How To Store Fresh Eggs Without Refrigeration
Have you ever wondered how your great-grandparents stored eggs? Perhaps they didn’t, perhaps they used only fresh eggs. But many folks regularly stored their eggs and used them throughout the winter months.
Chickens normally respond to daylight by laying more eggs. Oppositely, when there is little daylight, there are fewer eggs layed. So in the winter when days are shorter, it’s good to be able to depend on a fresh egg supply.
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There are two ways that I know of to store eggs without refrigeration. They both require cool temperatures, however. A cellar, cool basement or cool room in the house will suffice. The cooler the better the chance that your eggs will last longer.
The first method is to coat the eggs with a non-toxic substance, sealing the pores in the shell and thereby sealing out oxygen and moisture. When oxygen is present, many bacteria can grow, thus spoiled eggs.
To use lard or shortening to coat the eggs, first melt the grease and cool it til it begins to solidify again. Dip each egg in the melted grease individually and set them on a paper towel to dry. When the shortening or lard is dry on the eggs, rub the eggs with a clean towel, removing excess solid grease. Rub gently and buff each egg. Now repeat the process, before the shortening solidifies. Work fast, allowing the shortening to get almost solid before re-heating it.
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Line the bottom of a flat box with a clean soft towel. Place the eggs in the box in a single layer. Cover the box with either a lid or another towel. Place the box of eggs in a cool, dry environment. Eggs prepared this way will last up to 6 months, although I have heard people say that they have kept eggs this way for 1 year if they are kept very cool.
A product used to coat eggs in this way, but that is supposed to keep the eggs fresh longer is K-Peg. The eggs are coated with this product much the same way they would be coated with the shortening, and prepared for storage the same way.
The other way to keep eggs works on the same principle, cover the pores and keep the eggs cool. However, the eggs must be kept immersed in a solution of Liquid Sodium Silicate. It is usually mixed with sterilie water.
Liquid Sodium Silicate is a non-toxic substance that will cover the pores of the egg shell so well that you will probably be able to keep fresh eggs for up tp 2 years! You can buy it as Sodium Silicate Solution at any pharmacy, however they may not have it on hand and have to order it for you.
Again, you will have to keep the temperatures very cool and the humidity low.
Place clean fresh eggs in a ceramic crock, one layer deep. Pour liquid sodium silicate over the eggs until the eggs are covered and completely immersed in the solution.
Place a towel over the crock and tie it into place. Place the crock of eggs in a cool, dry place and don’t disturb them til you are ready to use them. To use them, just take out how many eggs you need, wash them off in clear water and use as you normally would.
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Two tips I would include are;
When you crack your eggs after storage, crack them in a cup, not directly into your food. You might get an awful surprize and ruin a dish.
Practice these techniques before you think you might really need to store eggs. Practice makes perfect!
Here is some information from the USDA on storing eggs in Liquid Sodium Silicate:
“What Uncle Sam Says About Preserving Eggs. These are the months when the thrifty housewife who has her own hens, or who can draw upon the surplus supply of a nearby neighbor, puts away in water glass or limewater, eggs for next autumn and winter. (These months being Spring time when the chickens begin laying again after winter)
To ensure success, care must be exercised in this operation.
Following directions are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: In the first place, the eggs must be fresh, preferably not more than two or three days old.
This is the reason why it is much more satisfactory to put away eggs produced in one’s own chicken yard. Infertile eggs are best if they can be obtained-so, after the hatching, exclude roosters from the flock and kill them for table as needed.
The shells must be clean. Washing an egg with a soiled shell lessens it keeping quality. The protective gelatinous covering over the shell is removed by water and when this is gone the egg spoils more rapidly.
The shells also must be free from even the tiniest crack. One cracked egg will spoil a large number of sound eggs when packed in water glass. Eathenware crocks are good containers. The crocks must be clean and sound. Scald them and let them cool completely before use.
A crock holding six gallons will accomodate eighteen dozens of eggs and about twenty-two pints of solution. Too large crocks are not desirable, since they increase the liability of breaking some of the eggs, and spoiling the entire batch. It must be remembered that the eggs on the bottom crack first and that those in the bottom of the crocks are the last to be removed for use.
Eggs can be put up in smaller crocks and eggs put in the crock first should be used first in the household. Water Glass Method Water Glass is know to the chemist as sodium silicate. It can be purchased by the quart from druggist or poultry supply men. It is a pale yellow, odorless, syrupy liquid. It is diluted in the propotion of one part of silicate to nine parts of distilled water, rain water, or other water. In any case, the water should be boiled and then allowed to cool.
Half fill the vessel with this solution and place the eggs in it, being careful not to crack them. The eggs can be added a few at a time till the container is filled. Be sure to keep about two inches of water glass above the eggs.
Cover the crock and place it in the coolest place available from which the crock will not have to be moved. Inspect the crock from time to time and replace any water that has evaporated with cool boiled water.
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When the eggs are to be used, remove them as desired, rinse in clean, cold water and use immediately. Eggs preserved in water glass can be used for soft boiling or poaching, up to November. Before boiling such eggs prick a tiny hole in the large end of the shell with a needle to keep them from cracking. They are satisfactory for frying until about December. From that time until the end of the usual storage period-that is until March-they can be used for omelettes, scrambled eggs, custards, cakes and general cookery.
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As the eggs age, the white becomes thinner and is harder to beat. The yolk membrane becomes more delicate and it is correspondingly difficult to separate the whites from the yolks.
Sometimes the white of the egg is tinged pink after very long keeping in water glass. This is due, probably, to a little iron which is in the sodium silicate, but which apparently does not injure the egg for food purposes.”(source)
The Top 6 Historical Egg Preservation Techniques!
In today’s video, we explore six egg preservation methods that were used in households from the 18th century to well into the 20th century. Early tests reveal that some of these methods were incredibly effective. You won’t believe how successful the top-rated method worked!
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