6 Ways to Preserve Eggs

If you have chickens, you probably have an overabundance of eggs in spring. Here are 6 ways to preserve a surplus of fresh eggs.

Can eggs be preserved for later use?

Spring on a homestead means an overabundance of eggs.

While my two-year-old hens took a break over the winter, the six young Rhode Island red pullets began laying in the fall and continued to supply us with eggs all winter long. As soon as the days began to lengthen in spring, the older gals also resumed laying and soon we were overrun with eggs. I mean, the 8-12 eggs-per-day kind of overrun. For two people.

And while I use a lot of eggs during the spring, I still have more than several dozen eggs in the refrigerator. Lots more.

Can eggs be preserved? Yes, they can! Let's explore several ways you can "put eggs by" to use later.

But first, cook and bake with abandon, without worrying about how many eggs a dish requires. You can find more than 13 delicious ways to use extra eggs in this list of egg-heavy dishes.

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How to know if your eggs are fresh

Before trying any of these methods of preserving eggs, do the "float test" to weed out the too-old eggs. Put eggs one at a time in a deep pan of water. If an egg lays on the bottom of the pan it is a good, fresh egg. If one end stands up in the water but the other end is still on the bottom of the pan, it's a good egg, though not as fresh.

If the egg floats on top of the water, get rid of it - very carefully!


Eggs are laid with a natural coating on them which is called "bloom." The bloom seals the shells and keeps bacteria from entering the eggshell through the pores. As long as you don't wash the bloom off the eggs, they will keep quite well in the refrigerator.

Is it necessary to keep eggs in the refrigerator? Actually, no. You can keep them on the kitchen counter as long as you don't wash them. They don't last as long on the counter as in the refrigerator, so plan to use these eggs first, before the ones in the fridge.

Of course, if an egg has a crack it should be discarded whether you keep them in the refrigerator or on the counter; cracks allow bacteria to enter the egg.

By the way, the eggs that you buy at the grocery store are already at least 4-6 weeks old. We all know from experience that store-bought eggs will keep quite awhile in our home refrigerator, so you can safely add at least 4 weeks to the length of time you can refrigerate fresh eggs.

6 ways to preserve eggs

Pickled eggs

Making pickled eggs was the first way to preserve eggs that I researched. I didn't find much information at the time, but pickling eggs has become a more popular topic lately.

Because jars of pickled eggs take up so much space in the refrigerator - more than if the eggs are in cartons, even - I decided not to use this as a method to preserve eggs.

I do make an occasional batch of pickled eggs though, because they are a delicious treat. I use these directions to pickle eggs from Healing Harvest Homestead.

I've read that you can pressure-can pickled eggs, but I have never done so.

Dehydrated eggs

I've been told repeatedly that it's not safe to dehydrate eggs at home - that the eggs don't get hot enough to kill any bacteria. Raw eggs are famous as a source of salmonella poisoning.

In spite of this notoriety I do eat raw cookie dough. Don't judge me.

So I tried dehydrating eggs anyway, whisking up half a dozen fresh eggs and spreading them on the plastic dehydrator sheet that's meant to be used for making fruit roll-ups.

It took a really long time to dry the eggs, and they were greasy when they were "done" so I wasn't entirely sure that they were dry enough to store. They didn't look terribly appealing either. Honestly, I couldn't make myself eat them.

If you're interested in dehydrating eggs and want to give it a try, here are directions to dehydrate eggs from Little House Living.

6 ways to preserve eggs

How to freeze eggs

Eggs can be frozen. And while the freezer isn't my first choice for keeping anything (every winter some town in Oklahoma is without power for days or even weeks, it seems, from an ice storm or blizzard or some other disaster), some things are best kept there.

I used to use ice cube trays for this but one egg takes more than one "cube" of space. That made figuring out how many cubes I'd need for a recipe calling for three eggs a bit of a guess.

So I began using my silicon cupcake liners, set inside a cupcake baking pan so they would hold their shape better. This is a much better method. And even better is using a one-piece silicon baking mold.

You have the choice of freezing the eggs well-beaten or simply cracking an egg into the cavity and freezing it unbeaten (less labor!). The choice is up to you; they seem to do well either way.

Simply set the full silicon baking molds or ice cube tray in the freezer until the eggs are frozen. Then pop the frozen eggs out of the molds and put them in a zippered bag, and put the bag back in the freezer to store.   

Frozen eggs can be kept for approximately one year.

Can you freeze eggs? The answer is yes, you can! You'll find the directions plus 5 other ways to preserve eggs in this post.

When ready to use them, let the frozen egg thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then add to your recipe, or make an omelet or scrambled eggs.

Another way to freeze eggs

A friend of mine freezes eggs whole in the shell. She places washed eggs in zip-top bags and puts them right in the freezer.

When she needs an egg or two, she removes them from the freezer, runs them under warm water, removes the shells and places the eggs in a bowl to thaw. She says it usually takes 15-30 minutes to thaw on the counter, or a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

I thought I'd give it a try. I was convinced that the eggs would crack in the freezer, make a mess and be unusable, but I could spare a few considering I was overrun with eggs. So I washed half a dozen eggs and put them in the freezer in a zip-top bag, labeled with the date.

6 ways to preserve a surplus of homestead eggs

The next day I checked them out. Yes, they had cracked, but evidently the egg inside was already frozen when that happened so there was no mess.

It was easy to peel the shell from one of the eggs after letting hot tap water run over it for a few minutes. (It's a strange feeling to hold a shell-less, raw egg in your hand, still holding its frozen whole-egg shape.)

I put the egg in a bowl and stuck it in the refrigerator to thaw completely. By the next morning it was thawed and ready to use. The yolk stood tall just like a fresh egg should.

If you have room in your freezer, this is a viable method of preserving eggs. It's definitely the quickest and simplest way to freeze eggs.

6 ways to preserve an overabundance of eggs

Coating eggs with oil

This quick, easy and simple method has become my go-to way to keep eggs fresh longer in the refrigerator. Of course, you're still limited by the amount of space you have in the fridge.

While most directions I've found suggest using mineral oil, I use cooking oil - which in my house means olive oil.

Pour a small amount of oil in your hand and roll a washed, dry egg around until it's completely coated with the oil. Set the egg on a kitchen towel while you coat the rest of the day's eggs - don't set them back in an egg carton yet, as the oil will make them stick to the carton.

Then "polish" the eggs with another clean towel to remove excess oil. The oil seals the pores and keeps air and bacteria from penetrating the shells, keeping the eggs fresh longer. Store them in cartons in the refrigerator.

These eggs last a good number of months in the refrigerator. Since I use eggs sparingly during the winter, I usually have enough to get us through till spring.

If you're interested in having chickens in your backyard so you'll have a surplus of eggs, check out all of my chicken-keeping posts here.

This post, including the images below, contain affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure page.

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Spring often brings an overabundance of eggs on a homestead. Here are six ways to preserve eggs to use later.

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  1. Love the ice cube egg idea... now to find an ice cube tray that truly is "egg size"! Thanks Kathi!

    1. Let me know if you find one!

    2. I found some trays that are made to freeze baby food. They are larger than regular ice cube trays. It will fit my medium eggs. Not my large ones.

    3. Thank you, Victoria! I'll see if I can find some!

  2. I've never heard of using oil before. Interesting! I'd really like to try the "water glass" method, since it doesn't require a refrigerator, but, we'll see. It's sold as a "concrete sealer" but is a chemical called sodium silicate.


    1. Thank you for the info on that, Danielle. I had no luck finding "water glass" when I was looking!

  3. Thanks for the tips, Kathi! Hopefully I will have a surplus of eggs again someday. :)

  4. We don't wash our eggs because of the bloom. You don't have to store them in the refrigerator. In Europe you will not find eggs refrigerated. They don't wash the bloom off. Found you on Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

    1. I don't wash most of our eggs, but when I'm so inundated with them I do want to preserve them in some way, and that means washing, oiling, and refrigerating. :-)

    2. Diane9:05 AM

      Do you wash before oiling?

    3. Diane, if the eggs are clean it isn't necessary. No matter how often I add straw or shavings to the nest boxes, my girls aren't very good housekeepers and their eggs aren't as clean as I'd like. I do wash the eggs before I oil them.

    4. Anonymous6:12 PM

      I'm guessing that those in Europe use what they have every day. So leaving them on the counter is OK. But what about when, like in this post, you have a dozen or so every day? You can't really leave them all out on the counter for weeks? Just would like to know, how many eggs are left out and how soon they are consumed in Europe.
      Carol L

    5. That's my guess too, Carol. Maybe they have more restraint than I do and don't have more chickens than they need. :-)

  5. I too am over-run with eggs right now! I can sell them in my area, but EVERYONE sells them, which can make it a bit of a challenge. I was worried about freezing them whole because, like you I thought there would be a huge mess. I will definitely have to try it this fall before my girls egg production drops off. My in-laws used to season and scramble a bunch of eggs, put them in a gallon freezer bag, freeze and take them camping. Worked well and saved them space and they didn't have to worry about eggs breaking in the cooler. Thanks for all the great tips!

    1. You're welcome, Jessie. Scrambling them and then freezing is interesting!

  6. Kathi, I had no idea there were so many ways to preserve eggs! I had heard you could freeze the whites separately but not much else. Love these ideas. Although I don't keep chickens, I sometimes over-buy by mistake so these ideas will definitely come in handy. I'm featuring this post at the Hearth and Soul Link party this week. Thank you so much for sharing it! Have a lovely week!

    1. They all work on store-bought eggs too, April. :-) Thank you for featuring the post this week.

  7. Kathy.
    I reread this post as I believe spring is almost here. Very good ideas. I like the oiling one. Also, when I get an abundance of eggs I give them out to neighbors and to family. God has always blessed us with more than enough. : )

    1. Loy, this post is perfect for spring! My hens are finally beginning to lay again. The oiling trick to keep eggs fresh is my favorite. Sharing eggs is awesome!


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