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There are so many reasons to preserve food long-term. But, not everything can be preserved in a jar. Or can it?

Many of us want to preserve fresh eggs, especially those of us who raise their own chickens. Some food preservationists will scramble store-bought eggs and dehydrate them for later use, others will pickle hardboiled eggs and keep in the refrigerator for several months. But what if you wish to keep eggs in your food supply for long-term storage?

Water Glassing Eggs for Long-Term Storage

If you have wished to preserve your freshly laid eggs for longer than a year, look no further than Water Glassing. It truly is an efficient and safe way to keep these protein-packed beauties for upwards of two years. Water Glassing eggs has been practiced since the early 1800s. It was in 1896 the instructions to do so were published by Fannie Merritt Farmer in a cookbook, The Boston Cooking School Cookbook. To this day, many modern chefs will refer to it as it truly it a pioneering work in the culinary field.

What is the secret? Farm Fresh Eggs with their bloom intact!

Materials Needed For Water Glassing Eggs


It is imperative to use farm fresh eggs with their bloom intact when water glassing. The bloom is a natural protective coating applied during laying which seals the porous egg shell with a coating to protect the baby from bacteria. This bloom is also the same covering which permits us the ability to glass for long-term storage. If you have your own layers, do not wash your eggs before storing.

A freshly laid egg with bloom intact can be stored at room temperature for up to a month before glassing. This is especially important as the hens slow their egg production.

Store-bought eggs, whether farm fresh or pasteurized, are not suitable for water glassing as the bloom has been removed, which is why you find them in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.

Storage Containers

Many farmers will use large containers like 5- and 3-gallon food grade buckets with air-tight fitting lids. While I do own these handy containers, which I purchased from uline.com, I decided not to store my water glassed eggs in them because once full, they are extremely heavy for me to move. Worse, giving the weight of the eggs all resting on the bottom layer, the risk of breaking an egg increases. And a broken egg is the last thing we want to have happen because it will spoil the whole lot!

Because I need ease of storage and use, I chose 50-ounce wide-mouth glass jars with a airtight fitting lids. Each jar holds one-dozen (12) eggs so retrieval it so much easier. Plus, every jar comes with an additional seal in the event it needs to be replaced over time.

One-gallon wide-mouth jars are also suitable for water glassing eggs. Just be sure you have a wide mouth jar versus a regular mouth or adding and retrieving eggs will be quite difficult.

Pickling Lime

While there are technically two products you may use to water glass fresh eggs, calcium hydroxide and sodium silicate, I personally prefer pickling lime (calcium hydroxide) because it is more commonly used in the food processing industry. There are many brands of pickling lime on the market, however I use Mrs. Wages products. It comes in a very convenient one-pound resealable package, and as you will soon learn, a little goes a long way!

Pickling lime can be caustic to the skin once exposed to water. It will drastically dry out your hands, or possibly even burn your hands, so be sure to use food grade gloves when handling and creating your lime solution. It also should not be ingested or inhaled either.

When opening your bag of pickling lime, be sure to cover your face and do not inhale upon using. Lastly, when retrieving eggs from the lime solution for use, protect your hands and thoroughly wash the eggs under running water to remove all traces of the lime solution.

Water Type

While there is a preference to using distilled water, I would be remiss to point out just about any water will work for water glassing unless it is overly treated water, such as city water with added chlorine and fluoride. Many of us with well water have minerals in our water and have successfully water glassed eggs without issue.

If you have access to farm fresh eggs with their bloom intact, and live with city water, not to worry. Simply boil your city water for 5 minutes, then let it cool completely before glassing.

Water Glassing Eggs Instructions

Use these simple steps to preserve your freshly laid eggs long-term. The method of water glassing will keep your eggs stored for upwards of two years. When ready to use your water glassed eggs, simply withdraw a few to use up within a few days and be sure to store them in the refrigerator after retrieving from the lime solution. Simply rinse, crack and use in any recipe. If you wish to hard boil your water glassed eggs, after washing the eggs, use a needle to prick a small hole in each shell to allow some pressure to escape while hard boiling.

Glassing Solution Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce dry) pickling lime
  • 1 quart water (4 cups)
  • 12 farm fresh eggs with bloom intact
  • 1 50-ounce jar with airtight fitting lid


  1. The ratio of water to pickling lime can be scaled up as needed based on how many containers you intend to fill.
  2. Each 50-ounce jar will hold 12 eggs and use the ratio listed in the ingredients.
  3. Because pickling lime is caustic and can burn your hands when exposed to water, start by filling your clean jar with farm fresh eggs. When doing so, be sure the pointy side of the egg is downward as you layer the base and stack the eggs gently on top of one another.
  4. Using an 8-cup glass measuring cup, add two tablespoons of pickling lime and 1 quart (4 cups) of water. Mix well until the lime is fully dispersed.
  5. Carefully and slowly pour lime water over top of the eggs being sure all of the lime makes it into the container.
  6. Use your headspace measuring tool to very gently remove any trapped air pockets in the jar, being sure not to scratch or crack any eggs.
  7. Affirm lid onto the jar. Label your jar with the date using a chalk marker and store.
  8. The lime solution will be cloudy for a bit until the lime settles and clears during storage. Seeing lime settling on top of the eggs and at the base of the jar is totally normal.

Store your water glassed eggs in the same conditions you would all of your preserved foods which is in a temperature range of 50°F to 70°F and away from direct and indirect sunlight.

Have fun using this age-old method of preserving and store those farm fresh beauties for upwards of 2-years!

Diane, The Canning Diva®