02 Mar 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 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.
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!