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Currently I have around 10 dozen eggs in my kitchen. No, I don’t hoard eggs, but I did find an amazing sale on them yesterday where I picked them up for just $0.59 a dozen. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a drop everything stock up price. Eggs are good for weeks on their own, but it will take my family a good while to go through ten dozen. Luckily, I know how to preserve eggs so I am able to store them for months without even needing to put them in the refrigerator.
I firmly believe that learning how to preserve eggs for long-term storage is one of the easiest ways to preserve foods that a person could learn to do.
It’s sort of foolproof to be honest.
How to Preserve Eggs
It’s a great way to start if you’re not real well versed on things like how to can foods or even dehydrating foods.
Why? It’s empowering.
I realize that sounds a bit strange, but try it and you’ll understand. It is empowering to know that you now have the ability to store foods for your family in case of an emergency or to save money on groceries later on.
Can I Preserve Store Bought Eggs?
Yes. You actually can although most people will tell you that you can’t.
The reason for this is because commercially bought store-bought eggs are often scrubbed clean and bleached white. Farm fresh eggs are far from it. In fact, most people barely clean their eggs when they’re fresh. I’ll explain why in a minute.
But, to answer the question can I preserve store bought eggs? Yes you can and I have successfully done it more than once.
Why Do Eggs Spoil? What Causes Food to Spoil?
It would seem that since eggs have a protective shell that they should in effect be immune to spoilage but even if you’ve never smelled a rotten egg, you’ll know this isn’t true.
Eggs spoil but they take quite a long time to do so.
Air (oxygen) and light are the enemies of any food items period. In the case of eggs, it’s shell is quite thin and very porous. These pores allow air to penetrate the inner shell which is ultimately what causes the spoilage.
The shell does provide some protection though which is why other foods – such as fresh produce – will spoil quicker. The shell is also the reason you are able to preserve eggs for long term storage.
How to Keep Eggs From Spoiling
As I said, most people that collect fresh eggs wash them very little. The reason for this is that when an egg comes out of a chicken, it is covered in what is called “the bloom.”
The bloom helps to prevent spoilage if it is left on because it protects the shell and prevents both air and light from penetrating the shell.
So to keep their eggs from spoiling, they will wash only the dirt and chicken feces off the egg but leave the bloom.
Now, this isn’t always the case. The eggs in the photos below were farm fresh but had been fully washed.
Commercially sold eggs have also been cleaned so much the bloom is gone. Which brings us to this post and this way to preserve eggs.
In essence, we are going to recreate the bloom to keep the egg from spoiling.
How to Preserve Eggs with Shortening
In this post, I show you how to preserve eggs with shortening or lard. Neither one has any benefit over the other so feel free to use what you have on hand.
You will need to gather a few supplies before you get started.
- Shortening or Lard
- Ice Cream Scoop
- Large Tray or large Cookie Sheet
- Large Saucepan
- Mixing Bowl
- Paper Towels or Flour Sack Towels
To start, you will want to wash your eggs. There’s no need to scrub them hard, just give them a good wash and dry to remove any surface dirt.
After your eggs are washed, add the shortening to your large saucepan and melt it over low heat. You’ll want to keep an eye on it so it does not get too hot.
You’re aiming for a just melted barely warm kind of temperature so you don’t end up cooking the eggs later on.
Once the shortening or lard has fully melted, pour it into a mixing bowl so it is easier to work with. It can be hard to get the eggs out of a deep sided pot.
Do not leave the egg in the oil for long. If you do, you stand a good chance of cooking it and you do not want to do that.
Take the egg and roll it around in the melted lard. Be sure you get a good coating. Use the scoop to help get melted oil over the ends.
You will want to dip and roll all the eggs you’re doing, setting them aside on a tray or large cookie sheet as you pull them out of the oil.
Once the eggs are dipped, allow them to sit long enough to allow the oil time to become solid again.
For me, this takes about an hour, but that will differ based on the temperature and humidity in your home.
Once the shortening or lard has solidified, grab a paper towel and an egg and buff the shortening into the egg.
If you ended up with a lot of shortening on each egg, you may need to scrape a bit off at first and then buff it down.
I prefer to use a circular motion because this allows me to physically see where I have covered and I have not.
Remember, the goal is to cover the entire egg with this thin shortening or lard layer to seal any microscopic holes in the shell.
Repeat with all the eggs on your tray.
Why Did My Eggs Coated in Lard Spoil?
After you have buffed all the eggs, repeat the process a second time.
Yes, re-dip, allow the coating to harden and re-buff them.
This is why. Because you’re only leaving the eggs in the oil for a short amount of time, it is very easy to miss a spot.
And even though you are buffing the shortening or lard down, you could still miss a spot.
Missing a spot will likely lead to early spoilage so if you have preserved eggs this way and have had them spoil on you; this is probably why.
Doing the entire process twice means that there is less of a chance you’ll miss a spot and lose your eggs.
Once you’ve repeated the entire process, put your eggs back in their carton. Write the date you preserved them on the carton.
They’ll have super shiny and glossy shells and be shelf stable for 6-9 months with zero refrigeration needed!
How to Store Preserved Shelf Stable Eggs
After you have finished preserving your eggs, store them in a cool and dry place. Basements are great if your basement stays dry. If not, store them in an air conditioned closet.
As long as they are stored cool and dry, they will keep. If they are exposed to heavy moisture or the temperature in your storage place rises, you may want to pull one from each cartonto see if they are still good or not.
How to Preserve Eggs with Mineral Oil
If you have heard that you can keep eggs from spoiling with mineral oil, you’re correct.
The process is basically the same as this post descirbes.
Wash the egg, coat it once with mineral oil, allow to dry and repeat. Once the eggs are dried, store in a cool dry place.
I personally have tried this method and would not recommend it. I did one dozen eggs as a test with a three time dip. I lost all twelve eggs in the dozen in under two months.
Here is why I won’t recommend mineral oil for preserving eggs.
It is far too hard to be absolutely certain you have every square inch of the shell coated well enough. Mineral oil is clear and as such, it can become harder to see on the shell.