Preserving Eggs

Preserving Eggs

Preserving Eggs

Please note the disclaimer at the end of this article on preserving eggs which is an extract from 200 Eggs a Year Per Hen.

There is always a time in spring when eggs are very cheap. The poultryman can add to his profits and at the same time relieve the congestion in the market by improving this opportunity to lay down a supply of eggs for home consumption for the year to come.

I do not believe in selling these preserved eggs for fresh eggs, but there is no reason why the poultryman should not use them in his own family. Neither is there any objection to selling them in the fall, provided they are sold for just what they are preserved eggs and not fresh eggs.

I know a man who every spring when eggs are cheap lays down 400 dozen, and then about Thanksgiving sells them for a little less per dozen than is asked for the best fresh eggs, clearing up about $60 by the deal. A profit of 150 per cent, in six months leaves Wall Street out of sight. There are two absolutely sure methods of keeping eggs, both of which I print.

These methods are the soluble glass and the lime water methods. Of the two I prefer the soluble glass, as cleaner and more convenient. Bear in mind, however, that no method under the sun will keep eggs fresh which are not fresh when
laid down!


Slack four pounds lime, and then add four pounds salt, stirring well together. Add eight gallons water. Stir and leave to settle.

The next day stir again. After the mixture has settled the second time draw off or carefully dip out the clear liquid.

Take two ounces each of baking soda, cream of tartar, saltpetre, and a little alum. Pulverize and mix, and dissolve in two quarts boiling water. Add this to the lime water.

Put the eggs in a stone jar, small end down, one layer on top of another, and pour on the solution. Set the jar away in a cool place.

This process has been secret in the past, and the recipe has been widely sold for $5. The method is quite satisfactory, although not so good as the method of preserving in soluble glass, as the eggs are liable to have a somewhat limy taste.


Soluble glass, or sodium silicate, is a liquid of a rather smooth, slippery consistency, readily soluble in water. It is used by physicians for coating bandages, where it is desired to protect the injured part from the air, and may be obtained through any druggist at a cost of about 75 cents a gallon.

For preserving eggs use one quart soluble glass to about 10 quarts pure water.

Put the eggs in a stone jar, small end down, one layer on top of another until the jar is filled, then pour on the solution.

If the specific gravity of the solution is greater than that of the eggs, as is sometimes the case, add water until the eggs will just sink.


The West Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station has been studying methods of preserving eggs, and finds that the treatment with salicylic acid followed by cold storage is quite efficacious. The station does not claim that the method has passed the experimental stage, and does not advise anyone to use it except in an experimental way.

It is worth trying, and is as follows:

“Submerge the fresh eggs for five or ten minutes in a solution of one ounce of salicylic acid in one quart of strong alcohol, and immediately on removing the eggs from the solution, and while they are still wet, wrap them in sterilized cotton and store in a box or barrel in a dry room, the temperature of which does not go above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.”


There are many, however, who desire a simpler method than any of these described, and to such I would recommend either wood ashes or salt. Wood ashes are excellent.

Experiments conducted by the National Agricultural School in Germany shows that eggs may be kept a year packed in wood ashes, with a loss of only 20 per cent. Wood ashes are cleanly, convenient and always at hand.

Salt also is good. Use a grade of salt a little coarser than table salt what is called coarse-fine salt.

Pack the eggs in a stone jar. Put in first a layer of salt, then a layer of eggs, and so on until the jar is filled. Stand the eggs upon the small ends, and do not let them touch. Cover them completely with salt. Set the jar in a cool place.

I have known eggs packed in this way to keep a year, and to be as good at the end of that time for cooking as if laid but a few days before.

Important Disclaimer

This article is an extract from 200 Eggs Per Year, Per Hen: How to Get Them written in 1899. The recipes and methods suggested have not been tested or tried by The Poultry Pages and some may possibly have potential health risks. A modern article on the subject can be found here: How to Store Eggs

Also in 200 Eggs a Year, Per Hen: How to Get Them

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