3 Ways To Preserve Eggs And Milk For Long-Term Storage (video)
We have an abundance of milk and eggs on our farm due to our milk cow and flock of laying hens. Production slows down a bit in the winter, but in the summertime we run two fridges just to keep up with it all!
I’m desperate to turn my second fridge into a cheese cave, so I began trying to find some different ways to preserve the precious bounty that would free up my fridge and also tide us over in the winter months.
To Freeze, Can, or Dehydrate?
I focused on freezing, canning, and dehydrating to preserve eggs and milk. Instructions for completing each method, pros and cons, my recommendations, and pictures of some of the results are below. This way, you can decide which method would be best for you and your family, and your food storage needs. Even if you’re not trying to free up a second fridge, you never know when there will be a power outage. Not depending solely on your refrigerator is important!
Freezing: Takes up a lot of space in the freezer, but prep is quick and easy
Freezing is the least time-consuming method for long-term storage, but it is also the most energy dependent one. Eggs and milk can be frozen in many different containers: freezer bags, jars, plastic freezer containers and they perform much like the fresh version when thawed and used. If you are using farm fresh raw milk, freeze the cream separately. Once thawed, the cream will sit on top of the milk in flakes and the two will not mix together, no matter how hard you shake the jar!
To freeze milk, simply pour it into your chosen container, leaving room for the milk to swell. My container of choice are ziploc freezer bags. I pour 1/2 gallon of milk in a 1 gallon freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer until frozen solid so they will be easy to stack.
Preparing eggs to be frozen is also extremely quick and easy. Simply break them into a bowl, beat to combine the yolks and whites or push through a strainer and pour them into your container and freeze. To save space, I pour the eggs into an ice cube tray and, once frozen, remove them from the tray and place in a freezer bag.
1 “egg cube” = approximately 1 egg
3 tablespoons frozen, thawed egg = 1 whole fresh egg
2 tablespoons egg white = 1 egg white
1 tablespoon yolk = 1 egg yolk
The beauty of freezing eggs in smaller amounts, such as in an ice cube tray, is that they thaw quickly and allow me to throw together a really quick meal. Between quiches, frittatas, and even “breakfast for dinner”, I’m never at a loss for a great egg-based recipe!
Canning Milk and Eggs: Works great for milk, but eggs turn green
I have canned milk for quite a long time and used it with much success; the result is most like the evaporated milk that you can purchase at the grocery store. It has a slight caramel color and tastes most like fresh milk when diluted 1/2 and 1/2 with water.
I was, however, very leery about canning eggs. I’d never even heard of canned eggs! When I started doing some research, I found some references to them and pieced together some basic instructions for both water bath and pressure canning eggs. Those instructions warned that the eggs will swell quite a bit while processing and will turn green after sitting on the shelf, and, yes, they do. In fact, they turned green while they were canning, much like over-cooked hard-boiled eggs.
Not knowing how much they would swell, I only filled my jars about half full to make sure they didn’t overflow while canning. As a result, I couldn’t can them in a water bath; the jars had too much headspace and floated to the top of the water in the canner.
If canning eggs was the only method of preserving available to me, Imight experiment with different pressures in the canner, different head-space levels, etc. to get it just right, but, to be honest, I just don’t think I will use this method in the future because there are no safety guidelines for canning eggs, and I cannot recommend it. Eggscan be pickled, which is another option if you have lots of eggs. Here is some basic information about preserving pickled eggs.
The instructions below for canning milk are basic and require somecanning knowledge to complete: