How To Tell If Your Eggs Have Expired

(Without cracking them open)

If there's one thing our mothers taught us, it's that you should always have a carton of eggs in your fridge. And, thankfully, in addition to being one of the most versatile ingredients in cooking, eggs also have an exceptionally long refrigerated-shelf life. But if you need reassurance that the mystery dozen from the back of the fridge is safe for your morning omelet, here's an easy way to tell that doesn't involve an upset stomach three hours later—or cracking them open.

Expired eggs float in water; fresh eggs sink to the bottom.

As eggs age, an internal pocket of air begins to grow. A fresh egg has the least amount of air, so it will sink to the bottom of the glass. Eggs that are slightly older (but still good to eat) will still stay submerged but stand upright, and bad eggs will bob at the surface.

If the water test still leaves you unsure, a good rule of thumb is to consume eggs within four to five weeks of the carton's packaging date.