If you keep your own flock then you’ll know that sometimes you end up with far too many eggs, whilst other times you may see none for weeks. Eggs with their bloom intact will keep on the kitchen side for 3 weeks or in a fridge for 6 weeks, but sometimes you will want to think about longer term storage for when the supply is short.
The past few months we have been completely swamped with eggs. Often 4 a day and with the hot weather I haven’t fancied baking, which is one of the main ways we use our eggs up.
I’ve spent a little time each week storing away the surplus for the inevitable lack of eggs come Winter. Usually we drop down to maybe an egg a day come Winter, sometimes none for weeks, as the chickens take their well-earned break.
How We are Storing Eggs for the Winter
The simplest way to store eggs is to freeze them. I do this more often than not as it only takes a few minutes time and I know it works. The way I do this is quite simple. I have silicone large ice cube trays and each section/cube takes around 2 medium eggs.
I whisk the two eggs together and add either a pinch of salt or a pinch of sugar – by whisking and adding the salt or sugar it keeps the consistency of the eggs right when defrosted. Then I use the eggs with a pinch of salt in savoury dishes and the pinch of sugar for sweet – although the pinch of salt is so tiny they are usually fine for sweet baking too.
Once in the trays I freeze them and once fully frozen pop them out, put them in a tub or bag, and label whether frozen with salt or sugar. These frozen eggs are perfect for baking and scrambled eggs.
You can also freeze eggs separated as yolks and whites. Again I use silicone ice cube trays for this and freeze as two whites per portion or two yolks. These do not need a pinch of salt or sugar before freezing. These are also best used for scrambled eggs and baking, but can also be used in recipes where you only need the white or yolk too.
Freezing Eggs Whole
I’ve seen a few duck and goose keepers freeze their eggs whole in the shell. This doesn’t work with chicken eggs, but duck and goose eggs have a far more robust shell. When freezing this way the egg can be used in any way a fresh egg would be used once they are defrosted. At the moment we don’t keep ducks so I can’t try this for myself, but if you do please let me know how it goes!
Keeping Eggs in Lime Water
As you may want another method of preservation that keeps the eggs intact, you can try liming the eggs. You use a solution of 30g of pickling lime to 1l of water and store in an airtight vessel – large glass jars being the most common. The eggs must be fresh and clean with the bloom intact to be stored this way.
It is worth while watching a few YouTube videos of this method before jumping in. I’m planning on liming some eggs before our flock slows down this Autumn and will get our own video guide out for this soon as well.
This final method is one I’m just starting to dabble with. A salted egg has a wonderful “umami” flavour to it and can be used in the same way as parmesan cheese – grated over a nice spag bol for example.
You separate the whites and the yolks – I’ve been freezing up the whites. Then, pour about 1 inch of finely ground salt in the bottom of a container. Add your intact egg yolks, leaving a finger width gap between each one, and then gently cover with salt. You then want to keep the eggs cool, I cure them in our fridge, for a week.
After a week you will want to dry out the egg yolks. You pull each egg yolk out from the salt and dust off the excess salt. Then you wrap the eggs in a clean cheesecloth (with a twist or twine between each yolk). Once wrapped they need to be kept in a cool dry place for 7-10 days – this can be back in the fridge or a cool cupboard. Once cured the eggs will be firm, but not tough. It is worth just doing a couple the first time you salt cure to make sure you enjoy the flavour.