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It’s Springtime here, and that means our hens are laying eggs….lots and lots of eggs. Let’s learn how to preserve eggs without refrigeration – updated!
Back in the day, before refrigeration, there were several different methods to preserve eggs. Some work better than others!
I’ve tried the oiling method without any luck (and it was super stinky!), so I’ve been excited to try this method using pickling lime!
Essentially, you place farm fresh eggs (NOT eggs from the store) in this lime water mixture. Word has it that the eggs can last from 8 months to 2 years, if kept in a cool, dark place!
You will need:
- Clean (free of poo and mud) farm fresh eggs that are unwashed (store eggs won’t work)
- Very clean 5 gallon bucket with lid
- 8 oz. pickling lime
- Filtered or distilled water
The pickling lime is pretty easy to find, anywhere that carries canning supplies should have it.
Again, you’re going to need farm fresh eggs, not store bought ones. Farm fresh eggs have a “bloom”, which is a seal coating on the egg that protects it from bacteria. Without that coating, the eggs will just disintegrate and/or be unsuitable to eat.
Scrub your 5 gallon bucket and lid with hot, soapy water! Clean, clean, clean!!
If you have some eggs with a little dirt or poo on them, use a DRY scrubby of some kind to scrub it off. Don’t wash them!
Fill your very clean bucket with 8 quarts of distilled, RO or filtered water.
Add 8 oz. of the pickling lime and stir. Avoid inhaling!
Then, slowly place your “clean” eggs in the solution. I used one dry hand to grab the eggs and then placed them in the other wet hand to lower into the solution. Keep your bucket covered!
I’m not sure how many eggs you can get in the bucket, but I’d say quite a few! As fast as our eggs are coming in, I might fill 2-3 buckets.
Now, where to place this bucket. If you have a cool place in your home, like a basement or lower level, I would put my egg bucket there. Avoid light as much as possible. I happen to have a lower level laundry room that is always a bit on the cool side.
Again, the reports say that this method will keep the eggs good for at least 8 months and up to 2 years. Personally, I’m not interested in keeping them that long. If they will make it until after Daylight Savings time in the Spring, when my girls start laying again, I’ll be content.
When you decide you’re ready to use these eggs, you’ll want to rinse them with water before use. I would further do the water glass test, just to be sure. Simply put the egg in a glass of water, it should sink to the bottom if it’s good.
Now, here’s a few ways to keep your chickens healthy and happy!
After 4+ months, here’s a picture of the eggs I pulled out from the very bottom of my bucket (the first ones I put in), and the picture of what they looked like when I cracked open. The yolk and the white were firm and looked great!