The other night, I was trying to make room for something in the fridge, and in the process, accidentally left a carton of eggs out on the counter overnight.
I assumed 8 hours at room temp was ok, but wasn’t quite sure, so turned to our awesome CSA farmer, Nancy Grove, who responded with a very thorough answer that started off with “We never refrigerate our eggs.” She went on….
Eggs only go “bad” when they dehydrate. At room temperature, they dehydrate more quickly than they do in the fridge. So, refrigeration of eggs only came into play with large-scale egg production, as eggs were shipped far and wide, taking weeks before they reached the shelves, and then needing to last ON the shelves for a few more weeks [and of course, ultimately, in our own refrigerators].
If you’re ever worried about eggs being too old, there’s a simple test. Place them in a bowl of water. If they float – even a little (standing on end, instead of lying down the long way on the bottom of the bowl), then they’re too old. We do this test sometimes when the chickens lay a renegade nest of eggs in the bushes and we don’t find it until a while later.
So, there you have it. Good to know And thanks Nancy!
Keep in mind, Nancy is referring to farm fresh eggs from clean, healthy chickens. I don’t know that the same room temperature leniency would apply to commercially produced eggs.
FYI – Different chicken breeds lay different colored eggs. No difference in taste between them (though there is a BIG difference between fresh farm eggs [whatever the color] and store-bought). As many of you already know, eggs from a local farm will have a bright yellow/orange yolk (as opposed to pale yellow), a rich flavor, many more nutrients (as outlined on my MEAT page), and besides, they’re pretty.