Fresh eggs are one of my favorite foods, and they are for most other people as well – especially for breakfast. The problem with fresh eggs, like most food products, is that they won’t last forever. So, how do you get the longest shelf life out of your eggs so there is no waste and you can build a heart store of eggs?
In this article, we’ll be discussing:
- Several methods for preserving eggs (whole eggs, egg yolks, and egg whites)
- Whether you can freeze eggs
- How to tell if your eggs are still good
But first, let’s talk a little bit about eggs in general.
How Long Do Fresh Eggs Last?
Tens of millions of fresh eggs are bought daily in the U.S. and around the world, and the majority of those chicken eggs and “farm fresh eggs” have been washed.
Properly washing eggs can be an important step as the outer shell can carry a host of unseen contamination and bacteria. However, the washing process also removes a protective layer that covers the pores in the eggshell. Once these pores are exposed, bacteria can get into the egg, which is why it is so important fresh eggs are refrigerated immediately after washing.
Keeping your eggs in a refrigerator is essential for preserving eggs that have been washed, like those bought at a store. They should remain good for about one month.
On the other hand, unwashed eggs may be dirty on the outside, but they retain the shell’s protective layer. This means unwashed eggs can remain good for several weeks without being refrigerated. Just keep in mind that unwashed eggs have the potential of contaminating various surfaces.
When you want to preserve eggs for long-term storage, there are several options to choose from. (You can also choose to preserve eggs by their parts, meaning you can preserve whole eggs or separate the egg yolks or egg whites.)
Dehydrating food is a method for preserving food that has been around for a long time, and it can be used to preserve eggs.
Dehydration exposes food to warm temperatures that are low enough to dry them out – but not warm enough to cook them. The lower the moisture content in food, the longer it will last before spoiling.
How to Dehydrate Eggs
There are two methods you can use: one involves dehydrating cooked eggs and the other involves dehydrating raw eggs.
For the cooked eggs method, make some scrambled eggs as you normally would and place the finished product into a dehydrating unit. This will take several hours to dry out.
For raw eggs, blend the desired amount of eggs as you would when making scrambled eggs. Next, pour the eggs onto a dehydrating tray and set the temperature. Dehydrating raw eggs will take significantly longer than the cooked method because there is more moisture in the eggs, and they are being heated at a much lower temperature.
Once the eggs have been dehydrated, you can choose to store them as they are or put them through a food processor, which will give you a fine egg powder. When storing eggs, this condensed egg powder will save a lot of space and won’t require any refrigeration.
For a more detailed look at dehydrating raw eggs, check out the video below by Rain Country
Freeze Dry Eggs
If you are looking for the longest shelf life possible, then look no further than freeze drying as it is the number-one food preservation method used.
Getting a freeze dryer for your home can be expensive, but if you intend on putting away a lot of food for a long time, then it is worth checking into. When you freeze dry eggs, you increase their shelf life to ten years or more.
How to Freeze Dry Eggs
You can freeze dry eggs by placing blended eggs into a freeze dryer where it is subjected to cold temperatures and low pressure, resulting in what is known as sublimation. Sublimation is the process by which a substance goes from its solid state to a gaseous state without turning into a liquid first. This is how the moisture is removed from the food and freeze-dried eggs are made.
For a more detailed look at freeze-drying eggs, check out the video below by RoseRed Homestead — That “Woman with a Gadget.”
Other Egg Preservation Methods
If you are looking for a little more flavor to your eggs (seasoning and pickling lime) and want to keep eggs without refrigeration, pickled eggs are another solution.
How to Picle Eggs
The overall process involves taking hard-boiled eggs and placing them in a container with a pickling lime solution. Pickling lime solution has been used for a long time in preserving farm-fresh eggs so that they stay good for months.
For a more detailed and traditional look at how to make pickled eggs, check out the video below by Townsends.
Water Glassing Eggs
Water-glassing eggs is another method to preserve eggs when you can’t or don’t want to use refrigeration.
The overall process involves first collecting your fresh eggs. After they have been washed, the eggs are then placed into a container and covered with a solution that contains sodium silicate. The container then has to be covered and placed in a cool location. The water glass method will keep eggs good for several months.
How to Water Glass Eggs
For a more detailed look at water-glassing eggs, check out the video below by Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara.
Freezing eggs is probably one of the easiest home solutions there is for long-term storage. All you will need is an ice cube tray or a large muffin tin and some fresh eggs.
How many eggs you choose to prepare at once is up to you, but most people use at least two eggs at a time when cooking or for baked goods, so that is a good amount to store in each batch.
How to Freeze Eggs
Take two fresh eggs and crack them into a bowl. Blend the eggs until they are thoroughly mixed and pour them into an ice cube tray or large tin. Repeat the process until you have the desired amount. Cover the trays and place them into the freezer for a few hours until they are completely frozen.
Take the frozen eggs out of the freezer, break them up into the amounts you want, and place them into a plastic freezer bag or a mylar bag. Frozen eggs can then be thawed out in a bit of warm or room-temperature water. Eggs stored in this manner should last at least one year.
For a more detailed look at how to freeze eggs, check out the video below by Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara.
How long can you store fresh eggs?
Fresh eggs that are stored at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will preserve eggs anywhere from one month to several months. The colder the temperature, the longer your fresh eggs will last. Keeping eggs at room temperature will lessen their shelf life.
Do store-bought eggs last longer than farm-fresh eggs?
Store-bought eggs have an expiration date on them that covers about one month. When properly handled, farm-fresh eggs will last much longer.
How do I know if my eggs are bad?
Always inspect your eggs before using them. Preserved eggs that have any cracked eggs in the batch should be discarded as should any cracked eggs you find in a store-bought carton.
The Float Test
Another method for checking if your eggs are still good is the float test.
Place the egg in a pot of water to see if it floats, which is an indication that air has gotten inside. Please not that this isn’t always entirely accurate.
The best way to tell if an egg has gone bad is to crack it into a bowl. After you shell eggs, if there is an odor or discoloration, then the egg should be discarded.
Are brown eggs different than white eggs?
Of course, one egg is brown and one is white! The color of the eggshell is primarily determined by the type of hen it comes from, but both are almost identical on the inside in terms of nutrients. It just so happens that egg production here in the U.S. produces more eggs that are white.
Water Glassing Eggs Farmer’s Almanac