Have a carton of eggs with an expiration date that’s already passed? Wait! Don’t toss them just yet. Even though the use-by date on the side of the egg carton says they’ve expired, sometimes eggs stay fresh past that date.
Do you know the tried-and-true method to test whether your eggs are still OK to use?
How to Test the Freshness of Eggs
- Place the egg in a bowl of water.
- If the egg lays on its side at the bottom, it is still quite fresh.
- If the egg stands upright on the bottom, it is still fine to eat, but should be eaten very soon, or hard-boiled.
- If the egg floats to the top, it’s past its prime, and not good for eating.
Why this method is accurate
Eggshells are very porous. Over time air passes through the shell into the egg, and its shelf life diminishes as more air enters the shell. Also, the more air that enters the shell, the more buoyant the egg becomes.
Remember, even with these tips, you should always cook your eggs well done, because Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria are present in most eggs. The bacteria can even be inside the shell, so even if you wash the egg or soft-cook it, you could get sick if it’s undercooked. Always cook fried eggs over well done, cook scrambled eggs until they are 165°F, and cook hard-cooked eggs until they are completely firm.
And how do you see if an egg is hard cooked? Spin it on a flat surface. If the egg wobbles, it’s fresh because the insides are moving around. If the egg spins smoothly, it’s cooked.
Always refrigerate eggs, whether cooked or uncooked!