How to Store Fresh Eggs

Learn how to store fresh eggs. We experimented with various methods of storing fresh eggs, both with no refrigeration and for a long haul in a refrigerator.


| November/December 1977



These techniques will help you learn how to store fresh eggs on the homestead.

These techniques will help you learn how to store fresh eggs on the homestead.


Photo By Fotolia/Springfield Gallery

These tips will help you learn how to store fresh eggs on the homestead.

How To Store Fresh Eggs

If you've ever kept a flock of chickens, you're probably aware of a basic perversity of homestead life: While your family's consumption of eggs tends to remain fairly constant year round . . . your hens' production of the delicious edibles doesn't.

Is there a way to level out this feast-or-famine scheme of things . . . is there a way for you to stash away one month's surplus cackleberries and then eat 'em, say, six or eight months later?

Yep. Several forms of egg storage are supposed to make it possible for you to do just that. As MOTHER's continuing tests have already proven, however, some of those "guaranteed" methods of storage work a whole lot better than others!

According to an old joke, "The best way to keep an egg fresh is to keep it in the chicken." A heck of a bunch of MOTHER readers, though, must find that a little hard to do. Because if we've been asked once since founding this magazine, we've been asked a thousand times, "is there any way I can save one month's surplus eggs ... and then use them six or eight months later?"

Well, for several years, we answered that question by recommending one or another (or several) of the "guaranteed, gen-u-wine egg preservation" methods that we'd run across in old farm magazines, ancient Department of Agriculture pamphlets, and other sources. And, although we usually asked the folks we'd advised to let us know how the ideas worked, we never seemed to hear from them again . . . .

nannyv
8/10/2017 10:55:01 PM

I ask my mother (born in 1916) years ago what they used for eggs when chickens were molting. she said eggs. she said they put any extra unwashed eggs in a jar or crock of vinegar and they kept 6 months or more. but not to use eggs with any cracks in them.


nannyv
8/10/2017 10:37:37 PM

I ask my mother (born in 1916) years ago what they used for eggs when chickens were molting. she said eggs. she said they put any extra unwashed eggs in a jar or crock of vinegar and they kept 6 months or more. but not to use eggs with any cracks in them.


cmwtx_50
8/9/2017 11:06:45 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUYgguMz1qI&index=22&list=PL4e4wpjna1vwJfLskF8o2H4ZHkyt4eWna


sophiarain15
12/12/2016 2:06:56 PM

Hi all. I love this site and my magazines! Thank you for being here! I have a question... my husband spilled something in the fridge and I didn't know.... :-( I went to make breakfast this morning and found one of my cartons was soaked and the bottoms of the eggs were wet. Do eggs soak up the moisture or fluids that the carton soaked up??? I need to know if I should throw them away or not. Thanks for any help.


kathleen
9/10/2015 5:43:55 PM

in the 1930's my grandma kept her eggs in a barrel of salt, in the basement. when she needed eggs, the kids had to go down and scoop them out. I have not tested this yet. thanks for all your good work. unwashed seems very good.


martha
2/10/2015 3:48:49 PM

when they washing an egg, is it with just water or something else


trixie
1/18/2014 9:49:49 AM

This article doesn't cover the concept of freezing eggs. I have frozen unfertilized (from my hens with out a rooster)eggs in popcycle containers (since ice cube trays are small these days) So far very short term...just a few weeks and they seem to freeze well and do fine with baking. I understand the 1# way is refrigeration however I have MUCH more room in my freezer then I do in my refrigerator. Any of shelf life....is there is any risk of bacertia since they are out of the shell...but in a baggies in the freezer? My method is to freeze them on the popcycle containers..., freezer baggie them up and store them in the freezer. THOUGHTS?


trixie
1/18/2014 9:49:14 AM

This article doesn't cover the concept of freezing eggs. I have frozen unfertilized (from my hens with out a rooster)eggs in popcycle containers (since ice cube trays are small these days) So far very short term...just a few weeks and they seem to freeze well and do fine with baking. I understand the 1# way is refrigeration however I have MUCH more room in my freezer then I do in my refrigerator. Any of shelf life....is there is any risk of bacertia since they are out of the shell...but in a baggies in the freezer? My method is to freeze them on the popcycle containers..., freezer baggie them up and store them in the freezer. THOUGHTS?


steven
10/22/2013 6:02:19 PM

wtf this is useless


shayna larrymore rathje
2/18/2013 3:44:27 AM

I still don't have an answer sadly, as I have non-fertile unwashed eggs, like most urban farmers. We are not allowed roos. I suppose it's time to keep looking for answers. This was an interesting study, even if it doesn't help me.


wildstealth
2/3/2013 1:20:02 AM

Well if you need to store eggs seven months there is something wrong. My grandmother raised chickens and sold eggs for over fifty years. The only storage she ever did was in the basement of her house. At which the temp was around 50 to 60. She never had a problem oncee as far as I have ever heard. Every one loved her eggs.


peter gallo
1/5/2012 2:40:38 AM

oops... that is: shelf life of fresh eggs is drastically reduced if refrigerated and THEN stored at room temperature by (for example) a grower's market customer.


peter gallo
1/5/2012 12:57:52 AM

Consider testing how fresh unwashed eggs are affected if they are (for example) sold to a customer at a grower's market and then stored at room temperature. There is some concern that their shelf life is drastically reduced. Even more so than if they had never been refrigerated at all. This brings up the notion that perhaps refrigeration of eggs fresh from hen (pre-market) is not best practice.


joe kumley_1
4/9/2010 8:29:50 PM

still dont know the time an egg can stay in the chicken coop without going bad but do have the knowlage that if you pickle an egg and keep in the bastment or root celler it will last through the year and also enjoy making devils eggs out of the pickles eggs sweet or sour pickleing the results well lets just said getting one yourself is not easy when you have guest over it tast that you have to try to understand on pleasures of eating


roger prater
2/6/2010 1:27:56 PM

After reading thia entire article, I still don't know which is the best way to preserve fresh eggs. How do you know how much water has been mixed in the water glass solution when you buy it. When using it, do you dip the egg in the water glass solution and then let them dry, or do you leave them in the solution to store them? Help! I am drowning in eggs. We ended up with twice as many layers as we had planned on, and now we have more eggs than we can use at the present. I give them to neighbors, but I am still swimming in fresh eggs. Donna Prater


maxey lynch
8/27/2008 7:20:43 AM

My Russian grandfather told me that when he was growing-up on a farm in Massachusetts in the 1920s, they stored eggs in crockery jars of olive oil; this seems to be similar to coating eggs with lard. However, being submerged in oil with the oil covering the eggs by 2 inches, would provide a more water tight environment than coating them with lard. Also seems that it would require less handling though, one thought that comes to mind is how would you get to the oldest eggs on the bottom of the crock? He told me that they were pickle barrel sized containers at least 5 gallons in size. Olive oil does have a long shelf life in cool environments. I didn't occur to me to ask him whether the eggs had been washed, or not. It wouldn't surprise me if they weren't washed. Has anyone else ever heard of, or tested, this method?


cooped in tx
7/1/2008 5:16:11 PM

Storing in 35 to 40 degrees would require refrigeration thus electricity. I wonder how long eggs would fare in an underground storage cellar at 50 to 60 degrees that would not require electricity.


rick_24
1/13/2008 1:51:51 PM

how can i tell which of the two dozen-packs of eggs was left in the barn during a freezing spell recently? one dozen is a week old and the other is about two weeks old and we cannot tell or notice any difference. is there one, and if so any difference for eating or cooking quality? thx.


sunny gardener_1
12/29/2007 8:34:23 PM

How Cool! We were cooking out of an old Joy of Cooking, and came across 'waterglass' and it wasn't in our dictionary so we went online and found a simple definition in M-W with a link to this article. It reminds me of a presentation by an entomologist who mentioned marveling at some simple technology shown him in China. He responded to the teacher "wow, that must be an ancient tradition!' to which the teacher responded, "no. I read it in an old USDA publication." Makes me reconsider the offer to purchase all the back issues on CD.


jimmy_8
12/19/2007 10:16:07 PM

In reply: please call me; 469 261-6056... I have a few questions an answers in preservation to act upon your availably for reply. Thank you for your concern, I remain, Jimmy Vouras Well, for several years, we answered that question by recommending one or another (or several) of the "guaranteed, gen-u-wine egg preservation" methods that we'd run across in old farm magazines, ancient Department of Agriculture pamphlets, and other sources. And, although we usually asked the folks we'd advised to let us know how the ideas worked, we never ... seemed .... to hear f rom them ....... again.


john_124
10/18/2007 10:06:25 PM

In the 1940's and early 50's, in Scotland, waterglass was a very common way of preserving eggs. I remember the big zinc(?) tub in the attic where the eggs lay under their glassy covering. Of course, this was also the time when potatoes were stored through the winter outdoors in "clamps" - buried in straw (I think) covered with long ridges of soil, and retrieved through March.


nick_8
8/12/2007 5:41:34 PM

How come you don't pickle the egg? This process should have been used to preserve the egg for winter and beat the fresh egg in refrigerator wasting electricity. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Focus_on_Shell_Eggs/index.asp Here is what the link says: Do Pickled Eggs Keep a Long Time? Pickled eggs are hard-cooked eggs marinated in vinegar and pickling spices, spicy cider, or juice from pickles or pickled beets. Studies done at the American Egg Board substantiate that unopened containers of commercially pickled eggs keep for several months on the shelf. After opening, keep refrigerated and use within 7 days. Home-prepared pickled eggs must be kept refrigerated and used within 7 days. Home canning of pickled eggs is not recommended.






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