It’s Springtime here, and that means our hens are laying eggs….lots and lots of eggs. How can we preserve eggs without refrigeration? How can you preserve eggs for YEARS? Let me explain with “Preserving Eggs in Lime Water Recipe”!
Back in the day, before refrigeration, there were several different methods to preserve eggs.
Some work better than others!
One way to preserve eggs is pickling, but to be honest, my family isn’t crazy about pickled things, so I don’t use this method.
Another way to preserve eggs is by freezing.
Freezing eggs is just a matter of scrambling the eggs and putting them into labeled zip-lock bags.
Put the zip-lock bags on a cookie sheet in the freezer, so that they freeze nice and flat!
The amount of eggs per zip-lock bag is up to you.
How many eggs do you usually need when you bake? How many are you baking for? It might make more sense to only include 2-4 eggs per bag for smaller families.
However, if you’re raising a big brood (like we did), then maybe scramble a dozen at a time and store that way.
But today, we’re going to be talking about “water-glassing” or “liming” your farm-fresh eggs.
Only use unwashed, farm-fresh eggs for this method of egg preservation!
It is very important that they eggs be fresh and that they retain their “bloom”.
If you aren’t aware, the “bloom” on a farm-fresh eggs is essentially a film that all eggs are hatched with, and that “bloom” protects the eggs from bacteria and spoiling.
Unwashed, farm-fresh eggs can sit on the counter for a few months, without any refrigeration!
But what if you want or need your eggs to stay fresh for 8-12 months?
Then, you are going to want to try “water-glassing” or “liming” your eggs!
How to Store Eggs in Lime Water
You will need:
- Clean (free of poo and mud) farm fresh eggs that are unwashed (store eggs won’t work)
- Very clean 5 gallon bucket with lid
- 8 oz. pickling lime
- Filtered or distilled water (Don’t Skimp on This!)
The pickling lime is pretty easy to find, anywhere that carries canning supplies should have it.
What is the Water Glassing/ Lime Ratio?
The ratio of one quart of water to one ounce of lime is the accepted way of water glassing.
Again, you’re going to need farm fresh eggs, not store bought ones.
Scrub your 5 gallon bucket and lid with hot, soapy water! Clean, clean, clean!!
If you have some eggs with a little dirt or poo on them, use a DRY scrubby of some kind to scrub it off. Don’t wash them!
Fill your very clean bucket with 8 quarts of distilled, RO or filtered water.
Add 8 oz. of the pickling lime and stir. Avoid inhaling!
Then, slowly place your “clean” eggs in the solution.
I used one dry hand to grab the eggs and then placed them in the other wet hand to lower into the solution.
Date your bucket and keep your bucket covered!
I’m not sure how many eggs you can get in a 5-gallon bucket, but my guess would be 6-7 dozen.
As fast as our eggs are coming in, I might fill 2-3 buckets.
Where Should I Place the Bucket?
If you have a cool place in your home, like a basement or lower level, I would put my egg bucket there.
Avoid light as much as possible. I happen to have a lower level laundry room that is always a bit on the cool side.
Is Water Glassing Eggs Safe?
The fact that this method of egg preservation has been used for hundreds of years gives me peace of mind.
Here are a few tips for when you’re ready to remove eggs from bucket for use:
First, RINSE them off! You don’t want to consume the lime!
Next, do a quick “water glass” test by putting the egg in a glass of water.
If it floats, it’s bad.
However, unless you saw it floating in the lime water, my guess is that it will sink, indicating a good egg.
Some reports say that the eggs will keep for up to a year, others say 2 years.
Frankly, due to constant egg consumption in my home, I’ve never tested this past 9 months.
I’ve had a few cracked eggs here and there, probably due to my moving the bucket around, so try to avoid that.
Your storage area does not have to be cold, just make sure the room keeps a steady and consistent cooler temperature.
After 4+ months, here’s a picture of the eggs I pulled out from the very bottom of my bucket (the first ones I put in), and the picture of what they looked like when I cracked open. The yolk and the white were firm and looked great!
These eggs are 7 months old, in the lime water. I just rinsed them off and put them in this basket.
This is an egg from that basket, look how well the yolk has held together! Perfect for eating or baking with.
The one thing that I’ll mention is that the shell itself is a bit weaker than it was originally, so I wouldn’t use water glassed eggs for boiled eggs.
Put this old-fashioned, egg preservation method to work on your homestead!