Large Vs. Extra Large Eggs: Does The Difference Really Matter?

Does the size of an egg matter? It can. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guidelines for consumer eggs outlining their size and weight requirements. Eggs are sorted and then graded by their quality and weight before shipping off to retailers. The USDA allows for variances in individual egg weights but has specific requirements of what a dozen eggs should weigh. The individual eggs within that dozen may vary slightly.

A dozen large eggs weigh 24 ounces. That's about 1.75 ounces for each egg. A dozen extra large eggs must weigh 27 ounces or about 2.25 ounces per egg. That means, on average, an extra-large egg is about 0.5 ounces more than a large egg. By comparison, a dozen small eggs must weigh 18 ounces or 1.5 ounces per egg. There's a significant difference in size when considering the small size compared to the extra large (1.5 compared to 2.25 ounces). If a recipe calls for an extra large egg and you only have a large one, will that matter?

Size matters but probably not much in your recipe

Most often, the difference in the size of a large egg and an extra large egg will not matter much in a recipe, making interchanging them generally acceptable. Choosing a small egg instead of an extra-large could create some differences in the recipe outcome, though. Additionally, if the recipe calls for a large number of eggs, such as six or more, those small differences in size will add up quickly. In that case, stick with the recommended size specified in the recipe. In recipes that call for very precise measurements, you could use a digital food scale to give you a more accurate measurement.

Cook's researched the size of various eggs and broke down that information into each component of the egg. It found that large eggs had an average total weight of 1.73 ounces. The average yolk was .54 ounces, and the average whites were 1.19 ounces. For extra-large eggs, the average total weight was 1.90 ounces, while the yolk averaged 0.57 ounces and the whites 1.33 ounces.