs $15 a bag in my town. I'd be hard pressed to pay $30, and looking at the excellent quality of soy and corn grown in my county, I wouldn't even ask about GMO.

                                                    Organic feed is super expensive and the public is not on board.
                                                    Too many regulations and not enough benefit, plus lots of wiggle room for unscrupulous operators.

                                              2. re: Becca Porter

                                                So Becca you are saying your feed cost runs about $1 per dozen? Assuming you pick up about a dozen per day off of 15 hens.

                                                1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                  Yeah. My chickens are being stubborn though. They still haven't laid at 19 1/2 weeks. I guess it would be more if you count in the 5-6 months you're feeding them, but not getting eggs.

                                                  Plus, the cost of pine shavings, grit, and the occasional mealworms. Organic/free-range eggs go for about $3 a dozen in my area.

                                                  1. re: Becca Porter

                                                    I always figured somewhere around 26 weeks (+or-) as the onset of lay. ~~ Yep there's always incidentals...grit, oyster shell, shavings, scratch, etc. but those cost are so minimal over all.

                                                    Just sold 4 dozen, and I mean JUST while I was typing this a phone call for 4 more. First lady gave me 14 cartons. I never buy cartons.

                                                    Funny story. My mother born in 1917 as a young girl was well acquainted with chickens, milk cows and the like. Really late in her life she had the opportunity to visit with a family out of New Orleans who had bought the "Old Place" and remodeled it. After lunch they toured the house and ask her many, many questions about the house and her living there. One question was why there were two small holes in the kitchen floor. The answer was.. that is where the 'ice box' sat. The holes allowed the water from the melting ice to drip under the house.....where my grandfather had placed an old dish pan for the chickens to drink. He claimed that his chickens were the only chickens in the county that had ice water to drink!! Hahahahaha!!

                                                    When it is brutally hot here (most of the summer) I place two liter coke bottles filled with water and frozen into the waterers...So my chickens have ice water to drink too :)