How to tell if your chicken’s egg is fresh enough to eat

Wondering if that egg is fresh enough to eat?

Everyone has done it; the eggs get placed in the fridge and you can’t remember how long they have been there. So how do you know if they are still fresh enough to eat? Do the float test…

Before I go on and explain the float test, how about a few facts about eggs and how long they can last?

  • Eggs stored at room temperature can last 6 days before they should not be used.
  • Eggs stored in the fridge should last about 6 weeks.
  • For each day and egg is left at room temperature before being put in the fridge, the useability of the egg is reduced 1 week. So if an egg is left on the counter overnight, then placed in the fridge, it should last 5 weeks.

Isn’t that crazy that the usability of the egg is reduced by WEEKS just by letting it sit on the counter?

Now how about that

A fresh egg has a small air cell in it. The interior of the egg also contains quite a bit of carbon dioxide. As the egg ages, the pores on the egg shell allows the carbon dioxide to escape the interior of the egg. This carbon dioxide is replaced with air. As the egg ages, the air sac inside the egg becomes larger. When the egg has significant age, the air sac is large enough to float the egg when it is immersed in water. See this article about the structure of an egg for clarification.

Egg float test
Materials needed:
Clear bowl, jar, glass, etc. tall enough to float the egg.
WaterThe process:
Carefully place the egg in the container. Fill the container with water.
Note if the egg floats or not.
Fresh egg Egg with a little age Egg with significant age

Egg float test-egg is ok to use

is fresh enough to eat

Egg float test-egg should be used fairly soon

Chicken egg is fresh enough to eat

Egg float test-egg should not be used and discarded immediately

Chicken egg is NOT fresh enough to eat

Notice the egg is laying flat on the bottom of the container. This egg is absolutely ok to use. Notice the large end of the egg is beginning to lift off the bottom. This egg should be used fairly soon. Notice the egg is not touching the bottom of the container and is floating. This egg should not be used. Discard immediately!

So to make things simple:
If the egg is not floating (breaking the surface of the water), it can be used. However, if the egg breaks the surface, discard it.

Do you have another way of making sure your eggs are fresh?


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