Fresh eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition. They can last a long time, but it can be quite a chore to keep track of every egg you have when it’s out of its packaging. Hence, you need to know how to properly preserve eggs since it can be just as important as properly storing rice in an emergency.
Unwashed fresh eggs typically can be stored for up to two weeks when not refrigerated and up to three months or more when refrigerated. The shelf life of washed eggs in the refrigerator is around two months.
Whether you buy your eggs from your local grocery store or get them straight from your backyard, you should know what to do with all those eggs. Read on to find out more.
- How Long Can You Store Fresh Eggs?
- How Should Fresh Eggs Be Stored?
- How To Test If Eggs Are Good and Fresh
- Best Tips for Making Fresh Eggs Last Longer
How Long Can You Store Fresh Eggs?
|Washed eggs and refrigerated||2 months|
|Unwashed eggs and unrefrigerated||2 weeks|
|Unwashed eggs and refrigerated||3 months|
|Cracked eggs and refrigerated||2 days|
|Raw egg whites, refrigerated||4 days|
|Raw egg yolks, refrigerated||2 days|
|Raw egg whites in the freezer||up to 1 year|
|Raw egg yolks in the freezer||up to 1 year|
Out on the counter
Since fresh chicken eggs do not have an expiration date like store-bought eggs, you may be curious how long they remain safe to eat and in good condition. So, how long can you keep room-temperature eggs?
You may keep eggs at room temperature on the counter or in the cupboard for two weeks up to a month. Even if they could be OK to consume after this, you should still do a freshness test to be cautious.
Unwashed, newly produced eggs from your backyard chicken or a nearby farm may be at room temperature for a few weeks without any problems.
We like putting some of our hens’ exquisite eggs on show on the counter in a wire basket or ceramic egg tray (this only applies to fresh, unwashed eggs, however).
All washed eggs must be in the refrigerator, whether from your backyard flock or the supermarket.
In the fridge
Eggs may be stored five times longer if kept cold and preserved in the fridge. You can securely keep freshly laid eggs in the refrigerator for three to six months.
Although many claims to store chicken eggs in the refrigerator for up to a year, this is not advisable. Do an egg freshness test to determine how long eggs have been in the refrigerator.
To prevent eggs from being tainted with other tastes or scents from the refrigerator (like garlic and onion), store them in an egg carton or sealed container.
7 °C, or 45 °F, is the best temperature for egg storage.
You may freeze eggs for about a year in the freezer. However, as their quality ages, there may be variations in flavor and texture.
When combined with an egg’s protective shell and enzymes, freezing is so good at preventing the development of germs that, if they are handled and kept correctly, frozen eggs seldom go bad.
Nevertheless, with time, egg quality deteriorates. This handling makes the egg’s air pocket bigger and the yolk and whites thinner and less bouncy. It could eventually just dry up instead of becoming rotten.
In addition, guarantee that your freezer is at or below 0 °F (-18 °C).
How Should Fresh Eggs Be Stored?
Do you need to wash fresh eggs before refrigerating them?
Egg storage depends on your preferences regarding whether you wash or not wash them. Nevertheless, whatever option you choose, you will need to store the eggs differently.
You may keep an unwashed freshly laid egg on the counter because they contain a cuticle, a protective coating known as the egg bloom. By blocking air from entering the shell’s pores and closing them, this protective covering helps keep germs at bay.
Therefore, you must directly store washed eggs in the refrigerator to avoid contamination.
It is preferable only to wash them if they are filthy eggs. You won’t need to wash your eggs if you maintain a neat, happy chicken coop where the eggs are free of dirt and grime when you gather them.
If you must wash eggs, rinse them in lukewarm water and, if required, scrape them gently with unscented soap to remove any dirt or feces.
How long can farm fresh eggs sit out before refrigerating? From the moment they are washed until purchased, all eggs must be kept below 45 °F.
To avoid condensation from forming, which might encourage the migration of germs through the shell, you should refrigerate washed eggs as soon as possible.
How To Test If Eggs Are Good and Fresh
If you are unsure whether an egg is secure to consume, it is best to discard it.
By date on the carton
It might be simple to lose track of chickens’ ages when producing many eggs. If you want to keep your eggs, a helpful tip is to use a pencil to mark the harvest date on the shell.
Another important step is to check the sell-by or expiry date displayed on the carton.
A three-digit number on the label will represent the date that the eggs were packaged. As an example, January 1 is 001. You can be sure the eggs are still edible if they are fewer than 30 days old from the pack date.
Your eggs could, however, remain safe for a few further weeks beyond these dates. A smell test is the most accurate method for determining if an egg is rotten.
You may have seen articles referencing the “egg float test.” This test is not a test to evaluate how fresh your eggs are, so you can eat them. The egg float test provides a rough estimate of an egg’s age. It doesn’t say whether the eggs are OK to consume or not.
An egg has moisture and water inside. An egg starts to dry as soon as it is left out on the counter or in the refrigerator. The shell membrane slips away from the shell as it dehydrates, and air fills the void.
By dropping an egg into a glass of water, the egg float test may be used to “measure” the air pocket inside an egg.
- Eggs that are very fresh and have not significantly desiccated will have less air, drop to the bottom, and lie on their side.
- It is no longer fit for consumption if the egg floats. Aged eggs that have dried up over time have more air pockets and often float on the water.
- It is OK to eat if the egg sinks and rests on its side horizontally.
- It is around three months old if it dips but stays upright, so you should consume it immediately.
But once again, make sure to base your decision on many things other than this test!
Cracking an egg on a flat plate/bowl
If you cannot determine the egg’s contents while still in its shell, break it open and take a whiff. The egg is still safe to use if everything smells normal or there is no odor.
Looking at the egg’s shell alone seldom reveals any defects. An egg must be broken to assess its freshness, even if it has cracks or discoloration.
Crack an egg onto a plate and carefully examine the white and yolk for color and thickness to determine the condition of the egg.
A fresh egg should have a thick, non-spreading white and a brilliant yellow or orange yolk. The egg white will be much runnier, and the yolk will be flattered and discolored if something is wrong.
Additionally, rotten eggs will smell sulfuric.
Best Tips for Making Fresh Eggs Last Longer
Here are additional best practices for making fresh eggs last longer.
- You will need sturdy containers to safeguard your eggs, whether you keep fresh, unwashed eggs on your countertop or cleaned eggs in your refrigerator.
- Unwashed eggs may be kept in a stylish dish or basket on your counter for easy access and security.
- Use the oldest eggs first! Some egg collectors name their egg cartons or mark their eggs with a pencil to indicate the date of collecting. Old eggs are also simpler to peel, making them perfect for boiled, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and poached eggs.
- Don’t wash brand-new eggs. Let the egg bloom assist in keeping them fresh. If cleanliness is a concern, wash the egg just before using it.
- You may avoid washing eggs by maintaining a clean chicken coop and constantly adding new bedding litter to nesting sites.
- Always store the freshest eggs with the pointed end down.
You might be interested to learn how to preserve eggs using mineral oil.
When you doubt how long an egg has been in the refrigerator, break it open on a clean plate and examine it to be sure it looks and smells normal before using it.
An egg’s quality deteriorates with time, becoming less springy and runnier. Older eggs, however, are still helpful for a variety of purposes.
With the proper egg storage methods, you can keep your eggs fresh for as long as possible. But of course, if you follow these tips, you’ll never need to worry about how long can fresh eggs be stored in your fridge.