Earlier than refrigeration turned commonplace, submerging eggs in water glass was the popular technique of storage. Water glass, often known as sodium silicate, is a glassy stable (silicon dioxide) that dissolves in water. It has quite a few industrial makes use of, together with as a meals preservative and a desiccant (silica gel pack) to guard delicate gadgets from absorbing moisture. Liquid water glass is a syrupy, concentrated resolution of sodium silicate. It’s main use by owners is to seal concrete.
Equally, the aim of liquid water glass as an egg preservative is to seal the shell’s pores to attenuate evaporation from the egg and inhibit micro organism from getting into. Water glass imparts no style or odor. It causes a silica crust to develop on the skin of the shell, however doesn’t penetrate the shell.
How you can Use Water Glass
Water glass solely recent eggs, the identical day they’re laid. Candle the eggs to eradicate any with blood spots or meat spots. Use solely clear (not cleaned) eggs which can be freed from cracks. Place the eggs, pointy finish down, in a scalded glass jar, stoneware crock, or sterilized meals grade bucket with a tight-fitting lid. A 1-gallon jar or bucket will maintain about three dozen eggs.
Mix 1 half water glass to 10 components boiled, cooled water and blend totally. Insufficiently diluting the answer will trigger it to gel, making dealing with the eggs tough.
Slowly pour the cooled liquid over the eggs till the answer covers the eggs by at the very least 2 inches. Don’t save leftover resolution. Seal the container with the lid to forestall evaporation.
In the event you don’t have many eggs at one time, proceed including eggs and recent resolution till the container is full. All the time be certain the answer is at the very least 2 inches above the topmost eggs.
Retailer the container in a cool place the place the temperature is above freezing however ideally not increased than 40°F. While you’re prepared to make use of an egg, take away it from the container and rinse it off.
At 35°F, eggs in water glass will hold for six months or extra. Even at a temperature as excessive as 55°F, eggs in water glass will stay passable for cooking for a number of months.
Whereas working with water glass, take care to not spill any. Scrape off and wipe any spills instantly. Water glass is an adhesive that sticks quick as soon as it has dried.
Sodium silicate is alkaline and might trigger chemical burns. As a precaution, put on disposable waterproof gloves and security goggles when dealing with water glass. Totally wash your palms afterward.
Water glass is dangerous when swallowed. Make sure to totally rinse eggs saved in water glass earlier than utilizing them.
In the event you’re questioning if sodium silicate is okay to pour down the drain, take into account that a lot of the main model drain cleaners embrace sodium silicate. It inhibits or reduces corrosion in PVC and steel pipes by forming a protecting glassy movie.
Below the very best storage circumstances, eggs lose a few of their recent taste and develop into bland tasting over time. The whites will finally get skinny, and the yolks will flatten when cracked right into a pan, making them much less appropriate for frying or poaching than for scrambling or incorporating into recipes. No matter their age, a good suggestion is to crack every egg right into a cup or small bowl earlier than utilizing it, to make sure it nonetheless seems to be and smells recent.
Is Storing Eggs in Water Glass Secure?
Pennsylvania State Extension says: “We can’t advocate using water glass because the security of merchandise preserved utilizing this ingredient has not been evaluated scientifically.”
However, Oregon State Extension says: “You’ll be able to lengthen the shelf lifetime of eggs by storing them in a compound often known as water glass.”
Quite a few anecdotal accounts of households that saved eggs in water glass prior to now, or that at the moment achieve this, could also be discovered on-line. They point out that the observe is secure and retains eggs recent for as much as two years. Nevertheless it bears repeating that the eggs have to be same-day recent and clear from the nest.
Refrigeration is, after all, the most secure approach to retailer eggs. However the place refrigeration shouldn’t be accessible, or is iffy, water glass gives an alternate.
And that’s at present’s information from the Cackle Coop.
Gail Damerow is the creator of Storey’s Information to Elevating Chickens.