This quick and easy pickled eggs recipe is the best we’ve ever tried! They’re a great snack on a charcuterie board and a fantastic addition to any salad.
Before the days of modern refrigeration, food preservation relied heavily on smoking, dehydrating and pickling. Smoking and dehydrating were mainly for meat preservation. Just about anything else folks had that needed to be kept for long periods of time was pickled.
We had never tried pickled eggs before because the thought of them was a little off-putting. However, when we took a family vacation back in April, a friend of ours brought us some homemade goodies. He mostly brought smoked meats, but there were some pickled eggs in the box, too.
We didn’t try any on the spot, but we did bring them home to eat later. When we decided it was time to try them, Mac absolutely loved them! I didn’t mind them too much, but Jessie and Maggi still didn’t want to have anything to do with them.
Mac asked if we could try to make our own pickled eggs, so of course we had to give it a shot. This time, Maggi was ok with them, Mac and I both liked them, and Jessie didn’t care for the texture, but said the flavor was great.
How do pickled eggs taste?
Pickled eggs have a mouth-watering tart taste. Some claim they remind them of salt and vinegar potato chips, others say they’re a taste they just never acquired.
This is really one of those questions that you’ll have to answer for yourself. This recipe is super simple and quick to make. You will have to wait for a couple of weeks to find out for sure. But if you only do one batch, surely someone will eat them all.
Honestly, the “salt and vinegar chips” flavor is totally there!
If and when you try these, send us a message and tell us how you’d describe their taste!
Are pickled eggs good for you?
Eggs in general are a good, healthy food. In fact, eggs have even been attributed to weight loss. However, the yolk of one large egg contains 186mg of cholesterol. According to Heart.org, “people at risk for heart disease, who have diabetes or who have had a heart attack should pay close attention to the amount of cholesterol in their diet.”
Some people use beet juice in their pickled eggs. The addition of beet juice makes these little snacks even more healthy! Beet juice is good for your heart and liver, is high in antioxidants, and may even reduce your cholesterol. What I’m hearing is, the beet juice sort of negates the cholesterol intake from the egg yolk. (But don’t take my word for it, I’m no doctor.)
Is it safe to can pickled eggs?
A boiled egg is so dense, it takes a long time for the brine to fully penetrate through the entire egg. The yolk almost never receives a full dose of the brine. Therefore, canning pickled eggs is a hugge no-no!
A study done by the Center for Disease Control actually showed a case of botulism from improperly canned pickled eggs back in 1997. “The amount of toxin detected in the recovered egg yolk suggested that bacterial growth was concentrated in that portion of the egg.”
So, no. It is not safe to can pickled eggs. The vinegar and salt (and any other ingredients you may add) are all about flavor. There is no method to guarantee shelf-stable preservation.
How long do pickled eggs last?
Since you cannot safely can pickled eggs, they must be kept in the refrigerator at all times.
Most people who make their own pickled eggs let them soak up the brine for at least a week. After that, I would recommend eating them within a few months (3-4 is what most people recommend).
Keep in mind that if the eggs stay in the brine for too long, they may become a bit chewy. I have a feeling, though, that you won’t be letting these flavor-filled eggs sit in the fridge for too long before they’re gone!
How to make pickled eggs
Ok. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s make some pickled eggs, shall we?
Step 1: Prepare the jars
Even though you’re not canning these pickled eggs, it’s still a good idea to start with sterilized jars. In fact, no matter what food you prepare that will be stored for any length of time, the container should be clean and sterile.
Just like when you’re canning, you can sterilize your clean jars in the oven, boiling water, or in your dishwasher (if the machine has a Sterilize setting). Lids and rings should be sterilized, as well.
Step 2: Prepare the eggs
Boiled eggs are the base for this recipe, and there are a number of ways to “boil” your eggs.
The traditional way is to put your eggs into a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and turn the heat off. The eggs will cook even though the pot has been turned off. Let the eggs stay covered for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Emma over at A Beautiful Mess cooks her “boiled” eggs in the oven! Arrange your eggs into a muffin tin, place the muffin tin into a 350°F oven, and bake for 30 minutes. When the eggs come out, she puts them into an ice water bath for about 10 minutes to stop the cooking.
Around our house, we tend to lean more on the Instant-Pot “5-5-5” method. (We actually have a 6qt Farberware Pressure Cooker instead of the name brand Instant-Pot.) Put your trivet into the Instant-Pot, pour in 1 cup of water, and place the eggs on the silicone sling. Secure the lid, put the Instant-Pot on the “Beans” setting for 5 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then remove the eggs into an ice bath for an additional 5 minutes to stop the cooking.
Step 3: Prep the “Add-Ins”
If you’re planning to add anything to the pickled eggs to flavor them, get those ingredients ready now.
We use onions, garlic and jalapeños in our eggs. I slice the onions into thin strips, though you can shop them, if you prefer. I like to chop the jalapeño peppers into rings about 1/4″ thick, leaving the seeds and ribs intact. The garlic cloves get smashed with the flat side of a knife just to break them open enough to release some extra flavor.
Planning on using beet juice in your eggs? Boil a sliced beet for about 15 minutes to extract all the nutritious flavor, strain, and substitute it for the water in the next step.
The sky is the limit here, folks. Use hotter chili peppers for a spicier pickled egg. More sugar will give these eggs a bread and butter flavor. Fresh dill will add an extra pop of pickley (is that even a real word?) goodness!
Step 4: Prepare the brine
Most pickled egg brines are a 1:1 ratio of water to vinegar. In this recipe, I use plain water and white vinegar.
You can use beet juice in place of the water for a magenta-colored, nutrient-packed pickled egg. You can also, most certainly, use apple cider vinegar in place of the water, if you like.
For every 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar I use, I add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon sea salt, and 1 tablespoon pickling spice (in a tea infuser).
Add it all to a pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. This will ensure the salt and sugar dissolve, and the pickling spice is fully infused into the brine.
If you’re on keto or trying to avoid processed sugars, you can omit the sugar. You could also add just about anything else you might want to the brine. More spice? Red pepper flakes and black peppercorns. Add bay leaves, use pink Himalayan salt instead of sea salt, add cinnamon sticks – make this your own!
Step 5: Pickle the eggs
Now that all the ingredients are ready, it’s time to get the jars packed. I like to layer my jars, so I add some garlic, onion and jalapeño, then a few eggs. I repeat the process until the jar is full.
Then it’s time to add the brine. Pour the hot brine into the jar over the contents. Leave about a 1/2″ headspace, put the lid and ring on, and tighten. The lid should be snug, not just “fingertip tight” like when you’re canning.
Step 6: Store the pickled eggs
That’s it! You’re done making your pickled eggs. All you have to do is put them into the refrigerator and wait.
Some recipes tell you to wait 24 hours before eating, others say 2 weeks. Use your best judgement. The longer they sit in the brine, the more flavor they will absorb.
You can keep these in the fridge for up to 3-4 months. Any longer, and you may end up with rubbery eggs, and that’s not good eats (as Alton Brown would say).
Watch the Video:
- 12 Hard Boiled Eggs peeled
- 1 Cup White Vinegar
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Pickling Spice
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, pickling spices and salt in small saucepan.
- Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain liquid, if desired.
- Place eggs in 1 quart mason jar. Pour hot brine over eggs into each jar. Cover jar with lid. (Note: If adding additional ingredients like onion, garlic, or chili peppers, layer them in with the eggs during this step.)
- Refrigerate for at least one week before eating.
How to Eat Pickled Eggs
Aside from pulling one out of the jar and gobbling it down, you can eat pickled eggs in any dish you’d eat boiled eggs in.
We’re already talking about making egg salad and deviled eggs out of ours. You could always chop some up into some potato salad or to top a garden salad.
I’ve even heard of people making pickled egg sandwiches with just bread, mayo, salt, pepper and pickled eggs.
However you try yours (or if you have ideas), let us know! We’re looking to try them in all sorts of ways!
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Patrick & Jessie homestead in Middle Georgia with two of their four children and their three dogs. They love gardening, food preservation, and keeping their family prepared for any disaster that may come.