As we have chickens that lay eggs for us, it is important to be able to collect fresh eggs. Unfortunately, we can’t always be sure the eggs we find are fresh, because the hens lay them where ever they want. One of the ways which I have used to determined freshness is to place them in a vessel of water. According to popular belief (and pretty much every page on the web which deals with how to find fresh eggs), the eggs which are fresh will sink, and the eggs that are off will float. This is due to rotten eggs producing gas, which makes them lighter than fresh eggs.
I have used this technique for nearly 10 years and always been happy with the results. I have never been surprised with a rotten egg. I have had so much confidence with this that I usually just break the eggs in to a saucepan to cook if they pass this test.
Well, on the weekend one of my children found a previously unknown stash of eggs. We collected around 20 eggs from two piles, so I ran the normal checks on them and every egg checked out. I decided to make fried eggs for lunch due to this unexpected windfall, so I broke eggs into the frypan and started to cook them up. When I broke the fourth egg into the pan a large amount of fluid accompanied the egg. I immediately noticed the difference on constancy. Then the smell hit me. That was a rotten egg. Not very rotten, yet bad enough. I had to throw away the other three eggs as they were tainted with the fluid.
I started to then break eggs into a bowl to check them before I cooked them. The majority of the unknown pile of eggs were bad. One of them was so bad the yolk was black. I threw that one down the sink immediately, yet I doubt I will forget the disgusting smell and appearance of that egg. I found a similar image to the nightmare inducing sight, which I have placed below.
I don’t know if I will keep using the floating method to find the fresh eggs. That one failure has definately tarnished a previously flawless method. I think I will just go to breaking all eggs into a bowl and working out if they are any good to eat.