Two Letters Re: A Method for Storing Fresh Eggs up to Two Years

Friday, Aug 28, 2009

Jim,
Thank you for the great information you share. I read the post about storing eggs with a Vaseline coating and have a couple of questions.

Do they have to be stored on a refrigerated shelf?
Does this work with store bought eggs? My guess is this only works for fresh eggs and I don't have a chicken....yet.

Thank you. - Angela S.

Jim,
First, I want to wish you and yours all the best. Thank you for this site, friends and I have been learning from your site for about a year now. It has continually supplied us with information to work from and discuss.

However, I do have some additional information to add to the letter "A Method for Storing Fresh Eggs for up to Two Years". I had done some research on the subject and earlier in the year, and found quite a bit of information on the subject, however, one study in particular I read and researched seemed to carry the most weight with me. I have not tried all their methods, so I cannot state that their process or conclusions where correct, however, I have included the link for all to read the study and take their own conclusions from it.

I understand that this article from The Mother Earth News is dated, but the methods seemed sound. If I am missing something, or if another test by a more reputable source can be found, I would be most interested in reading the results.

Below, I have included the conclusions from the test:

At the end of seven months (all of our experiment that was finished and processed at the time this issue went to press), then, we had drawn these conclusions about our egg preservation experiment:

[1] Unwashed, fertile homestead eggs seem to store much better than washed, unfertile agribiz eggs. Why? Probably for the simple reason that they're unwashed ... and not because they're fertile. Hen fruit, as it comes from the chicken, is coated with a light layer of a natural sealing agent called "bloom". And, while a good wash may make a batch of eggs look more attractive, it also removes this natural protective coating ... leaving the eggs more subject to aging and attack by the air and bacteria in the air.

[2] The very best way we've found to stash eggs away for long-term storage is in a sealed container at a temperature of 35° to 40°F. Their whites may become somewhat runny looking over a period of time, but even after seven months—the cackleberries stored in this manner smell good, taste good, have a good texture, and—in short—seem "almost fresh".

[3] The widely touted idea of covering eggs with a solution of one part waterglass (sodium silicate) mixed with nine parts of boiled and cooled water does indeed seem to work better than any other "room temperature" preservation method we tried. If our experiences are any indication, though, it's really good for only about five months and is a distant second to controlled refrigeration.

Another point: As good as some eggs kept in waterglass were, almost every batch we opened seemed to contain one real stinker. Which makes it a superior idea to open any waterglassed egg (or any egg, for that matter) separately into a cup ... where it may be inspected before pouring it into a skillet, pan, or dish with other food.

[4] Unwashed, fertile eggs submerged in a solution of 16 parts water/2 parts lime/1 part salt, packed in lard, and coated with lard seem to keep at room temperature almost as well as unwashed fertile eggs that have been given the waterglass treatment. Washed, unfertile eggs do not.

[5] Unwashed, fertile eggs packed in dry sand or coated with vaseline and stored at room temperature keep a little longer-but not much-than unwashed fertile eggs that are just left lying out at room temperature. Washed, unfertile eggs exhibit the same characteristics ... with all storage times running a few days less across the board.

[6] Forget packing any kind of eggs in wet sand or sawdust! Our tests show that such methods of "preservation" can turn eggs rotten within a month and are worse than doing nothing at all to the hen fruit.

Regards, - Jeff D.

JWR Replies: Thanks for that valuable addenda to Brenda L.'s post.

In answer to Angela's question: The storage methods described are intended fro "low room temperature" (namely, the coolest room in your house). Just avoid getting them below freezing. A refrigerator will extend the storage life considerably.

The methods described will work for store bought eggs, but not as well as for fresh barnyard eggs, for two reasons:

1.) Store bought eggs have been washed

and,

2.) Store bought eggs tend to have a thinner shells. (There must be some quite elderly hens out there!)


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