Most of us probably eat eggs at least occasionally, whether those eggs are consumed as part of an omelette, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs as an on the go snack or utilized in cooking a meal or baking a dessert. We probably don't give much thought to what type of animal laid that egg or if there is even a superior egg to the almighty chicken egg.
Guess what? Duck eggs are superior to chicken eggs in many ways. Shelf life, nutrition and egg allergies are just some of the ways duck eggs are better than chicken eggs.
Duck eggs have a thicker shell (if you've ever tried to crack one, you know the effort and force it can take to crack one open!) than chicken eggs. This thicker, waxier shell gives them a longer shelf life than their chicken egg counterparts. Duck eggs unwashed and stored in the fridge can easily last weeks longer than chicken eggs. We've kept them and used them 4-5 months after they were laid and not noticed a difference. Fresher eggs always taste better than older eggs, but duck eggs should easily be able to be kept in the fridge for a couple of months.
What about nutritional differences between duck and chicken eggs? Again, the duck egg is superior in this department as well. Ounce for ounce, duck eggs are 606% higher in Vitamin B12, 390% more Thiamine, 200% more Iron and Niacin and over 100% more Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Omega 3 Fatty Acids! Duck eggs contain high levels of cholesterol, but the beneficial type of cholesterol, not the artery clogging variety. Duck eggs are an alkaline forming food and alkaline foods are thought to be cancer fighting as cancer cells do not thrive in an alkaline environment.
Superior For Baking
Duck eggs as just mentioned contain a higher amount of fat and as such are chef's choice for making crème brûlée or other custard inspired dishes. Since they are also higher in protein they are desirable when making meringues as they whip up better and maintain their form longer than chicken eggs.
Duck eggs are better to use when making gluten free recipes as the heavier protein content in the eggs helps the gluten free baked items bind together better. Duck eggs generally produce a lighter and fluffier baked product, similar to regular wheat baked goods.
They make wonderful deviled eggs, egg salad, french toast, custards, puddings, quiches and souffles.
We utilize duck eggs when making all of our baked goods at home and I can tell you from personal experience the cakes we've made with duck eggs are fluffier and more decadent than the cakes we've made with chicken eggs.
Chicken egg allergies are the second most common allergies among children and infants. Many people with a chicken egg allergy can consume duck eggs without a problem. (Always consult your physician before trying duck eggs if you have a chicken egg allergy as people are individuals and what works for one, may not work for all.)
Duck eggs are much larger than their chicken egg cousins. A large chicken egg weighs in at 56-63 grams where an average duck egg weighs in at over 70 grams. We routinely have eggs weigh in at 85-95 grams each!
In general, the following conversions work pretty well when substituting duck eggs for chicken eggs.....
1 large chicken eggs = 1 small duck egg
2 medium chicken eggs = 1 large duck egg
3 medium chicken eggs = 2 large duck eggs
Duck eggs can be utilized the same way chicken eggs are. Scrambled, in omelettes and in any baked good you can dream up. Their use is really endless and the nutritional punch they pack is impressive.
Have you ever utilized duck eggs in baking or tried substituting the average chicken egg in your omelette for a duck egg? What was your experience?