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White and brown eggs are identical in flavor and nutrition. Brown eggs cost more because they come from breeds (red-brown in color) that are larger and require more feed. Photo by Karen Andrews | SXC.
Refrigerated eggs can last for weeks in the fridge. But the long shelf life doesn’t mean that the eggs are “fresh.”
The fresher the egg, the more flavorful (and colorful) the yolk and the better the white will hold its shape.
In baking, the structural properties of fresher eggs are important to bind together other ingredients and to promote greater volume.
In savory cooking, fresher eggs add better texture and flavor.
Reach to the back of the shelf. The freshest inventory is usually stocked there.
Learn how to read the date on the carton (see below).
Buy your eggs from a farmers market.
That being said, proper handling and storage is vital to freshness. A freshly laid egg held at room temperature for a full day will not be as fresh as a week-old egg that has been refrigerated.
Get The Freshest Eggs
How To Read The Date On An Egg Carton
If you can unscramble the date on the carton, you can take home fresher eggs. There are potentially three dates on a carton, depending on state laws:
Pack Date. One to 3 digits, this is the Julian date, the consecutive day of the year (January 1st is 001 and December 31st is 365). It denotes the date on which the eggs were washed, graded and packed into the carton. This is usually within a week of being laid, although it could be up to 30 days later.
Packing Plant. The second, longer number, usually with one or more letters, identifies the packing plant.
Sell By Date. There can also be a “sell by” or “exp” (expiration) date. According to the USDA, you can use the eggs within 3 to 5 weeks of the date you purchase them, even if it’s past the expiration date. However, for best results in recipes, try eggs that are no more than a week or two old.
How To Store Eggs
Refrigerate the eggs in their original carton and place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door. The colder the air, the fresher the eggs.
More About Eggs
Check out nutrition information, how to safely use raw eggs, the different types of eggs and yummy egg recipes.
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