Friday, June 26, 2015

How to Store Eggs With Mineral Oil...

When you are homesteading you have to plan ahead. If you can't get to the store because of inclemate weather or if your chickens are slowing down on their laying here is a way to store up those eggs during the high production season for use later by learning how to store eggs long term with mineral oil. 
The eggs I use most often are store bought (until I get chickens). Occasionally I get a dozen fresh eggs from a friend. Which I store in the same manner.
When you are working with fresh eggs; you want to wipe off the "schmutz", but don't wash the "bloom" off. This bloom actually provides a natural barrier for the egg. With fresh eggs, you are able to wipe them off and they will keep for days without refrigeration. Wash them when you use them.

How to Store Eggs with Mineral Oil:
1. Check your eggs against light for cracks and just use those first, don't store.

2. Take the eggs out of the little cups in the carton. Trust me you will appreciate that later. Otherwise things get a little slippery and it's harder to grasp them.

3. Warm up a little mineral oil. I do about a tablespoon for 18 eggs. The bottle will last for years.

Several people have asked about using other food grade oils.
Sadly, other oils will eventually go rancid. (* see note at the end about the new method I am trying)

4. Slather them with a little mineral oil.

5. Place them small tip down in the carton.

6. I found one with a slight crack & set it aside.

7. Afterwards I date the box with the month/year. If stored properly in a cool, dry, dark location the eggs should last about 9 months. I write 9 months, just in case I forget. Then put the carton away.
8. Once a month I turn the eggs over (flip upside down) to keep the yolks from settling.

I first started storing eggs this way in October 2012 and was still using the eggs one year later (1013) this is after being stored in my fridge. Here they are in my fridge.
This is a process for long term storage of eggs on the shelf up to nine months. As with any long term storage, the shelf life is dependent on keeping things in a dark, dry, cool location. The cooler the location, the longer it lasts.  I haven't actually kept them on a shelf yet. I choose to keep them in the fridge, since I have the space. BUT, if we lose power (short term or permanently), I have eggs stored for many meals.

* NOTE: I am now in the process of trying to use coconut oil for storing my eggs. At this point it is working well.


UPDATE: In April 2013, I had a carton of eggs that I hadn't prepared with mineral oil. So I decided to compare some prepared stored eggs with ones not prepared. 
These are the dates from the cartons on the eggs.
The one on the left has been stored slathered with mineral oil, which extends the life of the eggs. See how round and firm the yolk is? The left one is 6 months old and still tasted delish...
The one the right, while still edible after about 6 weeks in the fridge, just wasn't as fresh looking.

When you are testing freshness of your eggs there is always the float test. Place the egg in a bowl of water, if it sinks it is really fresh. If the egg is still on the bottom, but is starting to stand up it is still good to use. If the egg floats to the not use it, it isn't fresh.
But, the best test I have found is simply sniffing the egg as you open it. There will be no doubt if your egg isn't fresh. 

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