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How to Tell if Eggs are Fresh or Need to be Tossed

How to Tell if Eggs are Fresh – learn to test your eggs to see if they are fresh, candidates for hard-boiling, or if they need to be tossed. Eggs on straw - visit sustainablecooks.com

The last week or so, I was disappointed in how our chickens were laying.  The six older girls, purchased last year typically lay four to six eggs a day.  The two new ladies haven’t started laying yet.

My daily collection dropped to two or three and I was starting to get annoyed.  My uncle, who has five chickens refers to this kind of production as “the stewpot discussion time”.

I gave them extra treats like kale from the garden, oyster shells, and encouraged them whenever I had the chance.

Nada; they didn’t increase one little bit.

This weekend, I was cleaning out all the shavings in the coop, and just happened to glance under big garbage can where I keep the clean pine shavings.  A few of the chickens had burrowed out space under the can for their daily dust baths.  My eye just caught a flash of white, and I realized those little bitches had been laying eggs under the big garbage can!  No wonder my daily egg count was so low.

If you were to hop in a time machine and go back 50, 60, heck 100 years to a farm kitchen, you’d see a wire basket of eggs sitting on their counter.  For you see, eggs from real free-range chickens don’t need to be refrigerated.  It’s true!

I knew these eggs had been laid within the last week, so I guess they were fresh, but given our heat of late I needed to make sure.  Here is a handy little test for you to check your own eggs for freshness:

How to Tell if Eggs are Fresh

  1. Eggs dropped in cold water that are less than one week old, will sink.
  2. Eggs dropped in cold water that are one to two weeks old will sink, but will bob around a bit.
  3. Eggs dropped in cold water where the small end of the egg touches the bottom, and the fat end lifts up in the water is about three weeks old.  These would be the best for hard-boiled eggs because older eggs peel more easily.
  4. Eggs dropped in cold water that float are bad news bears; avoid those at all costs!

eggs in a bowl - visit sustainablecooks.com for more information

Aren’t little kitchen tricks cool?  I was sharing this tip with my friend via text and she remarked: “you learn something new every day”.  I informed her that I was born 70 years too late; I should have been a farmer’s wife.  I was telling this to another friend, and she said if I was born back then, I’d have to hand wash all my dishes.  Screw that, I’m glad I was born in the 80’s.  Where there are dishwashers.

Now, here is a challenge for you.  Open your fridge and test a few of the eggs you’ve purchased from the grocery store.  How fresh are they truly?

And just because, here is a reminder of our chicken’s names:

  1. Poo Poo Sandwiches (letting a then three-year-old name chickens is a bad idea)
  2. Chicken Knocks on a Door…whaaaaa? (again with the three-year-old)
  3. Egg Shen
  4. Yolk-o Bawk Bawk
  5. Grandpa Chook
  6. Mother Clucker
  7. Garfield
  8. Odie

And there we have it, friends. No need for fancy equipment or to toss eggs; now you can know for sure How to Tell if Eggs are Fresh!

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4 comments on “How to Tell if Eggs are Fresh or Need to be Tossed”

  1. Useless knowledge about why American refrigerate eggs coming up….http://www.forbes.com/sites/nadiaarumugam/2012/10/25/why-american-eggs-would-be-illegal-in-a-british-supermarket-and-vice-versa/

    I love the cultural differences around food, so I thought this was fascinating but you may be less of a geek about this than me!

  2. Good to know!!
    I was in Lima, Peru and everyday on my way to breakfast I noticed a skid of eggs in the parking garage of the hostel. By the 3rd day I realized that the skid was down by half. Ew….lived on avocados and bread for breakfast the rest of the trip. Not a bad thing since I LOVE fresh avocados and bread. But I like eggs too.
    I thought my prayers kept the young people traveling with me from coming down with food poisoning…..looks like it was a nature thing 🙂

  3. Wow, those are very nifty tricks! Only one I know is how to make sure boiled eggs are done… if they spin quickly on a flat surface, they’re cooked. If they don’t spin and move out of balance, they’re undone. Were your eggs still good?