My brother in law and his wife had only ten chickens last year – yet they seemed to be up to their ears in excess eggs. In order to make sure that all of the eggs were used before they spoiled, they wound up giving away dozens upon dozens of eggs to friends and relatives. Being in the latter category, I’m not complaining. We got free eggs all summer – but I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was.
Here they had invested in these chickens for the eggs, and they had more than they could use at the moment – but all winter, when the hens stopped laying, they’d have to buy eggs like everyone else.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way for them to keep the eggs so that they could use them year-round?
At the time, I didn’t think much more about it – until I got chickens myself.
They were slightly more work than I anticipated, and it occurred to me again that it would be a real shame to care for them all year and only be able to use the eggs in the warmer months. Fortunately, it IS possible to save your eggs – it just takes a little planning!
First of all, know that fresh eggs keep in the fridge for around 3 weeks – so if you’re big egg eaters, you might not even need to save that many of them.
If you find yourself with excess eggs (even from the grocery store), there are several options for storage.
Powdered Eggs Method
Ever had those powdered eggs? Maybe on a camping trip (or maybe in the military)?
To make a powdered egg that can be stored in airtight containers for use (no refrigeration):
- Scramble and cook the eggs you plan to store. DO NOT USE FAT – just scramble them plain.
- Spread the scramble out on a dehydrator (you may use a low oven temp to dehydrate as well).
- How long it takes to fully dehydrate them depends on how many eggs you’re making, but plan on at least overnight.
- Once they’re fully dried, grind them to powder in a food processor and store in an airtight container.
To use the powdered eggs, use 1 Tbsp of the powder with 2 Tbsp of water. This will equal 1 large egg, and can be used to substitute eggs in most recipes (although obviously not to make egg dishes like quiche).
Frozen Whole Eggs Method
Crack open as many eggs as you want to save and whisk them until they’re blended (but not whipped). Add either ½ tsp of sugar or salt per cup of raw egg (this will prevent them from becoming chewy). Freeze in ice cube trays (one cube equals one egg). Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the trays and keep them frozen in labeled plastic bags.
Egg Yolks Only Method
To freeze just the yolks, separate them from the whites and stir together the yolks. Add 2 tsp of either sugar or salt per cup (again, to prevent chewiness). Freeze in ice cube trays that are filled only 1/3 full (to equal the size of just one yolk).
Egg Whites Only Method
To freeze just the whites, simply pour them into ice cube trays. No additional ingredients or stirring is needed.
Hard Boiled Method
This one is last because, really, it’s probably just me that enjoys these things – but, well, I love pickled hard boiled eggs. You see them a lot in country stores (at least, here in Ohio). I’d never have tried one if it weren’t for a dare when I worked in a grocery store – but they’re good! The salty pickle-flavor is only in the outermost skin of the hard boiled egg, and the rest just tastes like, well, hard boiled eggs! They’re yummy – if you’re willing to give them a shot!
And there you have it – your own homegrown eggs, available all year round! I hope you give this a try, and that you’re able to get the most out of your laying hens this year. Enjoy!