How to tell if eggs are fresh

How to tell if eggs are fresh
(Picture: Getty)

You might make it a rule to never cry over spilt milk, but what about a stale egg?

When you’ve decided to make yourself eggs for breakfast or do a bit of baking, discovering too late that your eggs aren’t fresh is seriously annoying.

Luckily, there are a few ways to check they’re good.

Of course, keep to the use-by date on the box, but if it’s just a best-before date you can use the following methods to see how fresh the eggs are.

How to tell if eggs are fresh
(Picture: Getty)

The water method

Eggs shells aren’t actually solid – they’re porous.

Over time as it decomposes, water vapour and gases are released through the porous shell which make the air pocket inside the egg (which is produced once the laid egg cools down) larger and the overall mass off the egg lighter. . So, you can judge how old an egg is by the way it floats in water.

  • If the egg sinks to the bottom it’s very fresh.
  • If it tilts upwards slightly, it’s still fresh enough to eat, but you might prefer to scramble it, or use it in an omelette or for baking.
  • If it floats up to the top in a vertical position, it’s stale.

It’s best to discard eggs that are past their best, as they could make you sick.

How to tell if eggs are fresh
(Picture: Getty)

Once the egg is cracked open

If – for whatever reason – you don’t want to do the water test, you can check the freshness of the egg by cracking it open.

Do this on to a plate to look at the yolk and white.

Fresh eggs will have a puffy yolk that’s defined from the flat surface of the white. If it’s gone-off it’ll be a lot flatter.

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The white of the egg should also have a clearly defined edge. Less fresh eggs will spread out on the plate a lot more.

Make sure to also smell the egg. If it’s got a bad odour, it’s definitely rotten and should be thrown away.

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