Duck Eggs vs Chicken Eggs
If you’ve never had access to duck eggs, you might be wondering how different they can be from chicken eggs. Some differences will depend on the breed of duck that laid the egg. An egg from a Muscovy will be somewhat different from a Pekin egg, for example. My ducks are Pekins and, at maturity, they lay an egg bigger than the largest of my chicken eggs. The off-white shells are harder to crack and the yolks are a deeper shade of gold than the chicken eggs. (I have since had Rouens and Black Cayuga… both laid fewer eggs than the Pekins, and their eggs were smaller.)
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There are also some differences in the nutritional composition of a duck egg compared to a chicken egg. In general, duck eggs contain more protein, calories, fat, dietary cholesterol, vitamins and minerals than chicken eggs. Eggs from pastured ducks will be higher in nutritional value than eggs from birds that are cooped up. If your doctor has you on a low fat, low cholesterol diet, you might want to stick with chicken eggs, or egg whites. But, most health experts now agree that saturated fats and trans fats have a greater impact on our cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol. Duck eggs do contain more saturated fat than chicken eggs…something to be aware of if you have a history of heart disease in your family.
Eating Duck Eggs
Some people taste no difference between duck eggs and chicken eggs. I do notice a difference and I prefer chicken eggs for scrambling, frying, or boiling. Perhaps it is just because I’m used to chicken eggs, but I notice a difference in the flavor, with duck eggs tasting somewhat ‘gamey.’
If you like trying new things, enjoy different flavors, or just have an abundance of duck eggs, I encourage you to try eating duck eggs in place of chicken eggs for breakfast! If you like sticking with foods that you enjoy and don’t have an adventurous palate, duck eggs might not be the best choice for your breakfast fare. Try using them in your cooking and baked goods instead!
Cooking and Baking with Duck Eggs
Quick breads, cakes, muffins, brownies, and other goodies are delicious made with duck eggs in place of chicken eggs in your recipes. My Mom used duck eggs for cakes when I was a kid and I can still remember how much better those cakes tasted!
How many duck eggs to use in place of chicken eggs? If a recipe calls for 1 large chicken egg, substitute 1 duck egg. If a recipe calls for medium chicken eggs, substitute 1 duck egg for 2 chicken eggs. I often make large recipes and I like to substitute 2 duck eggs for 3 chicken eggs…that seems to be the magic conversion for my baked goods.
I realize that this is a bit confusing and it took a while for me to get the hang of using duck eggs in my recipes. If your ducks lay eggs that are similar in size to a chicken’s, then I suggest using the same number of duck eggs in place of chicken eggs. Pekin eggs are about 1 and 1/2 times the size of most chicken eggs.
What Else Can You Use them In?
Now that I have a small flock of 6 Pekin ducks, I am collecting 3 or 4 duck eggs each day. Although I don’t care for these eggs in my omelet, I really do enjoy using them to bake homemade treats for lunch boxes and desserts. They also make great French toast, custards, puddings, deviled eggs, egg salad, omelets, quiches, and souffles.
Here are some of my favorite recipes that work well with duck eggs in place of chicken eggs:
You can substitute duck eggs for chicken eggs in just about any recipe. I use 1 duck egg for each chicken egg. If you have very large duck eggs, or the recipe calls for a lot of eggs, you may use 2 duck eggs for every 3 chicken eggs. So far I haven’t had any problems substituting the same number of eggs.
Storing Duck Eggs
Because duck eggs have a harder, thicker shell than chicken eggs, they are reported to keep longer in storage. I haven’t had duck eggs long enough to thoroughly test this claim, but I have noticed that duck eggs kept in my refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks still have a very firm white that keeps its mounded shape, rather than spreading out like the chicken eggs do after a couple of weeks. So I suspect that the duck eggs will keep longer than chicken eggs.
For more ideas for using your extra eggs, check out What to do With Extra Eggs.