Have you forgotten about a carton in the back of your fridge and are wondering, how long do eggs last? Find your go-to “egg guide” here with the best way to keep your eggs lasting for a long time while still tasting fresh. From raw to hard-boiled and egg whites to yolks, we’ve got you covered!

A steamer basket that is full of large brown eggs.

How to Store Eggs

If eggs are stored properly, they rarely go bad. Keeping them at 45°F in your fridge gives them a shelf-life of 3-5 weeks. To store in the fridge follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure your fridge is at a proper temperature of 45°F or lower
  • Keep them on an inside shelf
  • Place them away from pungent foods
  • Store them in their original carton

In the United States, storing a carton of eggs below 45°F prevents condensation from building up. This excess moisture can seep through the shell and enter into the egg, shortening its shelf life.

Keeping them in their original container, on an inside shelf (not the back of the fridge or in the door), and away from pungent foods prevents them from absorbing odors and protects them from temperature fluctuations when the fridge opens and closes throughout the day.

How long do eggs last?

Here’s your ultimate guide to know your “egg ages” based on buying them at your grocery store:

Egg TypeRoom TemperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Fresh, Whole EggLess than 2 hours3-5 weeksNot recommended
Egg YolksLess than 2 hours2-4 days1 year
Egg WhitesLess than 2 hours2-4 days1 year
Hard-Boiled EggsLess than 2 hours1 weekNot recommended
Egg Salad2 hours4 daysAirtight container for 1 month
Casseroles with EggsLess than 2 hours3-4 days2-3 months once baked
QuichesLess than 2 hours3-4 days1-2 months once baked

As you can see, all forms of eggs are safe at room temperature for up to 2 hours, and most forms of them can last up to 4 days in the fridge. Ultimately, it’s pointless to put raw, whole eggs and hard-boiled eggs in the freezer because it completely changes the texture and quality.

Backyard & Farm Fresh Eggs

Know that backyard and farm fresh eggs are held to different standards because grocery stores wash and sanitize their eggs to reduce the risk of salmonella. During this process, it removes the shell’s natural coating, resulting in a shorter shelf life at room temperature. With your own eggs from your backyard or nearest farmer, that natural shell coating is still there, making it perfectly okay to keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Hard boiled eggs made in the air fryer are set beside each other.

Can you freeze eggs?

Yes, you can freeze eggs, but you can’t freeze them in their shells, as eggs expand when frozen and the shells will crack.

For the best quality, follow these specific steps to preserve them:

  1. Separate the egg whites and yolks
  2. Group all the egg yolks and whites in separate freezer-safe containers, leaving a half-inch of space at the top for expansion. Ice cube trays work perfectly for freezing individual whites and yolks!
  3. Label your eggs: make sure to write a date on each container so you know when to eat them by.

If you’re wanting to stock up on your food storage without these extra steps, powdered eggs are definitely an option. Their expiration dates typically last for years, depending on the brand. 

How to Defrost Eggs

To defrost eggs, all you have to do is transfer from the freezer to the fridge and let them completely thaw.

Alternatively, you can run cold water over the egg container to speed up the process. They need to be used immediately after they’ve been thawed. To avoid growth of bacteria, never thaw your eggs at room temperature.

Egg whites will change in consistency when thawing, and the taste might be slightly off, but they are still safe to eat. Egg yolks hold up well in the freezer, so you won’t notice a difference in texture or taste. Your eggs will last up to 1 year in your freezer!

Fresh eggs and a carton of egg whites are shown on the counter.

What does the date on the egg carton mean?

The three-digit code on the carton indicates the day of the year when a carton of eggs was packed by farmers and manufacturers. This three-digit code is called the Julian date, and it represents the days of the year. For example, 002 is January 2 and 365 is December 31.

Can you eat eggs past the sell-by date?

Yes, eggs are still usually good to eat past their sell-by date. An “old egg” doesn’t necessarily mean a bad egg. It just means that they aren’t as fresh. If the shell has an unusual film or crack on it, toss it. Once you crack it to use it, do the “sniff test”—a rotten egg will give an unpleasant odor that you’ll need to toss.

How can you tell if an egg is still okay to use?

The float test is an easy way to tell if an egg is still okay to use. The degree to which it sinks or floats can tell you its freshness:

Sinking eggs lying flat on sidesVery fresh
Sinking eggs standing upFew weeks old, okay to eat
Floating eggsNo longer fresh, unsafe to eat

Other ways to check for egg freshness is checking the sell-by date or best-by date. Eating before that exact date is a good idea. Looking for the pack date (or the three-digit number Julian date) is another option because if the they are less than 30 days from this date, then they are still safe to eat.

If you’ve surpassed these dates, you still have a chance of being able to use and eat them, so just use the float test. When in doubt, float it out!

Eggs are cracked into a bowl.

How can I use older eggs?

Here’s a guide to give you a good general rule on how to use eggs based off their freshness:

Fresh EggsOmelets, scrambles, fried, poached
Older EggsCasseroles, quiches, pies, hard boil

Can I bake with old eggs?

Yes, you can bake with old eggs. While eggs are a must-have baking ingredient that provide moisture and structure, their freshness usually has little effect on your baked goods. 

A slotted spoon is used to lift an egg out of the water.

Egg FAQs

Can you eat eggs 2 months out of date?

If they’ve been stored below at least 45°F, then they can be eaten 4-5 weeks after the carton’s Julian date and up to 3 months from that date, though their freshness will be compromised.

How long can you keep eggs until they go bad?

Refrigerated eggs are freshest up to 5 weeks from the Julian date, and then their quality begins to decline, even if they are still safe to eat.

Can you eat eggs 3 months old?

Yes, but their quality will decline starting at 5 weeks after the Julian date.

Can eggs last 6 months in the fridge?

Eggs can last 5 weeks to 3 months in the fridge or 1 year in the freezer if stored properly. 

How can I tell if eggs are bad?

If they sink to the bottom of a bowl and lay flat on their side, they’re still safe to eat. If they sink and stand at the bottom, they are not as fresh, but still can be eaten safely. Additionally, if they float to the top, don’t eat them.

How old are eggs at the grocery store?

Farmers have up to 30 days from when the egg is laid to put it in the carton for the stores. 

Can you bake with 3-month-old eggs?

Using older ones in cakes will not make much of a difference in your overall baking since egg is not the main ingredient. 

What’s the longest you can keep eggs in the refrigerator?

For the freshest eggs, the longest you can keep them in the refrigerator is 3-5 weeks when stored at 45°F or less. After that, their freshness declines but are still okay to eat for up to 3 months.

Classic deviled egg recipe with paprika and fresh dill on a white serving plate.

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