Storing Fresh Eggs Without Refrigeration

I have been informed you may store fresh chicken eggs in the earth only after coating them with a petroleum product. Is this a safe way to store the eggs and how long will they last?

I don't know about storing them in the earth - seems kind of inconvenient to me. But, yes, you can store fresh eggs in the panty or storage area for many months.

We have been duped all these years about eggs needing to be refrigerated. First of all, they come out of the chicken "warm" don't they? ;)

A just-laid egg has a coating on it called the "bloom". This coating keeps oxygen and bacteria out of the egg. If you are lucky enough to have fresh eggs straight from the farmer, they can be kept in a cool place for months without refrigeration.

Egg producing companies are required by the USDA to wash the eggs, therefore washing off the bloom. So when you buy eggs from the store you will know the bloom has been washed off. Coating them lightly (but completely) with mineral oil is like replacing the bloom.

Here's how to prepare eggs for storage:

Put on some food handling gloves (because mineral oil is a petroleum product and you don't want to absorb it into your body). Slightly warm about 1/4 cup of mineral oil. Take all the eggs out of the carton (or you won't be able to get them out with oily hands). Rub each egg with mineral oil and put them back into the carton small pointed side down.

Store egg cartons in a cool place (68 degrees or less is fine) and they will last for months. If stored at room temperature, only store them for a couple of weeks.

Write yourself a note to remember to flip the cartons (gently) about once a month to maintain the integrity of the yolks.

You may get a bad egg now and then but don't worry about eating bad eggs. You will know when an egg is bad - it will have a sulfur smell that your nose will not miss.

Another way to tell if your eggs are bad is to float them in water. The older the egg, the more it will float - about half way out of the water.

Be sure to date the stored cartons of eggs and rotate them to use the oldest first.

Eggs, cheese and butter are only refrigerated in the U.S. Other countries don't put these products in the refrigerator. It is required by the USDA, not for our protection, but to avoid lawsuits. So however you store food in your home is your choice.

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Fresh Eggs
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the input very helpful.

No Need to Refrigerate....
by: The Egg Farmer

If the egg is a NON-CHEMICAL egg there is absolutely no need to refrigerate an egg. For hundreds, if not thousands of years, we in the UK and just about every other country on the planet simply do not refrigerate eggs.

There is MORE than enough evidence around to show that refrigeration of NON-CHEMICAL eggs is actually bad for the consumer…this is due to oxidization that takes place within the egg placed in a closed, confined area. The BEST place for NON-CHEMICAL eggs is, quite simply, in a wicker basket on the kitchen table…where your Grandmother used to keep them…just fine!

Why does the USA have this odd, rather new-fangled, idea to place eggs in the refrigerator? Because the food chain in the U.S. is almost completely run by large, chemical based companies. Chemicals of one sort or another permeate over 99% of all commercially sold foodstuffs. Beef, pork, vegetables, fruits and yes, even eggs contain chemicals.

From birth young chicks are fed medicated feed in huge quantities and the list goes on and on and on. Eggs, containing even trace amounts of chemicals, NEED to be refrigerated. Get it? Still not a believer?? In the past 40 years children have developed – at least physically – at an alarming rate. Why? GROWTH HORMONES permeating the entire food chain. Diabetes was almost unheard of 40 years ago…now it is a PANDEMIC…. You ARE what you EAT!


All the more reason to buy eggs from a small local farmer or raise your own chickens.

Food grade mineral oil
by: Anonymous

It should be noted, if it has not ready been mentioned, that only FOOD GRADE mineral should be used, as egg shells are porous (like one's skin). Food grade mineral oil is not the same as the standard variety found at the drug store, and it is FDA approved. It would not be necessary to wear gloves in this case, either.


Thank you for mentioning FOOD GRADE mineral oil - it is important. (I think the gloves are a preference - to keep hands oil free.)

Storing Eggs
by: joyce

I just cracked an egg that I put back 3/19/12 using the mineral oil mentioned and it was just fine. Used it in this morning's pancakes. I would suggest that if you are in doubt - before cracking the egg put it in a bowl of water. If it floats don't open it as it has gone bad.

After 6 months, the egg does not stand up like the fresh fresh ones do - the white is runnier, but still a useable egg.

How long can you keep fresh eggs
by: Anonymous

Does anyone have the final report from Mother Earth on their test they did with the eggs? The report said they would give their final report on MOTHER's Great Egg Preservation Experiment next spring. Can't find that one


I couldn't find their "next spring" conclusion either. However, the article ( with all the testing information was quite extensive and gives a pretty good idea of how long eggs will last with each method.

I personally would rather use dehydrated eggs for long term storage. If I just had to have "real" eggs fresh, I would definitely consider raising chickens or finding a local who sells eggs from their chickens.

Eggs in EU
by: Anonymous

"Eggs, cheese and butter are only refrigerated in the U.S." - I hate to be nitpicking, but we refrigerate all of those in most European countries as well, just fyi :)

Hmmm... not what I read, but since I live in the US, your knowledge trumps min. :)

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Egg Storage

Eggs come in a variety of colors.

Eggs come in a variety of colors.

Can you leave eggs out on the counter overnight?


Yes, you can. Leaving them just overnight will not ruin them.

There has been much discussion over time about storing eggs, mainly refrigeration versus storing them at room temperature, like on the counter or in a pantry.

Mother Earth News did an experiment with dozens of eggs, storing them many, many months, using methods I never could have dreamed up.

They stored them in a water solution, in sawdust, in lard, covered with Vaseline, at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and more. It's an interesting experiment you might like to read.

The conclusion though is that, yes, eggs can be stored at room temperature, and best if they are unwashed and straight from the chicken. As soon as they are washed (washing removes their protective coating), their shelf life is decreased.

Now we all know that eggs from the supermarket are washed, which means that they will not last as long on the counter.

However, to reach the longest shelf life for egg storage, they are best kept in the refrigerator. Unwashed straight from the chicken/farmer AND refrigerated will give eggs a very long shelf life, maybe as much as a year.

Read the article from Mother Earth News and see what you conclude about egg storage.

Thanks for asking a much-wondered-about question.

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USA is WARMER than Britain
by: Anonymous

Much of the USA is significantly warmer than Britain. In the summer we refrigerate eggs because they will spoil quickly at higher temperatures. Even if the 'refrigeration' consists only of air conditioning, summer temperatures are such that for many the thermostat is set to 78 degrees or higher. At those temperatures eggs will go bad in less than a couple of weeks.

And...if you leave them in the hen house, or in outdoor storage during the summer, and you have a rooster, you may find you have chicks rather than eggs. It is not unusual in the Southern portions of the US for temperatures to stay above 80 degrees round the clock in the summer. Depending on where you are keeping them, if the eggs location stays near 100 in the summer... some may hatch.

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