Written by Bernie Carr
Egg prices are sky high due to the bird flu epidemic among other supply chain issues. This past weekend, there were no eggs at all at my local supermarket; Costco did not have them either. I had to go to two other stores to find eggs. If you come across a good price, you might as well get a couple of dozen unless there’s a limit. If you have a few dozen what’s a good egg preservative? I’ve tried a couple of methods to make eggs last longer and I will share them with you.
Test your eggs
Before preserving eggs, you’ll want to test them for freshness. To test an egg for freshness, try the float test. In case you’re wondering how this works, here’s a quick explanation. Eggs are porous. As they age, air gets into the egg through the shell. As time passes, more air enters the shell, causing the egg to become more buoyant and float.
Fill a container (preferably one you can see through) with water. Gently place the egg in the water.
If the egg sinks, it’s fresh.
If one end of the egg stays in the bottom while the other side rises at an angle, the egg is a bit older but still safe to eat. You should use the egg as soon as possible. These eggs are great for hard-boiling eggs and will peel quite easily.
If the egg floats, then it is no longer fresh-it’s an older egg. Does this mean it’s bad already? Checking with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the egg rises because there is enough air inside the egg to keep it floating. If the egg floats, crack the egg into a container and check its odor. A rotten egg will have an unpleasant smell whether it’s cooked or raw. If you are unsure, just toss it. “When in doubt, throw it out!”
Preserve Eggs with Mineral Oil
An easy way to make eggs last longer is by coating them with mineral oil. Before you buy the egg, check their expiration dates. Choose eggs with the farthest expiration date. Avoid buying eggs with any cracks. Any egg that has a crack will allow bacteria to enter and cause the egg to rot from within.
You will need:
Fresh eggs (this method is for two dozen eggs)
1/4 cup food grade mineral oil (found in the first aid /stomach reliever aisle in pharmacies and discount stores)
Microwave safe bowl
Pour the mineral oil into a bowl. Warm the mineral oil in the microwave oven for 10 seconds.
Put on your gloves.
Rub a small amount of oil all over your gloved palm.
Take one egg and rub mineral oil all over the egg, making sure to cover the entire surface of the egg.
Place the egg back in the carton with the small side facing down.
Repeat the above steps for each egg.
If you store oiled eggs in a cool, dry place such as a cupboard in an air-conditioned room, they can last up to six or seven months. They will work well for egg dishes, but may not be suitable for baking or whipped recipes since the oil may prevent the egg whites from foaming.
When stored in the refrigerator, oiled eggs can last from 9 to 12 months.
When you are ready to use them, test each egg separately for freshness before using.
I had great success when I tried preserving eggs with mineral oil.
Preserve eggs with pickle juice
Another way to extend the life of eggs is by pickling. Before refrigeration became common, eggs were available seasonally, just like fruits and vegetables. One way that farmers used to be able to make eggs last through the winter was by pickling hard-boiled eggs in a brine of vinegar, water, and spices.
Pickle Juice Eggs
An easy way to make pickled eggs is to use leftover pickle juice. Boil four or five eggs (depending on the size of your pickle jar) for 15-18 minutes. After you boil them, place them in a bowl of cold water. Once they are cooled, peel each egg carefully.
Place the cooled, boiled eggs in the pickle juice. Make sure each egg is completely covered. Place the jar in the refrigerator. After two days, test one egg to see if the flavor has permeated the egg. If not, give it a few more days for the flavor to develop. Use within one month.
Preserve eggs with salt
Salted eggs are popular in many Asian cultures; you’ll find them served in ramen, as a side dish with rice and tomatoes, or as an ingredient in moon cakes or meat buns. Though they are traditionally made with duck eggs, you can use chicken eggs. The process is very easy.
You will need:
1 cup of salt
5 cups of water
glass jar with a lid
Choose fresh eggs with no cracks. Boil the water and add the salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Wait until the water has cooled completely before using.
Carefully arrange the uncooked eggs in the glass jar. If your jar is too small then use a second jar. Pour the salted water over the eggs until they are submerged. The eggs may float as the salt adds buoyancy to the water. To make sure the eggs are completely covered, add a weight to keep the eggs below water level.
A simple way to add weight is by taking a small plastic bag and adding water. Seal the bag. Place your jar of eggs over the sink in case it overflows. Position the plastic bag with water over the eggs and seal the jar.
Leave the jar of eggs in a cool dry place for 30 days or keep the jar in the refrigerator.
After 30 days, the eggs should be ready. Boil the eggs for 15-18 minutes until they are hard-boiled. Let cool. The eggs should keep for another 30 days refrigerated. You will find the eggs already salty when you eat them.
There you have it- three ideas you can try to make eggs last longer. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, or if you have tried other methods to make eggs last longer.
If you found this article interesting or helpful, please consider helping us out (without costing you anything)! We are an affiliate of Amazon.com, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!
About the author
Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.
Excellent article. Three thumbs up on this one! I’ve used mineral oil for years to preserve eggs. If you raise chickens, you’ll get a lot of eggs in the summer but very few in the winter. Mineral oil can help level out the surges.
Hi Ron, Thanks for sharing your experience regarding using mineral oil to preserve eggs. Much appreciated!