Storing Eggs at Room Temperature | Why, What, How

Storing Eggs at Room Temperature | Why, What, How

Storing Eggs at Room Temperature
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In the US, we typically keep our eggs in the refrigerator. However, in other countries, many people are storing eggs at room temperature.

In overseas grocery stores, you won’t find eggs in the refrigerator section. You’ll find them on the shelf, unrefrigerated.

Why Do We Store Eggs In The Fridge?

Why is that something we practice, even if we have farm fresh eggs from our chickens?

The thing is, store-bought eggs in the U.S. go through a process that makes it practically impossible for them to NOT need refrigeration.

The U.S. government controls the egg farmer’s practices and they make them sanitize the eggs with a solution, then spray them with warm water, and lastly, thoroughly dry them, then refrigerate them, before being sold. (*)

The government came up with these strict egg washing guidelines, to counteract spreading bacteria like salmonella through eggs. They thought washing the eggs was the best option.

This “sanitizing” process also kills the natural protection of the egg, called the bloom. Which the USDA themselves admit to. It says that a mineral oil is applied after the fact, that puts the protection back. Oh geesh. Natural is best my friends, but whatever.

The reason why we store them this way even when people have backyard chickens, I believe is because, one it’s a learned behavior, and two for some people they need their eggs to have a longer shelf life.

To learn more about the shelf life of eggs, visit my post about “How Long Do Eggs Last” and if you want to test your eggs to see about how old they are, you can do “The Egg Float Test

Why Do Other Countries Not Refrigerate Their Eggs?

Other countries have come to basically the opposite conclusion. That washing the eggs could introduce bacteria such as salmonella.

Instead of washing eggs after the fact, they believe in a more holistic approach, which is to keep eggs clean, to begin with. Clean nesting boxes, better living conditions, etc…

Egg washing is thoroughly discouraged in many countries. Salmonella can travel inside the egg through pores in the shell more easily when the protective coating (the bloom) has been washed off. Which creates a higher risk to consumers. (*)

The UK actually started vaccinating their hens against salmonella in 1997, after a large outbreak earlier in the ’90s. Which eventually led to a decline in the number of salmonella cases. This is another reason why they are not as concerned about salmonella. (*)

The U.S. still has not mandated this vaccine. I read somewhere that said that the government didn’t see any evidence that it would help and that’s why they don’t mandate the vaccine.

The vaccine reportedly is so cheap, like one cent per hen. (*) It’s cost-productive, especially when you take count of the many useless deaths that occur each year, yes death! From Salmonella!

Millions are affected each year typically, and hundreds die, believe it or not. (*) Especially, since these farmers are already giving hens many other vaccines to help fight other diseases, why not this one too?

So basically, there are two methods, washing and not washing eggs all for the same purpose to help cut down on killer bacteria.

Storing Eggs At Room Temperature

First, it’s very important to understand if food has been stored in refrigeration, it needs to stay in the fridge until you decide to consume it.

Eggs purchased in the United States from a grocery store must be refrigerated because of the process they go through when being “sanitized”.

This is especially true for eggs because, a cold egg left out at room temperature is said to possibly sweat, bacteria love moisture and grow rapidly in it. A refrigerated egg should not be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours.

Farm Fresh Eggs! Where My Chicken Ladies At?

Yes, you can store your farm fresh eggs on the counter! Or perhaps in the fridge if you like.

Just remember that the shelf life is decreased if you don’t refrigerate the eggs.

You DON’T have to wash your eggs before refrigerating! You can wash them before use if you like. As long as they are not covered in poop. Keeping the nesting boxes clean can help you to have cleaner eggs…

Tips For Storing Eggs at Room Temperature

  • Don’t wash eggs that you intend on storing at room temperature until you’re ready to consume them!
  • Don’t refrigerate and later decide to keep them at room temp. You run the risk of breeding and consuming bacteria.
  • Use the first in first out or FIFO method. The newest eggs should be eaten last.
  • Grab a cute basket to show off those eggs! If you’re going to be a crazy chickens lady, you should be a cute one! (recommendations below)
  • Know how long eggs last on the counter.

How Long Can You Store Eggs At Room Temperature?

Farm fresh eggs that are stored on the counter typically last for about 2-3 weeks.

When you crack open an egg that’s sat at room temperature, you might notice the yolk is a more runny than usual.

That’s because the membrane that holds the yolk together gets weaker over time. Also, the albumen or egg whites may become clear instead of white. These are signs that the egg is not super fresh.

How Long Do Eggs Last In the Fridge?

Purina Mills says that unwashed refrigerated eggs should last 3 months or more. I feel like that may be a little generous.

I would say they should last at least two months.

Comparing that to only a couple of weeks on the counter, you can see why some people opt to store their eggs in the fridge instead…

Egg Baskets/Holders For Storing Eggs on The Counter

There are a ton of cute baskets and other egg holders that are great for storing eggs at room temperature on Amazon. I found a couple to share with you below. I have the skelter and know many others who have one too and everyone loves it.

Get a cute little skelter. Yes, that’s what these egg dispensers are called officially. Weird huh? Okay, well maybe it’s just me. This design is great for using the FIFO method (first in first out).

I love the simplicity of the wooden egg tray.

How Do We Store Our Eggs Here at Homestead Wishing?

In the summer when we have an abundance of eggs, there are usually eggs, well…EVERYWHERE. Seriously, last summer we were drowning in them. Lol.

So, my official answer is both. in and out of the fridge. Once they’re refrigerated obviously, they don’t come out until we’re ready to consume them.

I have a really funny story about exploding eggs, actually. You can read it on the how long do eggs last page

I like keeping a few eggs on the counter, because yeah they’re great to bake with.

Also, I don’t know why, but I love grabbing the eggs on the counter and cooking some eggs up in the morning. It’s just the best part of having fresh eggs.

I like storing eggs in the fridge too though. I know when I make my egg frittatas I’m going to be using an abundance of eggs, and those are usually in the fridge!

More Posts About Eggs


If you want your eggs to have a longer shelf life, store them in the fridge. If you don’t mind them having a shorter life span, they can comfortably be stored on the counter for 2-3 weeks.

Let me know in the comments

HOW DO YOU STORE YOUR EGGS? Fridge or counter?

I’d love To Know what you think!… Leave me a comment!

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3 thoughts on “Storing Eggs at Room Temperature | Why, What, How”

  1. I can see the benefit of storing eggs in the fridge. I’ve always kept them in the fridge because that’s just the way i learned. I was curious if keeping them on the counter might be better, but I want them to last longer, so the fridge it is.

  2. This post is everything! I’m pretty new at keeping chickens and I wasnt sure if I would refrigerate the chicken eggs or leave them on the counter. Your post was so great, I’ve made the decision to keep my chicken eggs unwashed and refrigerated until I’m ready to use them!

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