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?

Keep your eggs from breaking with these egg cartons -- they're tough so eggs don't break even if something falls on top of it, and they lock so the eggs won't fall out.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.

See these on Amazon

Keep your eggs from breaking with these egg cartons -- they're tough so eggs don't break even if something falls on top of it, and they lock so the eggs won't fall out.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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  • Yvonne Gumaer on Facebook
    Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

    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.

  • Charlotte Caldwell on Facebook
    Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

    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!

  • Alice McKenzie on Facebook
    Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

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

    • Alice McKenzie
      Posted at 05 June 2013 Reply

      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.

      • Carolyn Shearlock
        Posted at 06 June 2013 Reply

        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.

  • Waterwoman
    Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

    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!

  • Waterwoman
    Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

    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!

  • PacificSailors on Facebook
    Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

    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…??

  • Dawn Hoyle
    Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

    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
      Posted at 02 March 2012 Reply

      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!

    Posted at 16 August 2012 Reply

    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….

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 16 August 2012 Reply

      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.

      • Judy Cook
        Posted at 26 May 2016 Reply

        We just returned from ten weeks living onboard and I never once refrigerated my eggs. I never had a bad egg. We traveled through Canada to the Bahamas so they were exposed to all temperatures and conditions. I bought eggs in supermarkets and some very out of the way places. I use the Coleman camper containers (or the store cartons when the eggs were too big to fit in the Coleman) and turned the containers daily.

  • Andrea Dollins on Facebook
    Posted at 14 April 2013 Reply

    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.

  • S/V Dos Libras on Facebook
    Posted at 14 April 2013 Reply

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

  • Charlotte Caldwell on Facebook
    Posted at 14 April 2013 Reply

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

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 14 April 2013 Reply

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

  • Nicholson Yacht Charters on Facebook
    Posted at 14 April 2013 Reply

    whatever makes you happy!

  • Victoria
    Posted at 15 April 2013 Reply

    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.

  • Dave Skolnick on Facebook
    Posted at 15 April 2013 Reply

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

  • S.V. Cambria
    Posted at 23 May 2014 Reply

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

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 23 May 2014 Reply

    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?

  • Nancy Maurer Rieckmann
    Posted at 24 May 2014 Reply

    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

    • Molly Arnold
      Posted at 13 January 2016 Reply

      I have had unrefrigerated eggs mold in these containers. I think it’s brcause they don’t let in enough air — which is of course why they are so great for storing refrigerated eggs! So …. I use them in the fridge where they perform well.

  • Patty Alderson
    Posted at 24 May 2014 Reply

    Love this container!!

  • Sarah Short
    Posted at 24 May 2014 Reply

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

  • Nathan Van Meter
    Posted at 24 May 2014 Reply

    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. 🙂

  • Claire O'Loughlin
    Posted at 15 October 2014 Reply

    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.

  • Roger
    Posted at 25 September 2015 Reply

    Egg carton is not always required. While backpacking, I gently fill a jar with eggs. Break into a small bowl and slip into the jar. Fill jar with butter so no air space. A tight jar lid and cool storage keeps each egg safe. You can shake the jar and all eggs are as good ss in their shell. You can pour one egg at a time into a fry pan.

  • Mark
    Posted at 22 April 2016 Reply

    In the documentary “Beyond The West Horizon” by Eric and Susan Hiscock, she stores the eggs by first coating each egg shell in vaseline. They claimed the eggs would last three to four months.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 23 April 2016 Reply

      If they’ve never been refrigerated, you don’t even need the Vaseline.

  • Suzette Alispach
    Posted at 14 January 2017 Reply

    Weighing in on mold. I’m in Mexico and bought the lock & lock egg containers based on recommendation from Boat Galley. Yes, we have gotten mold in our containers! It seems to be more of a problem with eggs stored above the water line and close to the hull sides. I imagine cooler air vs the warmer cabin air is the problem. Wiping the insides of the containers with vinegar seems to help, as does storing the cartons were the temperature is more stable away from the hull.

  • Eve
    Posted at 27 October 2017 Reply

    I just purchased a Lock & Lock using Carolyn’s Amazon link. The two I received both already had small holes in the undersides (not at the base of the egg hole, but at the “bridge” connecting each egg hole). Seems like it will add ventilation so no mold will develop. The holes are very tiny, so I doubt anything would spill if an egg happened to break.

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