Pickled eggs are a real treat and the perfect tangy salty snack. Just pour a flavorful brine over hard-boiled eggs and stick them in the fridge, no canning required.
I’ll admit that I was pretty skeptical of pickled eggs. Aren’t they just some nasty bar food, like Prairie “oysters,” only consumed by people too drunk to know better?
That, of course, all changed when I had my first pickled egg.
Long ago, my now-husband took me on a date to one of the best craft beer bars in the northeast. It was a real treat, and the beer was exceptional, but they didn’t have a kitchen, just a selection of cheeses and pickles as snacks. My husband ordered a pickled egg, and I honestly looked at him in horror. You’re really going to eat that thing?
They brought out a tiny plate with a single hard-boiled egg, cut in half. It was drizzled with olive oil and decorated with a tiny tuft of microgreens, and I’ll give them credit, they really did make it look beautiful. I remained unconvinced until I watched a look of pure delight spread across his face at the first bite.
Now I had to know…I tentatively bit into the pickled egg…and was completely blown away.
Where hard-boiled eggs are bland and simple, pickled eggs are anything but. The vinegar brings them alive, and a salty brine is just right for dressing an unassuming egg. Add a tiny bit of sweetness to balance out the vinegar tang, and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect little flavor bomb.
Ten years later, I’m still experimenting with pickled egg recipes, finding new ways to infuse incredible flavor into our spring bounty of eggs. In all that time, I have yet to have a “bad” pickled egg, simply because it’s hard to mess these up.
Start with a simple brine, and add whatever spices tickle your fancy. It’s hard to go wrong…
Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
The hardest part of making pickled eggs is peeling hard-boiled eggs.
Everyone seems to have their own secret technique. I’ve tried many of them, and none of them seemed to really help. That is until I read an article from the New York Times where they tested all these folk methods head to head. Few of the tricks made any difference…but one method yielded perfectly cooked easy-peel hard boiled eggs.
Their steamed egg technique starts by bringing an inch of water to a boil in a pot and then lowering a steamer basket full of eggs to sit just above the already boiling water. They suggest an 11 minute steam for a just barely cooked yolk, but 12 minutes makes the perfect pickled egg in my opinion.
Our backyard flock’s production goes into overdrive each spring, and though we do preserve eggs using dozens of methods, there’s still an absurd amount left for pickling. So many that I’ve actually invested in big stainless steel steamer baskets, the kind they use in china town for homemade dumplings (gyoza).
Stacked three levels high in a big stockpot, they work perfectly for steaming up huge batches of hard-boiled eggs for pickled eggs.
Once the eggs are cool, the kids and I go to work peeling them. It’s actually amazing for a little one’s fine motor skills, believe it or not.
With practice, my 2 and 4-year-old can work through peeling dozens of eggs without a nick in them. Their tiny hands love the puzzle, and they actually compete to see who can peel a perfect egg fastest.
If you have a foolproof method that works for you, by all means, stick with it. If not, try 12-minutes of steam and you’ll marvel at how easy the eggs are to peel.
Brine for Pickled Eggs
The brine for pickled eggs is relatively flexible, and you can adjust the total amount of vinegar, salt, and sugar to suit your tastes.
A quart of 9-10 pickled eggs requires about 2 cups of brine, which is usually a mixture of water and white vinegar. Recipes range from 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water, all the way up to just a straight 2 cups of vinegar (and everywhere in between). For pickled eggs, I’d suggest no less than half vinegar, as that’s required to help them keep in the refrigerator.
When I’m making milder pickled eggs for my kids, I’ll stick with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water. If you really want a more intense pickled egg, increase the vinegar, as I do when I’m making sweet bread and butter pickled eggs or spicy Jalapeño pickled eggs.
Salt and sugar, likewise, are pretty flexible. I find that 2 Tablespoons of each salt and sugar is about right for my tastes, most of the time. It’s just enough salt to season the eggs (without being too salty) and just enough sugar to help balance the tang of the vinegar, but without being noticeably sweet.
Many recipes use considerably more sugar, especially when making beet-pickled eggs or bread-and-butter pickled eggs. I’ve included recipes for those, and in my bread and butter variation, I use 1/2 cup sugar to a quart, along with an all-vinegar brine to help balance it out.
As you can see, the sky’s the limit when it comes to a pickled egg brine, but if you’re looking for a basic starter brine for pickled eggs, try this:
- 9-10 hard-boiled eggs (for 1-quart wide-mouth jar)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. Salt
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- A few tsp of spices (your choice)
Spices for Pickled Eggs
Once you have a basic brine, the spices are based on your tastes. This is where you can be really creative and add incredible flavors (and colors) to the finished eggs.
Substituting beet juice for the water in a basic pickled egg recipe will add amazing color and a subtle sweetness that’s great with the vinegar brine. You can use actual beet juice from a juicer if you have one, or just the cooking water from a few small boiled beets.
Adding a teaspoon of turmeric likewise creates brilliant yellow pickled eggs, and that’s just what I do for my bread and butter pickled eggs.
Most pickled egg recipes have you add a tablespoon or two of pre-mixed “pickling spice” to the batch. I make a lot of pickles, but never in my life have I bought pre-mixed pickling spice. That stuff sits on the shelf at the store all year, and only really turns around cucumber season.
Generally, pickling spice includes whole mustard seeds, allspice, coriander, and bay leaves. It may also include cinnamon and cloves. Those are all excellent choices for homemade pickled eggs.
Other good options are hot sauce, Jalapeños, turmeric, horseradish, garlic, onions, dill, and tarragon.
How to Make Pickled Eggs
So now you know that recipes for pickled eggs are pretty versatile, but how do you make pickled eggs?
It’s pretty simple once you have peeled hard-boiled eggs.
Start by packing the hard-boiled eggs into a mason jar. I prefer wide-mouth quarts, and all the pickled egg recipes below are written for wide-mouth quart mason jars.
A quart jar will comfortably hold 9-10 large eggs. If you really work it, it’s possible to pack as many as 12 eggs into a jar…but they will be pressed so hard against the sides that the brine can’t infuse.
Add the liquid ingredients (water/vinegar/juice/etc) to a small saucepan and gently warm. Add the sugar and salt, stirring to just dissolve, and then remove from heat.
Add all the other dry spices and herbs to the egg jars, and then pour the warm brine directly over the eggs. Leave as little headspace as possible, ideally around 1/4 inch.
Cap tightly with a lid and allow the jars to cool slightly before storing them in the refrigerator.
Be sure that the eggs can freely move within the jar. Give the jar a gentle shake to ensure that the brine can easily reach all sides of the eggs and that they’re not packed too tightly.
Canning Pickled Eggs (Don’t Do it!)
Do not can pickled eggs. I cannot stress this enough. Pickled eggs are not safe for canning, no matter how much vinegar and salt you add to the brine.
That’s one reason pickled egg recipes are so variable because you simply cannot under any circumstances can them, so the acidity and salt are more about flavor than shelf-stable preservation.
Why can’t you can pickled eggs?
Water bath canning pickles isn’t really about sterilization. The idea is that the acidic brine will fully penetrate all the food, preventing extra nasty things like botulism that only thrive in low acid environments.
Low acid veggies like cucumber suck the vinegar right up, and it quickly acidifies through to the middle. The canning process is mostly about sealing the jar and creating a vacuum for the lid.
Eggs, on the other hand, are particularly dense, and it takes a long time for the acidic vinegar to penetrate the egg. Sources recommend leaving small and medium eggs in brine for at least 2 weeks to fully pickle, and as much as 4 weeks for large eggs.
Even still, the pickled acidity may never actually reach the center of the egg.
With all this in mind, know that canning pickled eggs is not safe, regardless of the method. People have actually died from eating home canned versions.
Maybe grandma canned pickled eggs all the time and lived to a ripe old age, but that’s a matter of luck. Food-born pathogens, namely botulism, have to actually be present to spoil the food. Grandma was playing Russian roulette each time, and just because she was lucky doesn’t mean you will be.
Store pickled eggs in jars in the refrigerator, and avoid keeping them at room temperature.
How Long do Pickled Eggs Keep?
Given that canning pickled eggs isn’t an option, is pickling eggs actually working to preserve the eggs? How long do pickled eggs last in the refrigerator?
Pickled eggs last 3-4 months in the refrigerator, assuming they’re kept submerged beneath the vinegar brine. This also assumes that you use a brine that’s at least half vinegar, to actually pickle the eggs.
This is just a guideline for pickled egg shelf life though. Use your best judgment, and when in doubt, throw it out.
We make pickled eggs in the spring when our ladies are producing bumper crops of eggs, and then we enjoy them all summer long. It’s a nice treat when it’s too hot to cook, and they’re exceptionally good topped with fresh greens.
Pickled Egg Recipes
Over the years I’ve made dozens of pickled egg recipes, and they’ve all been good. I’ve included a good selection here of my four favorites, which should suit a broad variety of tastes.
These pickled egg recipes represent a good balance of colors, flavors, and sweet/sour ratios. (Printable recipe card a bit further down.)
Beet pickled eggs
These are particularly beautiful, as the beet juice colors the outside of the egg and adds exceptional flavor. The simplest way to make them is to boil a few beets, and then save the cooking water for making the pickled egg brine. Some people choose to add sliced cooked beets to the jar, and that’s delicious too.
Beet pickled eggs are especially tasty with warm spices like cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.
Slice them on top of a salad for a splash of color, or serve them on a charcuterie plate for contrast.
Bread and Butter Pickled Eggs
This recipe is based on my favorite recipe for bread and butter pickles made with cucumbers.
The brine is very similar, and an extra tangy all vinegar brine is balanced with a bit more sugar. Some recipes for bread and butter pickled eggs include as much as 1 cup of sugar, but that’s way over the top in my book. I think 1/4 to 1/2 cup is about right.
Adding a teaspoon of turmeric to the jars results in a bright yellow color, as is traditional with bread and butter pickles.
Dill Pickled Eggs
An old-school classic, dill cucumber pickles are most people’s favorite, and dill pickled eggs are no less awesome. These are my daughter’s favorite, with familiar flavors that she knows and loves.
Most of the “dill” flavor comes from dried dill seed, but if you can get a few sprigs of fresh dill that makes a lovely addition as well.
Spicy Jalapeño Pickled Eggs
My husband’s favorite, spicy pickled eggs add a whole new dimension to pickled eggs. You can add spice with just about anything spicy in the brine, and things like hot sauce and red pepper flakes are good options too.
I usually go with one whole sliced Jalapeño per jar, but feel free to adjust to your tastes.
Ways to Preserve Eggs
Looking for more tasty ways to preserve eggs at home?
- Salt Cured Egg Yolks
- Pickled Quail Eggs
- Preserving Eggs in Lime Water (Keeps 12+ Months)
Pickled eggs are the perfect salty tangy snack, and an easy way to preserve eggs for months at a time.
Beet Pickled Eggs
- 9-10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup beet juice (or beet cooking water)
- 1/2 small onion
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 6-8 cloves
- 4-5 allspice berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
Bread and Butter Pickled Eggs
- 9-10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
Dill Pickled Eggs
- 9-10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tsp dill seed
- Fresh dill sprigs (if available)
Spicy Jalapeño Pickled Eggs
- 9-10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 or 2 Jalapeños, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2-4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 3-4 cloves
- 3-4 allspice berries
- Place peeled, hard-boiled eggs into a quart wide mouth mason jar (or use a half recipe for pint jars).
- Place liquids (water/vinegar, etc) into a small saucepan and add sugar and salt. Gently heat until dissolved, then remove from heat.
- Add spices and sliced veggies (onions/garlic/etc) directly into the jars.
- Pour the hot brine over the eggs and spices, leaving as little headspace as possible (around 1/4 inch).
- Seal jars with lids and allow them to cool slightly before storing them in the refrigerator.
- Allow the eggs to pickle for at least 24 hours before eating, preferably around 1-2 weeks for better flavors.
- Pickled eggs should last 3-4 months in the refrigerator.
Date the jars when you make the pickled eggs, but obviously, if there's any question as to whether or not they're good, when in doubt, throw it out.
Do not can pickled eggs, there is no safe method for canning pickled eggs at home. They must be kept in the refrigerator at all times.
Can’t get enough pickles? Try a few more…
- Baby Pickles (Gherkins)
- Dilly Beans (Dill Pickled Green Beans)
- Sweet Dill Pickle Relish
- Pickled Golden Beets
- Pickled Peppers
- Pickled Garlic Scapes
- Pickled Fiddleheads
- Pickled Ramps (Wild Leeks)
- Lacto-Fermented Pickles
Remember the old stores which had gallon jars of pickled eggs on the counter and barrels filled with pickles. So anxious to try your recipes and joined the newsletter
I totally believe you on the not canning them (botulism is scary!), but I do have a question… the grocery store by me sells them canned in jars on the shelf. Is pressure canning them different? Like how you can pressure can meat and vegetables?
Other question- will these pickle ok if you were to cut them in half before putting in the brine, or puncture them to the yolk with a knife to help the penetration of the vinegar (kind of a way to make up for the density)?
Also, your skepticism matched mine when I opened this! Your experience was so funny but I’m still in that stage. These sound utterly delicious (even though I’m still freaked out about trying it! Haha.) I might be brave and try these though. Your pictures, descriptions and recipes really are enticing!
You have the coolest blog ever. How did you learn all this??
The ones in the grocery store usually have some types of chemical preservatives in there, like sodium benzoate or something similar. They’re also potentially canned differently, as commercial canners can get hotter than home pressure canners.
Cutting the eggs in half is problematic since the yolks will more or less slime up if in direct contact with the liquid. I haven’t tried it, but I beleive they just more or less melt in the vinegar and the liquid gets all cloudy.
Sometimes you’ll see a jar of home canned pickled eggs on the grocery store shelf, and that’s most likely both the store and the canner don’t know it’s not a safe practice. Most the time it’s fine, but I wouldn’t risk it.
Love your pickled egg article. Have you ever tried Mustard Pickled Eggs?
If not, maybe it’s an Ohio Thang!
I can forward recipie I use often.
I bet those are wonderful. I would love it if you shared the recipe.
I would love the recipe for mustard pickled eggs !!!! Please !!!!
Thank you for your instructions. I sincerely appreciate your comments on “canning” eggs, because I hate arbitrary rules without explanations. I would object to calling this “food preservation”, however. Who has room for several quarts of eggs in their frig? Looks like a plug for an extra frig out in the garage!
JALAPENO RECIPE DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY JALAPENos
Ha! Wow, that’s a good catch! How did I miss that when I was typing up that recipe!?!?! Anyhow, I’ll go fix it now, but I put one whole jalapeno in each jar, sliced. Thanks for the heads up.
Have you tried alternate sweeteners like stevia , honey, maple syrup?
I have not personally tried any of those sweeteners. I am assuming that it would affect the flavor but not sure how. If you decide to try it let us know.
I use monkfruit, stevia, allulose and erythritol with no issues at all. Delicious and healthy eggs without all the sugar.
Good to know!
Please let use know! I am a Stevia in the raw person. Regular sugar is too sweet for me. Thanks!
I made a jar of your bread & butter pickled eggs 2 weeks ago and just tried one today, they are great, I will be making more.
I actually just made two more jars of those today too! My husband was skeptical on the sugar when I made them, but now he keeps emptying the bread and butter egg jars for lunch =)
Do you use table salt or picking salt?
Thus far I’ve used sea salt and pickling salt. Table salt has anti-caking agents in there, and it may cloud the water in an unappealing way.
My Instant Pot was the first success I’ve had with easy peeling fresh hard boiled eggs. I think the mechanics of the Instant Pot and your steam method are probably the same. Yay for easy peeling eggs!
I’ve been making apple fruit scrap vinegar for cooking use. How would you use that (or apple cider vinegar) for pickling? I’m thinking 1 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 cup water to start, but wanted your take.
It is not generally recommended that you use homemade apple cider vinegar in canning recipes because they say it does not have the same carefully controlled acidity as store bought vinegars.
That’s why one should use test strips to make sure the homemade apple scrap vinegar is as acidic as store bought. I use my homemade for everything and it tests out the same after a month of fermenting.
Can I use canned Beet juice?
Yes, that should work fine!
Can you use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar.
Yup! Either work just fine, assuming they’re standardized to 5% acidity (check the label, some are diluted to as little as 2%, but most are perfect at 5% these days).
Do you think the pickled eggs in the store are pressure canned? I have purchased beet pickle, mustard pickle and dill pickled eggs made by the Amish canning company. They are good. I have a pressure canner.
All the pickled eggs I’ve seen in the store around here contain some kind of chemical preservative (sodium benzoate, etc). I’m not sure what an Amish canning company might use, maybe none at all. As to whether they pressure can them or not, I honestly have no idea…but that is a good question. There’s no tested approved recipe for canning pickled eggs, but that doesn’t mean people don’t do it anyway. (Still, it’s not something I do or recommend personally).
My family often pickles the eggs and red beets in the same jar.
Mom and Grandma just used regular, iodized salt, it never seemed to be a problem.
Waiting for them to get nice and pickled…now that was a problem.
I have not tried many variations, I am looking forward to trying some with jalapenos, maybe try some with the spices for curry…
I was sadly disappointed when I tried one of those ones at a bar 40 years ago.
It was rubbery and nasty! I figured they must have done some kind of canning treatment, it was probably just some preservative.
I’ve had a few rubbery ones in my time too. Homemade spicy jalapeno pickled eggs are my favorite. I can highly recommend you try them!
I’ve made a couple jars of pickled eggs and I always feel like the white is unappealingly hard…I tend to use a 1:1 ratio for water/vinegar and throw in whatever is in the fridge (garlic, onions, etc). Am I doing something wrong that they get so hard…or do I just…not like them??
I’d say try the bread and butter pickled ones from these recipes. I think the high salt/sugar ratio along with all vinegar makes for the best texture. If you don’t like those, then I’d say you probably just don’t like pickled eggs. Good luck!
I basically do the vinegar the same but I add jalapeños,onions,carrots slice thin and garlic and fresh dill.I have a gallon jar and keep them in the fridge.
I’ve also got a gallon of canned jalapeños and used that juice and jalapeños and carrots,mmm good
What did I do wrong??? My beet pickled eggs turned out more of a grayish brownish pink color with light pink tones on the inside and they were horribly salty! Two tablespoons of salt seemed like a bit much for a single jar. The eggs also shrunk up and were quite tough. They were not at all like my mom’s bright fuchsia beet pickled eggs.
Did you use a quart sized jar? You could try decreasing the salt if they seem too salty. I am not sure why the color would be off or they would shrink and be tough. Can you tell me exactly what you did? How long did you cook the eggs?
This is THE only way I have been able to successfully hard boil and peel our farm fresh eggs!! thank you SOOOO much! I have tried every single way u see the sun to no avail! We love pickled eggs here as well!
You’re welcome! 😀
Came across your recipe and was intrigued by the steaming boiled eggs and am totally infatuated after trying it! The texture is just perfect!
After that was such a success I decided trying the pickling too. That was last week with 8 eggs… I have already made two more batches or more than a dozen each – they are so delicious!!
That’s great Tamlyn. So glad you’re enjoying the recipe.
I’m on a keto diet which doesn’t allow sugar. Can I substitute pure liquid stevia extract for sugar in your pickled egg recipes?
I don’t see why not.
I’m on the keto diet and can’t have sugar. Can I substitute stevia extract for the sugar in the brine?
Yes, that should be fine preservation wise. The sugar isn’t to help preserve the eggs in there, it’s just for flavor. The preservation is coming from the vinegar (either way, keep them in the fridge). I can’t say how much to add, you’ll have to play around with it and see what flavor suits you. (Stevia may also have an odd taste when mixed with vinegar, or eggs, so I can’t personally vouch for how they’d come out.) Best of luck, let me know how it goes!
My family loves pickled beets. I will have to pay more attention to my vinegar liquid ratio. I was going to save and freeze leftover juice in freezer to use for eggs when i get enough. From what i read i think i will do bread and butter eggs and add onions to it. My daughter loves dill pickles so will do that for her. I was going to save pickle juice and use it but not sure ov acid amount. Is there a way to measure it?
I don’t think there is any way to measure the acidity in a home kitchen.
Acidity/Alkalinity (Ph) can be tested with various methods that are readily available. Check Amazon Walmart and other retailers.
Let me correct my comment by saying that it is possible to test for acidity but in order to get accurate results, it is recommended that you use a pH meter. Since a good quality pH meter can be pricey, it is generally recommended that the average home canner use tested recipes.
I’m wondering if you ever reuse the brine for a second batch of pickled eggs?
That’s an interesting thought. You could probably do that. I don’t know that I would use the brine for longer than the 3 to 4 month time though. If so, you might risk it spoiling especially if there are any food particles in there.
I’ve made pickled eggs for a long, long time. Seldom using the same combination of ingredients. One of my favorites is to include sliced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. just a few and just some of the sauce, as they are quite hot, but oh, so good!
Sounds really good Rob. Thanks for sharing.
I have just finished a jar of dill pickles w/all the vinegar still intact. Can I add eggs to this jar.
Hi there. Yes, can reuse your pickle juice.
If you still have too many eggs after preserving and pickling you can give the rest to agencies who feed the homeless or needy.
Yes, it is always good to help those in need.
Can I run a toothpick through the egg so the brine goes into the egg?
I haven’t tried it, but I’ve read it can be done with good results.
In the link you provided on why it is unwise to can pickled eggs, it was regarding a batch of home-made pickled eggs that had developed Botulism. It is suggested that the pricking of the egg is what likely introduced the bacteria which was then provided good growth conditions by poor storage and handling. The safe conclusion would be to not pick the eggs or make certain your instrument is clean i.e. sterilized stainless steel.
Burt H Burrell
Just wanted to compliment you on this article. I have been looking at pickled egg recipes now for several weeks and had questions about the amount of salt or sugar used as well as the ratio between vinegar and water. Your article answered all of my questions and has brought everything together for me. I now have confidence on using and tweaking a recipe to my taste. I’ll start tonight. Thank you!!
Awesome! I’m so glad =)
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge
You ARE the egg maam
Goo goo g’joob
You’re welcome. So glad you enjoyed the post.
These all look like great recipes, but when I’m feeling particularly lazy, I’ll throw some hardboiled eggs in a jar and fill it up with straight Worcestershire sauce. No need to get the expensive stuff for this application, the stuff from a dollar store works just fine.
After a soak in the dark stuff for a day, the eggs take on a lovely mahogany hue and a deliciously savory flavor.
Wow, that sounds amazing!
I would really like to see your documentations of where people have DIED from eating home canned eggs.
My family has canned eggs and all kinds of other things for 5 generations, and have never had any issues.
The amish can eggs and sell them. And no they don’t use any chemicals or preservation agents other than vinegar, salt and sugar.
We always recommend following guidelines for safe canning procedures to avoid causing someone to get sick. The National Center for Home Food Preservation states that there are no home canning directions for pickled eggs and that there are cases where home pickled eggs stored at room temperature have caused botulism. This simply is not a risk that is worth taking in my opinion.
First off, great post on making pickled eggs. We started a flock of 15 chickens last July, and they are now laying a dozen a day. I decided to try pickling the surplus. I have to add my two cents on the science of peeling. The NYT guy said age of eggs is not a factor, but he’s wrong. I am using your steaming method. It works like a charm IF the eggs are a few days old (4 das, maybe). If they are, that membrane just under the shell separates smoothly from the egg white, and you end up with an unblemished egg. But, if the eggs are only a day or two old, that membrane clings to the egg white, tearing it when you peel off the shell. Another note, I find a dozen eggs fits comfortably in a quart-sized Mason jar. Thanks again for your website articles! JR
So glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks so much for sharing.
This was my experience as well. We have chickens and it makes a difference how fresh the egg is. The method is secondary. Except… If you have an Insta pot. I put day-old eggs in my Insta pot, cooked on high manually for five minutes, let sit for five minutes, then release pressure. Gorgeous eggs to peel every time. I think it is a combination of the steaming and the pressure cooking.
At 64 and a ‘tavern guy’ from the time I was 18 (legal age was 18 back then), I’ve had my share of ‘bar eggs’.
I tried my hand at making my own at the ‘ripe old age’ of 20(ish) and never looked back.
This is what I’ve learned over the decades….
1) Botulinum toxin needs oxygen. As long as your food is COMPLETELY covered in brine, the nasty bugs that make you sick CAN’T reproduce and you can safely consume anything from eggs to veggies and even meat! (think bar sausage) I leave my eggs on the counter at room temperature and have NEVER had a problem. 2) A mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper corns, ‘Sichuan’ pepper corns, fresh garlic & jalapeno peppers is my favorite combination. 3) Don’t stop with eggs! Learn all you can about ‘Lactic acid fermentation’, and in no time at all you’ll be making your own garlic dill pickles, cauliflower, asparagus, etc. (Kombucha is made this same way and it’s really easy!)
Anyway… Just my two cents. Thanks for the page 😉
Thanks for your input. I am so glad that you have been able to keep your eggs on the counter and not have a problem but we have to follow the recommended guidelines for safe canning.
Hi Russel, I read your comment and I bet you have some great recipes after decades of experience 😊 I do want to refute your statement about botulism though, for you or anyone else who might read it; Botulism is actually a bacteria that thrives in anaerobic conditions, meaning the absence of oxygen. That is why it is a safety concern with canning, because the canning process removes the oxygen from the jar in order to prevent other micro-organisms from spoiling the food – safe canning guidelines have been developed to reduce the risk of botulism by testing what methods are able to prevent the growth of botulism spores in different foods, if they are present. Botulism might be rare but no one wants to be like that poor lady who killed herself, most of her family and a bunch of other people at a dinner party with her home canned peas – which I’m sure she had canned and ate just the same way for years with no previous problems.
You say the eggs are good 3-4 months in the refrigerator; is that a refrigerate after opening concept, or are you to refrigerate after they cool? Or can you keep the on the shelf after processing? If so, how long? Sorry of these are dumb questions, I am new to this. Thanks you in advance for any advice.
These must be kept in the refrigerator and cannot be kept on the pantry shelf. They should be made and then go right into the fridge, as pickled eggs are sadly not shelf stable. Once in the fridge, you can remove a few eggs a day to eat and they’ll stay good in there for months even once opened provided you don’t contaminate the jar with anything. Just use a clean spoon/fork to take out eggs when you need them. Enjoy!
I believe botulinum are an anaerobic bacteria, meaning they thrive in the absence of oxygen (sealed up, and especially low acid, high protein). Research it for yourself to be sure tho…
Hello! I would love to try to make pickled eggs, therefore would like to know, what sort of vinegar do you use in your rrecipe- how strong in persentage? In my country mostly used is 30 % vinegar acid.
You would use a standard household vinegar which has a 5% acidity level. Vinegar with 30% acidity is an upper limit industrial vinegar which absolutely should not be consumed. The only use that the general public would have for this would be as a weed killer. Even then you want to be very careful to not breathe any of it in and use hand and eye protection.
I just finished jarring up a batch of beet and a batch of bread and butter. I would like to tag you on Instagram. Do you have an account I can reference? I will be putting up a batch of each of the dill and the jalapeno in a couple of days. (Thank you chickens!) I can’t wait to taste them all! Thank you for sharing your recipes.
Those sound great. You can tag @practicalselfreliance
Hello from Finland! I couldn’t find any information on this, so I’ll try to ask here. So my question is, can I re-use the lids to make another batch of pickled eggs, or do I have to discard them after just one use? I’m not using the exact same Ball 1 quart mason jars since they aren’t really available here in Finland, instead I’m planning to use similar Bormioli Quattro 1 litre jars. Although that probably doesn’t make any difference.
You can definitely reuse your lids for this. It is generally not recommended to reuse lids when canning foods but since these aren’t being canned, it’s totally fine. I reuse my lids for storage all the time as long as I am not canning in them because you’re not sealing it, you’re just using it like a regular lid.
Is it really 2 tablespoons of salt, and not 2 teaspoons? I just used 1 since it seemed a bit much, and it tastes like salt water! haha
Yes, the brine is quite salty, and it does call for 2 tablespoons of salt. It takes quite a bit to really infuse and penetrate all the way through the eggs for an even flavor. You can definitely use less if that’s your preference, this is just a rough guideline, but after a few weeks when they’re pickled the salt really does even out in the eggs and they are “salty” like pickles but not really over the top salty. When you start though, the brine should in fact taste like salt water, as that’s what it is more or less.
I make jalapeno pickled eggs for my husband. He complained that the inside of the egg didn’t have any flavor. So, I started pricking the eggs with a fork a few times before I put it in the jar so the brine can get inside a little bit. My husband loves it. Has not complained about the texture at all, although I have noticed the liquid getting cloudy. I also reuse the liquid a few times before I start over from scratch. He goes through the eggs so fast. I make 2-3 batches in a month.
I also just made some of the pickled beet eggs for the first time. I couldn’t find any organic beet juice (all sold out), but I did get some organic beets and just cut them into slices and stuck in the jar with the eggs and a few jalapenos. It colored the water throughout. So pretty! 🙂 My husband actually liked the beet-flavored eggs and he said the beet slices were good too. I put them in raw hoping they would pickle along with the eggs. It all turned out well, and he said he would eat them again. I might try the turmeric next.
How long do the eggs need to sit in the brine before were able to eat them?
You want them to pickle for a minimum of 24 hours but you will get the best flavor after a week or two.
I buy jars of pickled beets from the grocery store. Can I just pour that pickled beet juice over the eggs or would I need to add to it. Like more vinegar, salt, & sugar? Your reply will be greatly appreciated.
It’s going to depend somewhat on the pickles you buy, and what they have in them. Most pickled beets should be pretty darn similar to the spices, sugar and salt levels in the beet pickled eggs in this recipe though. I’d think that’d work just fine, without adding anything else. Just be sure to submerge the eggs fully and keep it all refrigerated. Enjoy!
How long is the average storage of Pickled eggs or does it vary per kind you make? Also can you use apple cider vinegar for those with Gluten allergies. Because white vinegar is usually made with wheat start.
You can definitely use apple cider vinegar although you may have to adjust the recipe for flavor. They should last about 3 to 4 months in the fridge.
Hey, when looking to pickle eggs a couple years ago, I happened upon your excellent primer. Am so glad I decided to go with your directions/recipes. Had great success from the get-go, starting with your egg steaming tips. Thanks so much for all the good details!
You are quite welcome! I’m so glad it’s helpful to you =)
I’ve made all your pickled egg, except the beets, several times. Makes my mouth water just thinking about them. My question, can the recipe safely be doubled and made in half gallon canning jars? Or would it affect the vinegar penetrating the eggs in such a large amount?
You should be able to double it with no problems.
Does it matter what percentage acidity white vinegar you use? I’ve got 6% on hand.
The acidity needs to be a minimum of 5%, so if you’ve got 6% you’re good!
Can the pickling brine be re-used?
Pickling brine can often be reused in cases where you are storing the food in the fridge. I have never tried it with eggs. Let us know how it works if you decide to try it.
Joe in Missouri
I am confused. IF botulism is an issue in water bath canned eggs it should also be a problem with eggs in your fridge for 4 months! The acid PH does not get to the center of the egg in the fridge and botulism should be as much f an issue.
My take is that botulism is likely not a big risk in either case.
But one thing is for sure, both situations seem to present the same risk.
The difference in having the pickled eggs in the refrigerator is the temperature. It has nothing to do with the acid pH getting to the center of the egg. Botulism does not thrive in cold temperatures.
Just ate the last two eggs out of my batch. they were a little over a year old and still good.
I agree with you about canning being an unsafe practice for pickled eggs. I did want to point out that the link you put about someone dying from home canned eggs was actually a report about a man who ate eggs from an unsealed jar left on a counter in sunlight for 7 days. Also not safe, but it doesn’t relate to canned eggs. Thank you for the recipe ideas!
I love making pickled eggs. Another variant your husband might like: When heating up the brine, I throw all the spices in too. I also slice up an onion and throw that in. Then, I pour in a can of beer and bring the whole thing to a boil. The alcohol boils away, but the hops and other flavors stay. Then, jar the eggs up. I use the layering method, myself: One layer of eggs, then pour broth (including onions and spices), until eggs are covered. Then, another layer of eggs, then broth…eggs, broth, eggs, broth, etc. The beer gives an extremely hearty aftertaste to the pickled eggs. And, it’s non-alcoholic (the alcohol boils away), so even the kids can eat them
Can you freeze these after they are cooled?
Possibly? I’d assume that’d ruin their texture, but I honestly don’t know. Try it on a small batch maybe?
I cannot use vinegar because of allergies. Have made refrigerator pickles using Lemon juice (usually fresh squeezed Meyer lemons). Will this be okay for pickling eggs? Have made dill pickles and a sweet relish with lemon juice.
Can you help me here?
If you have had success using it with pickles and relish, I would definitely give it a try and let us know how it turns out.
I recently made a batch of your dill pickled eggs, and they have been the weirdest and best lifesaver for my finicky pregnancy stomach! I can eat (and enjoy1) these no matter how upset my stomach is. Can’t wait to try the other recipes.
The pregnant body can certainly be weird, can’t it? So glad you’re enjoying the pickled eggs.
erythritol and sweeteners are not healthy choices.