Introduction: Pickled Eggs
This is intended to be the complete guide to Pickled Eggs, a delicious treat that many have heard of and few have tried. If you are wondering, these are nothing like the kind you see sitting out in the nasty green liquid behind the bar. These are far superior.
This recipe will make enough brine for 6 eggs. Simply double the amount of all the ingredients for a dozen eggs, quadruple for 2 dozen, etc.
As a general rule, 10 eggs fit into a quart mason jar*. Usually, it is desirable to get your jar as close to full as possible, so it may be necessary to vary batch size or jar size to keep the jars full.
*Even though mason jars happen to be the most common container for making pickled eggs, any properly sized empty container will work fine since the jars are not actually sealed. Old pickle jars work very well, as do most other glass containers.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
Like any good recipe, the first step is to gather all the necessities together. Even though the recipe is simple, it helps to lay everything out ahead of time.
Here is what you will need (again for a batch of 6 eggs):
- Large Pot
- Measuring Utensils
- Cutting Board
- 2 Cups Vinegar (White Distilled)
- 2 TBSP Sugar
- 1 TBSP Pickling Spice
- 1 TBSP Canning or Pickling Salt
- 8 tsp Dry Minced Garlic*
- 1/2 Large Onion (Optional-But Great)
*You may substitute wet minced garlic for the dry by adding 1/2 as much wet minced garlic as the recipe calls for. Wet minced garlic is very potent stuff. Do not add too much, or the eggs will be inedible.
Step 2: Hard Boil the Eggs
Now that you have gotten all the required materials together, it is time to take the first step.
Begin hard boiling the desired quantity of eggs in the usual manner.
For complete instructions on the art of hard boiling eggs see:
Step 3: Slice Onions
While you wait for the eggs to finish boiling, it is a good time to cut up the onions if you plan to add them to the jar later on.
Note: The best way to cut the onion in order to facilitate later eating is in the "onion peel" shape of the white onion to the left. If you cut the onion into smaller pieces, like the red onion to the right, they are hard to stab with a fork in order to remove them from the jar. Additionally, the best onions to use are the white or sweet yellow types. The red onions do not seem to have as much flavor after pickling as the others do.
Step 4: Drain and Cool Eggs
Once the eggs are hard boiled, drain the hot water off and add them to a bowl of cold water with a few ice cubes in order to cool them. The eggs will peel much easier later on if they are sufficiently cool.
CAUTION: Hard boiled eggs are very hot right after they come out of boiling water! Use a spoon or other utensil to facilitate the movement of eggs from the pot to the bowl.
Step 5: Prepare Brine
While you give the eggs a little while to cool, get the brine started.
To create the brine, mix the vinegar, salt, sugar, pickling spice, and garlic together in a pot. Heat the brine over high heat until it boils, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir the brine occasionally to make sure that the salt and sugar dissolve completely.
A word of warning, when vinegar and garlic start to boil the smell gets verystrong. It is advisable to turn on any type of ventilation available at this point. And, even though you may have a well ventilated room, you could easily wind up with a kitchen that smells like pickling brine for days. It is just a very, very strong smell.
Step 6: Shell Eggs
Now that you have the brine boiling/simmering, you can go ahead and peel the eggs.
As long as the eggs are cool, the shell should come off. However, there does not seem to be a really good way to get the shells off the eggs without tearing the egg white up. Just be gentle. All you need to worry about is just making sure to get all the shell off.
Set the peeled eggs aside in a bowl.
Step 7: After Simmering Brine...
With everything else ready, the brine needs to cool.
In the summer the brine takes a little time to cool in the refrigerator or freezer. However, during the winter, cooling doesn't take long at all.
Once the brine is cool it works best to pour it into a pitcher. It is pretty hard to pour the brine directly from a pot into a mason jar. The pitcher works much better.
Step 8: Fill Jars With Eggs and Onion
Before adding the brine, fill the jar with the desired amount of eggs and onion. The jar should be at least 1/2 full, but make sure to leave some space above the eggs.
Step 9: Add Brine and Cover Jars
Finally we can add the brine!
Fill the jar to at least cover the eggs and onion. Better too much than not enough.
After the jar is full, add a lid (if you have one), or else cover with aluminum foil.
Place the jarsin the refrigerator.
Done... in about 1 week. 2 weeks is actually better, and they age very well. The eggs will keep in the refrigerator for months (maybe longer).
*As a side note, the brine can be re-used once or twice. Try to pickle other things, like green beans or cauliflower, for more fine pickled eating!