If you’ve ever been to a bar or enjoyed a good old-fashioned picnic, you’ve probably seen the iconic Pickled Eggs.
Yes, we’re talking about those bright red, spicy, and somewhat oddly shaped eggs that taunt you from the shelf or snack table.
The good news is that they’re full of flavor and make an excellent snack to tide you over until your next meal.
Pickled eggs are not just a scrumptious snack but also a great way to incorporate protein into your diet.
We cannot contain our excitement in sharing the secrets to making these delightful treats!
Learn what are pickled eggs, how easy it is to prepare them at home, and the numerous advantages and benefits they offer.
What are pickled eggs?
Pickled eggs are a popular appetizer, condiment, and side dish that involves curing boiled eggs in an acidic solution known as pickling brine. The process involves immersing the eggs in a mixture of salt, vinegar, aromatics, spices, and sometimes sugar for an extended period of time — anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. This pickling process imparts a unique flavor to the eggs, making them tart, salty, and slightly sweet.
Pickled eggs make an excellent hors d’oeuvre, appetizer or snack. They can be served with pickles, condiments, crackers and bread and butter pickles, or used in recipes such as egg salad, deviled eggs, egg scrambles, egg wraps, and deviled egg salad sandwiches and wraps.
They can be used in a variety of dishes such as pickled eggs and potato salad, pickled eggs and bacon salad, or egg salad sandwiches and wraps. Pickled eggs are also great for camping, tailgating, picnics, and party events.
They can be eaten alone, sliced and added to sandwiches and wraps, scrambled with vegetables or other ingredients for a savory scramble, or incorporated into recipes like deviled eggs or egg salad. They can also be used as a topping on everything, from burgers to salads.
Pickled eggs are a great way to enjoy the flavors of pickles, in a non-traditional way!
They pair well with a variety of flavors, from kosher dill pickles to pickles and cornichons, bread and butter pickles, to pickle chips and pickle spears. Pickle-themed snacks such as Pickle-back Shots and Pickle Juice, as well as the pickle-making tools themselves, such as the Pickle Press, Pickle Slicer, Pickle Barrel, Pickle Plate, Pickle Fork and Pickle Knife, provide a fun and unique way to enjoy pickled eggs at parties and other events.
Pickled eggs have been around for a long time, dating back to the ancient Romans.
What is pickling?
Pickling, also known as curing, marinating, or fermenting, is an ancient method of preserving food, originally used in areas where refrigeration was not available. It involves immersing food in a brine (salt and water) and/or vinegar that is fermented with herbs, spices, and flavorings. The result is a salty, sour, and crunchy food that can last for weeks or even months.
The most common pickled foods are vegetables, eggs, and meats, but a wide variety of other foods such as cheese, seafood, and fruit can also be pickled.
Pickling not only extends the shelf life of foods, but also enhances their flavor and texture. The combination of vinegar, salt, and various herbs and spices gives food a unique tangy and savory flavor that many people enjoy.
This method of preservation allows us to enjoy seasonal produce year-round, as pickled fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed long after they are harvested.
Pickling is also a great way to reduce food waste:
By preserving excess or surplus produce through pickling, we can prevent it from spoiling and being thrown away. This is especially beneficial for farmers, who can use pickling to ensure that nothing goes to waste, even if they have an abundance of certain fruits or vegetables.
Another benefit of pickling is its ability to enhance the nutritional value of certain foods. For example, fermented pickles are rich in probiotics, which promote gut health and aid digestion. In addition, the brine used in pickling often contains beneficial minerals such as potassium and magnesium from the salt used.
No wonder this method of preserving has been used for centuries and is still very popular.
Pickles can be used to top sandwiches and burgers, as a condiment in deviled eggs, and to add flavor to hot dogs. Pickles can also be enjoyed as a pickle-back shot or as a pickle-themed snack. Pickles are also a great way to add a unique flavor to cheese and cracker platters.
Common pickled foods include eggs (off course), vegetables, fruits, fish, beef, and even beer and wine.
Pickled vegetables are a popular type of pickling, also. Vegetables can be pickled in a variety of ways, including vinegar pickling, sugar pickling, and smoke pickling. Pickled vegetables make an excellent side dish or appetizer that can be served with other dishes.
Popular pickled vegetables include asparagus, beets, cauliflower, carrots, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, kimchi, mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Cucumbers are a popular topping for sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs.
Pickling Equipment & Ingredients
Pickling equipment includes a variety of tools such as pickle jars, pickle presses, pickle forks, pickle knives, pickle slicers, pickle dehydrators, pickle barrels, and pickle plates.
You can use pickles or pickling liquid in jars, cans, baskets, and pickle presses. Essential pickling tools include a pickle fork, pickle knife, pickle slicer, and pickle dehydrator.
However, you don’t need these for occasional pickling.
Common pickling ingredients include salt, sugar, vinegar, flavorings (herbs, spices, garlic, etc.), and other seasonings.
The Pickling Process & Techniques
The pickling process is very simple: it involves immersing the food in brine, an acidic solution, for a period of time. This not only preserves the food, but also adds flavor. The longer the food is in the brine, the more intense the flavor!
Pickling eggs typically involves three main steps: curing, marinating, and pickling.
First, the eggs are cured in a pickling liquid, which typically contains a combination of vinegar, aromatics, and salt.
Next, they are marinated in spices and herbs.
Finally, the eggs are placed in the jar, given a few inches of headspace for expansion, sealed, and processed in a hot water bath.
For those who want to take food preservation a step further, pickling can also be done through fermentation. For those who want the flavors associated with pickled foods without the added sodium, sugar pickling is a great option and uses sugar instead of salt to aid in the preservation process. For those who don’t want to use vinegar as a pickling solution, beer, wine, or water can be used.
Making Your Own Pickled Eggs at Home
The process of making pickled eggs at home is surprisingly simple; all you need are hard-boiled eggs, pickling liquid (often from a store-bought pickle brine or a homemade pickling recipe), and mason jars. Mason jars are a popular choice because preserving pickled eggs provides the best flavor and keeps them shelf stable and safe for consumption. Flavorings such as garlic, dill, and herbs are often used to add flavor.
Overnight pickled eggs are a great way to get a quick pickle while still getting the flavor of a traditional pickle.
Although pickled eggs can be made with almost any type of pickling liquid, typical pickled egg flavors include dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, sour pickles, cornichons, gherkins, and kosher dill. These pickles can be made with either fresh or smoked eggs and can include a variety of herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, dill, and cilantro.
When making pickled eggs, it’s important to leave enough headspace in the jar to allow the pickles to cure properly and not explode when opened.
Once your eggs are properly pickled, you can enjoy them as a delicious snack, tailgate food, hors d’oeuvre, condiment, or topping. Pickled eggs should be refrigerated for up to seven days before eating.
Making pickled eggs at home is a fun and easy way to preserve eggs, add probiotics to your diet, and make delicious snacks and appetizers that are sure to be a hit at parties and picnics.
See our Recipes here:
How to Choose the Eggs to Pickle
You know when you’re peeling hard-cooked eggs, and the shell sticks, it looks like your egg is already chewed? The problem is that your egg is too fresh.
For hard-cooked eggs — which is what you need to make pickled eggs — an older egg is better because the air pocket at the bottom expands and loosens the inner membrane of the shell. Use eggs which are at least 3 days old. See how to hard-cook eggs properly here.
Choosing the Vinegar
Here you really have a choice. The classic one is white vinegar, even if some find it a bit aggressive.
White wine vinegar or cider vinegar are good, and relatively neutral.
For a little Asian twist, you can use rice wine vinegar.
But if you really want to wow your friends, use red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or Chinese black vinegar.
A black or red egg can be disgusting and great at the same time!
The Seasoning makes it personal
It depends on your taste, and on how adventurous you feel! I’ve made pickled eggs with all kinds of ingredients.
I’ve used mustard seeds, black pepper, bay leaf, onion flakes and chili pepper.
I’ve made Mexican style pickled eggs before, with: hot peppers, cumin, coriander and garlic.
Be creative, create your own blend of pickling spices!
Explanation of the process for pickling eggs
Keep in mind that there are many ways to pickle eggs: They can be pickled overnight, pickled quickly, smoked, marinated, cured, or fermented. The process described below is a generic one, to give you an overall idea.
You can use one of many brine recipes to pickle your eggs. You can even use (or reuse, in this case) the brine from store-bought pickles, such as cornichons, to pickle your eggs.
And, if you can find it, you can also use store-bought ready made pickling liquid to make your own homemade pickles.
The Magic of Pickling Eggs: A Step-by-Step Guide
The beauty of pickling eggs is that they can be customized to suit your taste buds. The basic method involves simmering a mixture of vinegar, water, sugar, and spices until everything melds together in perfect harmony. The eggs are then added to the pickling solution and left to marinate for several days, absorbing all the delicious flavors.
1. Gather your ingredients and equipment:
To make pickled eggs at home, you will need hard-boiled eggs (say, about a dozen), vinegar, water, salt, sugar or honey, spices (such as mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes), and optional ingredients like garlic, onion, or fresh herbs.
You will also need clean jars with lids for storage.
2. Proper egg preparation:
Before making pickled eggs, ensure that the eggs are perfectly cooked.
Use either the boiling method (where eggs are placed in boiling water for 10 minutes) or the cold water method (where eggs are placed in cold water and brought to a boil, then cooled in ice water).
Eggs should be peeled while still warm for easier removal of the shell. Them rinse them with cold water to remove any loose bits of shell.
3. Vinegar ratio:
For optimal flavor, the vinegar-to-water ratio is crucial.
Use approximately 1 cup of white vinegar per 4 cups of water. This will give your pickled eggs a sharp, tangy taste.
4. Salting process:
Soaking the eggs in a mixture of salt and water before adding them to the pickling liquid helps draw out excess moisture from the eggs, which results in a firmer texture when they are picked.
Place the eggs in a container, cover them with cold water, and add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt for every quart of water.
Let them sit for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. Rinse the eggs thoroughly before proceeding with the recipe.
5. Spice blend:
Experiment with different spice combinations to create your desired flavor profile. Some popular options include mustard seeds, coriander seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, onion, and fresh herbs like dill or chives. Be creative and adjust the amounts according to your preferences.
6. Sterilization and storage:
Once your pickled eggs are ready, store them in clean, sterilized jars with tight-fitting lids. Ensure that the eggs are completely submerged in the brine by adding more vinegar if needed.
If you do not have a brine, now it’s time to create your brine solution! See this recipe here.
Keep the jars in a cool, dark place for best quality. Once the jars are sealed, the eggs can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Enjoy them within a few weeks for the best flavor.
Serving & Enjoying Pickled Eggs
Once pickled, eggs can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Pickled eggs can be eaten as is, or used in recipes such as egg salad sandwiches and wraps, deviled egg salad sandwiches and wraps, deviled eggs, egg scrambles, and egg salads. They can be used as a topping for salads, as a snack, or as a condiment for pickled dishes; as an easy appetizer, a tasty snack, a side dish, a condiment, or even as part of a pickle platter. Pickled eggs pair well with beer and wine. Their brine can also be used to make a great pickle-back shot.
Pickled eggs can also be served as part of pickled vegetables, along with carrots, beets, onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, cauliflower, and asparagus. They can also be used in pickled egg relish and pickle seasoning.
Common Pickled Egg Dishes
Common pickled egg dishes are a popular food in many different cultures.
Pickled eggs are a great accompaniment to many other dishes. They can be used as a garnish in Bloody Mary cocktails, as a condiment with deviled eggs, or added to scrambled eggs. Pickled eggs are also popular in sandwiches, such as egg salad sandwiches, deviled egg salad sandwiches, and egg salad wraps. Pickled eggs are also a great snack or camping food.
There are a variety of options for pickled egg recipes, ranging from classic pickles like dill pickles and bread and butter pickles to more unique recipes like pickled asparagus and pickled kimchi. Pickles can be made with either strong white vinegar or a combination of vinegar and sugar. The latter produces a sweeter, more acidic pickle. In addition, unique pickle-themed snacks such as pickle chips and pickle-back shots are available in stores.
In conclusion, traditional pickled egg dishes are a great way to add a little flavor to any meal. With their ease of preparation, ease of preservation, and endless recipe variations, they are sure to be a hit at any gathering or potluck. Whether you enjoy them as appetizers, cocktail food, party food, or tailgate food, there is sure to be a pickled egg dish that tastes great.
Food Safety & Shelf-Stability
Safety and sanitation are important factors when pickling foods, and depending on the items being pickled, a water bath canner or pressure canner may be required. The length of time for pickling also varies and depends on the items being pickling, with shorter periods of time required for smaller items such as eggs, and longer periods of time required for larger items such as vegetables.
Food Safety & Shelf Stability is an important concept when preparing and storing food for long periods of time. It refers to the processes used to preserve food to make it safe to eat and to extend its shelf life. The safety and shelf life of prepared food is essential to prevent the spread of food-borne illnesses such as food poisoning and other health risks.
To ensure proper food safety, it is recommended to make sure the pickling equipment, such as the pickle fork, pickle press, pickle plate, pickle jar, pickle slicer, pickle knife, and pickle dehydrator, are all clean. Attention must also be paid to headspace, processing time, and sterilization of jars.
Once open, jars (with the eggs always covered by the liquid) can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Please note: here, “open” doesn’t mean you’re not using the lid, it means you opened the jar for the first time after the pickling process.
Health Benefits of Pickled Eggs
Besides being a tasty addition to your diet, pickled eggs could also offer some surprising health benefits, because they are re a nutritious snack. For starters, the vinegar used in pickling can help with digestion, so if you’ve been feeling a bit sluggish, it’s time to crack open a jar.
Additionally, the vinegar may assist in stabilizing blood sugar levels, which is great news for those watching their glucose intake. Just remember, moderation is key. So go ahead and enjoy your pickled eggs, but maybe don’t make them the main star of every meal.
Here is a table with great health benefits of eating pickled eggs:
|1. Rich in Protein
|Pickled eggs are rich in lean protein, which can help promote muscle growth and repair damaged cells. This makes them a great option for athletes and bodybuilders.
|2. Contains Probiotics
|During the fermentation process, pickling creates probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help support digestion, a healthy gut and immunity.
|4. Low in Calories
|Compared to other snacks, pickled eggs are relatively low in calories, making them an ideal choice for those watching their weight.
|5. Rich in Iron
|Iron is an important nutrient that helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Pickled eggs are a good source of iron, which can help boost energy production and keep you feeling energized throughout the day.
|6. Rich in vitamins and minerals
|Pickled eggs are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. These vitamins and minerals can help promote healthy hair, nails, and skin.
Pickled eggs are a tasty snack, a simple and delicious way to enjoy your eggs in a whole new way, and a great way to add some flavor and nutrition to your diet. With its numerous health benefits and versatility, it’s no wonder why pickled eggs are a favorite among many.
So go ahead, give it a try, and be sure to store your pickled eggs in a cool place and check the expiration date before eating. Enjoy!
Can I use any type of vinegar for pickling eggs?
While you can certainly experiment with different types of vinegar, it’s best to stick with white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar for pickling eggs. Their flavors complement the eggs without overpowering them.
Can I use different types of eggs for pickling?
Yes, you can use different types of eggs for pickling. While chicken eggs are the most commonly used, you can also experiment with pickling quail eggs, duck eggs, or even goose eggs. Keep in mind that different types of eggs may have slightly different textures and flavors when pickled.
Can I add additional spices?
Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite spices or herbs to the brine solution to create a unique flavor.
How long does the egg pickling process take?
The longer you leave your eggs in the brine, the stronger the flavor will be. We recommend leaving them in for at least 24 hours for optimal flavor.
How long do pickled eggs last?
Pickled eggs can last for several weeks to a few months when properly stored in the refrigerator. It is important to ensure that the eggs are fully submerged in the pickling solution, stored in airtight containers, and kept refrigerated to maintain their freshness and flavor.
Can I reuse the pickling liquid for more eggs?
Absolutely! Once you’ve enjoyed all the pickled eggs, you can reuse the pickling liquid for another batch. Just make sure to strain out any solids and bring the liquid to a boil before pouring it over your fresh eggs.
Can I reuse the pickling liquid?
Yes, you can reuse the pickling liquid for future batches of pickled eggs. However, it is crucial to strain the liquid and bring it to a boil before reusing it to ensure any bacteria or contaminants are eliminated. Additionally, the flavor of the pickling liquid may diminish over time, so you may want to consider adding fresh spices or herbs to enhance the taste.