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  • Writer's pictureAnnie

How to Store Fresh Eggs

Updated: Apr 22

How to Store Fresh Eggs

This week’s blog is going to be very practical. And maybe it’s something you haven’t thought of before because it seems too simple. We’re going to talk about how to store our fresh eggs. But before you stop reading, I promise you this is really interesting stuff!

Farm Fresh Eggs vs. Store Bought Eggs

When you go to the grocery store and buy eggs, most people don’t know that those eggs can be a couple of months old already by the time you buy them. Grocery store eggs are higher in cholesterol and saturated fat and have lower amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which are super important for our day-to-day functioning. Farm-fresh eggs are nutritious and delicious and can last a long time if properly stored.

I’ll tell you how to store your eggs properly, but first let’s talk a little bit about the anatomy of an egg.

What is a Bloom on an Egg?

Right before a hen lays an egg, she puts a protective layer on the egg called the “bloom”. This protective layer keeps air and bacteria from going in or out of the egg. Obviously, if bad bacteria gets into the egg, the egg will go bad or, worse, make us sick.

If this bloom is rubbed or washed off, the egg needs to be refrigerated. This keeps the egg fresher for longer. If you don’t wash the egg, these eggs can sit on your counter for weeks. There are different schools of thought on this, but honestly, we eat our eggs so fast it’s rare they sit out for more than a week or two.

If you need to wash your eggs for any reason, they will need to be refrigerated. Even if a drop of water gets on an egg, this compromises the bloom, and this egg should be refrigerated.

How to Store Fresh Eggs

How to Store Fresh Eggs

Did you know that it’s best to store your eggs pointy side down? This was new information for me when we started raising backyard chickens.

Every egg has an air sac at the rounded end of the egg. This air sac is where a chick would breathe air once its lungs are developed. Cool huh?

For fertile or infertile eggs, this air sac will expand as the egg ages. This is because eggs are porous and will allow air to enter and moisture to escape. As air and bacteria enter the egg, they meet the egg white first. The yolk is usually pretty safe in the middle held in place by a stringy white protein called chalazae. You can sometimes see the chalazae when you crack your eggs in a pan to fry. This is perfectly safe to eat.

Egg whites are alkaline, which makes it hard for bacteria to thrive. However, the yolk is a little more susceptible to yucky (Salmonella) bacteria. As the egg ages and the air sac grows, this allows bacteria to get closer to the yolk.

If the egg is stored pointy end up, the air sac will slowly start making its way up towards the yolk because air rises. This can possibly bring bacteria closer to where we don’t want it. If you have the pointy end down, the air bubble will remain at the top and not move down towards the yolk. This will also keep your yolk more centered (yay for boiled eggs!) because it won’t have the pressure of a moving air sac. This is common sense, but we don’t know what we don’t know right?

Think about a boiled egg. When you go to peel it, there is usually a hollow area that’s easier to peel because it’s not attached to the egg. This is where the air sac was located. If you store your eggs pointy end down, you will always find this air sac at the rounded end of the egg.

How to Store Fresh Eggs

I would love to tell you I store my eggs perfectly each time. And, if they’re in the fridge, I do. I always store our washed eggs pointy side down in cute cartons in our fridge.

However, on our counter, I have our eggs in an egg basket, and they’re not always pointy side down. But I should be more diligent with this! I have growing kids though, so they don’t last very long. Haha!

Selling & Washing Fresh Eggs

If you’re going to sell your eggs, you need to check with your state’s guidelines on whether you wash them or not and for how long. If you do wash your eggs, make sure to wash them in warm water. Cold water will push the bacteria into the eggs. If you use unwashed eggs for your own cooking or baking, please make sure to give them a rinse before you use them.

Who knew storing eggs would be such a deal? However, as you grow in your backyard chicken raising or homesteading, these little tips and tricks will go a long way. I absolutely love having farm-fresh eggs for a good part of the year. It’s why I got into raising backyard chickens. What I didn’t see coming was my love and deep bond with these incredible birds!

Until next time,

–The Wing Lady



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