As anyone who’s ever cracked a bad egg knows, the experience can be enough to put you off for life…

Yet it’s frightfully wasteful to simply throw out a box of eggs based on the expiration date alone, as many will be good for weeks after. Fortunately, there’s an easy test you can apply to your dubious eggs – without spoiling dinner!

  • Fill a large bowl, wide-mouthed vase or a tall glass with cool water. (It’s important there be a decent depth of water in the container you choose.)
  • Now pop your eggs gently into the water. Those that sink immediately and lie flat are your freshest eggs.
  • Older, but still good, eggs will bob a little, or sit upright in the water. They will still stay near the bottom, however.
  • Any egg that floats should be thrown out, as it’s suspect. If you wish to risk it, crack them separately from other ingredients to avoid potentially contaminating your food.

It may seem a neat little trick, but the silence is pretty solid. As eggs age, their porous eggshells invite in the air – and potential contaminants too. The more air in the shell, the older it is and more likely to have gone off.

Never risk a bad egg again: this simple test will always have your back.

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