It’s that time of year when backyard chickens everywhere awaken from their winter slumber and go into egg production overdrive.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve gone from getting no eggs to tons of eggs every day, and you might even be a little overwhelmed with how to handle all this bounty.
There are plenty of ways to make these extra eggs last longer, from preservation to using them in home cooking and baking to feed all your family and friends.
7 Ways To Make Fresh Eggs Last Longer
Before we get into how to preserve your eggs for later, let’s cover how to make the fresh eggs last a bit longer.
1. Hold off on washing them!
Fresh eggs from the chicken coop should not be washed until you’re just about to cook them. Eggs are naturally covered in a protective coating called a bloom.
The bloom helps to keep bacteria and most oxygen from penetrating the inside of the egg, keeping it fresh longer.
2. Refrigerate fresh eggs
There’s much debate in the chicken rearing community about keeping eggs on the counter or in the refrigerator.
Truthfully, it’s perfectly safe and fine to go either way, but if you want your eggs to last longer, storing them in the refrigerator is the way to go.
Pickling eggs is the old fashioned way to preserve eggs, making them last for months instead of weeks.
Pickling eggs is surprisingly easy and delicious. First, hard boil the eggs, peel them, and put the eggs in a jar with a pickling solution.
Here’s a more detailed tutorial to get you started.
You can freeze eggs to preserve them for later, but don’t do it while they’re still in the shell!
There are two ways to go about freezing eggs. The first is to crack them all into a bowl together and scramble them with a whisk, then pour the beaten egg into an ice cube tray for freezing.
The second way is to separate the eggs, put yolks into one bowl and whites into another bowl.
Whisk the yolks together then pour them into an ice cube tray. Pour the whites into a separate ice cube tray, then freeze.
Another fun option is to hard boil the eggs first, then freeze just the yolks. These make an excellent topper for salads!
Dehydrating eggs makes them last a long time, although it does affect the texture of the eggs. Drying eggs using a food dehydrator is the easiest and safest way, although you can use your oven as well.
To dry eggs, crack then whisk them together in a bowl. Pour the beaten egg onto the solid tray of your dehydrator, or onto a cookie sheet, in a thin layer.
Dehydrate them at a temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
Once the eggs are dried they can be stored in an air tight container with oxygen absorbers.
6. Mineral Oil
Preserving eggs with mineral oil is so easy and will keep them edible for months!
To start, wipe all eggs and dry them. Warm the oil in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
Using gloves, dip or rub the mineral oil all over each egg, making sure not to miss any spots. Place the eggs back into their carton, small side down.
Store eggs either in a cool, dark area or in the refrigerator.
7. Salt curing
Did you know you can preserve egg yolks by coating them in salt?
Salt curing turns the yolk into a parmesan cheese consistency, where it can be grated over food for a tasty addition.
Separate the yolks from as much white as possible and place into a container that’s layered with a quarter inch of salt in the base. Ensure the eggs aren’t touching and then cover with more salt so the eggs are fully submerged. Place in the refrigerator for a week and then remove, dust off the salt and wrap in cheesecloth. Hang to dry in the refrigerator or somewhere else cool for another week and then they are ready.
Here’s a more detailed tutorial if you’d like to try salting egg yolks.
13 Ways To Use Up Extra Eggs
1. Make Egg Noodles
If you’ve ever made fresh pasta then you already know, it’s delicious, and it’s an easy way to use a lot of eggs.
Egg noodles are simple to make, and once dried, can last a long time in storage.
Here’s a great recipe to try.
2. Feed them to your pets, or back to the chickens!
Eggs are a healthy source of nutrients for humans and animals alike.
If you’re truly buried under a pile of eggs, think about feeding them back to the animals in your life.
When feeding eggs back to chickens be sure to cook and/or smash them first. You don’t want to encourage your chickens to become egg eaters or they’ll be sneaking into the nesting box for a treat!
It’s best to make the eggs unrecognizable to the chickens first.
3. Sell them
In most states it’s perfectly legal to sell eggs from your backyard flock, and people will pay good money for eggs from free-range, organically raised chickens.
Consider setting up a roadside stand or selling eggs to the people at your office.
Selling eggs is just one of the fourteen ways you can make money with your backyard chickens.
4. Give them away to family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors
If you don’t want to or can’t sell your eggs, consider giving them away to people who would appreciate them!
5. Make hard boiled eggs
Hard boiled eggs have plenty of uses, and they’re so easy to make!
You can eat hard boiled eggs as a snack, put them on green salads, mac salad, and potato salad, make them into egg salad sandwiches, or make deviled eggs.
Learn our favorite way to make hard cooked eggs here so they’re easy to peel!
6. Make and freeze easy to-go breakfasts
Breakfast burritos, breakfast muffins, and small quiches are all excellent ways to use a lot of eggs, and they can all be frozen in single serve portions to heat up later for a quick breakfast.
7. Donate them to those in need
If your local food pantry allows perishable items, consider donating some of your extra eggs to those in need.
Also consider giving them to soup kitchens who help feed the homeless population.
8. Hatch them!
If you have a rooster or two in your flock, consider hatching your fertile eggs and adding some new chickens to your flock.
Many elementary schools and daycare centers would love to hatch the eggs in their classroom to help students learn about the life cycle.
You could also consider selling the resulting chicks or giving them away to family and friends who many be interested in starting their own flock.
9. Make sponge cake
Sponge cakes uses a lot of eggs! Make it for a special occasion, or just because. Freeze extra cake to pull out on a rainy day.
10. Eat breakfast for dinner
Having breakfast for dinner is one of our favorite weekly traditions, and it’s a great way to use up lots of eggs in one meal.
Our favorite thing to make is a big frittata, but quiche, scrambled eggs, waffles, pancakes and crepes also make it to our plates to use up lots of eggs with these meals!
11. Make your own mayonnaise or aioli
Homemade mayo and aioli is utterly decadent and delicious. It’s a great way to use up lots of eggs, and you’ll want to put it on everything!
Here’s a great mayo recipe.
12. Trade them
If you’re a homesteader, or a hobby chicken keeper, be sure to spend some time befriending fellow homestead folks in your community.
One of the best things to do when you have extra eggs is to trade them with someone else who has plenty of something you may need.
Homesteaders who raise dairy animals are often full to the brim with cheese and milk. Gardeners may have extra seeds, plants, or produce from their garden.
The age old system of trading can help everyone to get exactly what they need!
13. Make ice cream
Ice cream is one of the most delicious desserts of all time, and a proper frozen custard uses a lot of eggs!
You can make epic tons of ice cream in every flavor and use up all those extra eggs.
Here’s a classic vanilla ice cream recipe that you can adapt with different flavors.
The best part is, it goes right in the freezer, where it will keep until your family is ready to eat it!
Don’t know how to make ice cream? If you have a stand mixer, you can get a simple attachment for it that will help with the churning and freezing, or get an ice creamer maker that will do all the work for you!
Having an abundance of eggs coming from your backyard flock is no problem at all when you have so many options for preserving and using fresh eggs!