Whether you have chickens who are laying an abundance of eggs, or you buy them from the store, now is the perfect season to preserve your eggs. Come into my kitchen with me and let’s talk about 3 ways to preserve eggs.
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Why Should I Preserve Eggs? The chickens will lay all year, right?
Chickens produce the most eggs during spring through fall. Once the days grow shorter their egg production dramatically drops.
During winter you will barely get any eggs at all. Yes, you can put in supplemental light in your coop and cause the chickens to lay eggs, but I am a firm believer of allowing your chickens to have a season of rest. With a little planning in the spring, you can have plenty of eggs in the winter.
In addition to this if you buy your eggs from the store, it seems that here lately the supply is unreliable. By preserving eggs now, you have will enough even when the store has a shortage.
3 Ways to Preserve eggs
1. Dehydrate your eggs
First, set up your dehydrator so that it is level (I own a Nesco dehydrator, and it works great). I live in an old farmhouse, and I learned very quickly that my counters were sloping when the eggs began spilling out the side of the dehydrator making a huge mess.
Because you are working with liquid, you will also need fruit roll sheets so that the eggs will not flow through the regular trays.
Once your dehydrator is set up, scramble 4-5 eggs and pour the eggs on the trays. The number of eggs you use will depend on how big your eggs are. Repeat the process until all of your trays are filled.
Place the lid on top, plug in the dehydrator, and set the temperature for 115 degrees. After several hours stir the eggs with a fork to ensure even dehydration. The total time of dehydrating will be around 12 hours.
Now that the eggs are completely dry, place them in a food processor or coffee grinder and grind them into a powder. Store the egg powder in an airtight container.
For long term storage place the dehydrated egg powder in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber or vacuum seal the egg powder with a food saver. Oxygen causes food to break down quickly so eliminating the oxygen for storage is key.
2. Freeze the Eggs
Another great way to preserve eggs is by freezing them. Again, you want to scramble the eggs to combine the egg white and egg yolk. If you freeze a whole egg without scrambling, the yolk turns into a playdough like consistency when thawed (yep, I learned that the hard way lol).
Place silicone muffin liners on a cookie sheet. In a separate bowl whisk one egg until the egg whites and yolk is combined. Pour the scrambled egg into the muffin liner. Repeat the process until all the liners are filled.
Place the eggs in the freezer and allow to freeze for one hour. After the eggs are completely frozen, take them out of the liners and place the eggs into a freezer bag. Now you have individually frozen eggs so that you can easily take out as many as you need. (I like to use eggs these for making homemade mayonnaise.) Place the desired number of eggs in a container in the refrigerator overnight when you want to use them.
Another method of freezing is to whisk the desired number of eggs in a bowl. For example, my family eats a dozen eggs in one meal so I will 12 eggs. Place the eggs into a gallon size freezer bag and seal the bag getting as much air out as possible.
Lay the bags flat on a cookies sheet and place in the freezer. This allows the eggs to freeze flat and saves valuable space. When you want to have eggs for breakfast take out a bag from the freezer and allow them to thaw overnight. Cook the eggs as you would fresh.
3. Water glassing
Before refrigerators, freezers, and dehydrators our ancestors would preserve eggs by water glassing eggs. With this method you place the eggs in lime water until you are ready to use them.
There are a few rules to follow for water glassing correctly. The eggs must be unwashed. When a chicken egg is laid, the egg has a natural bloom that coats the eggshell. This bloom protects the egg from bacteria getting inside the egg. For this reason, you cannot use store bought eggs because they have been washed and do not have a bloom.
Choose eggs that are freshly laid preferably from the same day, and eggs that are clean (no poop or dirt).
The solution for water glassing is 1 ounce of pickling lime per one quart of water. Please make sure you use food grade lime for this process.
You also need a container to store the eggs and lime water solution. Last year I used a five-gallon bucket, but I will no longer use this. I believe the weight of the eggs cracked some of the eggs at the bottom of the bucket.
Also, after washing out the lime water I notice the plastic was very rough where the lime water had sat for months. It was like the lime water was eating away at the bucket. This year I am switching over to using glass gallon size jars or half gallon jars. This way there are less eggs in each container, and I can see what is going on inside.
Water glassed eggs can be stored in the lime water solution for up to a year.
How to Use Water glassed eggs?
Take out the desired number of eggs that you want to use and thoroughly wash them to get the lime off. Once clean use the eggs just as you would fresh.