Extra Eggs? Pickle Them

— By Kathy Savoie, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

My husband didn’t seem that excited last fall when I brought home 6 chicks as an anniversary gift for him. His attitude has changed a lot now that he is enjoying fresh eggs for breakfast, and his personal favorite is a pickled egg! I wish I could say that I’ve come to enjoy his anniversary gift to me of a weed whacker, but not yet. However, there is a long summer ahead of me to get acquainted with my new lawn tool.

When you’ve got backyard chickens you’ve usually got plenty of eggs this time of year. You’ll also find plenty of vendors with eggs for sale at your local farmers’ market or at farm stands. Why not try making some pickled eggs to enjoy on seasonal salads or straight from the refrigerated jar? Use this link to access the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s fact sheet on pickled eggs.

Some additional tips from my egg pickling adventures:

  • Use similar-sized eggs for consistent hard-boiling. Two of my hens lay much smaller eggs than their coop mates so I don’t include their smaller eggs in my dozen to pickle.
  • Make sure to use a sterilized jar to store your pickled eggs. Read about how to sterilize jars.
  • A wide-mouth quart-sized jar will hold a dozen eggs.
  • Peeling fresh hard-boiled eggs can be difficult. I keep the dozen I plan to pickle in a separate, labeled egg carton in the refrigerator and give them 3-5 days before I boil them.
  • Use vinegar that is labeled 5% acidity to ensure a safe pH environment for pickling.
  • Keep pickled eggs refrigerated and use within 3–4 months for best quality.
  • Use Ball® storage lids and save your (now hard to find) 2-piece dome lid and screw bands for your canning needs.

My favorite pickled egg recipe comes straight from the National Center for Home Food Preservation pickled egg fact sheet:

Dilled Pickled Eggs

12 peeled, hard-boiled eggs


1-1/2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon dill weed or dill seed
1/4 teaspoon white pepper or whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon pickling & canning salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic or 1 peeled garlic clove

  1. Bring brine ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  
  2. Pack peeled, hard-cooked eggs loosely into a warm, pre-sterilized quart jar (or other similar size container which can be closed tightly). There needs to be plenty of pickling solution, enough to completely cover the eggs.  
  3. Pour the pickling solution over the eggs in the jar, cover, and refrigerate immediately. 
  4. Allow 2 weeks for the eggs to develop flavor and enjoy pickled eggs within 3 – 4 months. Keep eggs refrigerated at all times.