Many of us have looked at the pile of eggs on the counter or the carton of eggs in the fridge and wondered the same thing: Are those eggs still good? You can’t always trust the use-by date for store-bought eggs and you definitely can’t remember the date each backyard egg was laid!
There is a simple hack for determining if an egg is still good or is too old for consumption: the float test.
Eggs last quite a bit longer than one might think. Properly stored eggs can last many weeks! You can read All About Storing Fresh Chicken Eggs here for more information into that portion of keeping eggs fresh. Despite their long shelf life, every egg will eventually go bad, so knowing a method for determining freshness is valuable.
Continue reading to discover more about the easiest method for determining the freshness of a chicken egg. No special equipment required…and you won’t even need to crack that shell open! I’ll also give you a little more information on why this test works the way it does. Additional blog posts on chickens listed at the very end!
What is the Float Test
The float test is a simple method for determining the freshness of chicken eggs. It enables you to reach a conclusion before cracking one open. Bonus, it’s extremely simple to do.
A good egg has a protective coating, the bloom, all over the outside of its shell. This coating keeps air from entering the egg, thus maintaining freshness. The older an egg is, the more the bloom deteriorates and allows air inside. An old egg will float.
How to do the Float Test
- Place the egg in a bowl of water.
Yeah, that’s it. A one step process.
Here are the three possible outcomes:
- The egg sinks to the bottom of the bowl and falls to its side. This means the egg is still fresh.
- The egg sinks, but stands upright at the bottom. This egg is still good, but should be used within the next few days.
- The egg floats. This indicates a bad egg and it should be tossed.
How Long Will Backyard Chicken Eggs Remain Fresh?
I’ve written an entire blog post answering this question. Head over here to read more. I discuss how to store them on the counter, in the fridge, in other cold storage spaces, in the freezer, and so on. You’ll also learn a bit more about washing chicken eggs.
More on Chickens
- Keeping Chickens Cool in the Summer
- All About Storing Fresh Chicken Eggs
- How to Keep Chicken Eggs from Freezing
- Do Chickens Need a Heat Lamp?
- Letting Chickens Till Our Garden