Keeping Eggs
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Summer is the season for eggs. Notice how they are in great abundance now and then come winter and the darker months, the hen’s laying production takes a nose dive.

I’ve been on the hunt, looking for ways to keep eggs longer. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have the farm fresh eggs in December for your Christmas baking?

We asked our buying club customers for some tips. Here is the information that we have gleaned so far. If you have a tip, please post it below. I hope to continue to update this blog post every time we get new information, so bookmark this and come back. :)

Kathy writes: Here’s an article about eggs that you may find helpful.

Wendy writes: We freeze eggs by cracking them open and putting them in ice cube trays so you can use one at a time or many at a time.

Stephanie writes: I always assumed this was common knowledge, but if you coat eggs with a thin layer of mineral oil, keep them refrigerated, and turn the carton over once a month, the eggs will stay fresh for months.

How about you? How do you store your eggs for long life?

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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19 Responses to Keeping Eggs

  1. I freeze our extra eggs for use during the winter. I whisk and measure them out into 3T portions (3T equals one large egg). http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/01/have-surplus-of-eggs-freeze-em.html

  2. I hope lots of people chime in on this because we will be getting our first flock this coming spring and I want to be able to stretch those eggs through the winter! Winter is when I do the most baking! Sheri, have you tried the mineral oil tip? I’d be willing to do it if worked but mineral oil is petroleum based is it not? I’m not sure I want to rub my eggs in it.

    • Lyndsey says:

      In a book I read, they always rubbed eggs with butter. I haven’t done this with eggs, but for my family I substitute coconut oil for all mineral oil and petroleum jelly.

  3. Annie says:

    My 94 year old mother talks about the “old days” alot! She once said how they’d coat the unwashed eggs with lard and store them in a crock in the fruit cellar of the basement or in the root cellar. Don’t wash the eggs, just wipe them off with a dry rag. By washing the eggs, the bloom gets washed off too. The bloom is needed to keep the eggs from spoiling.

    • Annie says:

      I should also add that this was before refrigeration. Also, I’ve read that in Europe, eggs are stored on shelves in the grocery stores….not in the refrigerated section. That’s because the eggs are not washed and the bloom keeps the eggs fresh for weeks without refrigeration. I’ve never been to Europe, so I can’t back this up. Maybe someone can comment on this???

      • michael oosterhart says:

        Annie,
        my wife and I were in Germany 2 years ago and indeed to our surprise the eggs were in the middle of the store isle on a table unrefridgerated! They get it over there , the bloom is the law!

      • Marcie mcbee says:

        We leave eggs on our counter for several weeks to a month at a time and they are fine. Don’t wash them( we have ac)

      • We shopped frequently in Italy and France last summer (mostly small towns, a bit in Paris). In supermarkets we found eggs in 1/2 dozen cartons, on the shelves, unrefrigerated. In more traditional shops they were kept in a basket on the counter, without exception – and that could be a butcher, cheese shop or bakery. In the case of the supermarket eggs in cartons, there wasn’t such a vast range of egg descriptions; you could get certified organic, and brown or white. Nothing about cage free, hormone free, free range, etc.

    • Angie says:

      I have done the unwashed eggs and cover with lard. Tested it in water, and it looked better then the washed one in the cooler. Now I ask my egg lady not to wash the eggs and I can just keep them in the cooler even longer then before. The Idea is to not let Oxygen into the egg yoke so they should be kept in the egg carton up right and not move around that much until you are ready to eat. People use to also cover them in bee wax then hard boil the eggs when it’s time to eat. keep the wax for next time. :0)

  4. Leilani says:

    I have followed these techniques with good results.

    Whole Eggs: To freeze whole eggs or yolks crack them into a bowl and gently stir to break up the yolk somewhat. Try not to incorporate air into the eggs. Label the container with the date and the number of eggs. They can be kept frozen for a year, and should be thawed in the refrigerator the day before you intend to use them.

    Egg Yolks: To inhibit yolks from getting lumpy during storage, stir in a 1/2-teaspoon salt per 1-cup of egg or yolks. If using for desserts, use 1-tablespoon sugar or corn syrup per 1-cup yolks or whole eggs. Label the container with the date and the number of egg yolks. Use up extra egg yolks in recipes like sauces, custards, ice cream, yellow cakes, mayonnaise, scrambled eggs, and cooked puddings.

    Egg Whites: Raw egg whites do not suffer from freezing (cooked egg whites are very rubbery). No salt or sugar is needed. Break and separate the eggs one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets into the whites. Pour into trays and freeze until firm. Label the container with the date and the number of egg whites. Use up extra egg whites in boiled frostings (i.e., 7-minute frosting), meringue cookies, angel food cake, white cakes, or meringue for pies.

    Hard-Cook Egg Yolks: Hard-cooked egg yolks can be frozen to use later for toppings or garnishes. Carefully place the yolks in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to come at least 1-inch above the yolks. Cover and quickly bring just to boiling. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, in the hot water about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and package for freezing.

    Hard-cooked whole eggs and whites become tough and watery when frozen, so don’t freeze them.

  5. Georgina says:

    My grandmother lived through the second world war in London. Her father sent her eggs from his farm and she told me that she could store them for months in something called “water glass”. She said it was a powder that she got from the pharmacy and then mixed with water in a bucket and then dropped the eggs in . Found this post online that explains what it is:
    http://www.storeitfoods.com/page/waterglass

  6. Zusa says:

    My first job as a teenager was packing eggs. We were told to always pack the pointed end down as there is a little cord that stays intact between the yolk and the membrane. If packed upside down, that cord would break and the eggs would not stay as fresh.

    I wouldn’t use mineral oil as it is not something you want to ingest and since egg shells are so porous, some of it will get into the egg. There are other food grade oils that would be preferable if you want to oil your eggs.

    In the winter, I can only get my farm fresh eggs once every 2 months. I buy 10 dozen at a time, keep them in the frig, and I don’t recall having a bad one when used within 2 or 3 months.

    Great article from Mother Earth News! Thanks for sharing it!

  7. Karen K.Pitts says:

    If you leave them unwashed and dip them in parifan wax, they will stay good for a year. Just unwashed in the fridge they will last up to 6 months.

  8. Kim says:

    Thanks, this is a lot of great information. We just got chickens this spring and they just started laying

  9. Lyndsey says:

    Does anyone have an ingenious method for rotating eggs in the fridge? We are getting 4-6 a day, don’t always eat that many, never sure if my husband put new ones at the back of carton or front, etc.

    • Rhonda Burke says:

      I keep an old refridgerator dish (without lid) in the fridge and asked everyone to put un washed eggs there as they are collected. Then when I have time, I empty the dish, clean up & organize the eggs for home use or sale in cartons.

      I clean up by sanding the dirt with a finger nail sanding block. (A few cents at any beauty supply store or sometimes Walmart.) Any that are too soiled to be quickly sanded are given to the pig. I don’t wash the eggs in water or any other solution. I just try to keep the nest are clean and collect the eggs ASAP to prevent soiling which can be difficult in the muddy seasons.

      In late fall when I start noticing the hens slowing, I start coating half the eggs in butter or lard as they are collected and store them in small boxes layered with straw in the basement for the winter. This gets us through with fresh eggs until the hens start laying again, though I do have several hens that keep laying right through the winter!

  10. Janet Brookover says:

    I recently read an article in Mother Earth News regarding egg storage and how to keep them fresher, longer. There was a semi formal study using fertile eggs, unfertile eggs, eggs coated in lard and stored in a lime solution, and refrigerated vs. unrefrigerated. The bottom line was fertile eggs stored in the refrigerator lasted the longest and had the best flavor, close to fresh tasting for many months. The unfertile eggs lasted almost as long. All the others, while lasting several weeks, did not fair as well. The article can be found at motherearthnews.com

  11. Janet Brookover says:

    I wanted to mention that according to Mother Earth News, it is not the temperature change in winter that causes chickens to slow down on egg production. The decreased light on short winter days is what leads to decreased egg production. It was recommended to provide light in the hen house to mimick daylight. It can be accomplished simply with a 20 watt bulb and a reflective cone to intensify the light. I did this last winter and set the light on a timer to come on at 4:30 p.m. and off at 9:00 p.m. The cost is very little and I did not notice any decrease in the number of eggs produced.

  12. Jean says:

    That is so interesting about eggs being kept unrefrigerated on shelves in Italy and France! I lived for five months on a farm in Austria where things were done the old-fashioned way. The eggs were not washed until it was time to use them, and were kept in a large bucket in the pantry over winter. However, after the eggs had sat a couple of months in the pantry, the family would always water test them before use, and if they floated at all, they were thrown out. I have always wondered what is/was done with all the eggs in Eastern Christian countries during Lent, when no eggs (among other things) may be consumed. Surely this is partly why eggs are an Easter tradition, having been saved all those months, thanks to the wonderful protective bloom!.

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