How to keep fresh eggs

Bcmacias

Chirping
Jul 24, 2020
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Our little backyard flock of 4 chickens started laying eggs last week. From what I read, fresh eggs, unwashed, can be kept out on the counter for a month, is this correct? And, once washed, they need to be refrigerated because the bloom has been removed which allows bacteria to get in the egg. We also are writing the date the egg was laid with a pencil so we can keep track of how old the egg is. Is this ok to do?
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This is all new to us and seems counterintuitive to leave them on the counter. I just wanted to touch base with you all who know better how to do this. We had one egg that was soiled a bit, it didn’t come off with a dry rag, so I washed it and put it in the fridge. Does this all sound like we’re doing it correctly?
 

KarynVA

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May 29, 2020
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I keep my eggs on the counter in an egg skelter just like yours. I don't bother to mark the date on my mine; as long as they are unwashed, they will stay good for plenty long, no worries. Sounds to me like you are doing it correctly.

If you bring the eggs inside on a cold winter day and the eggs are very cold from the nest box, you may want to put them in the refrigerator, unwashed. The difference in temperature from winter morning to indoors may create condensation on the shell and could contaminate the egg. Unlikely, but that's what I do just to be safe.
 

U_Stormcrow

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Jun 7, 2020
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Keeping unwashed eggs on the counter is so common outside the US, in fact, that many French recipes published for American audiences now specify that the egg be allowed to come up to room temperature before use. In some recipes (not many, but some) it makes a tiny difference.

See for instance Ricardo says... Taste of Home and the Culinary Institute of America teaches it also, though I can't find a web page from them discussing the science behind it.

That said, if you should ever plan to sell eggs, the USDA is very particular about their storage, as are the State rules implementing rules for we homesteader types. Generally, refrigerated as best I've been able to determine. I've about 80 right now, if you want some - about to write some of my neighbors and ask if they want any. As long as i get the egg cartons back, they are welcome to them.
 
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humblehillsfarm

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Mar 27, 2020
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I wrote this article (for my own benefit) a while back and provided sources for the research: https://humble-hills-farm.com/2020/02/19/how-to-store-fresh-farm-eggs/

Basically fresh farm eggs radically decrease in quality after one week when unrefrigerated and unwashed. Oiled eggs at room temp maintain their quality for around 1.5-2 weeks, and refrigerated eggs maintain their best quality for one to two months. If I'm having a slow egg week I don't bother to put them in the fridge because I eat them so quick, but if I have a lot of eggs, enough to sell, they go straight in the fridge. You can eat them all after those "best by" times, but overall flavor can decline, and you lose a lot of moisture.
 
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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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Does this all sound like we’re doing it correctly?

That is the way I do it. You are correct that the bloom can protect an egg for a very long time as long as the bloom is intact. A hen can lay eggs in a hidden nest over a two week period and then incubate them for three more weeks without problems. Other fowl like turkey can incubate for five weeks after the last egg is laid. Bloom is very effective at keeping bacteria out.

An egg goes bad when bacteria gets inside and multiplies. If bacteria doesn't get in there is no bacteria to multiply. The warmer the egg the faster bacteria multiplies if it gets in. Refrigerating the egg keeps the temperature low enough that bacteria does not multiply even if it gets in. That's the benefit of refrigeration.

If the egg is dirty the bloom can be compromised. I don't worry about a little dry dusty stuff, but any gobs of any size can be an issue. I only incubate pretty clean eggs and wash any that are dirty and refrigerate them for me to eat. Try to only handle eggs with fairly clean dry hands. Oily hands or wet hands can compromise bloom.

If eggs are fertile they can develop some below incubation temperatures. The warmer they are the faster the embryo develops. I've read different warnings on that and some I don't believe so I don't know what the lowest safe temperature is. Some things I've read mention the lower 80' F but I'd think they would have to be stored there a long time for anything to show up.. I store mine at room temperature for both hatching and eating. In the summer the thermostat is set at 78 F, I've stored eating eggs on the counter for over a month and never had a problem.

Eggs lose moisture as they are stored. How much depends a lot on the humidity they are stored in. Temperature has an effect too. Most refrigerators have pretty low humidity but are pretty cool. If you are going to boil an egg you want to store it for a while. The longer they are stored the easier they are to peel.

Several years back a magazine (can't remember which one. That's aggravating, if I could remember I'd look it up) did a study on storing eggs. They tried seven or eight different methods, digging up as many old wife's tales and myths as they could, even the one on storing them in glycerin. They coated the eggs with various things too. The glycerin method was the worst if my poor memory serves. Their criteria was how long the egg stayed good and they tasted them for quality. Quality may be subjective but if they go bad you know.

The best way was to store them in the refrigerator. Second best was room temperature if the bloom is intact. All the other tricks were considered inferior. Some were not horrible but just weren't as good.

I have two reasons I store mine on the counter. One is pure space. I don't have a lot of room for egg storage in the fridge. The other is I give my excess eggs away. If I store them in the fridge they can get condensation on them when I take them out. I did not want eggs sticking to the carton or for the bloom to be compromised. It may be irrational thinking but I feel that is an egg has ever been refrigerated it should always be refrigerated. I'm comfortable with my method, it works for me
 

EggSighted4Life

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Apr 9, 2016
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From what I read, fresh eggs, unwashed, can be kept out on the counter for a month, is this correct? And, once washed, they need to be refrigerated because the bloom has been removed which allows bacteria to get in the egg. We also are writing the date the egg was laid with a pencil so we can keep track of how old the egg is. Is this ok to do?
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

The other posters touched well on things already. I will just agree that while safety is fine quality DOES diminish rapidly at room temp.. possibly decrease yolk height and white thickness. When I used a skelter, my yolks popped easier. I have all the same concerns of others.. the sweating, limited fridge space, etc. But I have stored UNWASHED clean eggs in the fridge for 6 months and were JUST as fresh as store bought! :eek:

I've also stored unwashed eggs at room temp for about 3 months during a glut.. the ones with micro crack were rotten. The other were simply very thick and a little stuck to the shell.. probably diminished in nutrition, but fed back to the animals and never to be repeated again. :sick

Washed eggs get placed where they are used first.

Congrats on your new layers! :celebrate

If you are going to boil an egg you want to store it for a while. The longer they are stored the easier they are to peel.
Peel perfect fresh boiled eggs *almost* every time.. :thumbsup

Shock them in AND shock them out!

Cold eggs go into boiling water with NO added tricks. Once they are done to your likeness, the hot eggs go into ICE water. Peel and enjoy! My well water is cold enough to do this without the ice in THIS location. But this method really does work even on fresh eggs.

There are some threads, where I think others may have success using a pressure cooker. But the method stated above I actually use and it makes a HUGE difference.. Aging.. never really helped much and sure didn't offer ME any consistency. I SWEAR by this SHOCKING method! Though I will admit to being an ice miser. :oops:
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
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Southwestern Pennsylvania
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Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

The other posters touched well on things already. I will just agree that while safety is fine quality DOES diminish rapidly at room temp.. possibly decrease yolk height and white thickness. When I used a skelter, my yolks popped easier. I have all the same concerns of others.. the sweating, limited fridge space, etc. But I have stored UNWASHED clean eggs in the fridge for 6 months and were JUST as fresh as store bought! :eek:

I've also stored unwashed eggs at room temp for about 3 months during a glut.. the ones with micro crack were rotten. The other were simply very thick and a little stuck to the shell.. probably diminished in nutrition, but fed back to the animals and never to be repeated again. :sick

Washed eggs get placed where they are used first.

Congrats on your new layers! :celebrate


Peel perfect fresh boiled eggs *almost* every time.. :thumbsup

Shock them in AND shock them out!

Cold eggs go into boiling water with NO added tricks. Once they are done to your likeness, the hot eggs go into ICE water. Peel and enjoy! My well water is cold enough to do this without the ice in THIS location. But this method really does work even on fresh eggs.

There are some threads, where I think others may have success using a pressure cooker. But the method stated above I actually use and it makes a HUGE difference.. Aging.. never really helped much and sure didn't offer ME any consistency. I SWEAR by this SHOCKING method! Though I will admit to being an ice miser. :oops:
I do as you do but with steaming. I put cold eggs into a steaming basket then dunk them in an ice bath. I’d say 80-90% of the time I get perfectly peeled eggs. My eggs are almost always 0-5 days old when I boil them.
 

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