Pickled Eggs

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
- Strainer 
- Pitcher
- Measuring Utensils
- Knife
- 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!



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21 Discussions

Just made this. I used 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Fantastic aroma!

I used Braggs natural, unfiltered cider vinegar. Not a good idea. Too much sediment. Looks nasty. I'll need something filtered next time.

Question. When you say you can re-use the brine acouple of times, do you heat it up or use cold?

Easy peel eggs:

1. Don't boil, steam eggs in covered steamer basket for 13 minutes.

2. Place in ice bath for 15 minutes.

3. Remove from ice and place eggs in covered plastic container.

4. Tap container on counter.

5. Shells should come right off.

it does, but it takes time and it's necessary for the vinegar to permeate the egg white right away to properly preserve it and impart the correct flavor.

>However, there does not seem to be a really good way to get the shells off the eggs without tearing the egg white up Use old eggs. Seriously. Just buy some eggs and let them sit in the fridge for two weeks. Guaranteed easy peelers. (You already know my other trick, which is to cool the eggs quickly at the end. I drain off as much hot water as I can and put the pot in the sink. Then I run cold water over the eggs, allowing the pot (and the hottest water) to overflow. After a minute or so, I chuck in three cube trays of ice.)

2 replies

The trick to making the shell peel off easy is you have to had salt to the boiling water. Then add the eggs when the water is at full boil. This will separate the membrane from the shell making the it practically slide off the egg.

Actually, I've gone from hard boiled to pressure steamed. Fully an order of magnitude easier to shell the eggs after they have been steamed in a pressure cooker.

But you can seal them, can't you? Because it's genius, pickled protein food canned & preserved for later.

1 reply

Yes, you can pickle them and then process in a canner. BUT, you have to be very careful about this. You have to be careful with the eggs, and if any of the eggs are not perfect when you peel them, you can not use them. The reason for this is the high risk for botulism. I normally process for about 15 minutes in a hot water bath for any meats, eggs included. If you have a pressure cooker, even better!

I tried the eggs yesterday after nine days since I put in the fridge and... Wow! These eggs are very good!!!!!!!

I'd like to try these eggs but here where I live (italy) I don't find the pickling spices ready to use, so someone can tell me what are the spices contained in the mix so I can do it? Someone can tell me what are Canning or Pickling salt too? Thank you very much.

2 replies

I love these for a late snack! I keep a jar full in the fridgeat all times. Yummy. Ever bought one in a bar ? They used to be $1.50 each. I haven't been out there in a long time. My cycle buddies have split up and moved away. So I don't ride like I used to! So I make my own "Beer Eggs" we called them. Great Job.!!! Pictures are so clear too !

That sounds so good...
One thing I have found is that when fresh eggs are hard boiled, they are hard to peel and  the shells won't separate from the whites very well. If the eggs are older (close to the expiration date on the eggs), once they are hard boiled and cooled, the shells slip off of the whites very easily, in big pieces. Whenever I make deviled eggs, I buy my eggs plenty ahead of time and just let 'em wait for me in the fridge.
Thank you for posting this recipe!

1 reply

I too have the same problem with fresh eggs :( mostly becasue i have my own chickens. I have let the eggs in the frig for almost 2 months and still hard to peel. Any one have any ideal how old the eggs are in the store? I hve to buy eggs from the store to make devil eggs and things likt that.

Growing up in South/Eastern Pennsylvania Dutch region it was common to add beets to give the egg an red- violet color and sliced beautifully in a tossed salad.Look up pickle beet eggs. I grew up on them.

can pickled eggs be pickled so as to preserve them almost indefinetly in the same way that traditional preserves are done(i would imagine they can) ,cos i see in this instructible and one other that i have looked at they are kept in the fridge and eaten quickly?

1 reply

the salt and vinegar will keep the eggs good for maybe 6 months to a year. Because of the nature of eggs I wouldn't go to long. For long term storage you would have to preserve them through canning process.