This Is the Quickest Way to Check If Eggs Are Still Fresh

Not sure if your eggs are still good? Stop guessing and start checking—the right way.
Hard boiled eggs peeled

If you're hosting a brunch or baking a pastry of sorts for a dinner party, it's likely that your recipe will call for eggs. The question is, are the cartons of eggs stacked in your refrigerator still any good? Or, an even better question may be this: Have you ever considered checking to see if those eggs you bought two weeks ago are still in their prime?

We spoke with head chef at HelloFresh, Claudia Sidoti, for the lowdown so you can accurately—and quickly—figure out how to tell if eggs in your fridge are good enough to eat and are in tip-top shape, or if it's time to toss them out.

What's the best way to tell if eggs are still good or are no longer fresh?

First, here's some background information on what prompted us to ask Chef Sidoti this question. We'd heard of the float test, which involves placing eggs into a bowl of water. But what are you actually looking for?

With this method, if they sink to the bottom that means they're still good to eat, but if they float to the top, that means they have gone bad.

"The reason this works so well is that eggshells are absorbent, which means they allow some air to get through," Sidoti explains. "Fresh eggs have less air in them, so they sink to the bottom. Older eggs will be more likely to float."

Sidoti elaborates on exactly how to tell if eggs are good or not: "Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom of the bowl on their sides. Older eggs will sink to the bottom at a tilted or upright position. If the eggs float, they're too old and you should toss them."

How long do eggs typically stay fresh for?

"If stored properly in the refrigerator, eggs can stay fresh for four to five weeks. In the U.S., eggs must be refrigerated. If not, they will go bad after about two hours if left at room temperature," says Sidoti. So once you get home from grocery shopping, don't forget to pop your eggs in the fridge right away!

RELATED: 100+ healthy breakfast ideas that help you lose weight and stay slim.

Are there any other ways I can tell if an egg has gone bad?

"A bad egg will have a foul odor when you crack it open," says Sidoti. "The smell will usually be obvious the second you crack it open."

Final verdict: Here's what to look for in the float test.

OK, so it's pretty simple. If an egg sinks to the bottom on one of its sides, then that's an indication it's still fresh. If an egg sinks to the bottom but sits in a tilted or upright position, that means it's on the older side and should be consumed sooner rather than later. Finally, if the egg floats to the top of the bowl, that means too much air has seeped in and has caused it to spoil. It should be thrown out promptly.

Now, grab a bowl of water and go raid your refrigerator—that carton of eggs needs a thorough inspection before you start cracking on your next omelet!

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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