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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Egg Preservation

For BexarPrepper,  copied this from an old site, circa 1999:

EGGactly How To Preserve Eggs

Okay... After spending the entire day in research on this subject I have discovered the following excerpts in regard to egg storage:
From Rodale Press, Inc. 1973. Stocking Up. (pp 238-241)
Because each egg is intended by nature to house an unborn chicken, nature packages each one in its own protective shell. The shell is porous enough to permit oxygen and other gases to flow in and out through its walls, but it's outer coating or membrane prevents bacteria and molds to enter which would otherwise contaminate the egg.
Alone, the shell will protect the eggs for a short time, providing it is kept cool. Bursh, don't wash, dirt off eggs before you store them. People who vigorously wash off the dirt are also washing off the egg's protective membrane. If possible, store your eggs in a covered container to keep out objectionable odors that travel with gases through the shell's pores.
Eggs will keep at refrigerator temperatures for a week or two, but after that time their freshness fades. Both the white and the yolk begin to lose their firmness and become watery and runny. The yolk of an old egg will usually break into the white when the shell is cracked open, making separating the yolk from the white of old eggs a difficult, if not impossible, task.

Before farmers had access to freezers, they devised some simple (but not always successful) means of preserving their excess eggs. Some farmers relied solely on the use of salt to keep their eggs from rotting. After gathering their eggs, they packed them in a large barrel or crock with plenty of salt and stored them in a cellar or spring house to keep them cool.

The majority, however, found some way to clog up the pores of the egg shells so that moisture would not escape and air could not enter. Eggs were rubbed with grease, zinc, or boric ointment, or submerged in a solution of lime, salt, cream of tartar, and water.

Probably the most popular way to seal egg shells was to water-glass them. By this method a chemical, sodium silicate, was mixed with water and poured in a crock which was filled with eggs that were about twelve hours old. The solium silicate (which is used today to seal concrete floors and as an adhesive in the paper industry) would clog the pores in the shells and make them airtight.

Some people, even today, use waterglassing as a means of preserving eggs, but this storage method has its drawbacks. Eggs preserved this way are not good for boiling because their shells become very soft in the waterglass solution. The whites will not become stiff and form peaks, no matter how long they are beaten. No souffles, egg nogs, or meringues with waterglassed eggs. There is also a very good possibility that by consuming eggs stored in waterglass you would be consuming some of the undesirable chemical, sodium silicate. If you keep roosters with your hens, (which you'll do if you want to maintain a natural, happy environment for your hens and produce wholesome eggs for your family), waterglassing may not be a successful means of preservation for you. The life factor in fertilized eggs makes these eggs deteriorate more quickly than sterile, unfertilized eggs, and waterglassing may not be enough of a preventative against spoilage.

Freezing is the only way to keep eggs safely at home for more than two weeks. Eggs, both fertile and unfertile, will keep as long as six months in the freezer, if you prepare and pack them properly. The rule for selecting the right food for freezing applies for eggs just as it does for fruits and vegetables: Choose only the very freshest. Eggs even a day or two old should be stored in the regrigerator and used within a relatively short time, as recipes call for them. Freeze only just-gathered eggs.
Eggs in their shell expand under freezing temperatures and split open. For this reason they must be shelled and stored in appropriate containers. If you are storing eggs in rigid containers, leave a little headspace for expansion. You can separate the white from the yolk and freeze each separately, or you can store the eggs whole.
If you are freezing egg whites alone, they can be frozen as is, in air-tight containers. For convenience, pack as many eggs together as you will need for your favorite recipes. You can then thaw and use a whole container of egg whites at one time.
If you are packing yolks separately or are packing whole eggs, you will need to stabilize the yolks so that they won't become hard and pasty after thawing. To do this, add one teaspoon of salt or one teaspoon of honey to each cup of yolks. Twelve yolks make up one cup. Break up the yolks and stir in the salt or honey. Of course, it is necessary to mark on the container whether salt or honey was used as the stabilizer so that you won't ruin recipes by adding more salt or honey than you had intended.
If you are packing your eggs whole, you will also need to stabilize them with salt or honey. Add one teaspoon of salt or honey to each cup of whole eggs. There are about five whole eggs in one cup. Scramble the eggs with the salt or honey before packing and freezing. Whole eggs can be packed together in one container or they can be packed individually by using a plastic ice cube tray. To pack eggs separately, measure three tablespoons of whole scrambled eggs (which equals one whole egg) into each separate compartment of the ice cube tray. Place the filled tray in the freezer, and when the eggs have frozen, pop them out and store all the egg cubes in a plastic bag. By so doing you will be able to take from the bag and thaw just as many eggs as you need at one time.
Eggs should be thawed completely before using. They thaw at refrigerator temperatures in about nine hours and at room thempeatures in about four hours. If frozen properly, thawed eggs have the taste, texture and nutritional value of fresh eggs and can be used successfully in all recipes calling for eggs. To make up one egg from separately frozen whites and yolks, measure out one tablespoon of yolk and two tablespoons of white. Eggs should be used soon after they thaw, as they deteriorate rapidly."