The Best Part of About Summer Is the Abundance of Fresh Eggs. Grow Your Own or Get Them From a Friend, These Seven Ways to Preserve Eggs Will Make Sure They Are Always on Hand.
It’s summer and the chickens are working overtime. Maybe you have your own chickens or a friend that sells eggs to you, they are so good that you just can’t pass them up. I currently have five dozen eggs in my refrigerator and more on the way. I’m on a mission to find the best ways to preserve my egg abundance.
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Raw eggs will last about 30 days in your refrigerator without losing any quality. We will probably eat this 5 dozen eggs in 5 weeks, but we have a constant supply and they take up a lot of space in my refrigerator, so I’m looking for alternative ways to save, freeze, and extend the bounty for the lean times.
One note – before you begin to preserve your eggs always do a float test to check for freshness. It’s so easy to lose sight of which eggs are the freshest.
To do the test, fill a bowl with cold water and place a few eggs in it. If they sink to the bottom and lay flat on their sides, they’re very fresh. If they’re a few weeks old, they’ll stand on one end at the bottom of the bowl, they are still good to eat. If they float to the surface, they’re no longer fresh and should be disposed of. Floating = spoiled.
1. Bake Eggs in Muffin Pans
This method turned out to be really simple. Spray your muffin tins with cooking oil and crack one egg into each spot. Use a fork to scramble half of them or leave all the yolks intact. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking to make sure that the whites are done.
These cooked eggs can be reheated in the morning or used for breakfast muffins. They will last several months in the freezer if double wrapped in plastic and a freezer bag. Twelve Breakfast Egg Muffins cost around $1.15 each. Not bad for a quick breakfast!
2. Mix and Freeze Raw
If you don’t have time to cook right now, just thoroughly mix the raw eggs together and place them in a zip top freezer bag until you need them. Each bag can be thawed in the refrigerator and used just like fresh for scrambled eggs, French toast, or baking cakes and cookies.
Small batches work best and an ice cube tray is handy to get the serving size just right. In a standard ice tray, 2 cubes is = 1 egg = 1/4 cup. Four eggs fit nicely into a recycled yogurt container. Break the eggs into a dish, beat them slightly, pour and freeze in the container. Be sure to mark your containers with a few notes: the contents, if you added water or milk, the date, and the number of eggs. These will last 1 year in the freezer.
More Cube Equivalents
- 2 cubes = 1/4 cup , 1 egg
- 4 cubes = 1/2 cup, 2 eggs
- 6 cubes = 3/4 cup, 3 eggs
- 8 cubes =1 cup, 4 eggs
3. Coat Eggs in Mineral Oil
PreparednessPro says you can coat fresh eggs in Food Grade Mineral Oil and they will last up to 9 months.
I have not personally tried this but think it would make a good experiment. All you need is enough mineral oil to completely coat the egg.
This treatment replaces the natural protective coating that eggs have then they are fresh from the chicken, also known as the bloom. Mineral oil will take on the protective role of the bloom and ensure that the egg stays edible for up to nine months at room temperature.
This egg preservation method is NOT for the purpose of extending the life of the eggs IN the refrigerator, rather it’s OUTSIDE of refrigeration that the eggs are able to last. They do need to be flipped monthly and stored in cool, dry, dark environment. Learn more about this process at PreparednessPro.
However make sure that you store them upside down (fat-end up). This way the air pocket present in every fresh egg migrates to the fat-end and stays the farthest away from the yolk which prevents oxydation and thus keep the egg fresh for longer.
But if you don’t have a cool, dry and dark room to store the eggs or the weather gets too hot in your area, it is better to store the oiled eggs in the fridge in an egg cartoon (cartoons help reduce condensation and keep mold and condensation at bay).
Also, get a food grade mineral oil as egg cases are extremely porous and will absorb the oil in a week or two to create an airtight environment inside the case. Your fresh eggs’ arch enemies when you want to store and preserve them for a long time are oxygen and humidity.
The mineral oil method has been field tested by numerous happy farmers with consistent success. In the past, people used to coat fresh eggs in Vaseline (I don’t recommend it as Vaseline will just give the egg a terrible off taste) or lard as lard doesn’t go rancid.
If you don’t have food grade mineral oil on hand, you can use coconut oil or avocado oil instead, or any type of oil that doesn’t go rancid. Some people have reported using olive oil too but the eggs will need to be refrigerated and won’t last that long.
Very important note: Use only farm fresh eggs when using this method. Store bought eggs just won’t cut it. They won’t tell you this, but most store bought eggs are already treated with mineral oil and/or other substances to last for months in their storage rooms before they can sell them to you. This is why, store bought eggs might already be months old when they land in your shopping cart, so they’ll go bad faster than fresh farm eggs.
Side note #2: Eggs preserved in mineral oil after some time can no longer act as a leavening agent in baking.
Here’s an instructive video by that nice lady from OurHalfAcreHomestead on how to preserve eggs with mineral oil.
4. The Salt Method
The salt method is an old technique of preserving eggs outside a refrigerator from the time when people had no electricity but many chickens happily laying around more eggs that they could ever eat in the peak season.
The idea behind this method is to keep bacteria and fungi at bay from the eggs with salt. Roughly, you would just need to bury the eggs (upside down) in a container filled with salt without them touching one another. Eggs stored in salt should last up to 6 months, but they might lose some of their texture so they are best used for making scrambled eggs or in baking.
The only drawback of this method is that salt will eventually dry out the eggs through the case’s pores. That’s why the technique is not complete without a generous layer of grease applied on the egg, which will prevent dehydration.
Just like in the previous method, the best greasy substance would be mineral oil, but lard and even shortening are good to go too. Survival Sullivan claims that a mix of 2 ounces of beeswax and 4 ounces of olive oil can help preserve eggs up to two years with this method.
So, how to do it?
- Wash thoroughly the fresh farm eggs (store bought are a big no no)
- Let them air dry completely at room temperature (this way you prevent condensation; humidity prevents the oil from doing its job)
- Coat them in food grade mineral oil/ lard/ liquid beeswax-olive oil mix (make sure that there’s no spot left out)
- Place them fat end up in a container filled with coarse salt and make sure that they are covered in salt and that they don’t get in contact with each other.
- They should last up to 2 years without refrigeration this way.
5. Preserving Eggs in Lime Solution (100% Failproof)
This one is an all-time favorite method of preserving eggs but it has steadily fallen out of style as most people no longer have lime lying around their homes. However, it is one of the safest methods (lime is a natural antimicrobial used to keep disease away from fruit trees and homes for ages) and 100% failproof ( it works every time with 100% success rate – no eggs are lost in the process if done right).
Plus fresh eggs will stay safe to eat up to 2 years (no refrigeration needed). There will be some losses in the texture and flavor departments, though, but nothing biggie.
– // 1 ounce hydrated lime (you can find it at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Amazon; the lime needs to be “hydrated”)
– // 1 quart distilled or filtered water (you can also boil water to get rid of the nasties that may spoil the eggs)
– // clean, fresh farm eggs (not washed)
-// jar/ other container with large mouth
How it is done?
First make the lime solution in which the eggs will be preserved. Mix 1 ounce hydrated lime (use an digital scale to get the quantity right, not a measuring cup) with 1 quart of water. You can scale down or up, depending on the size of the container. Mix everything well.
Place the eggs in the solution in the container. Put a lid on the container to prevent evaporation (some people use a thick film of olive oil). You can add more eggs to the lime solution over time but make sure that you consume the oldest eggs first.
The best consumed by date for eggs preserved in lime is usually 9 months. But there are numerous reports about eggs being perfectly edible after a couple of years, too. It is my favorite method of preserving eggs in case SHTF. It is both cost effective and ultra effective. Plus, fresh eggs have the longest expiration date this way (without refrigeration).
Here’s a lady who has tried this method and how eggs fared after eight months of sitting in the lime solution.
6. Scramble and Freeze
Go ahead cook the eggs by scrambling and then put them into zipped top freezer bags until you need them. I’ve found that if you under cook your eggs a bit, they taste better once you’ve reheated them. Don’t add water or milk for this scramble.
Wrap them in individual portions in freezer paper, and then in a plastic freezer bag or another plastic container. These egg packages will last 12 months in the freezer. You can store them in individual serving sizes in your refrigerator and they will last for one month. Take it a step further and make breakfast burritos.
You could also scramble eggs and dehydrate them if you have a dehydrator. Just make sure that you don’t use any cooking oil or grease when you scramble (fat shortens everything’s shelf life by a great deal).
You’ll need to:
- Scramble the eggs
- Turn them into small chunks
- Lay the chunks on dehydrator trays in an even layer with an anti-stick sheet underneath
- Dehydrate them on the highest setting (at about 162 degrees) since they’re protein
- Grind the dehydrated chunks into a fine powder in a food processor
- Add the powder to air-tight 1 quart glass jars with oxygen absorbers.
Reconstitute the powder and use it in scrambled eggs, omelettes, or quiche dishes. Don’t use it in baking as you need the eggs to be raw before dehydration for them to act as leavening agents.
To reconstitute: Use 1 tablespoon of powdered scrambled eggs to 3 tablespoons of water.
If stored correctly, this DIY dehydrated scrambled egg powder should last 5 years to a decade. After the 5 year mark keep a close eye on them. Fifteen dozen eggs should yield around 2 quarts of powder (which is much more cost effective than actually buying the powder).
These eggs are great for backpacking meals, bug out bags, or for sheltering in place. The method is also one of the most shelf stable on our list and it is great if you have tons of eggs and don’t know what to do with them.
7. Pickled Eggs
Some people love them and some really hate them, either way, it is a viable egg preservation method. Once the eggs are hard boiled they are placed in beet juice and other spices for a week. Check out this pickled egg recipe from Allrecipes to make your own batch. Choose a container that can be closed and sealed tightly, like a large glass canning jar. The eggs must be completely covered with the pickling solution during storage. A quart-size canning jar will hold about one dozen medium sized eggs.
After making the eggs, they require additional time to pick up the flavors from the pickling brine. Keep them refrigerated at all times. If small eggs are used, 1 to 2 weeks are usually allowed for seasoning to occur. Medium or large eggs may require 2 to 4 weeks to become well-seasoned. Use the eggs within 3 to 4 months for best quality. The National Center for Home Preservation also has a pickling eggs at home guide.
QUICK NOTE: Hard boiling your eggs does not speed up the preservation time. Once hard boiled, they will last only 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. I also tried to hard boil eggs in the oven, which did NOT work out for me at all. The eggs split open and the only thing to do with them was to make egg salad sandwiches.
What ways have you tried preserving eggs? Share your ideas in the comments below. There are affiliate links in this post. Thanks for supporting PreparednessMama in this way!