What is…a medium egg?

I love eggs, as does my flatmate, to the point that we sometimes completely over-buy and yet we never, ever have to throw them away because they’re too old. We’re far from being the only ones: when I asked on Twitter what foods people refuse to scrimp on, almost everybody said free-range eggs.

I love that you can call eggs any meal you want, that you can eat them any which way at any time of day without it raising eyebrows. You can eat most foods at strange times of day, really — I’m pretty sure that’s what leaving home is about, the trade-off between getting your washing done for you and being able to eat completely weird food — but with eggs it’s kind of legitimate.

The very best I’ve had come from a chicken farm near home, where the chickens roam free in huge enclosures and, before they started running down the dirt track to the main road too often and had to be fenced in, used to peck at your shoes if you stood still for long enough while they ran around your feet. They’re so good that I’ve been known to lovingly transport them more than 100 miles from home to my flat, knowing that at the end I’ll be rewarded with the brightest orange yolks that make them perfect for just about everything, even if they are sometimes a bit strangely shaped.

Anyway. Too often I read recipes and have the wrong eggs. I have medium when it says large, or I’m left wondering whether large in American recipes is the same as a UK large. As in women’s clothes, the sizing seems to be different everywhere you look.

So here we go! Egg sizes translated.

Egg sizes

In UK specifications, as follows:

  • Small – 53g or under – old-fashioned size 5/6/7
  • Medium – 53-63g – old-fashioned size 3/4/5
  • Large – 63-73g – old-fashioned size 1/2/3
  • Extra large – 73g or over – old-fashioned size 0/1

In US specifications:

  • Small – around 42g
  • Medium – around 49g
  • Large – around 56g
  • Extra large – around 65g
  • Jumbo (!) – around 70g


More egg facts!

The number of calories in an egg vary from around 55 to 80, depending on size. A medium sized egg is about 70.

The pH of an egg is 8.9-9.4, on average. The yolk is 5.9-6.2, while the white is about 7.6.

12% of the edible bit of the egg — so, not the shell — is protein.

They’re full of vitamins – particularly vitamins A, D, B2 and B12. One medium egg contains 56% of your daily vitamin B12. Which I guess is why fried eggs are amazing for hangovers*.

Eggs contain about 12% less cholesterol than they did 20 years ago.

*This bit might not be scientifically accurate.

Number of times I wrote “egg” in this post: 18.