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Check If an Egg is Fresh

Updated on May 9, 2017
How to Check if an Egg is Fresh.  Source: Wikimedia
How to Check if an Egg is Fresh. Source: Wikimedia

Ever wondered how you check and test if an egg is fresh? Eggs, surprisingly, remain fresh for many weeks, even a couple of months, after they've been laid, but do you know when you bought them? The test to see if an egg's fresh and can be eaten is easy and straight forward.

One thing you can do is to check the shell and the box to see if there's a "Use By" date, or "Best Before" date - these give you a clue. But what if your eggs were laid by your own hens, or a neighbour's hens - or you bought them from a market and binned the box? How do you test if an egg is fresh?

This simple test to check if an egg is fresh works every time!

I certainly wouldn't want to crack it open to check if an egg is fresh - that'd be awful if it were off - not only do bad eggs STINK but you're then standing there with the egg in your hand and you've got to dispose of it.

It's very easy to check if an egg is fresh, using just plain water! And, this works. This isn't some trick, it's actually science at work.

Test if an Egg is Fresh

Test if an Egg is Fresh

  1. Get a small bowl of cold water.
  2. Carefully drop the egg into the water.

Watch what it does.

  • If the egg lies on the bottom of the bowl - it's fresh.
  • If the egg stands upright, maybe even bounces a little before it settles, but is still at the bottom - it's close to its use by date.
  • If the egg floats, it's a bad one and needs chucking out.

I told you it was a simple test for fresh eggs!

Once laid, eggs do last a surprisingly long time - about 6 weeks. If your eggs, or egg box don't have a date printed on them then you will wonder how to tell if your eggs are fresh enough to use, or need to be binned. By being able to check, you can stop wasting food.

Some recipes benefit from using the freshest of eggs, others are not so picky.

Too Many Eggs - What to Do?

If you find you have a glut of eggs and don't think you will get through them before they go off, then you could cook some of them up right now to use at a later date. Ideas for what to do with eggs include:

  • Make some pickled eggs.
  • Make some omelettes and freeze them.
  • Crack and scramble your eggs and you can freeze raw eggs; they MUST be beaten/scrambled. Save in single egg portions by freezing in small pots.

A good Egg Recipe Book would give you lots of ideas for how to use up a lot of eggs.

Photo of eggs by: Wikimedia


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    • profile image

      Beth37 4 years ago

      Wow, what a great tip. Thanks. :)

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I generally ignore the use by date on supermarket eggs. They are still usable weeks after that. But I always check using the method you mention

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for this helpful tip.