Kimberly Holland
August 28, 2013

Picture this: You're in the midst of making banana bread. You've got the butter softened, the bananas mashed, the dry ingredients combined. Now you need your eggs. Gasp! They expired two weeks ago. What would you do in this situation: Use them and never look back, or hope your neighbors can rescue you with fresher eggs?

See our collection of egg recipes.

You can probably use them and never look back. If refrigerated, eggs typically stay safe well after their expiration date. But if the idea of using a slightly out of date egg makes you even the least bit nervous, here's a simple test you can do to see if your egg is past its prime or perfectly acceptable.

The test: Fill a large pitcher or glass with water. Gently release the egg into the water. If the egg sinks, it's still good. If it floats, it's old.

See our Instagram demonstration of the egg test in the video below.

Notice above I said floating eggs are old, not bad. Here's why: Egg shells are porous. As eggs age, the air cell grows larger. Older eggs have larger air cells, so they float. Newer eggs have smaller air cells, so they sink. The USDA says even eggs that float may still be good. Before you toss the floater, crack it open. If it's discolored or giving off a foul odor, it's best to toss it. If it looks and smells like a normal egg, you're most likely safe to use it.

 

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