In short, is it safe to make pickled eggs where the yolk is still soft?

I want to make some jars of pickled eggs to give as Christmas presents but I hate hard boiled eggs. I have a technique down pat that results in solid egg whites and yolks that are orange and have a gel texture. Having never even seen pickled eggs with anything other than hard boiled yolks, it got me wondering whether there's some kind of food safety reason behind that. I've done some searching around on everything from food safety websites to food websites, to pickling blogs, to here and I can't find anything relating to yolks that are anything other than hard boiled.

Can anyone advise me on any possible safety concerns with using eggs that have yolks that are still not entirely set in the middle?

  • I see you posted this a year ago. Are you still alive? After doing a batch I realized my eggs might not be as well cooked as I had intended. – wobbily_col Feb 2 '19 at 17:35

First, even when making pickled eggs at home, to be safe you need to refrigerate them at all times as described at the National Center for Home Food Preservation:

Storing Eggs

After making the eggs, the eggs require some time to season (i.e., pick up the flavors from the pickling brine). Keep them refrigerated at all times. If small eggs are used, 1 to 2 weeks are usually allowed for seasoning to occur. Medium or large eggs may require 2 to 4 weeks to become well seasoned. Use the eggs within 3 to 4 months for best quality.

The closest thing I found that used soft-boiled eggs is this recipe from Serious Eats for Japanese Marinated Soft Boiled Egg for Ramen which also requires refrigeration and also doesn't store for long.

Even if you deem them safe for your personal consumption, it's best not to risk it for other people.

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No: if you're making pickled eggs for long-term storage (i.e. in a fridge), you must cook them thoroughly (i.e. hard boil them).

Also, immersing food such as eggs in alcohol and/or acid (i.e. vinegar) will denature the protein, giving it the texture/appearance of having been cooked, but will not kill bacteria/micro-organisms present. Basically, you'll more-or-less end up with hard-boiled eggs after the eggs sit in the fridge long enough, but you're going to put whomever eats them into the hospital.

@DanaBrunson is correct: you can make soft-boiled ramen eggs, but they don't store more than a couple days. If you must have that consistency, you could try making century eggs, which taste OK enough, but not the same as a "normal" soft-boiled egg (and look abhorrent).

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