Canning eggs at home is not advised but pickling or freezing them are excellent ways to preserve them. To make pickled eggs, start by placing hard-cooked eggs in Mason jars. Pour hot pickling liquid over the eggs and store the covered jars in the refrigerator.
Can You Can Eggs for Long-Term Storage?
No, you cannot can eggs in a boiling water bath canner or pressure canner. Temperature and time are critical during the canning process to destroy potentially harmful bacteria, and using a tested recipe is important.
Currently, there are no safe recipes for canning eggs for long-term storage, and there’s no research available to support the idea that canning eggs will prolong their shelf life.
Is it Safe to Can Eggs?
No – canning eggs is never safe. Even home-canning pickled eggs is unsafe.
Some home canners pickle eggs and load them into closed glass jars or canning jars, believing they are canning pickled eggs and making them safe for room-temperature storage. Unfortunately, this method is not safe and can lead to botulism poisoning.
If you want to preserve eggs and enjoy pickled eggs, you should pickle eggs by following proper food safety and sanitation practices during the pickling process and storing the pickled eggs in your refrigerator.
What is the Best Way to Preserve Eggs?
Pickling is the most widely recommended preservation method. According to the University of Nebraska, the best way to pickle eggs is to use hard-boiled eggs and then soak them in a mixture of vinegar, spices, salt, and sugar.
The pickling solution is heated, simmered for five minutes, and used to cover the peeled eggs. A boiling solution is preferred over room-temperature liquids because it helps make the egg whites more tender.
How to Pickle Eggs at Home
To pickle eggs at home for long-term storage, follow a pickled egg recipe that contains pickling or canning salt and 5 percent vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar will help prevent bacterial growth and extend the shelf life of the eggs.
Choose small, fresh eggs so the boiling solution can more easily penetrate the eggs. The eggs should have clean shells and ideally be only a few days old. Before pickling the eggs, the eggs need to be hard-boiled. If you live at an elevation above 10,000ft, follow these instructions to hard-boil eggs.
Once you have cooled and peeled the freshly hard-boiled eggs, follow these steps to make pickled eggs:
- Start by placing cooled, hard-cooked eggs in a wide-mouth quart jar or quart-sized Mason jar.
- Combine the desired liquid ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, beet juice, pickle juice, or hot water, in a small saucepan and warm gently.
- Add salt and sugar to create the pickling brine and stir them until fully dissolved in the hot liquid before removing the pan from the heat.
- Add desired dried herbs and spices in equal amounts to the Mason jars, and then cover the eggs with the warm brine.
- Close the canning jars with tight-fitting lids.
- Let the egg jars cool for 15 minutes, then transfer and store them in the refrigerator.
- Give the egg jars a shake every day for the first few days to ensure the brine covers all of the eggs.
- Allow the eggs to sit in the brine for 3-4 weeks before enjoying them, and use them within three months.
What Can be Added to a Pickled Egg Brine for Flavor?
Once you have prepared your pickled egg brine, you can add spices depending on your tastes and preferences. This is your chance to get creative and elevate your pickled eggs from ordinary to extraordinary!
One idea is to use red beet juice instead of cold water in your pickled egg recipe to add color and flavor that’s perfect for the vinegar brine. Pickled beets may also be added to the pickled eggs for extra color and flavor!
Adding turmeric will make bright-yellow pickled eggs. Many pickle recipes also include pickling spices made up of bay leaves, coriander, allspice, and mustard seeds. These are all great options for your pickled eggs.
How to Freeze Raw Eggs to Preserve Them
Another recommended way to preserve eggs at home is to freeze them. Frozen eggs can last up to a year. The USDA advises against freezing eggs in their shells because they can crack and cause bacterial contamination and spoilage. The eggshell may also crack, causing the shell pieces to mix with the eggs. However, you can freeze farm-fresh eggs with the egg shells removed.
How to Freeze Whole Eggs
- Separate the eggs from the eggshells and discard the shells.
- Whisk the whole eggs in a mixing bowl until they are well blended.
- Pour the eggs into an airtight freezer container and use a tight-fitting lid to cover them.
- Label the freezer container with the date and number of eggs.
- Freeze the raw eggs for up to four months.
How to Freeze Egg Yolks
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, ensuring only egg yolks are present in the mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg yolks to ensure a smooth, uniform mixture.
- Stir in 1½ teaspoons of sugar or ⅛ teaspoons of salt per ¼ cup egg yolks.
- Transfer the mixture to a freezer container and use a tight-fitting lid to cover them.
- Label the freezer container with the date and number of egg yolks.
- Freeze the egg yolks for up to four months.
How to Freeze Egg Whites
- Crack each egg and separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
- Briefly whisk the egg whites to combine, ensuring you don’t overmix them.
- Transfer the egg whites to a freezer container and use a tight-fitting lid to cover them.
- Label the freezer container with the date and number of egg whites.
- Freeze the egg whites for up to four months.
Freezing Whole Hard-Boiled Eggs
Freezing whole hard-boiled eggs is not recommended, as they can become watery or tough once thawed. You can freeze hard-boiled large egg yolks (if separated from the egg whites) and use them as garnishes or toppings for dishes such as egg salad.
- Peel the eggshells from the hard-boiled eggs.
- Remove the inner egg yolk from each of the hard-boiled eggs.
- Place the yolks into a freezing container and use a tight-fitting lid to cover them.
- Label the container with the date and number of hard-boiled egg yolks.
- Freeze the egg yolks for up to four months.
How Do You Can Eggs in a Pressure Canner?
Pressure canning eggs is not advised because eggs are too sensitive to be pressure canned. The temperature of a pressure canner is too high and would result in an unpalatable product not being fit for consumption. The best preservation methods for eggs are pickling and freezing raw eggs.
Should You Water Bath or Pressure Can Eggs?
It is not safe to pressure can eggs or water bath can them. The heat from a water bath canner cannot penetrate all the way through an egg, and a pressure canner’s high temperature would destroy the taste and texture of the eggs.
How Long Do Pickled Eggs Last?
The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends storing pickled eggs for a maximum of 3 months. Pickled eggs should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. For the pickled eggs to be well-seasoned and take on the flavors of the pickling spices, it is best to wait 3-4 weeks to consume them, which gives pickled eggs a “useful life” of 2 months.