Grocery Hacks

This Easy Hack Will Tell You If Your Eggs Are Still Fresh

Photo: Shutterstock // Sarah2

Forget trying to decipher the date. The “float test” is a quick and easy way to see if those eggs in your refrigerator are still safe to use in recipes. (Psst: Grandma loves this trick!)

When you buy your eggs at the grocery store, you can be certain they’re fresh—or at least, fresh enough to use. (If you want to know exactly how fresh your supermarket eggs are, here’s how to decipher those numbers on the carton.)

But it’s different if you store them in another container or buy them from a local farmer. As time goes on, do you remember exactly when you bought them? How long have they been in the fridge, anyway?

How Can You Tell If Eggs Are Fresh?

The good news is that badly spoiled eggs are easy to detect as soon as you crack them open. The bad news is, there’s a lot of territory between “off” and “strong smell of sulfur”—you don’t want to have to count on your nose if your health is on the line.

The great news is that there’s a way to tell whether your eggs are usable or not, without having to break the shell (which is the only thing standing between you and that rotten egg smell). Home cooks have been using this low-tech method for generations. It’s as easy as pouring a glass of water.

Do the Float Test

Bad eggs, you see, float. It has to do with the way moisture evaporates through the shell as eggs age—as that moisture decreases, the air bubble inside the shell grows. One way to test this is to hold the egg to your ear and shake it; if you hear the egg sloshing around, that’s a bad sign. But if you gently place the egg in a glass or bowl of water, you can get not only a “usable or not?” answer, but also a gauge of how fresh the egg is.

The air bubble will be at the narrow end of the egg—you can tell how fresh your egg is by how it settles in the water.

  • If the egg lies horizontally, it’s at its freshest.
  • If the narrow end of the egg tilts upward, the egg is still usable, but not quite as fresh. An egg that tilts would be good to use for meringue (yes, older eggs do make better meringue!).
  • If the egg stands upright (but is still at the bottom of the container), it’s past its peak, but is still safe—use these eggs for baking or hard-boiling.
  • If the egg floats? Get rid of it!

Simple as that. Quick, easy and it’s kind of fun, knowing you’re using the same trick grandmothers around the world used, too!

Related Links:

Article by Hazel Wheaton for Taste of Home. View the original article here.

Grocery Hacks Packaged Food

The Secret Meaning Behind The Numbers On Your Egg Carton

Photo: Taste of Home

Chances are you almost always have eggs in your fridge. Whether baked, scrambled or poached, they’re one of the most versatile items on the grocery list. (Here’s how to choose the best eggs at the store.) You might think the best way to pick a carton is by checking the grade, size, and expiration date—but there’s a secret, more efficient way to tell how fresh your eggs are.

Interested? Keep reading.

How to Decode Your Egg Carton

On the side of your egg carton, right by (or below) the “Sell By” date, you’ll see a three-digit code. No, it’s not an arbitrary serial number; it’s the Julian date, your fail-safe guide to fresh eggs.

Ranging from 001 to 365, the Julian date represents the day the eggs were packaged. Each code corresponds to a day in the year, so 001 would be January 1 and 365 would represent December 31. Once the eggs are packaged, they’ll keep in your fridge for four to five weeks. Psst: Here’s how long your other grocery staples will last.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, eggs can be sold for up to 30 days after they were packaged. So even if they’re in stock and not expired, they might be weeks old. Eew!

Ever notice that egg yolks were different shades? This is why.

So, Why Does It Matter?

It’s obvious newly packaged eggs taste better, but an egg’s quality can significantly deteriorate over time. As an egg ages, it loses moisture and carbon dioxide, making the whites thinner and the yolk more susceptible to breaking. And when you eat old, expired eggs, your risk of getting a food-borne disease from them increases.

As for the code starting with a “P” right next to the Julian date? That’s the plant code, which represents where the eggs were packaged. If there’s an egg recall, the plant code will determine whether your carton is included.

Look, we know stressful grocery shopping can be, but checking the Julian date is an extra step worth taking. If you don’t want to whip out your calendar and calculator (we don’t blame you), here’s a general rule of thumb to follow. If you’re buying eggs in early to mid January, look for lower numbers (015 will be significantly fresher than 364). If you’re buying eggs later in the year, look for the highest number possible.

Now that you know how to select your eggs, the next step is to break them. Why not try these tasty hacks for awesome scrambled eggs? Bon appétit!

Related Links:

50 Secret Recipes for Classic Diner Foods

33 Things Your Fast Food Worker Isn’t Telling You

10 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes When Brewing Coffee 

Article by Kelsey Mulvey from Taste of Home. View the original article here.