Farm Fresh Eggs - use by date for best flavor/quality?
- fldhkybnva May 13, 2013 05:39 PM
I am quite excited to have discovered that a coworker has a farm with free range chickens who is willing to share some eggs. I have never used or even tasted a farm fresh egg and just had a few quick questions about storage. Obviously, they are better when fresher but in general within what time frame do you like to use the fresh eggs before you consider them to be less than fresh and akin to grocery store eggs. I have no idea the process of farm to grocery store egg production and so no real sense of how old the eggs in the grocery store are by the time they are put out for sale. If they are weeks old, I imagine using the farm fresh eggs within the same time frame would be reasonable given that I usually use a dozen eggs within 2 weeks or so but the fresh eggs will be at day #1 vs the grocery store eggs I buy now which are at x number of days old. Any tips that you have or suggestions would be great? I am really looking forward to these eggs and as a recent lover of eggs I think it will be a nice treat for some of my favorite egg dishes.
According to the egg farm I buy from, 4 weeks is the limit. Once they hit 3 weeks I make hard cooked eggs and turn them into devilled eggs or egg salad.
I buy 2 flats every 3 weeks or so. I didn't get to this weekend so we will do without eggs until I can get there (its about 20 miles each way and unfortunately not always the way we're headed but we would now rather do without than buy store eggs.)
Many grocery store brands have a packing date (3-digit code from 001 (January 1) to 365 (December 31)) and the sell-by date is typically 45 days later. Store eggs are generally delivered within a few days of laying. So "farm fresh" isn't necessarily going to be fresher than grocery store eggs.
Thanks, I had heard of this before but completely forgot about it. I checked the carton I brought in to be filled with the farm eggs and it seems that it was packaged on April 16th so it's been about a month. I will now likely be that crazy woman digging in the pile of eggs checking the dates :)
We don't wash the eggs our chickens lay unless they are really dirty. When a hen lays an egg, she leaves a protective coating on the shell that allows the egg to stay fresher longer. Those naturally coated eggs are stored on the counter. If we do wash dirty eggs, they will stay fresh on the counter several weeks, but we usually put them in the fridge. I forgot about a dozen eggs in the back of the fridge that were a couple of months old once. They were fine and I'd prefer those to store bought. If you go through eggs fast, I wouldn't worry too much about how long they'll stay fresh. If the chickens go outside and eat a variety of food, you'll love them and go through them much faster anyway.
I get a dozen a week as part of my CSA so I try to use them up in a week but, honestly, I've had some in my fridge much longer and they tasted fine. Every few weeks, I'll hard boil a bunch of the stragglers and use those for lunches and atop salads.
Like the supermarket, the farmer who sells eggs at my farmers market also marks their box with a "best before" date. She usually boxes them the day before the market and the date is usually about a week longer than supermarket eggs.
The supermarket ones I have at the moment have a best before of 22/5 and are at least 2.5 weeks old already.