If you raise chickens in your backyard, you’re likely to have a glut of eggs from time to time. Maybe you’ve inherited a bunch of fresh, unwashed eggs which are too much to eat before they turn bad. To save these eggs, you’ll want to learn all about storing eggs in lime water.
How to store eggs in lime water:
- Choose a food safe container.
- Make the lime water by mixing 1 oz. of pickling lime per 1 qt. of water.
- Place the lime water and the eggs into the container.
- Cap the container.
- Store the container in a cool area up to 8 months.
- Carefully remove and rinse the eggs when ready to consume them.
The rest of the article will go into more detail on the steps listed above. You’ll also learn important tips about storing the eggs in lime water which you won’t want to miss.
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How To Store Eggs In Lime Water
1. Choose a Food Safe Container.
The choice of the container is important when storing eggs in lime water. Your options include:
- A half-gallon (1.89-liter) mason jar.
- One-gallon (3.78-liter) glass jars.
- Ceramic containers.
- A food-safe plastic bucket.
You can store up to 18 eggs in a half-gallon mason jar. A good option here is the wide-mouth Ball Half Gallon Jar from Amazon. It has a tight lid and doesn’t contain bisphenol A (BPAs).
If you’re storing up to three dozen eggs, you can use this 1790 1 Gallon Glass Jar from Amazon. It’s airtight, leak-proof and toxin-free. If you have dozens of eggs to store, you can get as many of those jars as you need.
Another option is the more compact choice of using ceramic containers or food-safe plastic buckets.
For the ceramic containers, you can use the Ohio Stoneware 3 Gallon Preserving Crocks from Amazon. It’s lead-free and dishwasher safe. They can store up to 10 dozen eggs inside (depending on egg size).
2. Make The Lime Water.
To make the solution you’ll need to get a pickling lime powder. Other types of lime powder may not work. A good option here is Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime from Amazon. It’s a brand that’s around for 70 years. Their lime powder comes in a bag you can reseal.
Using lime powder to preserve eggs started centuries ago, but Frank Shutt documented this approach in 1915 1.
The ratio for the solution should be around one ounce or 28 grams (0.98 oz) of lime powder for each quart of water. A good tip is to measure out a quart of the solution for each half-gallon jar.
Adding eggs to the mix will fill up the container. After pouring the lime powder into the water, shake the jar vigorously to get a saturated milky-white solution.
You’ll find some sources with different opinions on the approach to take with your measurements. However, your focus should be to ensure you get a properly saturated mix without wasting the lime powder. The recommended measurement meets this requirement.
3. Place The Lime Water And The Eggs Into The Container.
Choose The Eggs.
Choosing the best eggs to store in the lime water will avoid ruining the solution. Only pick out fresh, clean, unwashed eggs collected from the nesting boxes within the last 24 hours. Avoid using any cracked or older eggs.
After choosing the eggs be sure not to wash them. Washing them removes the natural protection on the eggs’ pores protecting them from bacteria. The protective layer also prevents the eggs from absorbing the lime solution.
It’s important not to choose store-bought eggs for the lime water, as they are almost always already washed.
Put the Eggs in the Lime Solution.
Choose one of the containers you’ve prepared for the process (make sure it’s clean) and carefully fill it with eggs.
Try keeping the small end of the egg facing down. There is an air pocket inside each egg which is better to have on the larger end of the egg. This makes for a better quality egg.
Once filled, pour the lime water you’ve mixed in another container into the one with the eggs. Ensure the eggs are completely submerged 2. Mix some more solution if necessary until the eggs are fully covered.
4. Cap the Container and Keep It Airtight.
With the eggs fully submerged, it’s time to cover the container. The half-gallon and one-gallon jars I recommended above all come with tight-fitting lids. Others have rubber bands you can add to the tip of the jar before covering.
Use the lid and ensure the container is capped properly. Don’t shake the eggs around too much while covering the jar to avoid cracks.
If you’ve used a ceramic container, you’ll have to get creative with covering the egg mix. Those containers don’t come with ready-made covers. Therefore, most people fold a sheet of plastic over the mouth, holding it in place tightly with rubber bands.
5. Store the Container in a Cool Area Up To 8 Months.
After tightly sealing the container, move it to a cool corner within your home. The cabinets and basement are two excellent locations. However, anywhere else with temperatures not too hot or cold will work fine.
Locations where the container has to face direct or indirect sunlight, are not ideal. Avoid hot attics or an area with freezing temperatures like some garages.
How long will limed eggs last? The recommended time for storing eggs in lime water is up to eight months. Many people have success up to a year or longer but the chances of getting a bad egg are increased.
Writing the date on the container is a good idea, especially if you’re using more than one container at different times.
6. Carefully Remove and Rinse the Eggs When Ready To Consume Them.
When it’s time to use the eggs, pour out the solution gently and take out the eggs from the container. If using only a few eggs, carefully remove the eggs needed and reseal the container.
It’s a good idea to use gloves because the lime water can be irritating to the skin. Rinse them properly before cooking or cracking them to ensure the lime solution won’t get inside and change the flavor.
Cooking the egg with the lime solution is not good, and it can leave a coat on your pots and pans.
It’s a good idea to check each egg before cooking it. Make sure the egg white is clear and there is no bad smell 3. The yolk might be a little less firm than a newer egg, that’s okay.
Smoothie Tip: Adding frozen fruit, instead of ice, enhances the flavor and nutrient content. The secret to an easy smoothie with frozen items is having a blender powerful enough to handle the workload.
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In addition, try these easy to make smoothies for incredible health, rapid weight loss and energy!
Wrapping Up The Lime Water and Eggs
Some people caution against storing eggs in lime water. Unwashed eggs typically come from smaller flocks of chickens which have a much higher incidence of salmonella than larger commercial operations 6.
The risk of storing eggs for long periods of time include loss of nutrients, changes in protein functionality and a strong bitter taste. A USDA study determined refrigeration is best for safety and quality 7.
Read Next – More Food Storage Articles!
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- Google Books: Lime-water for the Preservation of Eggs
- UFDC Home: The candling and preservation of eggs
- USDA: Shell Eggs from Farm to Table
- Utah State University: Preserving Eggs for the Home
- ResearchGate: The effect of oil and lime water treatment on Haugh unit of shell quail eggs
- K-State Research and Extension: Storing Eggs Safely
- USDA: How We Store Our Eggs-and Why