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Updated: Jan 3

What about preserving eggs and dairy products? We have talked about fruits and vegetables. But can eggs and dairy products be stored the same ways? That is what you're going to find out. Let's get growing!

What about preserving eggs and dairy products? We have talked about fruits and vegetables. But can eggs and dairy products be stored the same way? That is what you're going to find out. Let's get growing!


Welcome to the Pray, Just Plant Podcast, today in Season 3 Episode 7 we are going to dive into the ways you preserve your eggs and dairy products. There are some ways that are identical to fruits and veggies but there are some ways that are different. Some ways are extremely different. Let’s get into it!


The first thing is freezing. I would not say that this is the ideal way to store eggs and dairy but it is possible. Here is why. When you freeze milk or any liquid it expands. And a gallon of milk is huge. I can only store 8 gallons of milk in my spare fridge’s freezer. Milk also separates in the freezing process. This deteriorates the taste some. Once you unthaw it will mix back together. It is best used for baking or cheese making. Freezing milk is possible but I think there are better ways to store dairy products below.

Cheese on the other hand does freeze quite well. I have frozen cheese for years. Because I don’t make my own cheese on the homestead, I try to purchase cheese when it goes on sale and freeze it until I need it. The only problem I have noticed with freezing cheese is that if you freeze block cheese it does become crumbly. Another tip is you can not defrost cheese in the microwave. It is best to get it out a day before you need it and defrost it in the fridge!

Now for eggs, it is the same with milk, they expand. And if you try to freeze them in their whole state the expansion will just break the shell. The best thing to do is crack your eggs into a bowl and mix the whites and yolks. Once mixed, pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen you can store the frozen egg cubes in a Ziploc bag. One cube is equivalent to one egg.

Also just like milk, eggs deteriorate in the freezing process. So frozen eggs are best used in baking.

Another way to freeze eggs is to put them in recipes first. One thing I like to do is to premake breakfast burritos and English muffin egg sandwiches and then freeze them. This gives us a healthy quick breakfast on our busy project days.

The truth is that eggs do have a very long shelf life. They can last in a fridge for up to 8 months with no problems. An extra fridge or cool root cellar works well. You also want to make sure that these are unwashed eggs only. Because the washing process does weaken the integrity of the shell and bacteria can enter more easily.

Did you know that the eggs you purchase from the grocery store have probably already been stored for 8 months before they are put on your grocery store shelves? Many people ask me why we grow layer chicken or why do our eggs taste so good and the simple answer is because I know my eggs are fresh!


The next way that we do need to talk about is canning! Now it is recommended by USDA to not can eggs or dairy products. With eggs, I can totally see why it just does not work. But milk has been canned for years. You can buy canned milk at the grocery store. This process is doable but I also think you should proceed with caution and lots of research!

Now I am not sure if this method would be considered canning. But one way to store eggs is with glassing. This is when you store whole unwashed eggs in lime water in jars or buckets. The lime seals the porous eggs shells and gives them a longer shelf life. To learn more about this you can watch this amazing video by Three Rivers Homestead.


Dehydration is another option. You can find powdered eggs and milk at your grocery store. So why can't you do the same? Another real benefit of dehydration is it helps save space. When you take all the moisture out of something including eggs and milk you are going to reduce its volume and means it will take up less space. And to top it off you can store it right in your pantry as it will not need refrigeration.

This does mean though that when you go to use the powdered eggs or milk you are going to have to reconstitute it with water or another liquid.

You can also dehydrate cheese; the options are endless!

The best way to do either eggs, milk, or cheese is to bake them on a baking sheet at 135 degrees for 6 to 8 hours. For the eggs, you do want to remove them from their shell and whisk them before putting them on the baking sheet. And cheese you do want to shred it first!

Once reconstituted it is best to use in recipes or baking.


Speaking of cheese, this is also a way of preserving milk. Cheese can be on the shelf for twice to triple times longer than just milk. Because in the cheese process you are changing its nature, you are culturing or fermenting it. Culturing cheese can take months to get to that perfect-tasting cheese!

Cheese can be stored in a multitude of ways. I have already mentioned freezing. You can wax your cheese. This is when the pressed hard cheese wheel is dipped in hot wax. Once the wax cools it seals the cheese allowing it to last longer on your shelf. Or you can store both cheese and eggs in wood ash, this is one of the extreme ways. But this involves taking the ashes from hardwood trees and bushes and placing the ashes in tubs or buckets. Then bury the eggs and cheese in the ashes. The ashes I am guessing are very dry and do not promote moisture that bacteria can grow in and thus preserve the eggs and cheese. Because the main purpose of preserving is to slow the growth of bacteria or decomposition.

Another tip, one way that you can see if an is bad is by placing it in water to see if it floats. If it floats then air has entered the shell.


Back to preserving. Another way you can preserve both eggs and cheese is with oil. I mentioned in this episode that you can preserve your harvest in oil by placing your product into a jar and then filling the jar with oil to seal out the air, but this is different. This is where you just take a rag and dip it in a good cooking oil and you rub the oil on the outside of the egg or cheese. For the egg, I think this works because you are sealing the porous shell. But for the cheese, I think it is like the wax it just creates a barrier between the cheese and the air.


The last way you can store cheese is by smoking. You can do this with eggs. But smoking cheese is just amazing. It gives your cheese a very unique taste. Why does smoking work? Because smoking is like dehydrating it dries the cheese out but not to the extreme of removing all of the moisture.


To recap there are many ways that you can preserve eggs and dairy products. Some are just like fruits and vegetables. But not all are the perfect solution. You need to find your purpose for storing before you can choose a method!

I want to thank you for joining me today and as always,

Don’t let the world hold you back, Pray, Just Plant!!

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