This easy old fashioned pickled eggs recipe is quick to make and requires no canning. These tangy eggs are quick-pickled and placed in the refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy them. Best of all, since they are refrigerated you can add any number of additional simple ingredients to customize the flavor without worrying about compromising canning safely.
What are they?
Pickled eggs are a great healthy snack or appetizer, just ask anyone enjoying the historically popular bar pickled eggs at most taverns. Plus they are an incredible way to jazz up the flavor of any egg salad. My old fashioned pickled eggs recipe strictly uses basic ingredients my grandma would have on hand from her garden. The flavorings may be simple, but these hard-boiled eggs still pack a tangy vinegar punch, with just enough sweetness to take the edge off.
- Hard boiled eggs
- White vinegar - Apple cider vinegar could be substituted to bring the flavor in a different direction.
- White sugar - Sugar mellows out the harsh vinegar flavor.
- Salt - Canning salt is best because it doesn't have iodine in it that can discolor the brine.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic cloves
- Bay leaf - If you make two jars I would use two bay leaves to ensure each jar gets one.
- Yellow onion - A sweet onion would be equally as good.
Customizing Your Easy Pickled Eggs
You can customize this easy recipe with some pretty easy variations. Try adding your favorite pickling spices, herbs like fresh dill, or additional vegetables like a spicy chili pepper. Beet juice can even be added to make tantalizing red beet eggs.
How to hard boiled eggs
You can buy hard-boiled eggs at the grocery store, but most people make their own hard-boiled eggs because it is much cheaper and really easy. To make perfect hard-boiled eggs begin by adding a single layer of eggs to a large pot filled with enough cold water to cover the eggs by one inch.
Tip: I recommend salting the water and adding a splash of vinegar to help prevent the shells from cracking while boiling.
Cover your pot of eggs with a lid and bring it to a boil. As soon as it is boiling shut off the heat, but leave the lid on to help the eggs cook. Let the pot sit for 14 minutes and your eggs will be perfectly hard-boiled.
Remove the boiled eggs from your pot with a slotted spoon and place eggs in a large bowl of ice water to cool them down quickly. This also makes them easier to peel. You are now ready to turn them into the best pickled eggs ever!
Tip: Fresh eggs often don't peel as well. I like hard boiling eggs that have sat in my refrigerator for a week if possible. Check out my hard boiled eggs tutorial for more helpful hints.
How to pickle eggs
Begin making your old fashioned pickled eggs by adding the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, bay leaf, and garlic to a medium saucepan set over high heat. Bring your saucepan to a simmer and let cook for approximately ten minutes, or until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
The brine should now be cooled so it doesn't overcook your boiled eggs, which turns the yolk into an unappetizing green color. Cooling the brine in the refrigerator is recommended.
Once the brine has cooled, place your peeled hard-boiled eggs into a mason jar along with slices of raw onion. Then pour in the pickling brine to fill the glass jar completely.
How to store them
This is a quick-pickled eggs recipe, not a canning recipe. Therefore you need to keep your pickled eggs in the refrigerator. This recipe has not been tested for long-term room temperature storage like a traditional canning recipe would be. However, these eggs will keep for months in your refrigerator.
More pickling recipes
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Old Fashioned Pickled Eggs
- 12 hard boiled eggs
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ small yellow onion sliced
- Add vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic, and bay leaf to a medium saucepan set over high heat. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sugar and salt has completely dissolved.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool. The brine can be placed in the refrigerator to cool faster.
- Crack and peel your hard boiled eggs and discard the shells.
- Add the peeled eggs to a quart jar intermingled with the raw onion slices.
- Pour the cooled brine into the jar, ensure the garlic cloves and bay leaf make it into the jar.
- Cover jar with the lid and seal it shut, then place it in the refrigerator for at least one week prior to enjoying.