How to Store Eggs

Photos by Ruby Bayan

How to Store Eggs. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods conveniently packed in their naturally portable shells. Like other natural foods, they are best consumed in their freshest state. Here are tips on how to store eggs to preserve their freshness.

First, Check For Freshness

Check the expiration date. This would be stamped on the box or carton. There will also be a "pack date" shown in numbers from 1 to 365 (for example, 248 is the 248th day of the year, or September 5). Be sure you will be able to consume all the eggs before they're expected to go bad.

When buying from the farmer's market where eggs have no stamped expiration date, hold the egg against a strong source of light. Look for the air bubble at the rounded end of the egg. The smaller the air bubble, the fresher the egg (almost invisible in newly-laid eggs).

Put the egg in a cup of cold water. If it sinks and remains still, it's fresh; if it tilts or floats, it's going bad.

Weigh the egg in your hand. If it feels heavy for its size, it's good.

When you break the egg, a fresh one will have a thick white and a round and firm yolk. As the egg loses its freshness, the white becomes thinner and runnier, and the yolk becomes flatter and softer (breaks easily).

Break it and smell it. A bad egg smells like a bad egg.

Refrigerate Until Ready For Use

Keep the eggs in their original cartons, with the rounded ends up.

Place the carton on the lowest rack or a little towards the back--the coldest areas of the refrigerator.

Keep the egg cartons closed to minimize exposure to strong odors.

Take the eggs out of the refrigerator ahead of time (to warm up to room temperature) for soft boiling or baking. Cold eggs will crack when dropped in boiling water, cold whites will not whisk well, and cold yolks will not blend well in sauces and mayonnaise.