How to Tell If an Egg is Good: Tricks and Tips


When cooking with eggs, it’s essential to know whether an egg is fresh or not. Using an egg that’s gone bad can lead to unpleasant odors, flavors, and potentially harmful bacteria. However, with so many different methods to check for freshness, it can be challenging to know which one works best. In this article, we will explore various tricks and tips to help you determine if an egg is still good to use.

5 Simple Tricks to Determine if Your Eggs Are Fresh or Not

Here are five simple methods to determine if your eggs are still fresh:

1. The Visual Test

Simply examine the eggshell for any cracks, stains, or discolorations. Fresh eggs have an intact, smooth shell, while older eggs may have cracks and rough surfaces. The yolk of a fresh egg should also be firm and round, while the white should be clear and slightly thick.

2. The Smell Test

If a hard-boiled egg smells like sulfur or rotten eggs, it’s gone bad. Fresh eggs have a slight egg odor, but it should not be unpleasant.

3. The Julian Date Test

Check the Julian date, which is a three-digit code printed on the egg carton that represents the day of the year the eggs were packed. For example, January 1st would be 001, and December 31st would be 365. Fresh eggs have a Julian date between 001 and 365.

4. The Shake Test

Give the egg a gentle shake next to your ear. If you hear a sloshing sound, it’s no longer fresh. Fresh eggs have a tight, solid yolk that doesn’t move around much.

5. The Candle Test

Hold the egg up to a bright light source, such as a lamp or candle. Fresh eggs have a clear, visible yolk, while older eggs may have a cloudy or obscured yolk.

The Ultimate Guide to Checking Egg Freshness: Tips from Top Chefs

For chefs, egg freshness is crucial as it affects the taste, texture, and overall quality of their dishes. Here are a few tips from top chefs on how they check egg freshness:

1. Jacques Pepin’s Egg Test

Chef Jacques Pepin suggests breaking an egg onto a white plate and checking the yolk’s height. A tall yolk indicates a fresh egg, while a flat yolk suggests an older one.

2. Gordon Ramsay’s Egg Test

Chef Gordon Ramsay suggests weighing an egg to determine its freshness. Fresh eggs are heavier due to a lower moisture content. Baking can also be affected by moisture, with drier egg whites producing a crispier meringue.

3. Heston Blumenthal’s Egg Test

Chef Heston Blumenthal recommends cracking an egg onto a flat surface to check the white’s spread. Fresher eggs have a tighter, rounder white that doesn’t spread out as much.

4. Martha Stewart’s Egg Test

Martha Stewart suggests placing an egg in a bowl of water to determine freshness. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it’s fresh. If it floats, it’s past its prime.

Don’t Get Cracked: How to Tell If Your Eggs Are Still Good to Use

Before using an egg, it’s crucial to check for freshness to avoid ruining your recipe. Here’s how you can do it:

1. The Lamp Test

Hold the egg up to the light. If the egg is fresh, the egg’s interior will have a uniformly translucent appearance. However, a not-so-fresh egg will have a partially cloudy or even opaque appearance.

2. The Sniff Test

Take a good whiff of the egg. If it smells off in any way, it’s likely past its prime.

3. The Use-By Date

Always check the use-by date on the carton before using an egg. If it’s past the expiration date, do not use the egg.

Egg-cellent Tips on How to Test if an Egg is Fresh or Bad

Here is one more way to check if an egg is fresh:

1. The Egg Water Test

Fill a bowl with cold water and carefully place the egg in it. If the egg sinks and rests on its side, it’s fresh. If the egg sinks but stands on its pointy end, it’s still good but should be used soon. And if the egg floats, it’s past its prime and should be discarded.

From Floating to Cracking: How to Determine Egg Freshness in a Snap

Here are two more methods to test for egg freshness:

1. The Float Test

Fill a bowl with cold water and gently place the egg inside. If the egg sinks to the bottom and lies flat on its side, it’s fresh. If it sinks but stands on its pointy end, it’s still good but should be used soon. If the egg floats to the top, it’s gone bad and should be discarded.

2. The Shake Test

Hold the egg to your ear and shake it gently. If you don’t hear anything, it’s fresh. If you hear a sloshing sound, it’s no longer fresh.


Checking egg freshness is crucial to ensure that you’re using high-quality and safe ingredients when cooking. With these various methods to test for egg freshness, you can quickly determine if an egg is still good to use. It’s worth noting that not every method works for everyone, so try them out and see which ones work best for you.

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