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Preserving Eggs for the Long Term

If you have been watching National Geographic’s Doomsday Prepper series, you’ve probably seen a few ideas that you wanted to try to implement in your own storage preparations. At least a show or two got you wondering about the feasibility of some of the stuff these preppers are doing. One thing that piqued my interest was from the episode that showed the woman oiling her eggs in order to preserve them for long-term storage.

I found myself frowning… was it really that easy to keep an egg fresh for months at a time? If so, why weren’t these well-oiled gems sitting on the grocery store shelves instead of crated up in the refrigerator section? I decided to do a little more research into this subject, so I turned to the one person I consider the quintessential expert on chickens and their products, Gail Damerow.

No, I didn’t get a chance to interview her. (That would be a homesteader’s dream come true!) However, I did the next best thing—I pulled out her book Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens in order to gather the information I needed for this article.

And am I glad I did.

Chickens are the hottest new backyard pet and with this new guide for beginners you’ll be a pro in no time…

While I discovered that oiling is a perfectly acceptable way to extend the shelf life of eggs, I also found out that you can’t just take any old egg, slap some mineral oil on it, and call it preserved. There’s a selection process and strict time frame that you have to work around.

Eggs can be stored for up to two to three months at temperatures no higher than 55°F without doing anything to them. However, the humidity needs to be close to 75%. This is an important factor in successful egg storage. If humidity levels are too low, the eggs will dry out. If they are too high, the eggs will get moldy. You want clean, uncracked eggs. If you have to clean an egg before storing it, then put it in the freezer, throw it in the frig for breakfast, or make some deviled eggs with it. The point is, use it elsewhere. Anytime you wash or dry buff an egg, you are removing a protective outer coating which in turn allows bacteria to more easily enter the egg.

What coating the egg with oil does is it seals the shell to prevent evaporation during storage. The eggs you’re going to store this way should be oiled 24 hours after being laid. (This will immediately put store-bought eggs out of the running.) In a clean, closed carton that is located in a cool, dry place, eggs dipped in oil will keep for several months. They will, however, eventually develop an off-flavor, and this off-flavor is especially pronounced in eggs stored at 34°F for more than four months. By the time you hit the six-month mark, the flavor is usually unacceptable to most people.

If you’re able to have fresh eggs at your house day in and day out from some pretty prolific layers, or because you have a neighbor who gives you fresh eggs each day, or if you’re able to obtain fresh eggs from a farmer’s market, then this method may be for you. Regardless, the knowledge alone will be a great help if and when the worst were to happen.

To properly oil your eggs, they must be at room temperature (50 to 70 degrees F) and they must be dry. Make sure your oil is free of bacteria and mold by heating it 180°F for about 20 minutes. Then, with tongs or a slotted spoon, dip the eggs one at the time into the oil. Set them aside on a rack such as is used in candy making and let them drain for about 30 minutes. Pack them away in clean, dry cartons.

The only drawback to storing your eggs in this manner is that once eggs have been oiled, they’re no longer useful for cake making. The oiling interferes with the foaming properties of the egg whites, so they no longer whip up as well as fresh ones do.

So, while this episode of Doomsday Preppers showed a viable method of preserving eggs, they foolishly chose a shortened version to pass along to the audience, one which could easily have made someone ill had they followed the haphazard advice. Safe food handling practices are something everyone should cultivate.

Especially preppers.

©2012 Off the Grid News

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92 comments

  1. Hanne, excellent advice. I too watched that show with my family and thought, hey what a great idea, need to research that a little more. You saved me some time.

    Love the quote of the week. My Rock and my Salvation!
    What more do we need? Nothing but Christ and Christ alone.

    • Hey with the egg poreservation! I wonder how cocnut oil would work? It naturally has antimycrobal, antifunal and antibacterial properties. But it melts at 76%, so they would need to be kept below that temp. I would not want to use any of the long chain oils, for one thing after heating it up they would become rancid. Cocnut oil has been found to remain stable up to 15 years. It is the only oil we cook with, it increases energy and stamina and supports the imune system. We use olive oil for salads but never heat it. long chain oils soy, canola, corn, peanut all when heated break causing transfats. Dr. Mary Enig a nutritional bio chemist has dedicted her life to this cocont oil has 2 books “eat fat lose fat’ and ‘know your oils’ also check out the ‘weston price’ web site Sally Fallen has great nutrions stuff there also, Dr. Bruce Fife ND also has great info.

      • Can you tell me where do you buy your cocnut oil also can you make cookies and cakes with it. Thanks love your info.

      • Before I read your blog I was wondering about olive and garlic oils (yes it probably would impart flavor to the egg). Now I know where to look for some answers.

      • do the eggs taste of coconut or is there ant taste difference

        • Take this for what it’s worth. It’s about half personal experience and half info from other sites discussing this. The reason mineral oil is specified is that any of the food-derived oils (corn, vegetable, peanut, even grapeseed and coconut) will end up going rancid eventually, at which point they will lay their vengeance upon thee. :-)

  2. Thank you so much for this clarification and information. I’ve been reading about oiling and storing eggs recently in several places and am glad to see the entire process, requirements, negatives and dangers laid out in detail. As you questioned, if it were as simple as others make it sound, why aren’t oiled eggs stacked on grocery shelves rather than in the refrigerator section. I truly appreciate the accurate and timely information I get from you.

    • PreparednessPro

      In the U.S. we refrigerate a LOT of things unnecessarily. However, if you were to venture to European stores, you would not see eggs in the refrigerated section, rather you WOULD see them on the shelves with their natural bloom still on them.

  3. I have researched this several years ago and ‘back in the day’ WATER GLASS was used in a crock and then covered. It was still available at the time, but hadn’t looked lately. Worth researching again as this was just set in the cellar…….Think is was in Fox Fire…..

    • If I remember correctly water glass is the main ingredent in the automotive product you could get to seal a head gasket leak in your car, the only problem is it can only be used in a water envionment now with antifreeze, that is probably why it is hard to find.

    • PreparednessPro

      There’s a product called “Ke-Peg”. It’s simply a waterglass product. You can create your own waterglass simply too.

    • The blog ‘Paratus Familia’ covered that also, some months ago.

    • I simply put in “preserving eggs” and got several good sites. I think that I would prefer pickling lime instead though. I think that using petroleum jelly or paraffin first would keep the eggs from tasting like lime but I will have to research it further or experiment if I cannot find the information.

  4. So Hanne, now lets have you do an in depth article on freezing eggs…it’s positives and negatives. Gotta be able to stock up and store eggs…their incredible and edible (if stored correctly).

    Bernie in ND

    • Is there any way to store eggs for long-term use with eggs bought from a store? I have no way of getting fresh laid eggs.

      • Of course you have a way to get fresh eggs, buy laying chickens. :-)

        I am serious, having chickens is just so simple, everyone should keep a few.

      • I did read about store bought eggs being preserved. They just said to check the eggs for freshness by putting them is water to see if the float. If they don’t they suggested coating the eggs before immersing them in solutions of water glass or pickling lime. Go on line for the recipes. I just put in “preserving eggs” and got several good sites.

  5. I remember while getting ready for Y2K, I had read that old folks stored eggs in butter. I down loaded the piece, but I can find it now. Seems like I also read in some old preserving books about storing eggs in butter. Probably the same as just oiling the egg, but who knows? Just my 2 cents worth….Janey

    • My mother said to use unsalted butter only and it works the same way. the eggs do get a buttery taste after a time.

    • Butter is another fat or oil isn’t it? But butter will get rancid so maybe not a good idea. I did read a blog about coconut oil being good and I wonder about garlic oil since it is antibiotic.

  6. pokeythepatriot

    Janey – have you seen the cost of butter lately ? :) at a minimum of $2.22 per 4 qtr box (Sams club) I’m not sure how cost efficient storing eggs in butter would be.

    I saw the Doomsday show too and went right out and bought some mineral oil, got some farm fresh eggs from my local market, used food preparation gloves and rubbed the oil on 4 dz eggs..Hoping for the best – and definitely preparing for the worst!
    Pokey

  7. On long ocean sailboat voyages, we used to coat eggs in parafin. Eggs kept for months.

    • I would like to see you do an experiment on coating the eggs
      with parafin. It seems that they might last longer.

      • PreparednessPro

        Paraffin wax cracks over time and as such would not be a good solution for either eggs or cheese.

        • Wax is traditional for preserving cheese. Maybe it is the way you are coating and storing the product that is the cause of the cracking. I don’t know, just commenting.

      • Ed scout leader

        I have read the same thing in yachting/cruising mags to coat eggs with paraffin to prevent evaporation.

  8. I saw this show as well. I was bit intrigued, borderline skeptical at this method. I don’t remember her mentioning whether she used supermarket eggs, or if they had laying hens, which eliminates the need for egg storage. Also, she never mentioned egg rotation. After all, what good is rotten food, especially eggs, and how do you test whether they are still good. In any event, anything is worth a try for survival’s sake. Kudos to them.

    Last words: I find it strange that some preppers will go on national tv and tell all: what they have, where they are and how they’re prepping. Inviting trouble, I think.

    • My wife and I agree with you. Unbelievable the info that they are giving out. I was easily able to find one preppers location with Google Earth with the information given out. I’m sure others have also found the place and regard it as their ‘go-to” store when it all hits the fan.

      • PreparednessPro

        Well, considering I’ve been blogging about preparedness for years with my full name and info out there, clearly I wasn’t concerned about anyone finding me. I find it comical though how people keep saying that folks will be coming to my house when things get bad. a) they would have to remember something like that, and yet I suspect their stress level will eliminate such a trivial bit of information. b) if something serious enough happens that people have to resort to looting then I suspect that traveling to my location would be extremely difficult. and c) I have enough and to spare, but folks will be getting it on my terms and they will work for it. And as I made perfectly clear on my episode, I know how to take care of myself and am an excellent marksman. :-)

    • She DID mention egg rotation several times.

  9. Concerning the long-term dry storage of eggs, when you store them the small ends of the eggs need to point down. Not sure why but that is how the old-timers did it.

    Egg shells pass oxygen – that is why little chicks don’t suffocate. You can use butter, mineral oil, Water Glass and other non-drying liquids also.

    Water glass is sodium silicate. You can buy it or make your own. This link shows you how to make Water glass.
    http://chemistry.about.com/od/makechemicalsyourself/a/make-sodium-silicate.htm

  10. I purchased my waterglassing sodium silicate at Lehman’s. They have directions for use.

  11. Just remember if you are using mineral oil, it is a petroleum product………I’d rather pay the extra & do it in organic butter……….you ARE eating them, right?

  12. Mineral oil comes from petroleum. I don’t like the idea of coating my eggs with that. Will olive oil work just as well?

    • I believe that it is something that will cut out the air to the egg shells. I have covered the eggs with vaseline making sure there is no place where the air can get to the eggs. a year and a half later, some one came to my house and cooked up the eggs. They tasted very good. Good luck with what you use. someone asked about using the eggs from the store. They have sat there for about 3 months and so they are not the ones that you want to use. The freshly laid eggs are the best.

    • PreparednessPro

      Olive oil will go rancid. Instead, use waterglass to avoid using a petroleum product.

    • It seems like coconut oil would be better- it is food grade and antibacterial up to ten years. Has anyone tried this?

  13. Is it possible to make “powdered” eggs at home? Has anyone tried?

    • I have dried eggs this way and they do a good job. Hope it works for you.

      Dried Eggs
      From Mildred James

      Have eggs at room temperature to start:
      1 Batch
      6 – eggs 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

      Separate eggs. Beat whites with Cream of Tartar until extremely stiff. Set aside. Beat yolks until light and fluffy and looses the shine. Gently fold yolks into whites. Spread on foil & put in dehydrator until dry. About 8 – 12 hours at 80’ – 110’. Crush with rolling pin or blend in blender until powdered. Store in airtight container.
      To reconstitute: Mix 3 Tbsp. Warm water with 2 Tbsp. Dried eggs equal 1 egg.

    • Yes you can dry and powder your own eggs. Some people do raw, as above or fry or microwave with NO oil (oil will turn rancid over time) then dry and powder. Would highly recommend you try a small batch and see how your family likes them. I tried some by microwaving and then chopping up and then drying and grinding up. The texture of the cooked eggs onced re-hydrated was edible but gritty. So, while I would be able to use the eggs my family found them “nasty” so it would truly have to be a shtf and no options left to eat for them to eat them. I’m leery of doing raw eggs due to salamonella but, many do so use your own judgement. I prefer to just buy mine commercially done.

  14. PreparednessPro

    First of all, I don’t have a book. I believe you have me confused with someone else.
    Secondly, you didn’t make an attempt to interview me, otherwise I would have loved to shared some tidbits with you.
    And lastly, there is a great deal more knowledge harvested in the DOING as opposed to just the book learning (or internet learning as the case may be.) I’ve been using my complete method of storing eggs for years now as have many of my readers. The only thing they aren’t good for is fluffy egg whites. You’ll be beating them forever. But all of the other uses such as quiches, pancakes, baked goods, etc are perfectly sound when using the mineral oil method.
    I’m in Utah, a very dry area, and have never had a problem with the eggs drying out. But I do keep my eggs in a room below 60 degrees year round. It’s also important to “flip” the egg cartons every 30 days in order to keep them aesthetically pleasing. Warming the mineral oil is important for the reasons cited but also because it goes on the egg in a thinner layer and you’ll get more eggs done as a result. The mineral oil, as opposed to storing them in sawdust and bran, helps to prevent the eggs from drying out. There are millions of little pores on the egg shell and the mineral oil (or waterglass) is the best way to seal those pores so that there’s no oxygen exchange.

    There is a substitute for mineral oil in the event you don’t want to use a petroleum product and that is a product known as Ke-Peg. It’s simply waterglass. It runs about $25 a jar and does 40 dozen eggs. The mineral oil is simply replacing the waterglass which was used frequently by the pioneers so that when they purchased eggs at the market they would be able to keep them for several months without refrigeration (as they would have to purchase ice for a refrigeration effect otherwise).
    While you’re correct, there are more considerations to this method being viable, none of the additional aspects that National Geographic recorded, but didn’t show, none of those additional hoops have been necessary in practice.
    Kellene Bishop, The Preparedness Pro

    • Off The Grid Editor

      Hi Kellene,

      Thank you for coming to the boards and participating in the discussion. We appreciate you sharing your expertise with our readers. I think you misunderstood however… the author never claimed she tried to contact you or that you wrote a book. She was speaking in reference to Gail Damerow. I also happen to know that the author has a little more than just book knowledge under her wing in regard to preparedness subjects. However, we insist that articles on this site err on the side of caution in food preparedness safety, so the author was simply adhering to our guidelines. Our article was never meant to disparage you personally as to this method of egg preservation (in fact, the author heartily endorses it), as you have no control over what National Geographic leaves or doesn’t leave on the cutting room floor. If you felt otherwise, then we apologize.

    • Ed scout leader

      eggs purchased from farmers market need t be “candled” to insure infertility. There are kits available from farm and fleet or flleet and farm stores that consist of a simple bright light and egg holder.

      • Why would you need to candle eggs first? Fertile eggs are perfectly fine to eat. There isn’t a baby chick inside a fertile egg, the eggs would need to be incubated for 21 days for that to happen. Every one I know who has chickens collect the eggs at least daily, or at the most every other day, so there is absolutely no chance of getting an egg with an embryo in it. Those eggs would have to have been sat on by a broody hen for at least a week for anything to be formed. No self-respecting egg-seller would allow that! I personally would rather have fertilized eggs, meaning the hens are free-ranged under the 100% natural protection of a rooster, just as God intended, not cooped up in some warehouse factory situation. A fertilized egg is a potential chick, not an actual one, without incubation.

    • Thank you for your clarification on this post. My grandparents raised chicken and I can remember us cousins standing in the kitchen oiling the eggs “for what seemed like HOURS”. I thought maybe my grandpa had poisoned a whole bunch of people after reading some of these posts. I now raise chickens and provide fresh eggs for my kids and their families and was a little concerned I was passing on bad information (and bad eggs) to them. Thank you also for sharing your preparation knowledge to us….I am afraid there are gonna be a lot of people who wish they had paid a lot more attention to us “preppers” when the shtf pretty soon. Thanks again!
      From
      Robert Lee, TX

    • Just what I needed to know. I still think the eggs need something to coat them in if you use pickling lime as the eggs will taste like the lime after a while. I just don’t know how well wax or oil or what ever will stand up to the lime.

  15. I would have a hard time rationalizing using a petroleum product in anything having to do with food and I agree that butter might be cost prohibitive and go rancid. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned coconut oil. It is quite shelf stable and is naturally anti-microbial. Easily purchased and stored in five gallon buckets. We use it every day so rotation is no problem: stovetop cooking and baking, smoothies, skin care… it has SO many uses, including soap and other personal care products.

  16. I also saw the show (Love it!) and had intended to try to preserve eggs. So, I appreciate the tips. Question: what about using cheese wax to coat the eggs in, since it can be saved and used over and over. Anyone know if that would work? I’m also interested in waxing cheese, but have yet to try it. I always buy blocks of hard cheese anyway, and would love to preserve it.

    Great to have Kellene on here! I wish Off the Grid News could have more articles/question & answer sessions just on these very things from an experienced prepper. Being a single Grandma who has to plan for 10 “Don’t Talk About That, You Scare Me” family members, all alone, I can use all the help I can get. I’m hungry for knowledge, but so much I don’t know. But willing to try anything to keep my family safe.

    Bebe, can you tell us sources for coconut oil in buckets or in bulk like you do?

    • You can find it on Amazon, available from various sellers. I buy it in town at my local tiny herb store for under a hundred dollars for five gallons, which lasts my family of seven over six months. Depending on where you are you can probably find it for less. We live in Alaska and everything is more expensive here! It IS organic but not virgin… I prefer a neutral taste for everyday use. I do buy the virgin in smaller quantities for when I want coconut flavor, because I really do love coconut. Do a little research on the benefits and you will too!

  17. I grew up in rural Middle Tennessee. The old folks(I am 64) would put the eggs in a “stand” of lard in the cellar and they would keep for months. I ate lots of these in my youth and they were just fine. The lard came from rendering the fat when we killed hogs and was our only “oil”. This was done so the hens could hatch eggs in the spring and later the pullets were killed and canned for meat in the winter. What now is called “sustainable farming” was at one time called commen sense. If you have to buy lard, it is much cheaper than butter.

    Mike

  18. Right you are Mike. My folks used the lard method, with the eggs placed in a crock, pour on the melted lard and it kept them sealed from oxygen. Worked the same for pork and beef, or so I’ve been told. The whole point is to seal the products from the elements and I think a cool cellar or basement would help too. Party on…

  19. I am a chicken farmer that makes 5000 organic pasture raised eggs a week. And I’m in the Army on an Agri team and have written the training materials used in the Army about chickens and eggs.
    There are a lot of people with a lot of silly ideas about chickens and eggs. Most people don’t realize that you can actually store your eggs in the cupboard with your cereal for a few months. There is a small air pocket that will get slightly larger over time. Meaning that you will have less egg material per egg by doing this. If you put it in the average refrigerator, your life expectancy of that egg is about 9-12 months. We experimented recently and put eggs that we had in flats, under the house. It is cool and dark but it also gets up to about 105 here during the day in the sun during the summer time. They were fine 9 months later. It is important to note that these were eggs that had not been cleaned. They will evaporate their contents faster if it has been cleaned. We have tried eating them at all stages and in my opinion, the flavor does not change at all. The only difference is that the air pocket is bigger and the yolk does not “sit up”. It is just sort of runny. Of course, there are rules which dictate how eggs are sold. They need to be date stamped right away with a 1 month date and it is labeled as a Sold-By date.
    I don’t actually have information on oiling them but just wanted to clarify the life expectancy of eggs stored in non-conventional ways.
    In my opinion, have a small flock of your own. It teaches kids chores, keeps down on the insects, they are far more nutritious than store bought eggs, and in a pinch you can butcher them. We order day old chicks by the hundreds and they manage to stick in a few males all the time. Over the weekend there were two with broken legs. You’ve never tasted chicken until you taste one that you just butchered and then put on the BBQ. The difference between fresh and factory frozen is like the difference between trout and salmon. And the health benefits of pasture (or home) raised over “free range” is huge. I’d link you to my site but don’t feel it is appropriate to plug it here. So just look up “Health benefits of Pasture raised Eggs” and look for articles on the subject. And remember, free range can mean 4 foot by 3 foot cage on cement with four chickens in it. Pasture raised is a much higher requirement.

    • Thank you, Tim- very useful info!

      Question- I HAVE to wash my eggs, since they often have poop on them. If they were coated in (coconut) oil afterwards, am I to understand that this would simply help prevent evaporation?

      • Off The Grid Editor

        If your eggs are only slightly poopy, you can dry brush or use fine sandpaper to clean them up. If they’re more than slightly soiled however, make sure the water you’re washing them in is slightly warmer than the egg itself. An egg has pores, just like your skin. If you use cooler water than the egg temperature, the pores of the egg will contract, possibly drawing bacteria into the interior of the egg. Warmer water causes those pores to close up so that bacteria can’t get through. You should also dip the eggs that were dirtier in a solution of water and chlorine bleach to sanitize the shell. Let them completely dry before oiling them for preservation purposes. You are right in your assumption that what you’re trying to do is retard the rate of evaporation in your eggs when you oil them. Unfortunately, any food grade oil will eventually go rancid, including coconut oil. If you don’t want to use mineral oil, then, as Kellene Bishop recommended, use KePeg. Here’s a link to the product, and it will coat 40 dozen eggs. It says on the jar that if you’re starting out with fresh eggs as they recommend, then your eggs should last a year. Because there are so many variables in the egg preservation process and in storage methods, expect a 6 to 12 months shelf life for your eggs with this method. http://www.eggcartons.com/KEP.html?search=KePeg+Egg+Preserver+productinfo

    • Thank you. I know what you say is true. I took “Poultry” in college and I learned most of what you said there. I also have raised my own meat and planted a garden and as you say there is no comparison. People pay premium prices for “specially” raised beef but I have eaten even better just by raising it myself.

    • Thank you for that very helpful post! I have seen many discussions regarding preserving eggs but none like your’s. Many years ago I stayed with some friends in southern Yugoslavia (Macedonia). Our host kept a few trays of eggs in his garage and we ate those eggs for over a month that I was there. Temps hit 110 farenheight in the shade most days so I know that garage was hot too. The eggs always tasted just fine and no ill effects from them. I often wondered about how he was able to keep those eggs without refridgeration. And I don’t think there was any oil on them either. They were fresh from local farmers but over a month in that heat! It makes we seriousally question our American food handling guidelines. Thanks again for your post. It certainly clears up a question I’ve had for years!

  20. The “Doomsday Preppers” show the had the lady oiling the eggs is Kellene Bishop, and she is one of the most informative preppers I know……..she can be found here: Kellene Bishop, The Preparedness Pro
    Panic-Free, Practical Preparedness Information
    http://www.PreparednessPro.com

  21. Thank you for all this info. I didn’t see the show since we don’t have TV reception…Am I wrong to assume that if you cover the eggs with whatever it is…such as the lard in the crock…you could not use the lard because of the germs? Could you reuse it again for more eggs? What other uses for the leftover lard, coconut oil, etc.

  22. Another of God’s perfect food, the egg. He thought of everything, and more…

  23. I use Tropical Traditions and order my coconut oil online. They have informative articles and recipes too.

  24. Thanks so much for talking about this subject as a newbie to prepping this really caught my eye because we live in the country where every one has chickens and eggs are always for sell. Im glad I did the research before going to stock up on store bought eggs.

  25. While this is good advice, it is a little overboard. It is very true that unwashed, fresh eggs are the best to use because they still have the bllom on them (the bloom is the protien layer placed on the egg right before it is laid), but many people dont have access to eggs that fresh. I know from years of personal experience that even store bought eggs can be used. The main requirement for using these is that they are not cracked in any way and they need to be checked for rough spots on the ahell. Any rough spots allow a spot for bacteria to enter and they need to be cooked right away. To store these smooth eggs, one needs to make a solution of glass water (sodium silicate and water) or lime water. Lime water is just a mixture of water, pickling lime, and a bit of salt. You then submerge all of the eggs in the solution, making sure there is something weighted down on top of them so they stay under the water, and then place an airtight lid on the container and store them in an unrefrigerated, but cool area much like a basement. Eggs stored like this will last for 6+ months, i have even eaten them up to a year later with no ill affects. Any time you use an unrefrigerated, old egg you should give it a look before earing, making sure therenis no crazy odor or wacky coloration. The eggs will change a bit, the yolk becoming easily breakable, and maybe a bit watery, but they are still just fine to eat. With proper technique, any egg can be used, whether picked up right after laid or bought from a store.

  26. What about water glass? I have heard that storing eggs in a crock in a single layer covered with water glass will also prolong the ‘fresh’ eggs up to a year. Are you familiar with this process?

  27. Water glass is another old school trick for preserving eggs without refrigeration. Been told that you dip them in the soloution, let them dry and then store in a cool place until needed. I think the lard method works on the same principle, sealing the pores in the shell. I have used water glass to repair a couple of clunker cars, one with a cracked engine block, the other with a cracked head. Got the water glass at the drugstore, drained the cooling system [turn-off the heater or the core might get plugged], pour in the water glass and refill with water. Ran them like that for a few days and then put the antifreeze back in. Sealed the leaks and drove them both for a couple more years. Good poor boy trick.

  28. We have a small flock of chickens and grew tired of supplying others with eggs so we decided to dehydrate them. Yes, Dehydrate !! First i use fresh eggs and scramble them in a non stick pan with no oil. adding salt and then place them directly on the dehydrator for 24 hrs. After dehydrating them I allow them to cool for about an hour. Then take a food processor and grind them to a powder. Not a fine powder. Then place them in a air tight jar, using a canning lid and also place a oxygen obsorber in the jar. Im sure these will be as good or better than an egg that has been oiled and last longer. They want taste like a fresh egg, But when things go to s**t they will be a good sorce of protein.

  29. Just “found” your site and have a few questions. My first time with anything like this, so forgive etiquette goofs if there are any. After researching several egg-preservation methods, we settled on using salted butter – per the comment that salted butter doesn’t go rancid and the person suggesting it said to have been doing it for 5 years now. I did not want to use a petroleum product, and water glass seemed too ‘chemical’ as well…. Anyway, we stored the cartons of eggs in the basement since May 5, 2012, and have been using them oldest first for a couple of weeks now. Today we found our first ‘stinker’ (complete with tiny maggots). Upon inspecting the rest of the cartons, we’ve discovered a bloom of mold growing on many of the eggs and am wondering if the eggs are a loss, or if the mold is just surface mold from the butter. Will the mold have permeated the shell causing a health hazard? I am going to try the tip of dipping the eggs into bleach solution before oiling them to kill surface bacteria, and like the idea of coconut oil as an alternative to mineral oil. Does the oil permeate the shell over time? That’s my hesitation to using mineral oil. I noticed that someone mentioned wearing food handling gloves with the mineral oil – but is applying it to food…. Any help would be appreciated. The plan is to toss onto compost heap this weeken….

    • egg shells are both air and moisture permeable I believe any eggs that have mold on them are no good. the reason for oiling eggs is to prevent the eggs from drying out. I really appreciate you writing about this. I’ve used coconut oil on eggs before and they kept well for at least 6 months. I will probably wipe the eggs with bleach solution before oiling from now on. I don’t think I’d want to soak them in it.
      BTW, I think that salt is known to make fats go rancid faster. that’s one of the things that make fast food so bad, the grease in the fryer is going rancid over just the course of a week of being repeatedly heated and cooled and the salt and other stuff that gets into it from the processed foods.
      Coconut oil, being a tropical fat is known to stay fresh in storage for up to five years,, IN THE TROPICS!, probably more. I’d use that.

  30. Use to can a lot. Had no idea you could store eggs!! Daughter told me about dooms day preppers. PLEASE tell me if what Im going to do is wrong!! Bought 4 dozen at the store. In frig right now. Going to dip them in 10% clorox solution then dry. Next Im going to coat them with vaseline & place small side down in the carton. I have what I call my stock room. I keep it cool by closing heat vents & putting a heavy book over it. I place a towel under door crack. Im going to put my eggs in a dark closet with date on top carton & rotate (flip cartons) every 30 days. Am I right? Love this site–going to try canning butter next from a Youtube flick I saw. Thanks so much!! Ppl laugh at me & say I have OCD on stock piling. I want to can mac & cheese/rice–is this possible?

    • I would not try to can mac and cheese. it will get too mushy. just store uncooked macaroni and either velveta or powdered cheese or store bought canned cheese. mac and cheese is fairly easy to make in any situation, and canning grain products is not going to give you a product you really want to eat.

  31. I tried this trick stored the eggs in my root seller for 8 months, just tried one. looked and smelled like a egg, cooked it and it tasted like a egg. That was three day ago I still feel fine. Look’s like this works fine!

  32. I used Pure Canola oil on my eggs just rubbed a generous amount on them. I did no use a cardboard carton with them, I used the Styrofoam carton so it would not suck the oil off the eggs.

  33. Just read how to store eggs long term in lime water for one plus year(cheaper than waterglass formula) from “non refridgerated egg storage” by Blackhawk on search labeled”egg storage” Eggs are an absolute blessing during hard times as well as good! Can be used with store bought also.

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  39. I am trying to find out information about a method my mother’s family used in Germany in the 1930’s. It involved putting the eggs in a device that held them in place. Then every day they rotated it. I think this is much like the suggestion to turn over the carton every week or month. I thought the theory behind it was that as long as the yolk was suspended within the white and didn’t touch the edges or bottom of the shell, the egg would stay fresh. By rotating the egg, the “strings” the held the yolk would not stretch to the breaking point and the egg would remain good. Has anyone heard of this before and does anyone have a picture of such a device?

  40. call me suspicious but i can’t help wondering, could shows like doomsday preppers and all the reports about burglaries, identity theft etc simply be hype to increase spending?
    you watch doomsday preppers and see people spending hundreds of thousands of dollars buying all this food and supplies, weapons and shelters and unless something actually happens the only “winner” here is the ones selling the stuff.

    identity theft? does joe average really need to worry about someone stealing his identity when he can’t get credit himself?

    burglaries? like an alarm magically makes it impossible, almost every robbery i’d heard of involved neutralizing the alarm, the alarm was left off or they hit and ran so fast the alarm didn’t matter. so what if a siren goes off and a company calls the cops, cops take 20 minutes to 2 hours to arrive (personal experience) so you flushed that monthly payment for nothing

    so it doesn’t matter if the prep instructions are good or the problem is over blown because their only purpose is to make you buy supplies/products/insurance/etc

    back on topic, for eggs just shop around, you can find sales on eggs almost any time if you look hard enough

  41. Does anyone know how coating in Bee Wax would work. It doesn’t tend to crack as paraffin does and I have access to a lot of it. a.k.a. friends with bee keepers.

    • I was wondering the same thing regarding using beeswax or even soy wax. From what I gather here on this site, it sounds like just about any non permeable coating will do the job so long as you use farm fresh eggs that have the bloom still on and you store them with the small end down and you turn and rotate your stock. I have a very gummy paraffin blend wax that I use in candle making along with an abundance of soy wax. I think I may just try it out a bit with each and then decide for myself. I just have to find the fresh eggs since I not only live in the city but live in an HOA community and am not allowed to keep my own chickens.

  42. I have heard of using beeswax softened with olive oil and rubbing it on eggs to seal them. I wonder if the coconut oil would work as well? I don’t think KePeg is the same as waterglass, but I have had a heck of a time even finding the name of the manufacturer, much less the actual chemical contents of the stuff. It is sold by an egg carton supplier in the US, but they don’t have any valid links to contact them to even ask about the product. Might have to actually make a phone call, lol! Anyway, lots of good info here. I am not a doomsday prepper, but I do like to learn about the ‘old’ ways and be self sufficient.

    • Oh, and here’s a tip on checking how old your storebought eggs are… look at the end of the egg carton, there is a three digit number somewhere on there. That is the Julian date of when the egg was laid. Most eggs sit in refrigerated storage for up to a month before being put on a store shelf, average of eggs I checked recently at my grocery store was 6 weeks old. One was 86 days old!! Julian date is the day of the year, for example, today is day number 93 of the year, so the julian date on eggs collected today would read 093. Figure out the julian date for the day you bought your eggs, then subtract the julian date on the carton to find out how many days ago they were laid. Check the ones in your fridge, you might be shocked. I would NEVER try to preserve storebought, weeks old, mechanically washed, pasteurized, flavorless eggs. Blech.

  43. JOhn M. Reynolds

    I have for a long time turned my egg cartons upside down about once or twice a week in the refrigerator. If they are not turned regularly, the yolks will settle and once the yolks start to contact the shell, they go bad fast. I learned the trick from a family in far-flung northern Alberta. They would buy eggs by the crate, and every week would turn the crate upside down. The eggs lasted for many weeks at room temperature. I am surprised that I haven’t heard more of this technique, other than from Elliot that mentioned his mother’s family in Germany had a device that did the same.

  44. While I appreciate advice on storing eggs, there are a couple ways to manage your flock so that you get more fresh eggs continuously through the year (which is the main purpose for storing eggs). Stockpiling aside, here are a few tips for people who are looking to keep chickens for survival and want fresh eggs year round.

    1. Keep different breeds. Beware of keeping all of one breed and putting “all your eggs in one basket.” The single biggest mistake you can make for keeping a survival flock is having a laying flock of the same breed, from the same genetic stock, and the same age. If you do this, they will usually all molt at the same time, during which you will likely get no eggs. They will also likely stop laying at the same time in the fall/winter (if you don’t use supplemental light). There are a lot of survivalists out there who look for one perfect dual purpose breed. There isn’t one. Diversity is your key to ensuring a steady stream of eggs and maintaining flock health. Some breeds are better winter layers than others, some lay through molt, some don’t go broody, some do. You will want some of each of those.
    If you have a breed that is broody and they are the same age, you will often get several broody hens at the same time, which puts those birds out of egg production for 4-8 weeks. For a survival flock, you want broody hens to continue to replenish your flock if you don’t have electricity to run an incubator. You just don’t want multiple birds going broody at once and disrupting your supply of eggs.

    2. Add new chicks to your flock 3 times a year, (early spring, summer and fall), instead of once in the spring as most people traditionally do. Yes, it’s a bigger PITA, BUT this means that the chickens will come into sexual maturity at different times throughout the year. This is important because older hens molt, they go broody, and because of age, they’re simply more prone to health and reproductive issues that disrupt their laying. Diversity in age will improve your odds of not having large lapses in egg laying from your flock as a whole, as the birds go through nonlaying stages at different times. I have found that pullets who start laying in late fall usually continue to lay through the winter better, whereas older hens that have already been laying for many months or years are more prone to ceasing production when the days get shorter.

    I realize there are people who use supplemental light in the winter, and if you have the means, it is easy to increase your egg production so there’s very little disruption in your supply. I prefer to do it naturally. If forage is scarce in the winter and chicken feed for the chickens is in short supply, they’ll need to conserve their energy. You can afford to eat your nonlaying hens, while feeding only the ones that are actually laying, and the youngest chicks hatched in late fall, which can survive on less food than an adult, even if they grow slower, and which will come into laying in the spring when forage becomes more plentiful.

    I have never had a day without fresh eggs, even when it’s 20 below in January. I use no supplemental light or heat. Fresh eggs taste a hell of a lot better than 9 month old eggs coated in oil! If you’re going to stockpile something, consider stockpiling grains for chicken feed that you, yourself could eat if your chickens are killed by predators or stolen. You can ferment grains for your chickens for maximum nutrient uptake and less wastage.
    Smart flock management will keep you in continuous eggs through the entire year. You will still have a lot of extra eggs in the spring and the fall to preserve in oil if you want, but hopefully you’ll get enough fresh eggs that you can boil those old ones and feed them back to your chickens!

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