We produce a lot of eggs at Bellair Farm. I thought I would dedicate an entire post to eggs! I’ll try to answer some frequently asked questions and try to give you some cooking inspiration.
How fresh are Bellair Farm’s eggs?
So fresh. Like, laid this week fresh. That means they are super duper tasty! These eggs are so fresh that you might have trouble peeling them. If you like hard-boiled eggs or know you’re going to want deviled eggs in the future, buy a carton and let them sit in your fridge for a few weeks (that’s right, a few weeks! Read on to learn how long our eggs last). Older eggs develop a small layer of air in between their porous shell and the membrane inside. This helps with the peeling process, but there is no perfect method, as explained in this article. Just plan on some egg salad sandwiches!
How long will Bellair’s eggs last?
2+ months. Seriously. Eggs are incredible feats of nature and can stay fresh for extended periods of time. Crew member Nat wants me to tell you he’s had a carton on his counter for 2 months and nothing bad happened. You don’t need to be like Nat, but don’t be afraid to stock up next time!
Does Bellair Farm wash their eggs?
Yes we do. It is the industry standard to wash eggs to limit food safety hazards. Inevitably, some eggs have poop on them when we collect them, and you definitely don’t want to see that when you open up your carton. We have a special bubbler system that gently agitates the eggs in water with a little mild detergent. Then we run them through a rinse cycle, check for cracks, and carton them up!
Does Bellair Farm refrigerate their eggs?
Yes we do. To err on the safe side, we store our eggs in a refrigerator after we wash them. Storing unwashed eggs at room temperature is completely safe, and in my kitchen, I’ve been known to store even our washed eggs out on my counter. It is completely up to you.
What makes an egg brown vs. blue?
The breed of chicken. We have Golden Comets, who lay the brown eggs and Easter Eggers who lay the blue ones!
Why are some of Bellair’s eggs so huge?
We have very healthy chickens! We also do not grade our eggs, so you might find some huge ones and some small ones from time to time. Embrace the variation and know this: double yolks are good luck!
What do Bellair’s chickens eat?
Our chickens are rotated to new pasture every week or two. They eat grass tips and broadleaf plants as well as weed seeds and tons of bugs. In addition, we feed them a grain feed that contains no GMOs, hormones, or antibiotics. We also provide them with oyster shell, for calcium, and grit, which helps them better digest their food.
What is your favorite thing to do with eggs?
Anything and everything! I feel like farmers especially eat a lot of eggs in the winter because we are all trying to avoid buying food at the grocery store!
One of my go-to winter meals has been shakshuka, which is a simple and delicious dish of eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce. I’m not really a recipe person, so I winged it, omitting the peppers (out of season, yuck!) and adding some white beans and a smoked tomato sauce I made last summer. The most important thing is the spices and a little sugar, and getting your eggs to nest in little wells you make with your spoon.
Crew member Lane likes making chocolate mousse, which is a lot easier to make than you think and uses a lot of egg yolks. Lane says if you make chocolate mousse, you also have to make meringues (also easier than you think) because you will have lots of leftover whites!
Just when I think I know all there is to know about chickens and eggs, someone asks me a question that stumps me, or I see a chicken do something crazy gross/dumb/smart/weird. If you have any weird chicken or egg stories, share them below!