How to test an eggs freshness, see if your eggs are fresh.
If you're baking a cake or in the middle of preparing a delicious meal, there's nothing worse than spoiling the whole lot by adding an egg that is bad, meaning that you have to discard everything that you've prepared so far and start again. Not only is it annoying, but it's also time-consuming and a waste of money as well.
Actually, this situation can be avoided if you check before you add your eggs to the rest of the ingredients to see whether it is fresh or not.
There are three ways in which you can test an egg to see whether or not it is good to consume or not. They are detailed in order of popularity.
The water and bowl test for freshness
Firstly, fill a fairly deep bowl with water. The level of the water should be approximately twice the height of the egg. Then, carefully lower the egg into the bowl.
There are three things that could happen.
In the first instance, a very fresh egg will immediately sink to the bottom and lie flat on its side. This is because the air cell within the egg is very small. The egg should also feel quite heavy.
A slightly older egg of about one week old will still lie on the bottom of the bowl but at a slight angle. It will bob up and down rather than lie still.
Gradually, as the days pass, the egg will start to lose its freshness and more air enters the egg, at which point it will begin to float and stand upright. The smaller end will lie on the bottom of the bowl, whilst the broader end will point towards the surface. However, the egg will still be good enough to consume. Here, the egg is about three weeks old.
Finally, if the egg fully floats in the water and does not touch the bottom of the bowl at all, it should be discarded, as it will most likely be bad.
A bad egg will also feel extremely light in weight and give off a pungent smell.
The cracked egg and plate test
The second method to test the egg's freshness is by breaking the egg onto a flat plate or a flat surface but not into a bowl.
The yolk of a very fresh egg will have a round and compact appearance and it will sit positioned quite high up in the middle of the egg. The white that surrounds it (albumen) will be thick and stays close to the yolk.
A cloudy colouring to the egg white is a sign of extra freshness, as this "cloudiness" is in fact carbon dioxide, which is present when the egg is laid. Over time, the egg white will become more transparent, as the carbon dioxide dissipates.
A less fresh egg will contain a flatter yolk that may break easily and a thinner white that spreads quite far over the plate.
In the last instance, a bad egg will have a very flat yolk and the egg white, or albumen, will be runny like water almost. If your egg is like this, it needs to be discarded and should not be consumed.
The sound test for freshness
This method is not as widely used as the previous two, but it can work just as well, although you will have to rely on your hearing rather than your sight.
Pick up the egg that you want to test and place it close to your ear.
Gently shake the egg from side to side. If you cannot hear any sound whatsoever, the egg is perfectly fine to eat and there is nothing wrong with it. If, on the other hand, you hear a sloshing sound, do not consume the egg as it is bad.
If you are unsure after carrying out this test, you could try one of the first two tests just to make sure.
Some people may be concerned that an egg has been fertilised and therefore don't want to eat it. There is actually nothing wrong with eating an egg that has been fertilised by a rooster, yet most people would prefer not to.
In large-scale chicken factories where eggs are produced it is highly unlikely that a hen will come into contact with a rooster, so really, there is nothing to worry about.
Some eggs have tiny red or brownish spots on them which are known as blood or meat spots. They are safe to eat and do not mean that the egg is bad. In fact, they actually show that the egg is particularly fresh as the redness fades with age. These spots are actually only blood vessels that have ruptured as the egg has formed.
Very fresh eggs are ideal for frying or poaching, but less fresh eggs should be used in sauces, cake mixtures or omelettes, where the shape and texture of the egg is not as noticeable.