How do you tell if an egg was rotten before you boiled it?

I wanted to have some boiled eggs tomorrow (for a macaroni salad), so I boiled the only ones I had. Their ‘Sell By’ date was Jun 29, while today is Jul 24. The eggs bobbled a bit, but didn’t actually float or completely sink. Is there some look, smell, or texture I should be on the lookout for when I shell them tomorrow?


If it floats, toss it.

OK, that’s what I really needed to hear. It means it comes down to taste, and that I don’t have to worry about my 88 year old mother barfing her guts up all night, because I cooked these suckers for like 40 minutes. Thank you so much!

I just boiled 8 eggs with a similar expiration date. They floated, I still made egg salad. It was delish…I did not die.

Glad to hear it, Zip! Thank you all.

I thought that really fresh eggs were supposed to sink if you floated them in tap water. Sinking is good. Is that true?

That’s my understanding. Mine were coming between totally sinking and totally floating. But since I’ve thoroughly boiled them, I’m not worrying about it.

40 minutes? :eek:

I boil mine about 15 minutes.

If an egg floats side ways it is probably spoiled,if it floats standing up it is just old. It should be run under a faucet until the water warms up to avoid cracking, put in some vinager so if it does it will stay mostly in the shell; it takes about 5 to 6 minuets for the water to start to boil, then if it is a large egg it should be hard boiled in 10 minuets, a smaller egg would take a minuet less and a very large egg a minuet more to set the yolk.


I regularly use eggs that are quite a bit older than 10 weeks. I have never had a problem with them. Like others have said…if it smells like a rotten egg, there’s your cue to toss it.

I have to say if it was truly a rotten egg and not just questionable, it would have exploded. They sometimes explode with just touching one. A rotten egg has a off color too. The egg, natures perfect stink bomb.

I’m the laziest fridge-cleaner-outer in the world, and while I’m generally of the “when in doubt, toss it” school of thought, I just go ahead and use the eggs. It seems like they never go bad. I’ve never, ever gotten a rotten one. I try to follow what the TV chefs say and crack them into a bowl instead of right into my cakes and such, just in case there’s one you don’t want, but I’ve never come across one.

I’ve also never come across a “corked” bottle of wine. Guess I’m just lucky?

You probably have and just wrote it off to being a wine you didn’t much care for. Cork isn’t like rotten eggs or bad meat - mildly corked wine won’t make you want to spit it out or anything like that; it just has an off note to it that unless you’re alert to it, you probably will just assume it’s a red wine you didn’t like very much.

There’s also degrees of corkiness. I’ve very rarely come across a REALLY corky wine (and when I do I get excited, because then you can pass it around to everyone and say “hey! THIS is what cork smells like!”)

I believe the OP was asking about just boiling an egg, you shouldn’t crack an egg or use a cracked one for boiling. It is easy to tell if an egg is spoiled once you open it. Even if it is not yet smelly if the white and yolk are runny it will taste bad.

I lived on a farm where the chickens laid eggs all over the field and we always had to check to see if they were old. Now eggs are candled before they are sold.

When in doubt, and if you have enough eggs, you can open one. If that one smells ok, chances are the rest of the gang is right, too.

If an egg is really rotten it solidifies, so spin it. If it spins it’s either bad or already hard boiled.

A rotten egg is all runny and yellow green inside. It’s not solid. The only solid egg not cooked is a frozen one.