Egg Cartons

By Carolyn Shearlock, copyright 2012 . All rights reserved.

Egg Cartons
Storing your eggs on a boat isn’t quite as straightforward as ashore.  Whether you’re putting them in your refrigerator, a cooler or keeping them at room temperature (only if they’ve never been refrigerated), they need more protection against breakage.

So what works best?

Lock-&-Lock-egg-cartonLock & Lock Egg Containers. The Lock & Lock containers, pictured, are my choice.  I’ve never seen them in a local store (but then, I’m in a town of 20,000 people).  Amazon sells them and occasionally other online vendors.

Why do I like these?

  • Heavy plastic — you can set other things on top of the egg carton (or things can fall on them . . .) and the eggs don’t break.
  • Good seal — if you miss that an egg is cracked when you put it in the container, and it oozes, the mess will stay inside the container instead of leaking all over other things.
  • Solid latches — I’ve never had a latch on any Lock & Lock container inadvertently open.  No eggs will fall out!
  • Tough hinges — the latches won’t break off, either.  These things last forever.
  • Easy to clean — plastic is easy to wash, and you can use bleach water on it if needed to disinfect it.
  • Plastic won’t harbor any bugs — I know there is some controversy over whether cardboard really does harbor bugs, but why take chances?  I like as little cardboard on the boat as possible.
  • If you’re keeping your eggs outside the refrigerator (only do this with eggs that have never been refrigerated), it’s easy to just turn the whole carton every few days — it won’t pop open!
  • These double as great leakproof ice cube trays

A few readers have complained that their eggs got moldy in these and they had to drill a small hole in each egg compartment to avoid this (which negates the benefit of a cracked egg being contained). Most don’t have this problem and I don’t know why some do.

See these on Amazon

Egg Containers. Most of us have probably seen the Coleman Camping Egg Containers (the one I had for years was green).  You can find them in every camping department — Walmart, Target and any other place you care to look.

These are better than using styrofoam or cardboard egg cartons, but not nearly as good as the Lock & Locks — and at least where I live, they only cost about 50 cents less!

They have the same advantages of protecting the eggs if you want to put something on top of them and also being easy to clean.  But —

  • There is no seal around the edge, meaning that if an egg does crack or break (and yes, I’ve had it happen) the mess will leak out and clean up will be much more involved.
  • The latch isn’t nearly as secure as with the Lock & Lock and I’ve had it pop open as things were jostled around . . . and then an egg fell out . . . and of course it broke . . . and that’s when I decided to find something better (the Lock & Locks).

Styrofoam Egg Cartons. While styrofoam cartons are better than cardboard ones when it comes to cleaning them — you can wash them and use bleach water on them — they just don’t protect eggs that well.  I’ve noticed at my grocery store that it seems like there’s more likely to be a cracked or broken egg in a dozen in a styrofoam carton, and asked the dairy manager if that was really true or just my perception.  He said that they have 3 or 4 times the breakage in styrofoam cartons as in cardboard!

The other disadvantages are of course that there’s no seal on the carton, so if an egg breaks, the mess is likely to get all over other things and that the carton pops open easily.

Cardboard Egg Cartons. They protect the eggs better than styrofoam, but nowhere near as well as the plastic options.  You can’t wash them out, they may harbor bugs, and they tend to pop open with the motion of the boat.  And don’t think about using them in a cooler — any sloshing water from melted ice will just destroy them!

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Comments

  1. These are the greatest ever. Not only do they keep eggs secure, unlike other plastic cartons they will hold any size egg. I could not put extra large eggs in the Coleman Carton. I got mine from Amazon but a friend of mine found hers at Winn Dixie. Love reading TBG.

  2. Charlotte Caldwell on Facebook says:

    I just received mine from amazon thanks to 5
    TBG recommendation and link and love it. I think I need to buy another so I can take it to the store and transfer the eggs into it before coming back to the boat!

  3. What a great product! Two for me and one for my friend’s boat.

    • Alice McKenzie says:

      After having these cartons for a season of sailing in Mexico I found that the eggs get moldy faster than if I just kept them in the cardboard cartons. I think the containers capture the moisture. Someone stated that they punched holes into their egg containers so they could breathe. How did they puncture the plastic? Any other suggestions? I had the problem with eggs that I didn’t refrigerate as well as the ones that I cooled in the frig. My friend’s cartons side locking piece broke right away so she is not pleased.

      • I’m not sure what the difference is, as I never had the problem. Maybe eggs have just gotten a little larger so there’s no air around them? Anyway, you can make holes pretty easily with a drill and a small drill bit — say maybe 1/16″ or 3/32″.

        Similarly, I’ve never had a locking tab break and I have a lot of Lock & Lock pieces, purchased over a number of years — sold is probably at least 10 years old, some very recent.

        However, right now I see that practically all the places that sell the Lock & Lock containers online are reporting them “out of stock” — so maybe the company has had some problems and is no longer selling them or working on a redesign.

  4. Waterwoman says:

    I get my Lock N Lock from QVC shopping channel. I use these all the time and they are absolutely foolproof. One caveat, they won’t work with jumbo eggs. Well, the eggs will fit, but when you put the lid on it fractures the tops of the eggs (ask me how I know:))

    Great product!

  5. Waterwoman says:

    Hmmmm….I just looked at QVC and all they had was a set with 18 egg storage, bread container and bacon container. My cartons that I have from them hold a dozen. The Amazon price is very good, I have four and that is probably enough, but good to know where I can get them reasonably.

    Thanks, Carolyn!

  6. I was going to ask if they will hold really big eggs but Yvonne answered my question. Thanks! Now… how to get an Amazon delivery in Mexico…??

  7. How do you keep bread (store bought)? I know there is a new Lock and Lock
    container but what about when I also have hamburger buns and bagels?

    Love your website even for those of us who are just short-term cruisers.

    • Carolyn Shearlock says:

      I usually kept mine in one of the gear hammocks in the salon — I hung them from the overhead handholds so that they wouldn’t crash into anything with the motion of the boat. I put the bottom of a large plastic bin in one and just piled the bread in — I left it all in its plastic wrappers and didn’t worry about putting a lid on top.

      If that’s not practical in your boat, you could get almost any type of a plastic bin (if you leave the bread in its wrapper, I wouldn’t worry if you just get a cheapie) — be sure to use the lid if you put it somewhere that stuff could fall on it!

      It may not apply on your boat, but lots of cruisers use an oven or microwave as their “bread storage” and just take it out when using the oven or microwave!

      Glad you find TBG useful — I try to have a mix of info, both for long-term cruisers and those who just spend occasion overnights aboard. Lots of stuff is the same, no matter how long you’re out . . . or even just staying in the marina!

  8. MICHELLE HORWOOD says:

    Hi Carolyn and Readers

    Thanks so much for your top tips and I bought the egg cartons especially as I saw them here and so far 6 weeks into our journey they are doing better than the eggs. The biggest problem I find in North America is that they refrigerate their eggs in EVERY supermarket so I have lost more through the egg going mouldy than anything to do with the containers. We don’t have a fridge on board so they need to stay out but if you put mineral oil on the base the eggs should be fresh for 3 – 4 weeks….

    • Yes, it’s very hard to find non-refrigerated eggs in the US. The Food & Drug Administration seriously frowns on not refrigerating them. I’ve always understood that once they were refrigerated, they had to stay refrigerated, so don’t know about just using mineral oil on them. When I’ve not had a refrigerator, I’ve put them in the cooler with the veggies and they do well there.

  9. Andrea Dollins on Facebook says:

    I love these!…I also used the Coleman style one’s for years, and they weren’t much better then keeping them in they’re cardboard carton. I still ended up with broken eggs, but I never have a problem with these.

  10. I had the Colemans too and the eggs always broke. These Lock & Locks really keep the eggs from breaking?

  11. Charlotte Caldwell on Facebook says:

    They are wonderful, thanks so much for recommending them. We take it to the supermarket, tienda or stall and fill carton there

  12. Yep, the Lock & Locks are infinitely better than the Coleman ones!

  13. whatever makes you happy!

  14. We had great luck with our lock and lock egg containers. For our Pacific crossing they tucked into a drawer for many weeks. I found that keeping the lids off was important to keeping the eggs nice so I only used the lids to carry eggs home. When I’m not storing dozens of eggs one or two boxes go into my freezer. We make half-egg shaped ice cubes and since the container is watertight if the boat rocks before they freeze the water stays in the container.

  15. Dave Skolnick on Facebook says:

    Lock & Locks are without exception the best containers aboard. Keep your eyes peeled for the stackable versions. They show up on QVC.com sometimes.

  16. That’s GREAT news. We love our Lock & Lock egg carton because it has plenty of room for larger eggs (unlike the Coleman one).

  17. Just about to write about some of them being too small for “real eggs” when s.v.cambria did it. The eggs have to be perfectly dry before they go in the fridge though or they will go mouldy. We keep ours in the cool store….15 degrees.
    Is there any damage if they go mouldy?

  18. I have owned my lock and lock for 4 years now and have never had an egg mold on me. Of course they are always in the fridge though

  19. Love this container!!

  20. We bought ours after you suggested it, and we love it !!

  21. I’ve had mine for ten years or so…
    For camping. Long before I ever thought about becoming a cruiser.
    Works great. Never lost an egg. :-)

  22. Claire O'Loughlin says:

    Hi you only need to refrigerate eggs that have been washed. So if you can source eggs direct from chicken owners that collect them from the nest the chickens coat them with a protective film.

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