What’s Your Grade?

As you’re probably well aware of, all eggs are given a particular grade before they’re packed, shipped and sold. But if you’re like most people, you’re unaware of what the actual egg grades mean and, more importantly, what determines the grade of an egg. Here’s how it works.

If you look at the shape of an egg, you’ll notice that there is a wide end and a narrow end. At the top of the wide end, inside the shell, there is an air sac present. The size of this air sac is one of several attributes that dictate an egg’s grade. The smaller the air sac, the higher the grade. The larger the air sac, the lower the grade.

egg-scale

Here’s a list of other key factors that come into play when grading an egg:

Grade AA: The freshest, highest quality eggs you can buy. The shells are extremely clean, unbroken and shaped like a traditional egg. The egg white is clear and firm, the egg yolk is centered, has no defects and has a defined outline. Grade AA eggs are most frequently used for frying, poaching and hard boiling.

Grade A: Grade A eggs are still very fresh and have shells that closely resemble Grade AA eggs. They are clean, crack-free and traditionally shaped. The egg whites will still be clear and relatively firm. The egg yolk will be pretty much centered, defect-free and still show a somewhat defined outline. Grade A eggs are also ideal for frying, poaching and hard boiling, but can be put to use for any purpose.

Grade B: Lower grade eggs like these are still considered fresh, but lower on the freshness scale than Grade AA or Grade A eggs. They may have a slightly stained shell. They should be crack-free, but may have a weakened shell and be slightly misshaped. The egg whites will be clear, but the egg yolk could be off center, slightly larger and contain small defects. Grade B eggs are best used for scrambling, baking or as an ingredient. Forsman Farms only sells Grade A and AA…never lower.

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Egg Grade has nothing to do with the nutritional components of the egg. Rather it’s a way to measure the physical properties and performance of the egg once it’s cracked. Factors that have more to do with food preparation than food safety.