Seamen – those who have to be at sea for many months – preserve eggs by applying Vaseline on the shells and rotating the eggheads.
In supermarkets in the UK, eggs are sold with a best-before date of 28 days from the date the hen laid them. Some eggs may go bad before that date, often due to improper storage.
One way to keep eggs fresh for several weeks beyond the best-before date is to follow a trick used by sailors on ocean voyages.
On the Cruisers Forum, an online forum for sailors from around the world, a user named RaymondR shared that he used Vaseline to store eggs. “I coat the eggs with Vaseline and leave them for about three months. When cracked open to make scrambled eggs, they look perfectly edible,” he said.
This method has been around for hundreds of years, but it is not widely used today as many people store eggs in refrigerators.
“When air passes through the protective shell, the eggs will oxidize and crack. The mineral oil in Vaseline adds another protective layer to the eggshell to prevent this and evaporation,” yacht expert Michael Harpur explained on Eoceanic, a mobile platform for sailors.
However, although stored this way can prolong their shelf life, eggs preserved using this method may develop a strange taste after a few months.
Instead of using Vaseline, Michael has an easier way to keep eggs fresh during sea voyages. That is by rotating the eggheads.
“Rotating the eggheads helps them last longer on our voyages around the world. We used to use Vaseline to preserve eggs, but it was very inconvenient and messy,” Michael said.
According to Michael, thanks to plastic egg containers, the preservation process has become much simpler. Using an egg container allows for the rotation of 15 eggs at a time, making it easy to transport onto the boat.
In addition to these two methods, fundamentally, the Food Standards Agency recommends storing eggs in a cool, stable place, ideally in the refrigerator.