There are two types of people in the world: those who keep their eggs in the fridge and those who think room temperature is best. Those that believe that eggs should be stored at room temperature will tell you that chilling eggs is similar to chilling fresh tomatoes. It changes their flavor – and not for the better.
What follows is info that may help you keep your little cackleberries fresher longer.
Farm fresh eggs will remain fresh for at least a week at room temperature if unwashed. They can be stored safely at temperatures between 55-70 degrees for several weeks. Commercially raised eggs stored in the refrigerator should last several weeks. Farm fresh eggs, refrigerated, should be good for a great deal longer.
Mother Earth News ran a test using 60 dozen eggs – 30 dozen purchased from the supermarket and 30 dozen farm-fresh, fertile, unwashed eggs. They used multiple methods of storage to find the best method of storage for longevity. Each month they tested several eggs to see how they were handling solitary confinement. At seven months, they tested the eggs that had been stored in air-tight containers in the refrigerator at temperatures between 38 and 40 degrees. The unwashed fertile eggs were still very fresh. The whites were a little runny, but overall the quality was good. The store-bought eggs were still edible, but suffered in quality. The secret, fresh, unwashed eggs, air-tight containers and consistent temperatures.
How to tell if eggs are fresh
So, those eggs that have been in your fridge for a very long time. . . .are they still good or should you toss them. Here is how to check for freshness:
A fresh egg will sink in water while an older egg will float. A very fresh egg will not only sink, but it will lay on it’s side. As an egg ages, the size of the air cell inside of the egg increases. In time it will enlarge to the point of causing the egg to float. Cracks in the shell will also cause an excess of air in the eggshell. To check for freshness – place eggs, one at a time, into a container of water and watch how they respond. Rule of thumb: If it floats, toss it out.
In a fresh egg, the yolk should sit up high, and the white should be thick and closely surround the yolk. Older eggs have flat yolks that break very easily – and thin, watery whites. See the difference in the two eggs in the picture below.
• A fresh, Grade A egg will have a firm white, a small air cell at the wide end of the egg and a centered yolk. You will notice these differences most when you hard-boil eggs. Those eggs that you boil and find upon peeling that one end is flat or has a large cupping shape – that was an older egg.
Properly storing your eggs will add to their quality and longevity. Eggs should be stored pointed end (small end) down – so that the air sack is at the top of the egg. Sometimes it is difficult to tell which end is which, but there is always a pointed or smaller side. You can always candle your eggs to check.