Duck eggs are big and bold and packed with protein and other essential nutrients. They are the perfect ingredient for bakers, and a constant source of food for self-sufficient homesteaders. Here’s everything you need to know about duck eggs, how to use them, and the truth about how they taste, and what they’re best used for!
When we first added the Puddle Ducks to our little farmstead, it certainly wasn’t because of their eggs. I’d never eaten a duck egg before in my life, and hadn’t even ever considered them as a real food. As silly as it sounds now, I didn’t know people ate duck eggs. You don’t see them in grocery stores, and there are no incredible edible commercials about them. I had no idea what to expect when it came to their eggs or how to use them!
We’ve had the Puddle Ducks for almost a year now, and one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that I love my ducks. They are full of personality and sass and spunk. They happily spend their days foraging in the garden and then they turn around and lay me eggs. Lots and lots of eggs, every single day. Rain or shine; summer or winter. I went from not even knowing duck eggs were food, to eating them almost daily!
You might like: Introducing the Puddle Ducks
Are you thinking about adding ducks to your life? Are you wondering about what you’ll do with all those eggs? Are you nervous that you won’t like them? Well, you can stop worrying! I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about duck eggs!
Let’s get started:
Bigger eggs, stronger shells
The first thing you’ll notice about duck eggs is that, generally, they’re bigger. As in, they’re about twice the size of a large chicken egg!
Like chickens, different breeds of ducks lay different sized and different colored eggs. Unlike chickens, the shells of duck eggs are waxy to the touch, and much much thicker. This makes the eggs tougher to crack, but also means that they have a longer shelf life — about two weeks on the counter and six weeks in the refrigerator!
Inside, the yolks are much bigger and more golden yellow in color, and the whites are thicker and completely transparent. I find it a little harder to separate the whites from the yolk, and I believe this is because they contain less water and more fat than chicken eggs.
Nutritionally, it’s pretty well known that duck eggs pack more of a punch.
They’re higher in protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, calories, fat, and minerals. They also contain more Vitamin B-12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D than chicken eggs. And if you let your ducks free-range for insects and other forage, even just a little bit per day, their eggs will be even higher in nutritional value and lower in cholesterol.
I’ve also read that duck eggs are much more alkaline than chicken eggs, which are more acidic. Because of this, and because of the different makeup of the protein they contain, it means that if you’re allergic to chicken eggs, you may be able to eat duck eggs without a problem!
Do duck eggs taste weird?
So here’s the most important thing to know: most people agree that duck eggs do taste different.
Not bad different. Not great different. Just — slightly — different.
Personally, I don’t notice a difference in flavor so much as texture. When eaten by themselves, duck eggs seem gritty to me. I made some scrambled eggs just this morning, and while they were lighter and fluffier than scrambled chicken eggs, they were also grittier in texture. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily. Again, it’s just something that makes them different.
I think, honestly, if you’ve never eaten a duck egg, there’s only one way to decide if you’ll like them or not: you’ll have to try one. I also think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Cooking and baking with duck eggs
Here is where most folks agree that duck eggs really shine.
You can use duck eggs in any recipe that calls for chicken eggs. And because they contain more fat and less water, using duck eggs will make your bread and cakes and cookies fluffier.
It will take some experimenting though, because of the size difference. If you use all large duck eggs in the same ratio that regular chicken eggs are called for, you will produce something very dense, heavy and moist. Here’s a good rule of thumb to remember:
SUBSTITUTING DUCK EGGS FOR CHICKEN EGGS
- 1 large chicken egg = 1 small duck egg
- 2 medium chicken eggs = 1 large duck egg
We’ve tried baking and cooking quite a few things with duck eggs by now, and some have worked great while others just haven’t. Our favorite things to use duck eggs in is homemade bread, cake, muffins and quiche.
Seriously, the quiche made with duck eggs was amazing! It was so fluffy, and the slightly different flavor of the duck eggs really paired well with the cheddar and Swiss cheese we used.
Mmmm, I am going to be thinking about that quiche all day!
The two things that have been a major flop for us when baked with duck eggs are meringues and pannukakku (a Finnish oven pancake). Both of them had that gritty texture, and more of an intense egg flavor than we prefer in those foods.
So are chicken or duck eggs better?
I believe that both chicken and duck eggs deserve a spot in any and all kitchens. Duck eggs are rich, large and nutritious. They add flavor and lightness to baked goods. And above all, they are plentiful.
If you still prefer chicken eggs: Top 3 Heritage Laying Breeds
The chickens started their yearly autumnal molt a few weeks ago, and stopped laying eggs because of it. Unless we hook up a light in their coop we probably won’t see eggs from them again until February. The ducks, on the other hand, will continue to lay almost every day throughout the winter. That is something I am so grateful for!
I think it’s safe to say that there will always be a place for duck eggs in my life, and there should be in yours, too.
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