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Supermarket egg sizes

Have you ever wondered about the weight of the eggs you buy at the supermarket? I didn’t until I recently started doing some baking. I should say I am an 88 year old male and was always too busy to do any baking until recently. Anyway. I was adding eggs to my cakes and wondered whether the size of the eggs made any difference to my products?. I looked at the egg carton we had in the fridge. Woolies’ logo was on on the box. “12 cage free eggs. min.700g” the carton proclaimed. I thought that meant that every egg would weigh at least 70g. So I weighed them. The weights were: 61, 61, 63, 60, 66, 63, 62, 68, 61, 64, 61 and 63. Not one approached 70. When I weighed the carton with the same 12 eggs inside the whole lot only measured 808. Now even I know that 12 x 70 should come to 840 but here, with the weight of the carton thrown in, the total was at 808g (sorry) way below that figure.
So what is going on? Is my arithmetic not up to scratch. Or am I being mislead? Are Woolies ripping me off? Are they ripping everyone off? Is the whole egg marketing industry suss?

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If it was a carton of 10, then you might expect an average weight of at least 70g, but for 12 to weigh at least 700g, then the average would be a bit under 60g, so the weights you measured seem about right to me, and it doesn’t appear to be a rip-off at all.
I do all the cooking around here, and don’t bother with weighing the eggs our chooks produce when using them in cakes, custard etc…

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Sorry Bert your sums have let you down The packet says 700g and you got 753g.

You should post the other 53g back to Woolies :grinning:

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Thanks gordon. I always misread the 700g thinking it meant that the individual eggs were 70g. Never thought it applied to the carton as a whole. There was I getting all indignant. Thanks for the lesson.

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Yeh I see that now. Don’t know about posting the extra back to Woolies though. Cheers.

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Sometimes with all the chaos these days I can get through to lunchtime before realising I’ve got the day of the week wrong. :flushed: The wise one never so, although numbers leave some of us in a cold sweat.

Good to hear at 88 you enjoy baking.

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Hi @Bert, lovely to see you here.

In baking, unlike in cooking, we do need to be precise in the weight of the ingredients for things to come out well.
Eggs, especially, add to the liquid content and it’s very important to get that right.
Unfortunately most recipes don’t specify the size of the egg to be used,
but to be on the safe side we can assume 60g and over (a Large size egg, if I’m not mistaken) like the ones you have bought.

Please feel free to ask for a particular recipe you’d like to make, we have many beautiful cooks and bakers in the Choice Community who would be only too happy to help.

What a lovely hobby to take up in your
time of life :smile:

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If you bake a lot, with cakes you will eventually recognise what a mix that turns into a good cake looks like, and can add a little extra liquid, or flour, to adjust to obtain the right consistency. Same for things like vegetable fritters, bread, biscuits, scones, etc. These days I add liquids to bring a mix to the desired consistency, paying minimal regard to what a recipe might say, as flour and other ingredient properties can be quite variable.
I’ve not been a rigid follower of recipes for many years, I view them as more of a general guide, something my wife (who does very little cooking) often comments on :wink:

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Congratulations @gordon!
That’s what a professional baker does!
:smile::smile:

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I just checked my dozen (min 500g) - eggs 565g (65g over the minimum) $1.74 per dozen. Includes a bit of condensation.

When my father was in Antarctica either 1969 or 1972, the cook took ill, was evacuated, the remaining men had to take turns cooking for the rest of the year. Dad, who never cooked, looked up Encyclopaedia Britannica for a sponge recipe. It came out like scrambled eggs, and he and the doctor did a post-mortem. My father, not realising the difference between hens and penguin eggs had used the latter. Each one was the equivalent of 9 hens eggs. He might have realised the difference, but the hens eggs were frozen portions. He ended up a champion bread maker but couldn’t cook much else when he got back home, much to my mother’s disappointment.

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Buy the biggest you can get, then the hens will live longer. The size relates to the age of the hen. They are euthenised earlier if people don’t buy the bigger ones. This applies to both free range and caged. I normally get 850g but not at the big supermarkets. The biggest I have seen are 900.

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Thanks @g.simos, have learnt something today… here is more info…

https://slate.com/culture/2014/01/small-eggs-taste-better-large-eggs-are-more-common-so-freshdirect-introduces-farmers-eggs-aka-pullet-eggs.html

We generally buy bigger eggs as they provide a more substantial meal when eaten as a ‘neat’ egg.

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Not in our experience of keeping up to 50 chooks! We kept records of egg weights from our chooks for years, of numerous varieties and crosses. The sequence went as follows: When they started on a laying cycle, the eggs were very small, and over coming weeks the weights increased, before gradually decreasing again to lower weights, although not quite as small as at the start of the cycle, which generally lasted a few months. We keep our chooks until they die, generally of complications associated with old age. They go through quite a few of these cycles over their lives, with generally decreasing maximum egg weights over time, and reduced numbers over the years. The largest eggs were always from chooks under 1 year old.
However, for commercial egg producers, the chooks are generally retired when they go off the lay for the first time for the cage egg producers, although smaller scale free range producers may keep them longer.

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We used to buy the 2nd year chooks for our laying “herd”. The commercial operators want an egg a day layer, in subsequent years the laying becomes more infrequent so they either sell them as boilers or you can try to buy them. 2nd year layers tend to be about an egg every 2 days or a little less, 3rd year even less frequent and so on until it almost never. By the time they get to the virtually no laying stage it is several years we found. By the time they got to this stage they were family pets almost and once my daughter when we had to euthanise one cried out “My girls! what are you doing to them” (she was very young then). Where we are living now we support our neighbour’s chooks and get eggs in return for that support.

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I totally agree with you. There are no checks or balances with eggs. I only use them for eating at breakfast and have also noticed the variation in size. It doesn’t take too much to notice that the 700gr carton eggs seem to vary considerably.

Ours do to and they are either big or extra large eggs. I expect that since the 700gm+ eggs are often the largest available at most retail outlets (with exception of maybe jumbo sized eggs one sees from time to time), any larger eggs above that required to meet the smaller egg sized cartons finds it way into the extra large (700gm+) carton.

As chickens don’t have a quality control system on their cloaca, one has to expect some variation from egg to egg.

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True but that isn’t required, there is no need for any arbitrary dozen to be within a given range at all. Commercial eggs go through grading machines in their hundred thousands so one can organise them into specified weight ranges per dozen rather well.

My guess is that those eggs that are well above the top weight range or below the bottom would go into bulk food production where the weight of a dozen need not fit a range. You can imagine the recipe for pavlova starts “Take 275 kgs of egg white and…”

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I agree, Bert. The package should state that the weight includes the box. Anyway, I will always be on the alert for the constant marketing spins. Also, ‘free-range’ is a loose term unless the farm has been certified by the RSPCA, the only independent welfare organisation that is active in this industry.

Good afternoon, Bert. I think the 700 g refers to the total egg weight. Therefore the average weight per egg would be 700/12 = 58.3 g All of your eggs exceed this.This would indicate that Woolies has been generous with your eggs… A most unusual surprise! Enjoy your baking.

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I think you will find it is the net weight of the eggs in the carton, it does not include the carton.

That is technically incorrect as governments have declared anything up to 10,000 chooks per hectare is legally ‘free range’, even though CSIRO and others think 1,500 is a more appropriate number.

The RSPCA takes a more inclusive view than just chooks per hectare.

https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/is-the-term-free-range-on-an-product-label-enough-to-guarantee-good-animal-welfare/

but

RSPCA Approved ‘Outdoor’ chickens are allowed outdoor access once they’re “reasonably feathered” or 28 days old. The RSPCA says this is for welfare reasons – “Birds are indoors until they’re fully feathered for their own protection from the elements” – but since they’re slaughtered between five and seven weeks old, they’ll still spend the bulk of their lives in the shed.

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