Eggs: Counter vs Fridge – Which is better?
Counter top or Fridge? Where do you keep your eggs?
You must know someone who swears that eggs go in the fridge, after all, fridges usually come with a little egg storage compartment right?
But do eggs really need to be stored in the fridge?
When you visit a supermarket, such as Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda etc… where are the eggs kept? Do you ever have to visit a refrigerated aisle to collect your half-dozen eggs?
No, of course not! Eggs are sitting on a shelf, waiting for you to pick them up.
But if you look at a carton of eggs, it clearly states “Best Kept Refrigerated”
Confused? Well I’m not surprised!
According to the British Egg Website (yes there is such a thing! – link here) all store-bought eggs should have the “Red Lion” mark, which “guarantee that the eggs have come from hens vaccinated against salmonella”
They also provide the following information on egg storage:
Keep eggs in their original boxes when storing – this ensures any odours from surrounding foods are shut out
If you take eggs out of their box, make sure you store and use them in date order
Store eggs at a constant temperature below 20°C – this maintains freshness and quality. The fridge is the best place to keep them in domestic kitchens
Take them out of the fridge half an hour before cooking for the best results, otherwise the sudden change in temperature could crack the shell or lower its binding qualities in baking
So it seems that any temp below 20°C (68°F) is ideal for storing eggs, which I think is an average room temperature, at least in the UK, and if your kitchen is hotter, to store them in the fridge!
I keep eggs on the counter in a ceramic “chicken”!
You may ask why – and the reason is because I always have! my mum always has, as did my grandparents, and we have never experienced any illness / salmonella. Cold, refrigerated eggs just seem strange to me, and eggs always remain fresh until their ‘use by’ date, and sometimes even beyond that!
Now, if I were to buy ‘farm fresh’ eggs, I would make sure that I would take extra precautions, I would use them straightaway and (maybe) keep them in the fridge if I decided to keep them for longer than 1-2 days.
So: counter or fridge? Which is better?
It all comes down to personal preference, storage space and room temperature!
Personally, I have had no problems keeping eggs in on the counter, and providing you have the space, I would recommend it, it will save you room in the fridge, and also prevent any ‘fridge smells’ affecting the eggs. In a ceramic chicken, there is a constant temperature, rather than a possible varying temperature in a fridge when the door opens/closes, plus if you need them quickly, you don’t need to wait 30 minutes for them to ‘warm up’.
But if you don’t have the room, and are really concerned about quality, the fridge can be a good place, just make sure you follow the guidelines for optimal freshness.
Disclaimer: I live in the UK, so my experiences are all personal and based on UK shop bought eggs, not farm fresh and I have no experience of the way eggs are produced/hens are vaccinated in other countries, so please if you have any concerns please check your own food standards agency.