6 WAYS TO PRESERVE EGGS
Published December 13, 2020
Shout out to my crazy chicken people out there, those who know the meaning of chicken math, those who refuse to eat an egg unless it’s pooped out of a chicken you raised, THIS article goes out to you! As a fellow crazy chicken lady I know how tasty our homegrown eggs are and how store bought eggs literally just do not compare! We are spoiled with the best eggs March-November and then as the days become shorter, so does our egg supply! Now if you are anything like me, you just can’t bring yourself to buy eggs from the store. “I just can’t justify paying $5 for hot fluffy water” that’s how I’d describe a store bought egg if you were to ask me to. It just has no flavor, so I'd just go without... but that’s before I discovered the MANY ways you can preserve your eggs for the winter months to come!
And in today's article I'm going to show you 6 great ways to preserve your eggs for later, so you can enjoy farm fresh eggs all winter long! We will touch on freezing (whole & scrambled), salt-curing, dehydrating, water-glassing and freeze-drying! Times a ticking and winter is fast approaching, so let’s dive right in!
Freezing eggs is not-surprisingly one of the very best ways to preserve eggs. Holds texture and moisture well and arguably the easiest method of all. In my opinion, there’s only two ways to do this. Whole or scrambled.
Mandi holding up a frozen egg after popping it out of the cupcake pan.
It’s really as simple as it sounds. Best way to do it is with a cupcake baking sheet or large silicone ice tray. Crack one egg into each slot, fill the tray or pan up and then stick it in the freezer, after a few hours they will be frozen solid, remove them from the freezer, pop them out of the slots and then stick them in a freezer safe bag or container until you need them. That’s it, so easy! Now, I personally have only separated whites from yolks and frozen them whole that way (for baking purposes) and have never tried freezing the whole egg together yet but my dear friend Mandi @WildOakFarms does it all the time. She has had great results and has said that all you need to do is simply take them out of the freezer when you need them, stick them in a bowl and let them defrost like you would anything else. You could even possibly try spraying down the cupcake pan with cooking spray before you freeze to see if it helps release the eggs from the pan easier (just an idea, not sure it will work) Reference photos below!
Freezing eggs separating the egg whites from the yolks for baking purposes, using a silicone ice tray.
Another great pic I found on Mandis Instagram page of whole frozen eggs, cracked into a cupcake sheet and frozen for later.
Still as simple as it sounds. This method is just a little bit different but it’s still the same concept of freezing your eggs and defrosting when ready to use. Except this is for the folks that really love their scrambled eggs with chunks of ham, peppers, tomatoes, mushroom, onion and all the other fixins'! My omelette people or just my fancy scrambled egg people, either way you like 'em this awesome method allows you to scramble your eggs, prepare all the ingredients, mix them together with a little bit of salt and pepper, pour into a mason jar and then freeze until ready to use! Easy and delicious meal prep! When I know I’m going to want a yummy scrambled egg or omelette for breakfast, I’ll take the mason jar out of the freezer the night before and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Then the morning of, I'll take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for about an hour or two until I’m ready to eat breakfast. The best part is you don’t have to prep all those fresh ingredients when you actually want to enjoy the eggs, the egg protects those fresh ingredients in the freezer, you can cook them up together and they will heat evenly and it’s also just a great way to enjoy some summer seasonal vegetables in the middle of the winter time! Yumm!
Eggs scrambled with other ingredients and then frozen in a mason jar for later.
Now this is my personal favorite way to preserve eggs! The decadent and delicious salted egg and although it sounds really fancy and may be a bit technical, it’s actually so very easy and not technical at all! In fact, you probably have the ingredients sitting in your pantry now. All you need is salt and sugar and your farm fresh eggs and you can make salt cured eggs!
Now you may be wondering what the heck do I use salted eggs for? Well honestly, the options are endless! My favorite ways to enjoy them are graded over salad, pasta, ramen, or even just a good old sourdough sandwich!
The recipe is super simple: 1 3/4 cup salt and 1 1/4 cup sugar mixed well and then half of it added to the bottom of a glass dish. Next create impressions in the mixture and carefully place egg yolks separated from the egg whites in the impressions. Cover with the remaining salt/sugar mixture and then cover in an airtight plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 days. After 4 days, take the yolks out of the mixture, rinse off, pat dry with paper towel and then bake. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees. Coat a wire rack with the vegetable oil spray and set it on top of a baking sheet. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours. Let cool and then grate over whatever you like. If your oven doesn't go as low as 150 degrees, allow the yolks to dry out in an unheated oven for 2 days.
The trickiest part of this recipe is going to be separating the egg whites from the egg yolks without damaging or breaking the yolk. You don’t want any broken or leaking yolks, if they do break or leak, discard and start again. Crack the egg into your hand let the egg whites slip through your fingers while keeping the yolk in your palm of your hand then gently lay into your bed of salt and sugar mixture. I generally like to use either a glass or heavy duty Tupperware set with the lid to cure in.
After the eggs are done curing, store in a clean tupper ware or mason jar for up to 2 months in the fridge.
Fresh egg yolks sitting on top of the salt/sugar mixture before curing.
Beautiful salt-cured egg after it finished the curing process.
Dehydrating eggs is another easy to do method and although I've never personally had the chance to use this method, I do fully intend on it now that I have a super heavy duty WESTON dehydrator. Dehydrated eggs can be re-hydrated and used to cook scrambled, omelet style, in casseroles or even in baked goods!
Ratio: 1 egg = 2 tablespoons of water + 1 tablespoon of Dehydrated Egg Powder
(mix and let absorb for 5 minutes)
The method seems easy enough. Scramble eggs, pour in a thin layer on-top of fruit leather sheets that come with your dehydrator or parchment lined baking sheets, set into dehydrator and dehydrate for a solid 18-20 hours at 145 degrees. Once they are fully dehydrated and no moisture remains, blend them up in a food processor or blender, store in mason jar and keep in fridge for 6 months. So easy!
Image from wikiHOW, depicting the eggs on a dehydrator rack after being dehydrated.
Water-glassing is the oldest used method we will discuss today. It has been used for centuries as a way to store eggs for a longer period of time. I have used this method in the past and our eggs stored for 12 months without spoiling! I tested the eggs at varies times during that year and every time the egg cracked perfectly into a bowl, had no visible rot or mold, had zero odor or anything wrong with the egg itself inside of the shell, other than that it was a tad bit thinner in consistency than normal but that is to be expected since it is being stored in a water mixture.
The eggs are perfectly safe to eat and we cooked some up omelet style and ate for breakfast and fed raw to our dogs and never had any issues. I filmed a video on the process and at the end I said I would film a follow up but I never got the chance because we moved out to our new property and during the move some of the eggs cracked and ruined the entire batch after about 15 months of storage but I will say it DOES work and is a great way to store eggs in their truest form. Its almost like they are freshly laid and some people could be tricked into thinking they are if you cook them up and don't tell them where they came from or how old they are, LOL.
The method requires you to use a clean 5 gallon bucket with lid, hydrated lime (which is the agent needed for preserving), 2.5 gallons of distilled water, a scale and freshly laid thick-shelled eggs that have NOT been washed, free of poop or any cracks, blemishes or are thin-shelled. If you wash them it removes the protective bloom on the egg which can cause the lime/water mixture to be absorbed into the pores of the eggs.
For every quart of water, you need an oz of weighed hydrated lime. There's 10 quarts in 2.5 gallons of water so you'll need 10 oz of weighed out hydrated lime, pour it in the water, make sure its fully dissolved and then add the unwashed eggs into the water-lime mixture, add on a lid to the bucket so that the water doesn't evaporate away too much and if you need to add more water over the months, measure out a quart at a time and add the corresponding amount of lime to the water and then add to the bucket of lime. water and eggs. Below is the original video I filmed of this process for those who are wanting to give it a go!
My YouTube video on how to preserve eggs using the water-glassing method.
Another one of my favorite ways to preserve eggs! Have you ever had a pickled egg? If not, you are missing out! There is something so unique, delicious and different about a pickled egg! It changes the texture to a firmer more bouncy egg and the flavor is just too unique to even describe. Its a must try, especially since you can add garden goodies like beats, radish and onions for a tangy, spicy twist! They are always a huge hit! The recipe below is for 1 quart at a time and requires refrigeration.
HERE IS OUR RECIPE:
HARD BOIL EGGS
-All peeled eggs should be free of nicks, cuts, holes or punctures
-Use only vinegar with a 5% acidity level, do cut with water
-Cooking times and temperatures related below should be strictly adhered to
-Sterilization of all jars, lids, rings is required
Hard boil 14 large egg (chicken or duck), only 12 fit in a jar but you could have a few that break or blemish so having a few extra is always a good idea and thn set them to the side.
CREATING A BRINE
Mixing the following in a pot, cover and bring to a boil.
2 cups Vinegar (5% acidity)
2 TBS Canning Salt (non-iodized)
1/2 TSP Dill Seed or Pepper Corns
1 Clove Garlic Sliced into thin slices
1 Jalapeno sliced into thin slices
Once a boil has been reached, let it boil for 3-4 minutes and then remove from heat.
For a spicier flavor, strain out the jalapeno and garlic slices and put in bottom of sanitized quart mason jar, then add your dill and/or pepper.
Pack peeled eggs into the 1 quart jar ontop of your slices and spices.
Stir the brine until all salt is suspended and thn pour the hot brine over eggs into the jar until there is about 1/2 inch breather space from te top of the jar. Add your lid and ring, shake it up and refrigerate for 14 days before eating (for the best flavor) enjoy for p to 3 months in fridge. Enjoy!
Some tasty refrigerator pickles I made a few years ago
Last but certainly not least we are going to go over the freeze-drying method of preserving eggs, which is also very easy to achieve and is a simple to-do process. You can buy a pretty expensive but very effective machine from Harvest-Right that will freeze-dry a wide array of fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products within a couple hours to a couple of days but I don't know a lot of us who have a couple thousand dollars just lying around to purchase a machine like this.
Freeze-dried food image sourced from Harvestright.com
But the good news is this method can also be done by cracking eggs into a bowl, scrambling them up, pouring them into ice cube trays, freezing them for 3-4 hours until frozen through. Then pop them out of the trays, place them on a cookie sheet and stick back into freezer, keeping them there for a few weeks to a month or more until they are completely dried out.
To test if they are ready, take out one of the cubes of egg and let sit on the counter, if it turns dark or discolors as it thaws, its not ready. A properly freeze-dried product will keep its color as it thaws. Once they are ready, you can take them out of the freezer, let them thaw and then blend them up in a food processor or bender and store in a mason jar in a cool, dark place that stays around 70 degrees, no higher. That's it!
Image of Freeze-dried eggs sourced from worldatlas.com
Okay y'all, now I just have to ask, did you have any clue there were so many great and versatile ways to preserve your homegrown eggs?! And now that you've learned these 5 different ways, I hope that one or more of these methods calls to you! My personal favorite being salt-cured and second favorite being the whole-froze scrambled with all the fixins'!
Eggs are a staple in so many households, outs too, so it always hurts when we start seeing less and less eggs in the boxes each day. Of course we can buy from the store but like I mentioned in the beginning of this article, who the heck wants to pay money for fluffy hot flavorless water? I do not and also if I can find a way to preserve the over abundance of eggs I have each spring, summer and fall and stretch that far into the deep months of winter, then I say we are winning the homesteading game! Wouldn't you?!
Thanks so much for making it this far and reading our articles! If you liked this one, please share it, tag your friends or leave me a comment! Happy preserving!