So last year for Easter, we used Kool Aid to dye our eggs, post right here. It turned out really quite well BUT this year with our chickens, I wanted something more natural as we feed the egg shells back to the chickens as they need extra calcium in their diet. Wasn’t to keen on giving them kool aid. I also wanted to figure out if it was possible to actual cook the eggs in the Crock-Pot to hard boil them. So this is a labor of love from the last few weeks. I accomplished getting them boiled and not over done (*note to self, going over an hour for this recipe will not work) and then finding good natural edible foods and spices to dye the eggs with. This “recipe” is going to be quite open ended. You can boil as many eggs as your crock will hold without them touching each other. 12 or less will work well in your larger crocks, a smaller crock will only hold 3-4.
When I first boiled a batch of eggs, I allowed them to touch, and found a couple had cracked. Now this isn’t really any different then what I have experienced when I boil them the old fashioned way, but I wanted to find a better way to do it without losing eggs. I used silicone baking cups (they look like cupcake papers) to hold the eggs in place and that worked a lot better. A few of those turned over but it wasn’t really a problem because it still kept them from touching each other, which what caused the cracking.
Now one might ask why would you do it in the Crock-Pot? If you are like me, I like to start something and come back to it later. That is what is so awesome with our Crock-Pots and what this does is let me get other things done while they are cooking, where I don’t have to baby-sit them. Definitely use a timer though! Now when I over-cooked them the first time it was by an hour. If you are not going to be eating the eggs, but just decorating them, the time won’t matter so much. Often times, my kids will take the eggs and go hide them in the grass and we find them and so on. I’m not going to be eating a hard boiled egg that sat in my lawn for half the day. However if you are wanting these to be pleasing to the eye, if you peel them, definitely stick to the time frame.
I used various things to dye the eggs. Now first off I purchased a dozen white eggs and we used a bunch of our brown eggs that our chickens lay. You may see little darker edged bumps on some of the brown eggs, that is normal for home grown eggs, the eggs you get at the grocery store typically have the ones with bumps removed from the selection before they are packaged. They make some fun additions to the eggs though. Of all the things I used to dye the eggs for spices we found Turmeric with a cinnamon stick to work the best. For Tea, the Green tea amazing enough worked best. I tried a lot of berry, cherry ect herbal tea’s and none of them left that good of a color. I purchased instant coffee for a dollar and that made some nice brown and deeper brown eggs. Almost marbleized. You can of course, use your own coffee but I don’t drink Coffee and even if I did, I don’t think I’d want expensive coffee to be used on eggs. I also bought some beets and frozen berries and boiled them in the crock and those came out as some interesting shades as well. One last note, a few times the egg coloring didn’t seem to stick and was sloughing off. I let it dry really well and then we cleaned the sloughing back off and it looked really cool. If you want the eggs shiny you can use vegetable oil. I choose to not do that since we will be feeding the egg shells back to the chickens.
For designs I found that what worked the best was the little plastic/rubberish bands for little girls hair (not the smallest size) fit perfectly one time over the eggs. So I could put multiple bands over in different directions and then dye the egg. I also tied some cloth on a few, I used a bigger rubber band (a bit bigger then you would use for a newspaper) and that worked okay, and I even used some specialized tape that is meant to design things (but can be pulled back off). I would definitely not do this with a raw egg, I really had to man handle the eggs to get rubber bands on them, and I was very thankful if I squeezed too hard I wasn’t going to end up with a lump of raw egg in my hand. My one last suggestion is to use red solo type cups. The first time I used mugs, and after making 12 plus mugs dirty and having to clean all that up, I realized throw away cups would work better.