How to Store Eggs

by Ruby Bayan

Items you will need

  • Light source
  • Cup of cold water
  • Refrigerator

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

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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).

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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

Step 5

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).

Step 6

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

Refrigerate Until Ready For Use

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Tips

  • Freshness is the first and foremost concern when buying or choosing eggs because from the moment an egg is laid, its nutritional value, consistency, and flavor slowly degrade and deteriorate. The air bubble at the rounded end of the egg grows larger as the egg loses moisture over time. Because eggs have approximately 17,000 pores, they will tend to absorb strong odors present inside the refrigerator. Onions, cheeses, smoked and dried foods, and other strong smelling foods will eventually "flavor" the eggs. Keeping the eggs in their cartons will help keep them odor-free.

Warnings

  • Storing eggs in the refrigerator will slow down the eggs' aging process considerably but not indefinitely. So, don't attempt to purchase more eggs than you can consume in two weeks. Packing and expiration date periods are usually a span of four weeks but effectively, three weeks after an egg is laid, it will start to really deteriorate. Research has found that some raw eggs are contaminated with the salmonella bacteria, which can be killed only at 170 degrees F. Soft-boiled, poached, and sunny-side-up eggs do not reach this temperature, therefore, the risk of infection exists. This is why it is advisable for pregnant women, infants, the elderly, and people who have impaired immune systems to ensure that their eggs are well-cooked.

Photo Credits

  • Photos by Ruby Bayan

About the Author

Ruby is a freelance writer by profession. She has written extensively about a wide variety of topics in print and online, but here at eHow, she shares her passion for home and garden. Whether it’s housekeeping, home organization, do-it-yourself restorations, or creative renovations, chances are she’s tried it herself. A big fan of power tools, always eager to get her hands dirty, and happy to answer questions, Ruby’s always puttering around the house or digging in the garden.