The Real Reason You Should Only Use Fresh Eggs For Eggs Benedict

The test is fairly simple: Drop an egg into a bowl of water. If it sinks to the bottom, you're good to poach that egg to your heart's content. If the egg does anything else — drifts toward the surface or floats — it's not fit for your eggs Benedict, or any of your poaching endeavors, according to Bon Appétit. (And, if it floats all the way to the top, it's not fit for anything: toss that rotten egg into the garbage.)

Why will this test improve your poached eggs? It's all about the freshness.

Poaching an egg leaves ample room for mistakes. It's crucial to simmer, not boil. Some cooks use salt in the water; others, vinegar. Make the wrong move, and you end up with stringy, rubbery whites, overcooked yolks, or, worst of all, a broken, separated egg. But with the right advice, your poached eggs will be foolproof, and the perfect cherry on top of your Benedict sundae. The key is to use fresh eggs only, according to The Kitchn.

Fresh is best

When eggs are still extremely fresh, they're thicker and stronger. In other words, they do a better job at holding their shape. Using the freshest egg possible will result in a shapely, well-put-together poached egg, while using an egg that's a few days past its time will leave you with disappointment. The hot water will tear the egg's withered whites, causing the egg to lose its shape. Those stringy, wispy, epic-fail poached eggs you've tried to make? Probably not fresh enough (via Mirror).

Back to the water test: If your egg doesn't sit horizontally on the bottom of the bowl, but rather stands vertically, or maybe drifts a little toward the middle in its pool of water, that doesn't mean you should trash it (unless it's expired). It's still good to eat (via BBC). Use it for an easier, less delicate egg dish — serve them deviled, sunny-side up, or mix them into a cake recipe.

Meanwhile, your fresh poached eggs will serve as the perfect, soft addition to your Benedict dish. There are countless variations of eggs Benedict: Serve your poached eggs with polenta and parmesan, eat them with kimchi, or top them with thin prosciutto (via Brit + Co). After all, you've nailed the egg part of it, so why not get a little experimental?