How to Pickle Eggs





Introduction: How to Pickle Eggs

About: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out what they're like. I love life, show me something I can feel good about. I've got an ...
Pickled-eggs are a traditional British chip-shop & pub snack, and fairly easily made.
Here's one way of making them, using:

  • Fresh free-range hen's eggs (thanks to Julie)
  • Sarsons malt pickling vinegar
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • A sauce pan with a lid
  • A clean glass jar

Some of the photography utilises my adjustable Lego lamp

Step 1: Preparing the Eggs

Hard boil the eggs, but only just. The eggs I used this time were rather small and were cooked fairly quickly. I know my eggs, altitude & water and can usually get these just right, but it may require practice / trial & error.
If you boil eggs for too long the yolk will become pale yellow & "dry" with an ugly dark layer between it and the white. Soft-boil and the yolk will be runny.
Small eggs were placed carefully in a pan, soft-water (at about 1000 feet above sea level it boils under 100oC) was boiled and poured into the pan. The eggs were boiled gently for ~8 min, the water removed and the hot eggs replaced in the box to cool.

I took the opportunity to clean the pan at the same time (dried-on rice) - green cleaning!

Step 2: Pickling

Having cleaned and dried the pan, I added:

  • Dried chillies
  • Cloves
  • Cardamon pods (split)
  • Black pepper (cracked)
  • Salt ~ 2 table spoons

To the above was added ~pint of pickling vinegar (6% acidity, also spiced). This was heated gently for ~1 hour before binging to a gently boil.
! Do this with the lid on, as vinegar-fumes are irritating to the eyes & nose.

Meanwhile the cold eggs were peeled, and added to a clean glass jar. The hot boiling vinegar was poured over the eggs, with care to avoid hot-fumes as best as practically possible.

Step 3: And Finally...

Leave for about a week, and they are done. Longer pickling will make these tougher and more highly flavoured, notice that the white eggs pick-up colour from the vinegar.
I got the yolks just right in these: generally firm, but a good yellow and still moist & soft.

Most ingredients can be changed, but it is important to use good eggs, strong vinegar and flavour. A light dusting of white pepper is good with these after you've bitten the top off (this would be done in images 2 & 3, but there was enough flavour and I don't have any white pepper in)



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    Oh come on people, an egg could be boiled in pee, who cares. Once cooked and hardened, the good stuff is inside the shell.

    I'm not trying to be mean in your comment feed here, but you should know that seeing eggs in a dirty pot seemed "ok" at first, eggs aren't always the cleanest thing to begin with. We pick our eggs out of the nests, and put them in any old pail because we take them in and wash all the debris off of them anyways.

    But then when I saw that you cooked the eggs IN the dirty pot, I'm sorry but my stomach turned. I realize that rice that is dried onto the pot isn't that big of a deal, and that cooking the eggs in it is probably fine because of the sterilization that happens when cooking, but still. I didn't want to look further at your recipe because seeing those photos kinda grossed me out. It made a really bad first impression on me to see this displayed to the public like that.

    Again, I mean that in the most respectful way possible. It really turned me off to see that, and I thought you should know that in case that wasn't the reader response you were hoping for.

    1 reply

    I just found this "instructable" and I too am like WTF. I realize your comment is 2 years old but here goes. I also have some issues about cooking the eggs in a dirty pot. As a chicken grower I seriously advocate washing all eggs before boiling them in a clean pot. The washing isn't necessary in baking, frying etc because very little - none of the eggs inside comes in contact with the outside of the shell, HOWEVER when you hardboil an egg washing it and using a clean pot are very important. An egg shell is permeable (bacteria etc can enter and infect it through the shell). In this case the "dirt",. bacteria in the pot can enter the egg's white and yolk through the shell and ruin the whole batch.

    Hi Guys,

    Just came a cross this post and thought I would share my thoughts also? made this a fews years back and yes they do go a little rubbery after a few years (yes 4 years) depending on the pickling mix - I have just finished eating mine after I found the jar at the back of the pantry (lol) and they were fine (again slightly rubbery) but tinted brown as I used malt vinegar the first time. This time around I shall be using white vinegar (same as the chippies) and will see how I go............

    Great recipe, thanks mate! Have done some for Christmas, my boys love them. Will let you know how they taste, although I've tweaked the recipe a little and added star anise, and scotch bonnet chillies for a bit more kick. Wish me luck!

    Just wanted to let you know that I made a vat of pickled eggs for a bunch of my buddies who came to visit me out of state for my birthday.  They were a HUGE hit.  How long will they stay good for?  The ones that are left have been in the juice for over a month.

    4 replies

    Super, pickles can often go down well. As I've said somewhere else bought jars can be safe for years (unopened) and weeks (opened, refrigerated). I wouldn't leave yours much longer though.


    Oy.  Referigerate after opening?  Oops.  I've always seen the big jars 'o eggs at bars, and just assumed refrigeration wasn't necessary...  Probably shouldn't eat the remaining eggs.

    Yes I've seen them too, but always thought they'd not sit around for more than a month. The official guidance to refrigerate is a precaution, not necessarily a necessity.


    HAH! Just came back to find this recipe again, and found this 4 year old post. Wanted to give you an update: I did, in fact, end up eating the rest of them. (After a bit of research.) The vinegar made the PH of the "juice" completely uninhabitable for bacteria, and kept it there. Additionally, the antioxidants would reduce the amount of time it would take for the eggs to go rancid. Now, I'm not recommending everyone just go out and eat expired food, but I'll say for myself, I ate them MONTHS later, and they were still just as good! Gonna make a big batch for another party!

    I recommend using a solution of half vinegar and half water. Mainly because it allows the eggs to last longer without getting rubbery. And it also has less fumes and less overwhelming vinegar taste if that isn't your thing. But the rubbery bit is most important.

    1 reply

    The strength of the pickling solution does affect like you say. I don't leave them very long in there, and I like the bit of "firmness".
    Thanks for the comment.



    I know this is old, but maybe you could add just how much you use of each spice? Just approximately...
    Im actually making a bunch right now. 10 eggs, powdered spices though :( But really looking forward to tasting these!

    4 replies

    Well I'm still here...
    The strong vinegar is the main flavour,  but step 2 is the one to look at. You can count them in the image, but much of this is about adding the flavours that you like and experimenting.



    Whoa! They're sour! One too many and you might feel a little sore in the rear the next day :P
    But I have to say, can't taste much of the spices.
    Like them though, have a jar of these and one of the beetroot variety in the fridge now.

    mix your vinegar with a brown sugar water solution and fine tune it to your own taste.

    You might try different vinegar, or leaving them longer. But like pickled onions, vinegar is part of the taste.


    On boiling eggs and keeping the yolk yellow: I'm certain you cannot go wrong by putting the eggs under cold water right after taking them off the boiling water, and until they're cold. I read it somewhere when very young and it is something to do with sulphidric acid being created in low concentrations during the boiling process and interacting with the yolk. Works like a charm.

    2 replies

    Hunter S?
    yes, you're right, that's an alternative - I've just factored-in the after-cook.
    The sulphur content of the protein (from cysteine I think) forms iron sulphides giving that nasty dark colour.


    im gonna try this,i make lots of pickle veggies but never thought of eggs i like hot stuff so i put chillies in my pickles so mine will become pickled chilly eggs.