If you have chickens, you probably have a backlog of eggs during the spring and summer. This post will show you exactly how to preserve those fresh eggs at room temperature for up to 1 year by water glassing your eggs!
This little view of eggs is what we get EVERY day from our 35 hens, which means we need a way to preserve them for the months where the chickens aren't laying as many eggs.
If you're in the same situation (too many eggs per day), there are a few things you can do to keep those extra eggs from going to waste. You can use them in recipes such as homemade pasta and quiche, dehydrate or freeze dry your eggs, or even make a bunch of freezer cubes of raw eggs to use later on.
In fact, unwashed fresh eggs can sit in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months without any thing else needing to be done. But if you're in a place where you don't have access to a cool, dark place, then you will need to do something more than just leaving them unwashed.
So a great way to maintain access to fresh eggs for use during baking, or cooking is this simple water glassing method!
Water Glassing Eggs for Shelf Stable Storage
My favorite part of water glassing eggs is that is takes about 30 seconds and leaves you with fresh, ready to use eggs for up to one year (if stored properly).
So, what exactly is water glassing?
Water glassing eggs is an old-fashioned technique that has been used for hundreds of years to preserve eggs at room temperature.
Well before refrigeration, freezers, or even canning as we know it now, there was water glassing.
Traditionally water glassing was done with water and sodium silicate, however, this method yields egg whites that won't whip, and there’s never really been any testing on the long term impacts of regular consumption of sodium silicate for breakfast.
Instead, the modern version of water glassing eggs uses a substance that we use in canning all the time: pickling lime, which is just ground limestone with nothing else added!
This is the pickling lime we use for water glassing our eggs. I purchased a 3 pack and have water glassed about 15 dozen eggs and haven't even made it through one bags yet! A little goes a long way!
VIDEO: Watch Me Water Glass Eggs for Long Term Storage
Step by Step Guide to Water Glassing Eggs
Like I said before, water glassing is a SUPER EASY process, but it can sometimes seem more complicated than it is! So let's break it down.
Step 1: Fresh, Clean Eggs
The process of water glassing is only appropriate for fresh, unwashed eggs - which means, store bought eggs cannot be used. So, no, you can't buy eggs on sale and water glass them for later!
Use clean, fresh (within a week old), unwashed eggs that have not been refrigerated for this process. Check each eggs for cracks.
If your eggs do have dirt, straw, or chicken poop on them, you can dry rub them with a clean towel or buffing cloth, but don't put any water on them!
Washing eggs breaks down the bloom that keeps the egg sealed and can allow bacteria into the shell, and then the egg.
Add your clean eggs to a clean mason jar (or any large jar with a lid). For every 15-18 eggs, you will need a 1/2 gallon mason jar. You can use smaller or larger jars, but we like the 1/2 gallon jars!
Be very gentle with this process to avoid breaking any eggs!
Step 2: Making the Lime Solution
Next, we need to make the actual lime solution. For each 1/2 gallon jar, you will also need 1 quart of lime water. Use the ratio of 1 quart of filtered water to 1 ounce of pickling lime BY weight. Mix well.
NOTE: The water needs to be chlorine free, so I like to use filtered water just to make sure I'm not introducing anything that would cause the eggs to go bad.
Then you'll just pour this water/lime solution over the eggs in your jar. Make sure all the eggs are covered completely. If you need to add a little more filtered water to cover the eggs, that's fine. Secure your lid and you are ready to store your water glassed eggs!
Step 3: Storing the Jars
Once your eggs are covered and sealed, you'll need to store them out of the sun in a cool place. Any air conditioned room out of the sun is likely going to be fine. Storing them in the sun is a surefire way to have the eggs burst from the heat!
Mark the date on the lid and store for up to 1 year.
Using Water Glassed Eggs
When you are ready to start using your stored eggs, simply remove them from the jar (as many as you need) and rinse the shell.
From there you can use as you would any fresh egg! You can fry them, whip the whites, or bake with them as needed.
If you are concerned about the egg freshness, you can do a water test to check them. Simply fill a glass halfway with water, and place the egg in the glass. If the egg floats, it is no longer good (oxygen has gotten inside) and you'll need to toss it.
If the egg stands on its end, but doesn't float to the top, you can still use this egg without issues!
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Common Questions about Water Glassing Eggs
There is no right or wrong way to preserve the extra eggs your family has on hand. You can turn them into pasta, or quiches, you can freeze them, or even freeze dry them. For us, water glassing our eggs allows us to keep them at room temperature (no electricity needed) and it also allows us full control over what the eggs turn into, when we are ready to eat them.
No. You must use eggs that are fresh, clean, and unwashed, so that the "bloom" on the eggs is still in tact. The bloom protects the eggs from anything getting through the shell, which is why fresh eggs can sit on the counter for months and still be completely fine! Once the eggs have been washed or sanitized (like those in the store), the bloom is broken down.
Yes! The only concern with tap water is that it might contain chlorine which will counteract the lime solution and break down the bloom over time. So, as long as your well water doesn't contain chlorine, you should be good to go. I would still filter whatever water you use before water glassing.
Yes! Whatever eggs you have on hand, as long as they are fresh and clean, can be water glassed using this same method.
I have found this to be the case as well. Some of the water seems to get through into the egg while the lime is hardening it - this can water log the egg and cause the yolk to break. If you water glass FRESH eggs that still have the bloom in tact, this shouldn't happen as much.
Water Glassing Eggs
- 1 Half-Gallon Mason Jar with lid
- 16 Eggs (fresh and clean with bloom still in tact)
- 1 ounce Pickling Lime
- 1 quart Filtered Water
- Measure out 1 ounce of pickling lime using a scale. This is about 3 tbsp if you don't' have a scale.
- Add the your clean eggs to a clean half gallon jar.
- Whisk the lime into the water until it is fully incorporated.
- Pour the water and lime mixture over the eggs. If the eggs are not fully covered, add a bit more water or remove some of the eggs.
- Secure an airtight lid to the jar, mark the date on the lid (or a piece of tape), and store your eggs in a cool, dark place for up to 18 months.
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