Preserve Eggs The Old Fashioned Way
If you are like us and end up with more eggs than you know what to do with during the spring and early summer months only to run out in the winter having to buy eggs, then we have a gateway prepper tip for you!
There are many ways to eat and use eggs, but sometimes you just don’t have time to play Martha Stewart or Bobby Flay. When you just need a quick way to preserve eggs from going bad because you just cant seem to fit that 25th carton of eggs in your fridge, then we have an easy solution for you.
There are many ways to preserve eggs, but they come at different success rates.
Covering eggs in wood ash is a pretty quick and inexpensive technique, but it only has a 60% success rate after 8 months. Also, some report an ashy flavor with the eggs.
Covering eggs in fat or oil is a decent way to preserve eggs, but the cost is a bit higher than what we would like to spend. You can expect about a 80% success rate after 8 months using the oil preservation method.
We want a much cheaper way to preserve eggs. What we will be recommending in this article coincidently is the most affordable and has the highest success rate as well!
If you search the internet to find different ways to preserve eggs it will be hard to miss the topic of water glassing. Water glassing is sodium silicate, seen here.
The 1800s used the water glassing method, but there is an earlier and even better method.
This preservation method uses a slaked lime solution, and it’s often mislabeled as water glassing. There are many cookbooks and papers preserved from the 1700s that use the slaked lime method. If you read 10 articles on preserving eggs you will hear the term water glassing used in more than half of them, but they are actually using the slaked lime or pickling lime solution. Water glassing and slaked lime have very different chemical solutions used to preserve eggs. Water glassing is sodium silicate whereas slaked lime (or pickling lime) is calcium hydroxide.
Now are we being a bit technical here on terminology? Maybe, but we don’t want to misinform our readers. If you were to come across a bottle of water glassing solution seen in the previous link above, you may be inclined to buy it thinking you were using slaked lime. There is a difference in performance when using these two chemical solutions, but you are using the same technique to preserve. This would be comparable if you have a recipe to make lemonade but you substitute the lemons for limes. You would not have lemonade but limeade, which tastes very different.
Water glassing, using sodium silicate will keep eggs fresh for about 5 months; while slaked lime or pickling lime has a success rate of 100% at 8 months and is known to keep a high percentage of eggs good for up to 2 years. It’s always wise to ensure your eggs are good after the 8 month mark. A simple smell and visual test is all that is needed here but no other method comes close to the high success rate of slaked lime.
Slaked Lime Preservation
Here are the step by step instructions for making the slaked lime solution for preserving your eggs.
Items you will need:
- clean container of any size, preferably with lid
- *hydrated or pickling lime
- unwashed clean eggs for preserving
*Note: If you are preserving a large amount of eggs, use hydrated lime in the masonry isle of the hardware store. It is much more affordable. Don’t use garden lime. Garden lime is calcium carbonate or ground up lime stone so don’t use this type!
Word of caution: Never attempt this preservation method with grocery store eggs! They have had the bloom washed off and will not stay fresh. Do not wash prior to preserving.
Step 1: Collect eggs for preserving that are clean and free of manure, dirt, and debris. Use the freshest eggs you can, this will ensure they have not gone bad thus preserving bad eggs.
Step 2: Fill your container with enough water to cover the amount of eggs you wish to preserve. We use a 5 gal bucket and fill the bucket some where between 1/2 and 3/4 full. Remember, the water line will rise when eggs are added.
Step 3: Add lime powder to the water at a ratio of 30g per litre or 1oz per quart. Stir in to dissolve. This would be 360g (12 oz) calcium hydroxide to 12L (3 gallons) water in your 5 gallon bucket.
Step 4: Gently, place eggs in the solution so you do not damage any eggs.
Step 5: Place container in a safe place out of direct sun light or from a heat source. A root cellar is ideal, which is around 40 degrees.
Step 6: Take out eggs and use as necessary. No need to wash off, but feel free to do so.
You can keep adding eggs as you collect them. There is no need to make a new solution for every batch of eggs. Just make sure the eggs stay below the water level.
As time goes on, the yolks will start to be a little runny. This is perfectly normal with older eggs. It is not a sign that the eggs have gone bad.
Eggs preserved this way work great for baked goods, scrambled eggs, and even mayonnaise. However, we have found that they don’t hard-boil as well because the egg white bursts out of the shell. They are still edible, but they don’t make the prettiest deviled eggs.
That’s it! It doesn’t get any easier than this! We hope you enjoyed our post, please give us any feed back or ask any questions.
Now that you know how to preserve eggs, you will be amazed by our top 5 things you didn’t know about raising chickens. Click here to read our article.