I did a post previously on freezing eggs. But what if you don’t have freezer space, or if your power goes out? Or a myriad of other reasons not to freeze your eggs? Easy peasy! Water glass them!
Water glassing eggs has been done since pioneer days. It’s easy, inexpensive, fast and your eggs can keep up to 2 years if you do it correctly. I don’t need that long – I just want to get through the winter till my flock’s egg production increases in the spring!
Here’s a quick video showing you how simple it is to water glass eggs!
You need one ounce of pickling lime by weight to each quart of spring or distilled warmed water.
Your eggs must be fresh and unwashed (but clean!). This is because you want to preserve the “bloom” that covers the egg when it is laid by a chicken.
What is the bloom you ask? The bloom is a covering on the egg that happens during last part of the shell formation. It is added during the last 90 minutes before the hen lays her egg. Sometimes it is called the cuticle but everyone I know calls it the “bloom”.
So…what the heck is it? It is a layer of protein that covers the egg. While the shell is there to protect the embryo, the shell also contains thousands of pores which allow for the exchange of gasses while the embryo develops.
The bloom covers the egg and blocks those pores. It’s a great design (by our Father!) to protect the egg because it passes through the cloaca of the hen when she lays it. The cloaca is also the exit point for chicken poop! So without the bloom, bacteria could get on the egg and because of the pores in the shell, it could potentially enter into the egg! Aren’t you glad chickens add that bloom? It protects not just us who love to eat eggs but also protects the embryo/chick from bacterial contamination.
Another benefit of the bloom is that eggs will last at room temp much longer than if you wash your eggs! Camping? Take unwashed eggs and don’t worry about refrigeration!
When you start to use your water glassed eggs, remove what you need at the moment, rinse well and cook like any other egg. If you are going to cook them in the shell, be sure to prick a hole in the shell or you’ll have eggs that explode and redecorate your kitchen…ack!
I now have two large glass containers filled with enough eggs to supplement through the winter until our flock begins the prolific spring laying again!
Have you ever water glassed eggs before? Questions? Leave them in the comments below!