why do some hard boiled eggs float

I boiled a dozen eggs this morning. They were all from the same carton, and were not purchased that long ago. When I put them in the cold water, one of them floated. I have never had that happen before, and seem to remember that that means it is old or bad, so I tossed it. After boiling them, I found three more floating. They also were cracked with egg seeping out of them. What is going on with these eggs? I took out the floating eggs, but are they bad too?


I have made a lot of boiled eggs in my life and have never had this happen, what is most likely wrong with them? Thanks. Dawn
Old eggs float in water because of enlarged cells. (Image: chicken boiled eggs. image by Yuri Bizgaimer from Knowing why eggs float can make a difference between enjoying a tasty meal and feeling ill. When boiling eggs, an egg that floats to the top of the pot can mean that the egg is old.


An egg becomes buoyant when its air cell enlarges significantly. According to the Benton Franklin Health District, once a hen has laid an egg, an air cell forms. As the egg ages, the cell grows larger. A large air cell will cause an egg to float to the top of a pot of boiling water. Even if an egg floats, it may still be safe to eat. To ensure that it's not spoiled, crack the egg into a clean bowl and examine the contents for discoloration.


If the egg is discolored or has a bad odor, you should not eat it. Time and temperature affect the quality of an egg and whether it will float. As time passes, the quality of the yolk and egg white diminishes. To reduce the chances of having eggs that float when boiling them, refrigerate them; never leave eggs at room temperature for more than two hours.

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