Of course it's winter, so unless your quick your eggs cool off more than is idea at this time of year. To answer your question, you do not refrigerate eggs any time of year. Eggs that don't need to be stored for many many months do not need refrigeration, this is to maintain very long shelf life.
I like to wait until I need some eggs to clean them in deep water, based on how the eggs behave I know how fresh they are and the best way to use them.
For example, if you want easy to peel boil eggs then wait until your eggs partially float - vertically - these are older eggs, still good, but old enough that the membrane has separated from the shell = easy peel. Eggs that sink are fresh, very fresh, and eggs that float completely at the surface - horizontally- are usually bad, smell the shell and/or break into separate dish. I feed these back to the animals, and don't mess with them.
Thanks Jami - that frees up a bit more space in the fridge then . That also answered another question - why my own eggs don't peel nicely like shop bought ones when I boil them. Coo the shop bought ones must be WAY down the line cos even my 10 day old ones don't peel well!
i refrigerate my eggs. just my choice. even though I have never found a bad one and it is not unusual for me to leave them on the counter for a time before they actually make it to the frig. well...... I did find a bad one once the one that i left in my coat pocket over the summer nice surprise when I pulled my coat out of the closet when it got chilly.
if you steam the eggs instead of boiling them, even fresh ones peel quite nicely. I use my pressure cooker with the weight removed. a bit of water in the bottom and the eggs on the steamer tray. this is just a recent revelation of mine the first reccomendation I read said 15-20 minutes (I think) and they were way over cooked. I think the last few times I have done it for nine or eleven minutes (?) and they were excellent! actually I was going to do some today so I will verify the time. like I said it is still a newish method to me. but....
i will never ever boil eggs again! steam steam steam. the shells peeled right off, even the eggs I collected the same day! I was thrilled. ridiculously excited about it actually. but I am fairly easily amused/pleased. previously I would leave eggs out on the counter for days to weeks before I tried to boil them and even then most often they wouldn't peel. and I hate having to "plan" weeks in advance just to boil stupid eggs.
Thank you for the egg tips, Jami! I make pickled eggs every so often and I've had all kinds of theories about why some are easy to peel and others are almost impossible. The membrane, of course!
I read that eggs get refrigerated in the US (most other countries don't refrigerate them) because they all get washed before they're sold. That washes off the anti-bacterial coating the chicken put on there herself and makes them spoil much faster. In france I believe it's illegal to sell washed eggs.
Yes, Marina that is true about the washing.... but I can't help myself
The best I can do is wait to wash a batch. I know of people who are disciplined and only wash when they are ready to eat some, but I haven't gotten there yet.
There are people who even coat their eggs (in various things) to extend their life to 1 year! Yikes!
AND YES - you've guessed the secret, eggs in the market are questionable! Is this why they peel nicely? Oh, the stuff our mothers never told us!
The good news is - even washed eggs will last a few months, way longer than I would need to store them. And their nutrition is maintained well. Do your own test - grab a batch of eggs and water test a couple at 5 days, and then two more of then at 10 days, 15 days etc. The test does require a lot of eggs laid on the some day, kept under the same conditions... but you would be surprised at how long they stay fresh - amazing! So Leah's suggestion about steaming may be a real help when we don't have the time to let our eggs sit for several weeks/months just to age them.
Leah - I love that tip about steaming.... I wonder if it would work in one of those Chinese steaming baskets? I'd probably blow 'em up in a pressure cooker
Steaming - what a good idea! How on earth did you stumble on that idea. I've read all kinds of things for getting the shells off nicely - I too wanted to do pickled eggs, never having had them - but none worked. Looking forward to steaming.
Someone told me this "The problem with putting them in the fridge is that if you take them out and let them warm up then condensation forms on the outside of the shell (think bottle of cold white wine 10 mins after being taken out of fridge - if it lasts that long ) and with shells being porous any bacteria can then enter the egg." Makes sense I guess.
Marina, I had no idea that it was illegal to sell washed eggs here in France. Might explain why a rather glum looking lady at the farmers' market had lots of VERY mucky eggs. I wouldn't have bought them as I dread to think what conditions her hens are kept in to get as mucky as they were
I wouldn't have bought them as I dread to think what conditions her hens are kept in to get as mucky as they were
AND THAT is EXACTLY WHY american eggs are washed before they end up in the supermarket. The dreadful conditions they produce eggs in makes for nasty looking eggs that no one would want to buy. It's a trick!
I don't rembemer where I stumbled on the suggestion to steam them rather then boil them to make them peel easy. but it sure works. at least it does so far for me!
I tried to make some mental notes to commit to memory this time when steaming the eggs. I steamed them for 12 minutes in my electric pressure cooker with the weight removed. I put 1 qt of water in the bottom and 10 eggs in the basket. the water was just below the basket. I kept the temp set at about 300*. and started the timing when there was a steady stream of steam (thats a tongue twister ) coming out the top where the weight usually goes. the little button that pops up to indicate there is pressure did pop up despite the weight being removed indicating that there was some pressure in the cooker, so that might or might not contribute to a difference in timing when steaming with another method. that little button is pretty sensitive though and I can't imagine there was much pressure.
I dont' wash my eggs. they are rarely dirty though. if they get pooped on or are especially gross I usually feed them to a dog
When a hen lays an egg her body coats it with what is called "Bloom." Its a thin coating of body fluids from the egg laying tunnel part of the chicken and includes some of the hens antibodies. The bloom will dry in just a few moments but serves to protect the egg by sealing the pores. Freshly laid eggs do not need to be refrigerated and will keep for several weeks. Over time the eggs will dehydrate as the coated shell is still permeable to moisture. Given enough time, the egg will dry to become hollow.
Washing will remove the bloom, exposing the egg to the danger of microbial contamination. Washed eggs should be refrigerated and they will last several weeks.
I've not tried it but coating of eggs is an excellent way to preserve them. I read an article a while back about someone who used shellac. Not sure I'd want to eat those eggs. Another article spoke of using egg white, thinned with a little water and scrambled. The mix is brushed on, eggs are allowed to dry then turned over to coat the other side. This is said to keep eggs fresh for many months.
My new hens are not yet laying so I'm stuck with those miserable pale things that look like eggs sold at walmart. I keep them in the fridge. When my hens are laying, I don't wash them. They store just fine on the countertop in a bowl. I don't need to store them. If I get to many, I give my neighbor a bunch. If it rains, getting the eggs wet, I'll rinse them off, set them aside to dry and eat them first.
My hens have the run of a corner of the yard. Lots of leaves over there make a perfect material for a nest, keeping the eggs of the ground and usually clean. I get a skidmark on a shell now and then but nothing to get alarmed about.
Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
after encountering unrefrigerated eggs for sale in tropical supermarkets, I figured our eggs don't really need to be kept cold. at this point, we still refrigerate them, though, just because that seems the place they're least likely to be broken.
read a while back about eggs stored in a lime/water solution. they were a bit runny, but still edible after two years. and that's lime the mineral, not lime the fruit.
I have heard of dipping them in waterglass (Na[sub]2[/sub]SiO[sub]3[/sub]) to seal their pores, and storing them dry at room temperature for months.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
I have read about coating them in a heavy grease or Vaseline-type product to do the same thing. The process claims over one year of perfect storage. This info was posted by the survivor - food storage - groups.
I keep eggs in the fridge, and I simply remember to rotate them. I find that if I keep them in the fridge, I usually can get far enough ahead, to not have to buy eggs to get through the girls winter break.
I don't wash them, I do save egg cartons up to store them in, makes rotating them much easier too. But, I absolutely hate being in the middle of cooking and realize... I need an egg here. Then reach in and grab an egg... yuck. My chickens are free range, but still, they potty in their nest, they get muddy feet and get mud on the other ladies eggs etc. My answer is: I don't wash them initially, I do wipe off the worst things. Then, when I need a dozen eggs, I take the whole dozen, soak and wash them, dry them and put them on the top shelf. Aha, now when I suddenly need an egg, I am not getting dried chicken poo on my fingers in the middle of cooking!
I normally don't even try to boil homegrown eggs, I just buy some pasty ones for boiling purposes. I do gain egg cartons that way! But, I will surely try steaming. Hey, I have an electric vegetable steamer with various baskets etc. I wonder how that would work? I also have a pressure canner, but that seems like overkill for a dozen or less eggs.
Thanks for the tips.
Talk to your plants! If your plants talk to you...Run!
In my line of work I have had the pleasure of caring for several people who were creeping up on 100yrs. One of them had me do her kitchen work because she was going blind.
One of the things she had me do was collect eggs from the coop, then she had me get out the wax pot & heat it until the wax was hot but not smoking. She had me use a wire tool to quickly dip each egg into the hot wax.
She kept her waxed eggs in a bowl on the kitchen counter, covered with a towel, in a corner away from the window.
It seemed to work just fine for keeping them fresh.
waxed eggs were standard for use on ships at one point as the wax blocked the pores and extended their shelf life my stopping air transfer through the shell and membrane, supposedly this kept them fresh for up to a year, have not tried it myself though.
When my hens start slowing down production, if I think they are old enough to stop laying for the winter then I start freezing eggs while they are still laying heavily in the summer.
I usually put 4 eggs to a container and very lightly beat them. When I am ready to use them I just thaw and use any way you would normally use a beaten egg. They have a fairly funky gelatinous look to them but they scramble up perfectly and work just fine in baking and cooking.
That gets me through a whole winter until the old girls start laying again or (if they have been replaced) the young ones start laying.
As for boiling - the grocery store eggs boil and peel easily because they are usually over 30 days old even when marked 'fresh'. We always hold one dozen eggs in a certain spot in the fridge for boiling. Once they reach 30 days old they are boiled and a new carton goes in the 'save-boiling' spot.
This way I never need to buy eggs - hope I never need to buy them again.
Has anyone tried steaming eggs without an electric pressure canner? I'm wondering if a small amount of pressure is somehow "pushing" through the pores in the shell to create the space you need for peeling. . . It would be great to have an alternative to keeping eggs aside for weeks trying to get them old enough to peel after boiling. I do love a nice deviled egg!
My grandmother told me that eggs were stored in Isinglass for preservation. Isinglass was a gelatin-like substance extracted from the swimbladder of the sturgeon. The whole fresh eggs were put in a crock or bucket in a layer and the Isinglass was dissolved and poured over them to cover, then allowed to thicken. Layers were added as eggs became available. They could be kept for some months in this way in a cool location.
This got me looking for Isinglass. It was used in candy and confections before the advent of cheaper gelatin. Maybe gelatin could be used in the same way to reduce moisture loss from eggs in the shell and preserve without refrigeration?
I store the eggs from our girls in the freezer. In the cellar would also be a possibility, but the risk is very real that my cats knock them off the shelves to have a snack. I get used cartons from family and friends and at the end of the summer I sometimes have up to 150 eggs in storage. Luckily I have a big fridge. I don't wash them, just take of obvious dirt. The longest I've stored eggs this way and still used them was 8 months. Then they went into a cakebatter just fine. For hardboiling I use eggs at least a month old, otherwise they don't peel. And in three years, I only had 2 bad eggs that stank up my kitchen. Still, I always crack eggs in a seperate cup. This also because we have a rooster with our girls, the eggs are fertilized an sometimes they have sat on it for a few hours. Then you get a big white stringy thing in the eggs, and I scoop that out befor use.