Lesson 1073 – Eggs in the heat

We’ve been very lucky (touch wood.) Our summer has not been *that* hot. Oh sure, we’ve had a day or two of heat with the muggies but the weather seems to quickly go back to cooler breezy nights.

In fact, we’ve had the sort of weather that prompts people to spontaneously say – “*This* is why we live in New Hampshire” (well, this and September.)

Although, we haven’t gotten the bad heat, other places have.

A reader recently contacted me about what to do with eggs that had not been collected and which had sat in high heat for a few days.

We haven’t gathered our eggs this week and it’s been 95-100* are they safe to eat still? I’ve heard/seen mixed reviews on the float test.

I tend to be a little more relaxed with our eggs (I have to attribute this to my microbiology background – bacteria can be our friends.) Oh, to be sure, I take precautions, I test and wash our eggs, but I’m not deathly afraid of bacteria, as some other chicken owners seem to be. This was my reply:

A tough call. That’s some high heat. This is what I’d do (and what I’ve done in the past) First, water test the eggs and throw out any that float. Then only use the eggs for your own use (don’t sell them or give them away) keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them and then crack each egg, one at a time in a separate bowl (I use my grandmother’s glass custard cup.) If the yolk is intact, I cook with it. If the yolk has become runny or liquid, I throw it out and try another egg (by using a separate bowl, you don’t risk throwing out all of your ingredients.) Ultimately, it’s your call on what to do. Let me know how things turn out.

Yesterday, I received this update:

All passed the float test, and I’ve used 7 of the 9. All were perfect. Temps were 98-108 for the week (Mon-Fri) they were out there.

How about you? What is your protocol for summer eggs that may have sat in heat for some time? Do you do anything special with them or do you not take the risk and just throw them out?


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

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3 responses to “Lesson 1073 – Eggs in the heat

  1. Float test “found” eggs which in the summer is most of them!! But we are in a cool part of the country (VT, Canadian border). And as a Brit I never wash eggs (unless there is actually poop on them, a rare occurrence). The only reason I refrigerate is lack of safe counter space in the kitchen – the cats knock everything off.

  2. My grandfather was an old “Yankee Farmer” and my stepmother (his daughter) always told me that he would say eggs can last in room temperature for a good two weeks or longer. Refrigerated they will last more than a month. In fact, hard-boiled eggs peel better when they are at least 30 days old.

    Now this could be good ole Yankee ingenuity or an old wives tail. But like you said, if you open them up and the yolks hold (and they don’t smell bad) cook them.

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