Kathy Burns-Millyard wrote:I coat mine with lard and store them in the pantry. They last 5-6 months in cardboard egg cartons.
I like this idea...and wondered how thick a coating of lard and what temperature is your pantry? Everyone here sells unwashed farm eggs because they say they keep longer...do you wash them before the lard? store bought lard or home rendered? thanks.
I have old egg preservation recipes using a 'water glass' (sodium silicate) mixture poured over the eggs in a crock..but I never liked the idea of it. It does say not to wash the eggs.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
Fresh eggs from a chicken have a natural protective coating on them so yes if you do not wash them you can store them for months. I dont have acces to fresh so I coat mine because store bought eggs are washed. I use cheap store bought lard.
When I first started trying it a couple of years ago I avoided hot summer months. My house isn't temperature controlled so it stays within 10-20 degrees of outside (it's an old camper trailer). This past summer I decided to test eggs in the pantry during 100 degree weather. They still keep fine with just the coating but the yolk goes runny after about 3 months. Some days we were around 100 inside and the pantry was warm.
To be on the safe side I always do a float test before using the egg. Floating = spoiled. I also crack the egg into a cup to inspect it visually before adding it to a recipe.
Thickness of coating is difficult to describe. Not globbed on but not as thin as possible. In my area if it is too thin it can evaporate over time because our air is so dry.
If the bloom is not washed off, eggs can be kept for 4+ months in 40~65degF...
Find a retired refridgerator and place where in complete shade from summer sun... If your winters are well below freezing and your summers scorching, then keep the fridge in a shaded or well insulated building...
Cycle all your eggs through the dead fridge. If you have gauged your flock of chickens to your needs, you should be slowly building your reserve throughout the chickens' laying season.
I've heard pickled eggs keep for a long long time, but haven't tried it yet... Might try using some of my aged kombucha for such an experiment
We have our flock sized so that during peak laying months we have surplus and enough for ourselves over winter. I love pickled eggs - especially Korean style - lots of garlic. Wonderful flavor and some delightful anti-social after-effects.
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My grandmother told me that eggs were stored in Isinglas for preservation. Isinglas was a gelatin like substance extracted from the airbladder (or some part) of the sturgeon. The whole fresh eggs were put in a crock or bucket in a layer and the Isinglas was dissolved and poured over them to cover, then allowed to thicken. Layers were added as eggs became available. They kept for some months in this way. I've never tried to source it, (don't know if the spelling is correct).
This got me looking for Isinglass (correct spelling). It was used in candy and confections before the advent of cheaper gelatin. Maybe gelatin could be used in the same way to reduce moisture loss from eggs in the shell and preserve without refrigeration?
Coat the eggs with wax - natural bee's wax is the best choice. It prevents evaporation and closes all the pores on the egg shell. The eggs should be edible for at least one year if stored properly - temp +5 to +10 celcius.
I'm not sure why the forum put this old of a post on my list, but... I figured I would add a slightly tongue-in-cheek-yet-true answer for anyone else it pops up for.
Imagine that you could store hundreds of eggs for 3 or 4 years without needing a refrigerator or any sort of electricity. The catch is that it takes some work and you can only use the eggs a little at a time. I call it "Leave them in the Hen"
Chickens start with hundreds of eggs inside, and as long as the hen is alive, you will get them fairly regularly and they will not spoil or go bad. Not to mention your storage facility creates fertilizer as a waste stream and is much more interesting to watch than a shelf or frig
But seriously, it was not uncommon back in the day to use live animals as "storage". If you couldn't eat it, and it was going to spoil, you fed it to your chickens, or your pig, or your cow... and when you put that almost spoiled food into your "storage" you were sure to get some eggs, meat, or milk back out at a later point in time.
Good point. I live fairly far north in Maine, USA (Zone5). My Black Australorps laid into January without supplemental light... which I did end up giving to them in January. Eggs store at room temperature for at least 3 weeks (4 depending on who you talk to) so that should get you to February. (I'm assuming northern hemisphere here, so if you are in the southern, just adjust for your winter). Its hard to tell because I did have the light, but they picked up again very well in March. I think there would really only be about a month and a half in between. Either you consider eggs seasonal or hopefully some of these other methods would help get through that little while.
The OP mentions without a refrigerator. My assumption is inexpensive egg storage. If you want something that will store a long time without ongoing electrical needs, but don't mind up front cost, then I have heard good things about freeze dried eggs.