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Preserving Eggs in Salt

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Preserving eggs in salt to save them for when production naturally slows in the winter ensures eggs for breakfast for the coming months (or years?)

Egg production naturally slows as days get shorter. Of course you can light your coop to artificially stimulate your hens to lay, but I like to give our girls a much-needed rest in the winter. 

Recently I shared instructions on freezing eggs to use through the lean months, but here's another simple way to preserve fresh eggs for a year or longer.

Preserving Eggs in Salt

This method appears in The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy, originally published in 1952, and makes the claim that eggs preserved this way will keep for two years, although other articles I've read about this method claim the eggs should be used within 6 months.

You want to use your freshest eggs for this method. And only those from your backyard, not store bought eggs. 

What you Need |

Fresh eggs
4 ounces olive oil
One dozen freshly laid eggs
Airtight container (I used two quart Ball canning jars)

What You Do |

Melt the beeswax in the olive oil. Dip the eggs in the warm liquid, making sure to completely immerse each egg. Set eggs to dry, then gently wipe each with a paper towel or soft cloth.

Store eggs, pointy end down, in an airtight container filled with coarse sea salt. Be sure each egg is completely covered in salt and the eggs aren't touching each other.

Since this was my first time trying this method and really just a test, I used quart mason jars, but you could use ice chests or coolers or other large covered containers to preserve larger quantities of eggs.

Note: The instructions didn't say whether the eggs should be washed or not. Since our eggs are clean when I collect them, I didn't wash them first. I thought leaving the natural 'bloom' intact would help keep air and bacteria out.

This is my first time trying this method. It was quick and easy and I'm eager to see how it works. Check back with me next October and I'll tell you!

Source: The Complete Herbal Handbook for Far and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy 
(Faber & Faber, 1952)

Update: unfortunately, we moved to Maine shortly after I wrote this and our preserved eggs didn't make the trip somehow. I think my husband might have tossed them when we were packed up our house. 

Anyway, I can't definitively say whether this works or not and suppose I should try again now that we're settled in Maine. Although I can't imagine needing to preserve eggs for 2 years, and it does use a LOT of salt. The longest we are ever without fresh eggs from our chickens is a couple of months, so I think I'll just keep freezing some of the extras each summer. 

Water Glassing is NOT an approved method for long-term egg preservation

One last note:  I receive loads of email asking about water glassing eggs (another long-term storage option) and whether or not it's safe. According to the USDA, water glassing is NOT a safe way to preserve eggs. 

Despite what you might see on YouTube or Tiktok, water glassing is NOT an approved method of storing eggs long-term.

For more details, here are some resources:

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