How to Water Glass Eggs for Long-Term Storage
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Water glassing is an age-old egg preservation method that allows you to preserve eggs for 12-18 months – much longer than you would keep them on the counter or in the refrigerator. The process for water glassing eggs is simple but relies on a few key steps that will lead to success.
Springtime is when a lot of chickens go crazy with the egg laying. The warmer temperatures and increased daylight ramp up production and some people may find themselves overrun with eggs. While I do provide eggs for the family, and also sell eggs, I found myself with about 18 dozen eggs needing to be stored or used. I have always been interested in water glassing and decided to give it a go.
What is water glassing?
Water glassing is a method of preserving eggs that has been around for a long time (it dates back to the 1800’s). Essentially, you are submerging fresh eggs in a water and pickling lime solution. Normally, this process is expected to keep eggs fresh for 12-18 months, but during my research, I found people who had successfully eaten water glassed eggs that were TWO YEARS OLD! The eggs are kept in a cool space, much like any preserved food, and you can grab what you need throughout the year.
Water glassing uses pickling lime which is a white chemical powder that’s used in older pickle recipes. According to Spruce Eats, pickling lime “adds crispness to the finished product…by introducing calcium into the pectin of the food to be pickled.”
Supplies for Water Glassing Eggs
- A 5 gallon food grade bucket with lid
- Pickling lime
- Clean water–if your water is high in minerals or chlorinated, you would want to consider purchasing distilled water
- Food Scale
- Fresh Eggs
How to Water Glass Eggs
Step 1: Choose your eggs
When selecting eggs for water glassing, you need to be sure they are unwashed and fresh. Washed eggs will not work because the protective layer (the bloom) has been removed from the egg. You also need to be sure to only use clean eggs. We had a particularly rainy week and you can see how messy some of my eggs are.
Step 2: Make the lime water
The rule of thumb for water glassing is one ounce of pickling lime for every quart of water. Start by putting 3 quarts of water and 3 ounces of pickling lime into the 5 gallon bucket. Whisk until the lime is dissolved.
Step 3: Add the eggs to the pickling water
Gently start placing the eggs into the bucket. You can put as few or as many as you like–if you don’t have very many but intend on preserving more, you can always add them to the bucket at a later time. My estimate that I put into my bucket is 14 dozen.
Step 4: Add more pickling water as needed
After adding the desired number of eggs, continue mixing the water and lime and covering the eggs until they are completely submerged. I added more than I needed to submerge the eggs in case I need to add more later. In total, I used 9 quarts of water and 9 ounces of lime.
Learn more about poultry care with Libby’s previous article on how to ferment chicken feed.