Do you have a generous neighbor who is offering up a lot of eggs, or selling them? Maybe you recently built your own chicken coop and find you have an abundance of eggs on hand, but don’t know what to do with them all. Maybe an abundance now, but eggs tend not to be as plentiful, as well as more expensive in the winter time. So, why not preserve what you cannot use at this time?
Eggs in general don’t spoil terribly quickly. But, the fresher the egg, the better they are for flavor, as well as optimum results for your cooking and baking needs.
So, how do you preserve the unexpected abundance of eggs you now have on hand? Fortunately, it’s quite easy! Using waterglass, otherwise known as sodium silicate, can help you store farm-fresh eggs and keep their freshness for months.
It was once thought that you cannot preserve store-bought eggs, especially the ones that have been bleached, which by the way, is the majority of them found in the stores. While it’s true that you won’t have the results you will have with eggs fresh out of your coop, it still can be done.
Why Do Eggs Need to Be Preserved for Long-term Storage?
Air enters the porous shell of the egg, leading to the egg eventually spoiling. With a fresh egg, one that is 24 hours old or younger, the inner shell is coated with a clear fluid, which prevents air from getting through.
The egg shell starts to dry out as it ages, which leads to it being more porous and allowing air to seep in eventually. Waterglass makes an airtight barrier on the outside of the shell. So, air will not be able to get in, and the egg will stay fresh.
The Fresher, the Better
When preserving eggs, make sure they are as fresh as possible, and have not been refrigerated.
Here is a simple guide to deciding how old your eggs might be, and how well they can be preserved:
- 24 hours old, or less, is best
- 2-3 days old – the eggs will most likely have a lumpy outer shell, and will be opaque
- 5-6 days old – the shell will start to develop slight and tiny gray spots, which are easy to see when holding the egg up to a light.
Grocery store eggs are not the best option, because they are often at least 3-4 days old before they even reach the store. They have also been refrigerated, which can reduce their freshness.
What Is Waterglass?
Waterglass, which can also be listed as “water glass” or “water-glass”, is a sodium silicate solution. It comes in the form of powder, solid, or liquid, and can be found online or in some specialty shops.
It has multiple uses other than preserving eggs, such as a sealant or glue for ceramics.
When preserving eggs, waterglass helps to seal the pores of the egg shells. This prevents air from seeping in and spoiling the eggs sooner.
The Process of Preserving Your Eggs with Waterglass
I feel like I should repeat that it’s best to use the freshest eggs possible.
Eggs that are 24 hours old or less are your best option. There is no need to wash them.
In fact, it’s recommended that you don’t. You can wipe them clean with a cloth to remove debris or dirt. But, save the washing for when you take them out to use someday.
- Mix 11 parts water to 1 part waterglass.
- Place your eggs, small end down if possible, into an earthenware crock.
- Pour the waterglass solution over the eggs.
- Make sure the eggs are covered with at least 2 inches of the solution covering them all.
- Place the lid on.
- Store in a cool and dark place.
- You can wash the eggs once you are ready to use them.
Related: How To Pickle Eggs
There is no definitive shelf-life duration. Some people will say that the eggs will last indefinitely, while others use this method to get them through the winter months. If you have the room, patience, and desire to find out, make a small crock with a couple eggs and let them sit for a couple years. If the eggs are still fresh at that point, “indefinitely” might not be too far fetched.
Be careful not to spill any of the waterglass, or the solution, onto surfaces that you don’t want to ruin. It’s a glue that you will not be able to remove after it dries on a surface. Also, be very careful when working with the waterglass, because sodium silicate is an alkaline product. So, avoid any contact with the skin and eyes by wearing gloves and safety goggles.
So, as you can see, it’s a very easy process to preserve your fresh eggs. You will be able to enjoy fresh eggs all year round!
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