Eggs are one of those ingredients that seem to appear in nearly every type of dish. But how long do they last from when you first receive them?
It seems that a couple of different theories exist on how to test the eggs yourself and I’ll address them shortly. But first, I wanted to see if you realize just how versatile they really are?
Eggs are probably one of my staple ingredients in my kitchen. They not only have a permanent place in my fridge, but I also invested in a decent hen house, keeping a dozen chickens to supply the freshest eggs possible.
But I often get asked how I know whether an egg will be good when I use it. The answer takes but simple planning.
The Versatile Egg
First, let me share one often misunderstood fact about eggs. They are good for you. Despite getting a bad rap for a long time about the bad fats they contain, scientists and nutritionists have finally hopped aboard the egg train and marked them as highly nutritious.
Not only is that good for your body, but it’s also great for your kitchen. Because eggs feature in nearly everything, don’t they?
Whether I’m baking a fabulous cake, a bunch of muffins or even a stack of pancakes, they all use eggs. Then there’s the burgers, the pastry for some pies and of course fried rice. I add eggs to soups, meatloaf, pizza dough and pasta.
There are eggs needed at breakfast, lunch and definitely dinner. For snacks, one simply doesn’t pass up soft or hard-boiled ones. The list is virtually endless and yet eggs feature in all of them.
While most people only ever use chicken eggs, there are a vast range of other eggs that also feature highly in many recipes. Goose eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs are just a couple of others which I use quite regularly when I manage to get my hands on some.
There are some delightful recipes I use them in and people often find themselves surprised when they learn of them.
It’s All About Storage
Remember when I said that people often ask me how I know my eggs aren’t bad, despite not having an egg carton from the store? It all comes down to how well you store them in the first place. Many people still store them on the bench-tops, hoping for that ‘farm-like’ appearance.
But despite hoping for the look, the sad truth is that the eggs will last much longer when stored below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
The cold environment of the fridge slows down the ageing process of the eggs, reducing the rate of deterioration and increasing the shelf life. Because not many people know that they rarely go bad. Not if you take care of them from the moment you receive them.
The most important thing to check is whether they are cracked at all. Cracked eggs allow air inside the shell which immediately begins to evaporate the fluid inside. This also allows bacteria to enter the egg, including salmonella that lives on the eggshell itself.
That’s why it’s always best to open an egg carton before purchasing it, to ensure none of the eggs are cracked. A cracked egg is as good as wasted.
It’s the bacteria that creates the ‘bad’ inside the egg, deteriorating the contents until they turn inedible. There’s also a tiny air pocket inside an egg and this is what causes it to slowly dry up.
The process might take some time, but as long as the temperature remains low and the egg stays crack-free, chances are the egg will last indefinitely. Until, that is, until it dries out completely.
How Long do Eggs Last?
As long as you have done everything right, there’s no reason why they won’t last you several weeks, maybe even longer. Their quality reduces over time, but that’s up to personal preference whether you’ll still want to use them.
The below diagram shows under what conditions the eggs will last and for how long. It’s up to you to keep them in perfect shape until such time you need to use them.
|Item||Kept @ Room Temperature||Kept in Fridge||Kept in Freezer|
|Fresh Egg||Less than 2 Hours||4 to 5 Weeks||Not Suitable|
|Raw Yolks Only||Less than 2 Hours||2 to 4 Days||Up to a Year|
|Raw Whites Only||Less than 2 Hours||2 to 4 Days||Up to a Year|
|Hard-Boiled||Less than 2 Hours||1 Week||Not Suitable|
|Substitute Eggs||Less than 2 Hours||10 days unopened/ 3 days opened||Up to a Year unopened|
|Quiche||Less than 2 Hours||3 to 4 Days||1 to 2 months|
|Casserole||Less than 2 Hours||3 to 4 Days||2 to 3 months|
|Eggnog||Less than 2 Hours||3 to 4 Days||6 Months (Store Bought Only)|