Canned Eggs – The Complete Guide
If you have excess eggs that you want to store for the long term then we have just the solution for you.
What are canned eggs? Canning eggs will preserve them for a long time and in some cases, can also lend a lot of flavors to the eggs. There are several ways to preserve eggs. You can either store hardboiled eggs or preserve fresh raw eggs for up to a year or more!
There are many reasons to preserve eggs. Some do it for convenience others do it for the flavor.
Whatever the case, preserving food is an important activity for people living in harsher regions and will also surely prove to be a worthwhile skill to learn for anyone interested in getting the most out of excess ingredients.
Read below to learn more about the various ways to can eggs and how you can get the most out of them in terms of flavor and uses!
Eggs can be stored in two ways.
The first method involves hard-boiling the eggs and storing them in a strong brine to preserve them. The other method requires adding raw eggs to a mixture of Calcium Hydroxide to store them whole.
Both methods have different objectives but they are used to essentially store the eggs for the long term.
For example, storing hard-boiled eggs in brine will give them an incredible flavor and will be a very convenient way to consume cooked eggs without having to prepare or refrigerate them.
The chemical storage method is mostly used by people who live in harsher climates or for people who have excess raw eggs at hand and want to store them for a later season.
The first method is ideal for people who are looking to preserve eggs and consume them to get the most out of their flavor.
The second method is ideal when you want to keep the eggs relatively fresh and intact for long-term storage purposes.
Both methods can be used to store eggs for up to 1 year!
Additionally, there is also a third method to can eggs which involves “pressure-canning” but it isn’t suitable for eggs as that method is used for meats and low-acidic food.
Pressure-canning eggs will give them an almost burnt texture and flavor which is why you should avoid it.
The Canning Process – Hard-Boiled Eggs
Canning food is an age-old method of storing food and was once the only way to preserve food without refrigeration. Of course, now it is mostly done to add a bit of flavor to food or to naturally preserve it for later use.
The process of canning eggs requires a few important steps. Please note that this method requires pickling the eggs which will both preserve them and provide a great-tasting brine too. We’ll discuss a non-pickling method below too.
Preparing The Bottles
Canning requires a lot of attention. The goal here is to preserve the food without exposing it to microbes or harmful bacteria that may contaminate the brine solution. The best way to go about this is to first buy canning bottles.
These picking bottles can be bought online or from any local store. You should ideally want to get a glass jar with a lid and a twist cap. These bottles are specially designed to create a vacuum seal and will provide the best results.
Begin by first cleaning the bottles with soapy water. Then, fill a large pot with water and completely submerge the glass jars in the pot. Do not overcrowd the pot, just fit in as many as you comfortably can.
Next, turn the heat on high and let the water reach a rolling boil. Leave the bottles in for about 5 minutes and turn the heat off. Repeat this process for the lids and the twist caps in a different pot at the same time.
This process will kill off any bacteria on or inside the bottle and will keep the brine safe for long-term storage.
Preparing The Eggs
Now that the bottles are ready and still submerged in hot water, prepare the eggs in either an instant pot or you can hard-boil the eggs any way you like.
The eggs should be completely cooked for this method. Once cooked, carefully peel and remove the shells.
You want the eggs to be fully intact. Any egg that has a cracked exterior (egg white) or a visible egg yolk should be discarded or eaten right away as it won’t be suitable for preservation.
Using a non-uniform egg may cause the brine to become cloudy or the egg yolk to deteriorate in the brine.
Preparing The Brine
This part is where you can get creative! We recommend going with a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar.
You can use any type of vinegar for this method which means that you can also use apple cider vinegar if you want a different and stronger flavor.
The ratio of water and vinegar is 1:1 meaning that every 1 cup of vinegar will require 1 cup of water.
The quantity of the brine depends on how many eggs you want to store but you can also use the bottles to figure out how much brine you will need.
So, if you get two 500ml bottles then you would require about a liter of brine in total to fill up the bottles. You can also probably fit in about 5-6 medium sized-eggs in the bottles with the brine.
Remember, you can always get more bottles to use up all the brine!
To make the brine you will need:
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt (non-iodized – always use canning salt)
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 tbsp coriander
- Other spices of your choice as needed.
Add everything to a pot and heat it at medium heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved completely.
This is also the part where you can add vegetables or other spices to the bottles. We recommend that you not cook the veggies with the brine so that they retain their crunch.
Of course, you can go with the basic method and not use any veggies to can the eggs but we think that adding a bit of flavor to the eggs will make this activity extremely worthwhile.
For example, you can make another great-tasting brine by submerging the eggs in a vinegar solution with large slices of jalapenos, peppercorns, carrots, garlic, onions, and coriander seeds.
This will give the eggs a bright, delicious, and spicy flavor and you can also have the veggies separately too!
Fill the bottle with as many hard-boiled eggs as you can comfortably fit with the veggies. Don’t overcrowd or force the eggs into the bottle—you need the exterior to remain intact.
Next, pour in the hot brine until everything is submerged and carefully give the bottle a light tap to release any air bubbles. Put the lid on the top and secure it with the twist cap.
Water Bathing The Brine
You are almost there!
This step will vacuum seal the bottles and will also kill any bacteria that may have gotten on the bottles during the above steps.
Again, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the filled brine bottles to the pot, making sure that they are completely submerged.
Let them boil for about 15-20 minutes. This step is extremely important so you can’t skip it! Once the bottles have been processed, simply take them out using bottle tongs and place them on the counter to cool down.
You can check if the bottle is airtight by opening the twist cap and lifting the bottle with just the lid, the bottles should lift easily without opening.
Another way to confirm a tight seal is to press the middle of the lid to see if the lid depresses or creates an indent.
The pressure inside should not allow the lid to either depress or create an indent.
Finally, store the bottles in a cool dry place, away from sunlight. The brine will take about 3-4 weeks to work its magic and the eggs will remain edible for up to a year or more depending on storage conditions.
The eggs will retain their texture and will develop an extremely delicious flavor over time. The color should remain the same (white) and the eggs should taste fresh once out of the brine.
You can also refrigerate a bottle before consuming it for an even better experience.
Please consume the eggs within 2-3 days once opened and store in the fridge at 40°F.
Storing Raw Eggs
We have already discussed how to store eggs using the brining method which is best for hardboiled eggs. But is there a way to can fresh raw eggs so that they last longer?
Yes! The method below will help you preserve the eggs for up to a year – and while the eggs may lose a bit of their texture with this method, they will remain completely edible and flavorful—just like fresh eggs.
Here is what you will need to store raw eggs:
- Calcium hydroxide or pickling lime
- A large airtight plastic or glass container
Before we begin, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always use fresh, non-fertilized, room temperature eggs for preservation.
- You mustn’t use any reactive material which is why we highly recommend that you use either glass or plastic to can the eggs.
- The eggs must not be cleaned as that will remove their natural protective coating and may cause “micro-cracks” on the surface. Just try to pick the cleanest eggs from the batch.
- The eggs must remain fully submerged in the solution for the entirety of the storage.
- Inspect the eggs before adding them to the pickling lime solution. Damage (cracks) to the eggs may ruin the entire batch.
Begin by measuring the pickling lime and water in a large container.
For every 2 tablespoons of pickling lime, you will need about 4 cups (1 liter) of water.
For this solution, we recommend going with 4 tablespoons of lime and about 8 cups (2 liters) of water to fully submerge all the eggs.
Don’t add too many eggs at a time as the weight of the eggs above may cause the eggs at the bottom to crack, which may cause a lot of problems.
Instead, you can store a small batch of eggs by placing them in different jars. Each jar should contain up to 6-8 eggs depending on the size of the jar.
Once the eggs are fully submerged in the lime mixture, close the lid and place the containers in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. These eggs can be stored for about a year or more.
When you open the jar after the intended time, make sure that the solution is entirely clear or as you first left it—without any smell or discoloration.
Canned eggs will have a slightly runny texture but will taste and cook exactly like fresh eggs. Some might be able to notice a very small difference in the flavor of the eggs but all in all the difference will be very negligible.
You can use canned raw eggs for any recipe and they can easily replace fresh eggs without making much of a difference too.
We have discussed how to properly can eggs and the various methods that you can use to get the most out of cooked and uncooked eggs. Here are a few related questions that you may have after going through our guide!
How to tell if the eggs have gone bad?
The best way to tell if the eggs have gone bad is by looking for signs of molding. Eggs that are improperly canned will go bad in about a month or sooner depending on ambient conditions.
If you see any fuzz, mold, or dark discoloration in the containers, it would indicate that the entire batch has gone bad.
You can also smell the containers for any changes. Typically, pickled eggs will have a strong pickle-like aroma but will not have any foul odor.
A foul odor may indicate that the eggs have gone bad and you may have to discard the entire container.
For the lime-solution raw eggs, you can use the same visual cues and smell the container for any changes. Crack open a few eggs and inspect each for any discoloration or foul odor.
The stored eggs should appear just like fresh eggs but with a runnier or “looser” consistency—which is normal.
Can you store eggs for 3-4 years?
Properly canned eggs can last a bit more than a year but you should ideally aim to consume the eggs within 12 months of storing them.