Will Eggs Float When Boiled? What You Need To Know

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients. If you frequently boil eggs, you may have noticed that some float while others do not. Why is that the case?  

A boiled egg floats is likely older and less fresh than eggs that sink. Older eggs include larger air cells, allowing them to float in fresh water. However, floating is not indicative of a spoiled or unsafe egg.

Continue reading to find out whether an egg is edible, explore how long they remain fresh, whether it should be refrigerated, basic methods for how to boil an egg, and why eggs float in boiling water.

Are Boiled Eggs Supposed To Float?

Some eggs will float in freshwater while others will sink, and it is a fallacy that boiled eggs float. There are three reasons an egg may float in boiling water. Keep n reading to find out.

It Is An Old Egg

The shell of an egg is slightly porous to air, and when the egg’s moisture evaporates over time, more air will enter the shell. Due to their high moisture content and low air content, fresh eggs will sink while boiling. Older eggs will float.

The Shell Has Cracks

When boiling an egg with a cracked shell, some of the egg white will seep into the water, causing the egg to lose weight and float.

You’re Cooking It In Saltwater

In highly salted water, all eggs will float. The addition of salt to water makes the water denser, allowing it to hold the weight of an egg.

If An Egg Floats In Cold Water, Is It Bad?

An egg that floats in cold water is older than one that sinks, but that does not indicate that it is spoiled. However, if your egg floats prior to or during boiling, you should not consume it. Let’s review various methods for determining if an egg has gone bad.

Examine The Eggshell Prior To Purchasing Or Using Eggs

If the eggshell has a crack or dent, germs may have gained access to the egg. Never purchase cracked eggs. Immediately break the eggs, and dump the whites and yolks into a clean, airtight container.

Place the eggs in the refrigerator if they crack while you are taking them home after purchasing them. These eggs should be consumed within two days.

Crack Open The Egg And Smell It

If you are cooking eggs, you can boil them until they are done, but you should still crack them open and smell them before eating them. Whether they are raw or cooked, rotten eggs have a unique odour. Never consume an egg with a foul odour.

Examine The Egg White

A new egg’s egg white will be slightly murky or milky, whereas an older egg’s egg white will be clear. Over time, the egg white will grow thinner and more liquid, but fresh egg whites are thicker and more gel-like. Egg whites should never be pinkish, greenish, or iridescent; if the egg white has an unusual hue or texture, throw away the egg and do not consume it.

Check The Date Of Expiration

There is an expiration or “use-by” date on egg packaging. Ensure that you consume eggs within the specified time limit. The best before date signifies that the products in this case eggs should be consumed before the mentioned expiration.

How Can You Tell When A Hard-Boiled Egg Is Done?

Set the egg on the counter and give it a brief spin to determine whether it has been hard-boiled. Tap it once it begins to move to stop it from spinning. Cooked eggs will spin smoothly and swiftly before stopping abruptly.

Instructions For Boiling An Egg

When dropping an egg into boiling water, take care not to fracture the eggshell. Use a spoon to carefully lower the egg into the saucepan. Alternately, cover the eggs with an inch of cold water before bringing the water to a boil. There is no requirement to salt the water or cover the saucepan. Eggs must boil for 10 to 12 minutes in boiling water.

Should Eggs Be Stored In The Refrigerator?

The United States government advises that eggs be refrigerated as soon as possible to preserve their freshness and limit the risk of Salmonella contamination. This is mostly followed by the public.

The USDA Trusted Source warns that refrigerated eggs should not be left at room temperature for longer than two hours. As cold eggs warm, they might perspire, which can increase the likelihood of bacterial growth.

What Does It Mean When An Egg Floats When Boiling Eggs?

There are several additional plausible theories for why eggs float while boiling in hot water. Some of them are listed below:

Eggs In Water Possess Both Density And Flotation

Objects will sink if their density is more than the buoyant force, in this example water, and float if their weight is less than the buoyant force. The egg falls because freshwater is less thick than salt water. The egg floats because salty water is less dense than the egg.

What Else Causes Eggs To Float?

In addition to salty water, there is a second reason why an egg may float in boiling water. When the air cell of an egg is large enough, it will float in water. As the egg’s contents constrict, it cools and creates a small air pocket shortly after being laid. The air cell is located between the inner and outer membranes at the bigger end of the egg.

What Causes Rotten Eggs To Float?

As the egg ages, this air cell expands as the yolk and white contract further. Aged eggs are consequently less thick and more likely to float in boiling water. Eggs purchased from a store can last for several weeks beyond their sell-by or expiration date. To prevent eggs from spoiling, store them in the refrigerator.

Why Do Eggs With Cracks Float?

Egg white will spill into the boiling water if the egg’s shell is fractured. This decreases the egg’s bulk, making it easier for the lighter egg to float. Some egg white fragments will float around in the pot of boiling water, which is undesirable but harmless.


A boiled egg that floats is likely older and less fresh than eggs that sink. Older eggs include larger air cells, allowing them to float in fresh water. However, floating is not indicative of a spoiled or hazardous egg. Your boiled egg may also be floating because a minor split in the shell allowed some of the egg white to escape, lightening the egg.

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