Chicken eggs you buy at the grocery store come with an expiration date on the carton that makes it easy for a consumer to know when the eggs should be used or discarded. People who raise backyard chickens might have a harder time gauging the freshness of their chicken eggs. Knowing the freshness helps you avoid possible food-borne illnesses. Fresher eggs taste better too. Luckily, chicken eggs don't go bad very fast, but it's better to test the freshness of eggs when you aren't sure of the date they were laid.
Things You'll Need
- Wide-mouth glass jar
- Cold water
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Fill a wide-mouth, glass jar with about six inches of cold water.
Set the egg in the water-filled jar and then look at the egg from the side of the jar.
Note the angle of the egg. A fresh egg will sit horizontally on the bottom of the jar. The big end of a one-week-old egg will rise slightly. As the egg ages, the air pocket inside enlarges due to evaporation. This causes the rising of the big end of the egg. The larger the air pocket the older the egg. The older the egg the higher up the big end will rise. A two-to-three week old egg will stand vertically on the bottom of the jar. The big end will be touching the bottom and the small end will be pointing upward. When an egg floats, its freshness has greatly diminished.
Smell any floating eggs and if you smell a foul sulfur-like smell, the egg is rotten. Toss it.