How to tell an egg is fresh - Delia's How to Cook - BBC Food

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the most important thing you need to

look for if you're a cook is something

that happens up here and that is an air

pocket I've already said the shell is

porous and if you want to cook eggs you

need to know all about the air pocket

before you start to cook them because

what the air pocket tells you is how old

the egg is when an egg is fresh there's

very little air pocket and when it's

stale there's a lot and that is so

significant in cooking now first of all

before you even start to cook an egg

you've got to go and buy your eggs and

my advice to you is always look at the

date stamp on the box and go to a

supplier where they tell you the packing

date the sell by date isn't always very

helpful so go to a supplier that gives

you the packing date then you've got a

clue before you buy them when you get

them home and you want to use them in

various recipes there's some other tests

that I can show you how fresh is an egg

well if there's very little air in the

air pocket the egg when you put it in a

tumbler of water will sink to the bottom

of the water in a horizontal position so

you'll know before you break that out of

its shell that that's quite a fresh egg

if it's not so fresh it'll just slightly

tilt into a semi horizontal position

like that one

and if it's stale then it will sit up in

a vertical position and if it's very

stale like this one it'll float to the

top like that now there's another way to

tell if an egg is fresh after it's

broken out of the shell and here we've

got three more little tests to show you

the first one is the very fresh egg

which has got a lovely sort of plump

proud yolk that's what to look for and a

gelatinous ring of white that sort of

clings around the oak and another ring

of white so you've got the double ring

there what happens when it's not so

fresh is that the yolk in the middle

looks slightly flatter not quite

surrounded and you can see here the

double ring is not so visible it's

almost disappeared on this one and

there's much more of the watery white

then we move on to the stale one

and the stale one here has got a very

flat yolk and there's just watery white

and what would happen if you wanted to

put that in poaching water it would just

well just disintegrate so that's why you

don't want to stay a leg for poaching