Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jun 2, 2009.
Is there really a risk of any kind to eat eggs that are a week or two past the expiration date?
There's a risk to everything, but as a farm person who eats eggs that we store for God knows how long sometimes....we've never been sickly.
We do the float test...if the egg floats in the water, we pitch it. If not, we eat it.
I'm sure its not exact, but we're still alive.
Refrigerated eggs keep for quite a while beyond the "Sell By" date. Do like Shari said to see if they pop to the surface (means lots of air has been absorbed into the shell), or you can break it open into a small bowl to check.
I've never heard of the float test- I'll try it- thanks!
I didnt even realize they had a expiration date...lol. We just eat them till they are gone! I am still living. We have even been known to leave the eggs on the counter for a day or so.
That's us, Janet. Sometimes we use a ton of eggs. Sometimes, we'll have 3 or 4 dozen stockpiled in the fridge, and I know that dozen on the bottom has been there a while (its the LIFO system). LOL
I've never had a problem with eggs past the date. The date is the "sell by" date, isn't it? The only thing that we have a problem with past that date is milk, especially in the summertime when grocers don't always store the milk in the fridge right away. Things like sour cream, cheese, butter and the like are usually fine past the sell by date, as long as they've been stored properly and unopened.
by the way, older eggs are the best to hard boil, because they peel easier. Boil them up and make egg salad or deviled eggs.
Is that the trick to peeling hard boiled eggs? Using older eggs? That's good info to know. I always cool down my eggs in cold water, but sometimes they peel good and other times, I pull away half of the stupid egg when peeling.
Thanks for that tip too!!!
by the way - - I never pay attention to the date on eggs and I have never been sick. Milk on the other hand, I will throw away ON the expiration date. I'm sure the milk is still good, but it is a "thing" with me.
I do the "does it stink" test. Maybe it's wrong, but I think you know rotten eggs when you smell them.
Here's some egg facts -
I didn't know about the sink test so I'll add it to the list. (thanks)
To peel eggs that you boil? Take them from the boiling water - do not dump the water out - but set the pot in the sink and run tepid water, then cooler. Less crack that way AND .......to peel?
The best way I've ever found is to use a Tablespoon pop the egg on the top under running water and use the spoon facing the egg to pop the shell off. No picking -
This works if the eggs are cooled or not - but better when they are a little warm. My girlfriends saw me doing this in the kitchen one day because I got so tired of little splinters of egg shell under my nails....and it works like a charm - I get more of the whole peel off in one turn of the spoon.
Also if you add a little salt to the water before it boils it helps.
AND to tell if they are boiled - take a test egg out of the boiling water - and with it on it's side spin it. If it spins? It's boiled. If it wobbles - it is a fresh egg.
Eggs should be fine for a week or 3 after the date. They are the ONE food that I do not follow the date closely. I have used eggs up to a month after the date if it is for a cake or something.
While the float test can help you find the older eggs, I am not sure what it says about their use. The float test tells you how much AIR is in the egg.
If you washed the eggs with the shell on, use them ASAP. Eggs naturally have a waxy coating, one we don't notice. This protects germs, etc from getting into the egg. that is also part of the purpose of that thin membrane that is around the egg.
Why do hard boiled eggs sometimes peel easily and other times put your nails in danger ofthose tiny bits of shell?
The egg has that waxy coating and the inner membrane to keep air out. But there is a tiny amount of air inside the shell between that membrane and the shell. As time goes by, air seeps in through that waxy coating and the inner membrane.
When you peel a brand new egg there is that small area that has a crater, for lack of a better word. It is bigger in the older eggs. This air pocket is what makes the shells come off easier. It gets all around the egg as the egg ages, making it much easier to peel.
We did a test in a college food lab. We boiled 3 pans of eggs and then peeled them. The first one was brand new eggs from the University chickens (we are an ag school, so there truly ARE University chickens!). The next batch was 2 weeks older, the 3rd pan was 4 weeks older (all eggs were delivered to our lab on the day we started the experiment.).
One group used no special stirring, no vinegar, no salt.
One group stirred halfway through the cooking period. One group used 1 tbsp of vinegar, one group used 1 tsp salt.
The ONLY thing that was consistent was how the eggs peeled at each stage. None of the test groups was any different from the control (the group that was just boiled and cooled).
We DID find that if you stir clockwise and then counter clockwise about 3 or 4 times during cooking that the yolks will be in the center rather than pushing the egg white so thin on the sides. It is better to stir early in the game, as the whites are setting up and thickening - this will make it so the yolk can't push to the sides.
A helpful tip for devilled eggs, in my opinion.
I wouldn't worry about the date if you got them from a store you know well.
I grew up on a farm and we raised chickens and we always used the float test. If there was any doubt whether the egg was OK or not, we used the stink test. I was taught in 4-H to always break an egg into a separate bowl instead of into your batter or recipe just in case it wasn't OK. My family has been eating eggs with those two tests forever and most of my relatives live into their 90s and beyond so I guess old eggs didn't hurt anybody much. Believe me, if it's really bad - you'll know it.
Of course, the float test and the stink test don't tell you about things like salmonella but that can be present even in fresh eggs but if it looks OK and you cook it well, there shouldn't be a problem (I say as I take a spoonful of raw cookie dough).
Well, I did the float test then boiled the eggs. Funny, I did notice that they were very easy to peel. I'm not sick yet!
The float test - I've found a lot ofeggs will float a little, like an iceberg. It's when they floar high that there is a problem. The reason for this - every egg has a small pocket of air (you notice it on a hard-boiled egg as a dimple at one end). Over time, more water evaporates out of the egg and so the air sac gets larger. As the air sac gets larger, the egg's density reduces and so it floats higher.
A fresh egg will sink to the bottom. An egg even a week old will float like an iceberg (most of the egg below the surface). An egg six months old will float high, like a balloon on a pond. DO NOT BREAK OPEN SUCH AN EGG! We deal with such eggs by hurning them (carefully) into the backyard so the egg hits the furthest tree possible. They burst open with a loud "poc" and you make sure you're not downwind.
To boil eggs - if your eggs are too fresh (ie less than a week old from being laid) then they will not peel well. So if you just bought a carton of eggs from the store and hard-boiled them and they peeled beautifully - the eggs you bought were not as fresh as you thought.
THis is all gleaned from years of having our own freshly-laid eggs. I spent years trying to work out why I could never have neat-looking boiled eggs on my picnics, until my mother told me the secret - always hard-boil the oldest eggs.
With home-laid eggs, we write the date on the eggs in pencil. When frying or poaching an egg, use the freshest. The white is more gelatinous and holds its shape best. But to hard-boil - use the oldest but also check that they're old enough.
The suggestion to break each egg into a separate cup before putting it into the mix is very sensible - it is how we were taught to cook at school.
One last thing on hoe-laid eggs - cleanliness. Yes, if you have to wash an egg be prepared for it to not keep so well. But chances are it's because it was dirty in the first place. Egg shell is porous, so if you have an egg covered in chook poop it risks being contaminated. Clean it, note it with a pencil mark and use that egg as soon as possible. You need to clean the egg before you use it or yourisk getting chook poop in with the egg contents... not a goof thought.
Thanks, Marg! Very interesting and useful information! I either fry or boil mine, with an occasional scrambled egg sandwich. I don't think I remember how to poach one, but I used to like those, too!
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