Egg Float Test: Is That “Fresh” Egg is Good Or Bad?

Egg Float Test: Is That “Fresh” Egg is Good Or Bad?

Not sure if that “fresh” egg is good or bad? Try the egg float test!


Why do you need to know about the egg float test? Chickens are masters at hiding their eggs if they want.


Every so often, I come across a nest of “fresh” eggs on the homestead – and I have no idea how long they’ve been there, and if they’re good or bad.


Chickens like to hide their eggs in dark, tight places.




It’s an evolutionary thing – eggs that are hidden are less likely to be snagged by a predator.


At the same time, if a chicken wants to hatch eggs, which requires sitting for long periods of time, a dark place is best – she’s more likely to be left alone.


But let’s say you come across a nest, and aren’t sure how old the eggs are, and whether you should just toss them.


Want to know how to tell if eggs are good? That’s where the egg float test comes in!


If you’ve never tried the egg float test, it’s a great and visually easy way to tell if eggs are fresh.


Also, if you have store-bought eggs in your fridge that are expired, it’s worth trying the egg float test to determine if they’re okay to use.


Try the egg float test to see if your eggs are good or bad. Come across a nest of eggs and don't know if they're good or bad? Test them! From FrugalChicken


So, how do you perform the egg float test?


The egg float test is easy.


First, grab a cup of cool (not ice cold and definitely not hot) water.


If you want to try the egg float test using a mason jar, make it easy on yourself, and use a wide-mouthed jar so you can get the egg out easier.


A cup of water works well, too.


To complete the egg float test, just gently insert your egg into the water.


According to the egg float test, if your eggs rise to the top of the water, they’re too old to use.


But if they sink, they’re fresh and still good to eat.
Of course with anything there’s a catch.


What does the egg float test mean if your egg sort of floats, but sort of sinks?


If your egg suspends on one end, it’s technically still okay to eat, but you need to use it soon. 


Personally, I usually toss these eggs to my pigs, since there’s typically fresher eggs available.


I know the pigs appreciate them.


And remember…


Once you’ve put the egg in water, you’ve stripped off the bloom, which means air can get into the egg quicker. (Learn more about cleaning eggs here).


So, if the eggs sink, you’ll probably want to use them sooner rather than later. (Learn more about how long eggs stay fresh).


So, what’s the science behind the egg float test?


Good question.


Egg shells, as you might know, are porous, meaning they let air into them. (Learn more about the anatomy of an egg here).




The fresher an egg is, the less air it has inside of it, so it sinks.


Old eggs, however, have more air in them because oxygen has had time to permeate the shell. So, they float.


Because of all this, the egg float test is considered an accurate way to test your whether those eggs you found are okay to eat, or if you should just toss them.


Other “Freshness” Tests: How to Tell if Eggs are Good


There are a couple other ways besides the egg float test to tell if the eggs you found are fresh.


One option is to candle the eggs, just as you would if you were to hatch them.


In this test, you’re looking to see how intact the yolk is (the more intact the more likely it’s fresh).


And, similar to the egg float test, you’re looking to see how much air is inside the egg (the more air space, the older the egg is).


Another test is to hold the egg up to your ear.
If you hear a lot of movement, the egg is said to be old, but if you don’t hear anything, then the egg is fresh.


Personally, I prefer the egg float test, and I have more experience with it.


Now that you’ve determined your eggs are fresh using the egg float test, how about some egg recipes to help you use them up?


I’d like to hear from you!


Do you think you’ll try the egg float test? Email me at [email protected] or comment below!

More Chicken Egg Articles:

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Do Eggs Go Bad? How Long Do Eggs Last? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Do Eggs Go Bad? How Long Do Eggs Last? Here’s What You Need To Know!

We all know fresh eggs are best, but what about whether they spoil? Do eggs go bad? Can eggs go bad?? How long do eggs last??

 Yes, eggs can go bad, but do you know WHEN do eggs go bad or how long do eggs last? In this article, I answer all these questions.

We’ve made the mistake every so often of forgetting that we left eggs on the counter, or one of the kids hid an egg in an undisclosed location. We’ve always found them eventually – and it’s not been a pleasant find.

When eggs rot, not only do they stink – they turn black and gooey. It’s really an experience you’re better off not having.

In this article, I’m going to show you how you can keep your eggs as fresh as possible, how you can tell if eggs are bad, and answer the age-old question “how long do fresh eggs last?”

Do Eggs Go Bad? Here's What You Need To Know!

Why Do Eggs Go Bad?

Eggs go bad even when they’re refrigerated – they definitely have an expiration date. It’s not usually the date printed on the carton (if you happen to have bought eggs at the store – if you did, consider getting chickens).

How long do eggs last? It can take quite a bit longer for eggs to go bad, but they will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, spoil. When eggs are laid, they’re covered with something called “the bloom,” a cuticle or natural covering that keeps bacteria out of the egg, keeping it fresher for longer.

It’s an evolutionary advantage that helped chickens reproduce successfully – and egg that can easily be contaminated won’t hatch or will hatch weak and sickly chicks.

Store-bought eggs (at least in the US) have had the bloom removed – so if you’re wondering “how long do eggs last?” not only do eggs go bad, store bought eggs will rot faster, even when refrigerated. This is because they’re more susceptible to bacteria entering through the shell and contaminating the albumen (egg whites) and the yolk. Not a good thing!

Farm fresh eggs – that haven’t had the bloom removed – will still spoil, but at a slower rate.

Do Eggs Go Bad? Here's What You Need To Know!

How Do Eggs Go Bad?

As the bacteria enters the egg, it will reproduce and grow, feeding on the nutrients – particularly if you’ve left the eggs on your shelf and not in the refrigerator.Eventually, so much bacteria gets into the egg that the insides turn black – and very stinky. Learn more about the insides of a chicken egg.

If you wonder “how can you tell if eggs are bad,” there’s a few different ways. Does it pass the smell test (in other words, does it stink)? If you smell anything – just toss it. Fresh, healthy eggs don’t smell at all.

Another option is the Egg Float test – you can learn how to that in this video:

How Long Do Eggs Last Unrefrigerated?

You might be wondering how long you can leave eggs out before they become rotten. There’s a few different answers to this questions. Fresh eggs with the bloom on can last quite a while – 2 to 3 weeks. However, they WON’T be fresh or as healthy for you..

You’ll notice the air sac at the “fat” end of the egg is larger. You’ll also notice, when you crack them, that the yolk might be runny (this is because the membrane holding the yolk together weakens over time) and the albumen (egg whites) are clear – all signs that your egg is no longer fresh nor as nutritious.

So how long do refrigerated eggs last? According to the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service, part of the USDA, which has also answered the question “do eggs go bad?,” refrigerated eggs can still be refrigerated 4-5 weeks after their expiration date – so for fresh but refrigerated days, they can last up to 2 months inside the refrigerator.

If you want to preserve fresh eggs for long term storage, here’s an article that shows you how.

How long are eggs good for: Conclusion

So, if you’ve been wondering “do eggs go bad?” or “how long do eggs last?” you can feel quite sure that as long as you leave the bloom on and keep them in a cool area, they’ll last quite a while.

How long do eggs last at your house? Have you ever cracked open a bad egg? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

More Chicken Egg Resources:

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