How Fresh Are Your Chicken Eggs?

A bit of a different topic, but quite relevant these days if you're like me and trying to live a life that is a little more sustainable.  How to check the freshness of your eggs!  Especially, if you've gone ahead and stocked up on a bunch at once to limit the number of times you visit the grocery store (smart!).

The Best Method for Uncracked Eggs: The Float Test

Just fill a bowl with cold water and place your eggs in the bowl. If they sink to the bottom and lay flat on their sides, they're very fresh. If they're a few weeks old but still good to eat, they'll stand on one end at the bottom of the bowl. If they float to the surface, they're no longer fresh enough to eat.


While you could fry or scramble an egg that's on its side or standing upright, when it comes to hard-boiling, you'll want the upright ones. The extra air in the older eggs will help the peel come off easier after hard boiling.


Below, you can see what a really old egg looks like in comparison to a really fresh one. The one on the left is most likely 3 or more months old (from when it was laid, not the date you bought them).


To give you an idea of hold old an egg is, look at the "packed by" dates on the carton, which are in Julian date form by the "sell by" dates. Julian dates range from 1 to 365 days, and since most companies pack their eggs shortly after being laid, it's a good indicator.

Why the Float Test Works So Well

The reason this method works is that the eggshells are porous, which means they allow some air to get through. Fresh eggs have less air in them, so they sink to the bottom. But older eggs have had more time for the air to penetrate the shells, so they're more buoyant and will float.

Other Ways to Test Uncracked Eggs

Some people also claim you can hold an egg up to your ear and shake it to test for freshness. If you can hear the liquid sloshing sound inside the egg, it's probably gone bad, but if you hear nothing, it's fine to eat. Personally, though, I don't think this method is as reliable.

What to Do with Eggs That Expire Soon

Got a bunch of eggs that are going to go bad before you can use them? Hard-boil them and throw them in a jar with a beet brine to make tangy, delicious, and beautifully purple pickled eggs.

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