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Old 28-08-2009, 15:54   #1
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How to Keep Eggs without Refrigeration

This article was listed on another forum I frequent, and I thought I'd put it out here.

Non-Refrigerated Egg Storage

97 days n a wake up.

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Old 28-08-2009, 16:26   #2
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I'm going to have very limited refrigeration on my next boat, so that info. is much appreciated.

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Old 28-08-2009, 17:03   #3
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We cruised the tropics without the fridge. We kept eggs low - in a place where the air is coolest and ventilation good. (I believe it was some 25 degrees Celsius there most of the time).

We used no tricks - but we tried to buy fresh eggs that never went to the fridge - preferably right from the farmer. Some people say one should turn them (upside down once a week) and we did, but we believe the boat's movement does the same trick.

Our eggs kept up to a month. But eggs from fridge, or not fresh, never keep this long.
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Old 29-08-2009, 00:33   #4
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30 years ago we coated them in Vaseline and kept them in the bilge...we were in the South China sea in the middle of summer and they all kept at least a month.
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Old 29-08-2009, 00:46   #5
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We varnished eggs that we bought directly from an egg farm. Used the last of the them up six months later in the Marquesas. The eggs were good to the last dozen though the consistency was a little funky and my wife used the last ones for baking at the end. Flavor was still good, however.
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Old 29-08-2009, 01:51   #6
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If you want to keep eggs, the most important point isto try to get eggs directly from the source rather than a supermarket, as the processing prior to sale makes the eggs more vulnerable to bacteria.

Then, the important thing is to provide a barrier coat to prevent air flow over the egg. In the old days, this would be vaseline or varnish.

I have wondered what vacuum packing boxes of half a dozen would achieve.
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Old 29-08-2009, 08:42   #7
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Interesting article. I'm not a fan of glass in any form on a boat so I've gone to the egg crate method. I coat the farm fresh eggs with vaseline, place them in plastic/styrofoam containers, and store them in the coolest part of the boat. I rotate the eggs every week, top to bottom, checking the egg shell for cracks or damage. I can get 2-3 months out them before it's time to either bake, or buy more.

Cleanliness, rotation, and using non-refrigerated eggs seems to be the key points. Styrofoam containers fail after a while so I've been experimenting with harder plastic containers.
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Old 29-08-2009, 16:53   #8
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We used to dip in hot wax to take on long backpacking trips. Seemed to work just fine for over a week in hot weather. I have never tried it for a long boat trip as we have always had a fridge.
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Old 29-08-2009, 18:41   #9
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According to my wife, putting them in Olive oil works or burying them in sand can also be done. I have never tried either. 8 months seems a long time in any case. Maybe it would be better to just take along a chicken. LOL
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Old 15-10-2009, 10:43   #10
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I agree. Most importantly is to get the eggs directly from the farm. AND DON'T WASH THEM!!! they are covered with a dried "slime" directly from the chicken. It keeps them fresher longer. The basic idea is to keep the shell from becoming porous with age. Anything we can do to strengthen the impermeability of the shell or membrane will add life to the egg.

This process has worked well for me in the past.

In a small pan boil some water and add canning wax. Once the wax melts reduce the heat to a simmer so the wax forms an even layer (more or less) on top. Dip the eggs into the water for about 10 seconds and remove. This will cook the inside of the membrane and make the egg impermeable. As it is removed the wax will coat the egg. I store the eggs in plastic egg containers and turn them every week or so. This process should you get you months of storage.

Then again, taking a chicken along might be more fun....

Following is a method that has proven reliable for months long storage.
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Old 15-10-2009, 10:48   #11
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We don't have a fridge. Beth collected her tios and lessons learned in:
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Old 15-10-2009, 12:01   #12
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I guess you would do this if you wanted to keep eggs for 8 months? Thats a long passage before hitting somewhere...... I think I would go powdered

"At the beginning of July (the year was not given) 20 fresh eggs were treated by the same method, and examined at the end of February (an 8-month test). "
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Old 15-10-2009, 12:33   #13
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In travelling from Portugal to the South Pacific, we haven’t had a passage of more than 22 days, and have been able to find eggs for sale or trade in almost every inhabited spot that we stopped at. Often they are small (pullet).

We place eggs in Styrofoam containers, in a dark and relatively cool locker, and rotate every other day. When we don’t do this, we find the yolks sink through the whites, stick to the shell and proceed to go bad. We have kept eggs as long as 6 weeks in the tropics, with maybe 1-2/dozen at most going bad, and usually no problem. They definitely tend to get runnier as they get older, but my cooking is basic (no meringues) so that is OK. We don’t have refrigeration.

We did buy eggs once in Fiji that had been refrigerated. About half of them were bad. Never buy refrigerated eggs unless you can continue to refrigerated them.
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Old 15-10-2009, 17:04   #14
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Took a poultry science class in college. The professor kept a couple dozen eggs on his file cabinet - fresh from the university farm. Every year for this class, he'd crack one open. The one he opened for us was 13 years old. I wouldn't want to eat it, but it was likely edible.
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Old 15-10-2009, 17:06   #15
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We just buy the buggers at a shop or supermarket and eat them *Burp* We have ever only had 3 (?) go off and that was probably what one would expect in 18 months at home with lower quality control in the cruising wilds.

The most we buy is about 6 dozen at a time.

Sometimes I will turn the boxes over after a few weeks, but Nic likes the kitchen tidy so she turns them back...

I would never waste time or varnish, vasiline etc

If you are really worried break them into a glass/cup before you chuk them into the mix.

Did the article given have a control group of eggs where they were just kept 'normally'?

Dunking them in lime Crusing sin't that hard!


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