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The Truth About Pickled Eggs

pickled eggs

Jars of colorful, delicious pickled eggs for sale.

I’ll admit to a bit of stubbornness. Often, I feel like if I can walk into a store and it’s floating around in a jar or within the confines of a can, I ought to be able to stick it in a Mason jar and can it myself. Therefore, I understand about food densities, and how the canners that we use may not be able to safely can foods that are too dense.

However, for years and years old-timers have been pickling eggs. You can go into a Sam’s Club and there are gallon jugs of them for sale. For that matter, go to any mom-and-pop convenience store in the South and they’re sitting on the counter! I couldn’t understand why finding the recipe to do this was so hard!

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There Is A Right And Wrong Way

Unfortunately, everywhere I researched, the word “botulism” was thrown around a lot. However, out of 450 million people, there’s on average 23 cases of botulism reported each year. People consume millions of home-pickled eggs every year. Surprisingly, there’s only been one reported case of botulism from pickled eggs. After reading the report, the man was lucky he didn’t kill himself! He simply dumped some eggs into a jar full of vinegar and some spices, and sat them on the counter in the direct sunlight for seven days before eating them.

I’m surprised there weren’t green, squiggly worms crawling around in that concoction. Duh!


Good Tips On The Pickled Eggs Process

Surprisingly, with a few hints and a good recipe, anyone can safely enjoy home-canned pickled eggs.

– Use only eggs that are in perfect condition, with no cracks or other shell breakage.

– Wash eggs thoroughly with water that is at least 20 degrees hotter than the eggs. Using too cold of water will cause the shell to contract, drawing in any bacteria.

– Boil and peel 8 dozen eggs. Each jar will hold approximately a dozen eggs, but you’ll want a few extra in case some are damaged.

– If you plunge your boiled eggs in ice water to facilitate peeling, you’ll have to reheat them before packing them into jars.

– Sterilize all jars, lids and rings.


Pickled Eggs Recipe

– Bring about a gallon of water to near boiling (about 200 degrees F). This will be used to cover the jars later. (You’ll be using a water bath canner.)

– In a large pot, boil the following ingredients for the brine:

15 cups vinegar at 5% acidity

3/4 cup canning salt (non-iodized)
1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp ground mustard

3 1/2 tsp dill seed or 7 sprigs of dill weed

5 to 7 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

Any other spices or peppers that are desired


Pointers On Canning Pickled Eggs

– After bringing the above brine to a boil, strain the dill, garlic, and any other spices or peppers out of the brine and distribute amongst the seven jars. Bring the canning bath water to 200 degrees F.

– Pack each hot, sterile jar with 12 to 13 peeled, steaming HOT eggs. Stir the brine and fill each jar carefully with the vinegar solution. Cover the eggs completely and leave only about 1/2 inch air gap. Run your rubber spatula gently around the inside of the jar to dislodge any air bubbles, without damaging the eggs.

– Wipe the rim and threads of the jar well, and apply a lid and ring. Snug the ring down but do not over-tighten. Return the jar to the water bath canner. Do the same with the other six jars.

– After all the jars are in the canner, add enough of the hot water you have on standby until there is 1-to-2 inches of water covering the jars. Bring to a rolling boil and maintain for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

– Remove the jars from the canner and set on the counter to cool. After each jar has cooled, inspect the lids to make sure all have sealed properly. If any jars have not sealed, place them in the refrigerator immediately.

– You should be able to store these eggs in a cool, dark cabinet or basement for up to six months. Enjoy!

Do you have any recipes for pickled eggs that you’d like to share? Or perhaps, do you pickle something unique that others should try? Please share in the comments below!



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