We decided to stop selling our eggs this last summer – there’s not a lot of local need now from the Covid Chicken Boom – and most of our girls are old. The quality of the eggs is still excellent, but the frequency of them is declining. It’s been hot this week, and we’ve only gotten a dozen. Out of our flock of 17 hens.
I’m not begrudging them their old age- They’ve more then earned their keep over the years.
But it does mean that they’ll probably stop laying all together this winter and so to avoid buying eggs from the grocery store, we’ve been preserving our eggs raw with the help of Lime Water!
It’s an old timer trick, much like burying eggs in ash or wet sand. We don’t have either of those things ready on hand so we went with lime, which we keep on hand for pickles.
So – down to the nitty gritty – you’ll need
-food grade lime like this one
– food grade buckets like these ones
– water (I used tap water)
– a digital food scale
– 1/4 cup measuring cup
– a quart Ball jar with a lid.
– permanent marker
– a safe storage place that is cool but never freezes.
So the big deal here is to start with a good amount of fresh, unwashed eggs. You need the bloom intact in order for this to work.
Carefully place your eggs in your bucket, making sure to not crack them.
Take the food scale, put your quart jar on and zee it out.
Using your 1/4 measuring cup, spoon lime into the jar until you have 4 oz of lime inside.
Fill the jar to the quart line with water, cover tightly and shake it until throughly mixed.
To be clear- it is essentially a ratio of 1 Oz Lime: 1 Cup Water – being a little heavy on the lime is better then being light.
Now take your fully mixed lime water and pour it over the eggs that you very carefully placed in your buckets.
Repeat those last two steps until the eggs are completely immersed in lime water- for me it was between 2 and 2 & 1/2 quart jars per bucket.
Cover the bucket securely with its lid and mark with the date they were preserved and make sure to right “RAW EGGS” & “BE GENTLE” or you could end up with a mess on your hands.
I put ours on the bottom shelf of a sturdy unit and said see you later. We ended up being able to do 7 buckets of about 2 dozen + eggs each. Hopefully enough to see us thru until spring.
They say you can preserve raw eggs like this for up to two years! I don’t think we got enough to make it thru even the winter, but I’m tempted to leave a bucket unopened for 18 months- just to see.
So here are some of our 6 month old eggs.
The lime has settled to the bottom – which is completely normal and fine I read. It does seem like the lime settled onto some of the eggs too and almost bleached the shells. Just look at the center egg and the one beside it. Not all of them look like that tho. I will say, the ones with the discoloration have been fine to use from sight and smell.
The yolk is a bit soft, and the white has a tiny bit of cloudiness to it- but This to me is a win!
I’d love to hear from people that have used other methods like ash or sand if anyone has experience with any of those.
Until next time – have a wicked good day!