Using the Right Size Egg for the Recipe

Times Staff Writer

Question: When a recipe calls for an egg, does it mean medium, large or extra large? There are times when I have very small eggs in the refrigerator and I wonder if I should use two. Just how much difference is there between the sizes of eggs?

Answer: Most recipes, including those printed in The Times’ Food Section, are developed using large eggs.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Home and Garden Bulletin No. 103, “Eggs in Family Meals--A Guide for Consumers”: “Substitution of another size often makes little difference in results. In some recipes however, (sponge and angel food cakes, for example) the proportion of egg to other ingredients is of special importance. For these recipes, it may be necessary to increase the number of eggs if you are using a smaller size.”


Common market sizes and minimum weight per dozen are:

Jumbo--30 ounces

Extra large--27 ounces

Large--24 ounces

Medium--21 ounces

Small--18 ounces

Peewee--15 ounces

One large egg equals approximately three tablespoons volume. Substitute the same number of extra large, medium or small eggs.

Two large eggs equals approximately one-quarter cup plus two tablespoons volume. Substitute the same number of extra large or medium eggs or three small eggs.

Three large eggs equals approximately one-half cup plus two tablespoons volume. Substitute three extra large eggs, four medium eggs or four small eggs.

Four large eggs equal approximately three-fourths cup plus one tablespoon volume. Substitute three extra large, five medium or six small eggs.

Five large eggs equals approximately one cup volume. Substitute four extra large eggs, six medium eggs or seven small eggs.

Six large eggs equals approximately one cup plus three tablespoons volume. Substitute five extra large eggs, seven medium eggs or eight small eggs.


Eight large eggs equals approximately 1 1/2 cups plus two tablespoons volume. Substitute six extra large eggs, 10 medium eggs or 11 small eggs.

Ten large eggs equals approximately two cups volume. Substitute eight extra large eggs, 12 medium eggs or 14 small eggs.

Twelve large eggs equals approximately 2 1/4 cups plus two tablespoons volume. Substitute 10 extra large eggs, 14 medium eggs or 17 small eggs.

The booklet adds, “Sometimes a recipe calls for a volume, rather than a number, of whole eggs, egg whites or egg yolks.” The following shows the approximately number of whole eggs needed to make a cupful:




Extra large--four.

The following shows the approximate number of whites or yolks needed to make a cupful:

Small--10 whites; 18 yolks

Medium--eight whites; 16 yolks

Large--seven whites; 14 yolks

Extra large--six whites; 12 yolks.

Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About . . ., Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.