Preserving Eggs – No Refrigeration Required
Do you remember the joy of finding Easter Eggs when you were young? Have you ever had the “joy” of finding an Easter Egg several months after Easter has passed? It has such a strong and distinctive smell that as soon as someone says, “It smells like rotten eggs”, everyone knows immediately what that smell is. We here in America store our eggs in the refrigerator to keep them as long as possible. Storing eggs in a refrigerator is a fairly recent development and in many parts of the world today, eggs are stored at room temperature. The Old Foodie discusses several ways that our ancestors used to preserve eggs. I will briefly mention all of them but I will focus on what I think is the easiest way for preserving eggs without refrigeration.
Some of the more popular ways to preserve eggs in the past are immersing them in a lime solution, burying them in salt, pickling them, dipping them in sulphuric acid or boiling them in boric acid. These methods altered the taste and the texture of the eggs and if you're anything like me you don't keep sulphuric acid lying around the house. Boiling things in boric acid sounds like you need to be wearing a lab coat and laughing maniacally while spooky music plays in the background. So I wouldn't blame you if you don't want to preserve your eggs this way.
The simplest way to preserve eggs today can be done with an easily obtainable material: mineral oil. The reason that eggs spoil is that oxygen and bacteria passes through the shell. By coating it the shell with mineral oil, the shell is sealed off.
What you need is to warm a quarter cup of mineral oil (just put it in the microwave for 10 seconds), put on some gloves and coat the entire egg with oil. It doesn't matter how thick you apply it, just be sure that the whole surface of the shell is covered. Now the egg is ready for storage. Place the egg pointy side down and store it in a dark and cool place (around 68 degrees). Flip the eggs once a month to maintain the integrity of the yolk and the eggs will keep for 6-9 months.
Pretty simple, isn't it? But if you really feel like you need to get your mad scientist on, then by all means get your lab coat and start a vat of boric acid boiling.
Have you ever preserved eggs? What has worked for you? Share your methods with us!
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Another way I learned to keep eggs for about a year is, 1) place eggs in a five gallon food grade bucket, and cover them completely with a mixture of Witch Hazel with water. It will jell and the eggs will keep for a long time free from dehydration or the infiltration of air into the egg through the porous shell. It is best to keep them as cool as you can, but without freezing (40 – 65 degrees F).
Secondly, 2) start with fresh eggs, and set up a good sized pan on the stove, bringing at least two quarts of water in the pan to a hard boil. place an individual egg in the boiling water for ten seconds and let it ‘cook.’ Then remove it to a food grade container. Keep doing each of your eggs in such a manner until all the eggs you wish to keep are completed. The boiling of the egg preserves the interior of the egg in its fresh state, but cooks the thin membrane surrounding the egg white to prevent air infiltration.
I would suggest you not use a container larger than a five gallon bucket. Place a piece of cardboard on top of the eggs, and a oxygen eating packet and a couple of desiccant packets on the cardboard. The side of a cracker box or other fiberboard box works well so they don’t shift off onto the eggs; I wouldn’t place the packets directly on the eggs. Quickly place a lid on them that will seal air tight to complete the operation.
Is this 2 separate methods or one method with 2 steps. What is the ratio of witch hazel and water.
Please check the sources on this page for more info.
I have tried this and it works as stated. I did a four month trial eating a fresh and a stored egg at the end of each month and comparing the two. The only thing I noticed was the yoke did not stay in tack. But, I did not flip them either.