How To Substitute Duck Eggs For Chicken Eggs

If you cook a lot of eggs at home, then you might feel the pain every time the price of a dozen goes up at your local grocery store. Unfortunately, egg prices fluctuated quite a bit during the shelter-in-place days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, if you're an egg lover, you were probably willing to pay a little extra to get your fix.

If you fall into that category — there's even a BuzzFeed quiz to determine if you are, in fact, an egg lover — and are willing to spend a little more, it might be time to try duck eggs. Duck eggs are more expensive than chicken eggs for a couple of reasons. John Metzer of Metzer Farms told NPR that ducks are not as cost-effective as chickens because ducks require more feed to produce the same amount of eggs as chickens. Also, the wire cages that chickens are often kept in also pose a problem for webby duck feet. The upside? You can use fewer duck eggs for the same recipe than you would chicken eggs.

Cracking the code on cooking with duck eggs

Duck eggs, though pricier, are larger than hen eggs. According to the New York Times, the size of duck eggs makes for bigger yolks and more egg whites. If you are using duck eggs in a recipe that calls for chicken eggs, a good rule of thumb is to use two duck eggs in place of every three large chicken eggs.

In addition to eclipsing chicken eggs in size, duck eggs also have a thicker shell than chicken eggs. (Which is unfortunate, because they get called "chicken" a lot less often. Ba dum tsh.) To avoid getting shell in your duck egg, The Spruce Eats recommends cracking duck eggs on flat surfaces, so avoid using something like the edge of a kitchen counter.

But before you get to cracking, you probably have one big question before deciding if duck eggs are even worth procuring: What do they taste like? Duck eggs have been described as richer and creamier than chicken eggs. However, certain duck diets could give the eggs a gamy flavor. So, you can make duck eggs any which way you prefer your eggs in the morning: scrambled, fried, or hard-boiled, as long as you're game.