The Perfect Brine For Single Eggs - "How-To Cure loose eggs"
By Ben See | 12/01/2011
There are many methods to curing eggs. Here in Steelhead Alley I think it's safe to say we all have our own favorites. However, we also tend to do things a bit different than in other parts of the country. For example, curing single king, brown trout and steelhead eggs is engrained in our culture whereas that practice is foreign to many West Coast guys.
We all have personal recipes. Meanwhile, few would argue that borax based cures are the most popular. Ironically, as soon as I became fluent in curing eggs with BorX O' Fire I think I've come across a new formula that's already creating seismic waves in Steelhead Alley. While just released this fall I've found Pautzke's Fire Brine to outduel all other cures and believe it will be a staple in the region.
Between what I've done on the water and the success Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters has had, I've been fielding a bunch of questions on how to use this brine. The following How-To instructions will assist all anglers on the most effective way to cure loose eggs using Fire Brine. I like Fire Brine because it's the easiest cure to use, won't burn your eggs and the end result is a perfect egg to tie up spawn sacs and land big fish. The ability to use Brine in conjunction with other Pautzke products such as BorX O' Fire is a huge benefit, which you'll see in this recipe.
1 quart Mason jar with lid
Uncured loose eggs
Pautzke Fire Brine
Fill Mason jar with uncured loose eggs. To allow for expansion leave roughly 2 inches from the top of the eggs to the lid.
Take your bottle of Fire Brine and shake for 30 seconds. Then pour brine into the jar putting enough Brine into the jar to cover the eggs. Then close and tighten the lid. Initially, the eggs float, but after one hour the eggs will begin to sink. The floating/sinking egg is normal and expected.
Place jar into the fridge for 24 hours until Fire Brine does its magic.
THAT IS IT!!!
Sounds almost too easy? Pautzke Fire Brine is the simplest cure. No fuss, no muss. Follow this three-step process and you are ensured a quality cured egg.
Editor's Note: See's Fire Brine Highlights:
*Eggs gain translucent look
*Eggs appear plump juicy
*Eggs milk properly and scent trail lasts for the life of the egg
*Fire Brine can be followed up with e BorX O' Fire to fine tune egg color.
*Eggs don't break when tying into spawn sacs like other cures on the market
Eggs cured in (L to R) Red Fire Brine and Natural Fire Brine
Notes From Ben See's Mixology Lab:
Fire Cure can also be used on loose eggs. However, this cure must be applied sparingly on them. Unlike BorX O' Fire, if too much Fire Cure is sprinkled on the eggs, they can quickly turn plump eggs into raisons. In the event your eggs are overcooked here's a quick remedy I've discovered: place Fire Cured eggs into the Fire Brine. Within 24-28 hours your eggs once thought lost should plump up usable again.
*BorX O Fire*
Fire Brine can be used in conjunction with BorX O' Fire to tweak egg colors to your specific preference. I recommend using Fire Brine first and then adding BorX O' Fire.
Fire Brine comes in several colors. You can cure eggs in one color and place the cured eggs into a second color of the brine, allowing you to tweak the egg color to your own particular liking. Remember your base color is the color of the egg, which is normally a yellow hue. When using blue Fire Brine on a yellow egg, your egg will not be blue, perhaps rather a dark green. I admit the eggs look like nothing I've ever seen, yet this may be just the trick needed when the steelhead have been heavily pressured. This color is certainly something they have never seen in an egg.
(L to R) Clear Fire Brine & Orange Borx O' Fire/Red Fire Brine & Natural BorX O' Fire/Red Fire Brine & Orange BorX O' Fire
During the curing process you'll notice at the end of the 24-hour period the brine will have all but infused into the eggs. Brine may be absent from the top half of the. This is normal. During the curing process the eggs have juiced out and reabsorbed the brine. These eggs are ready for use.
These eggs can be either stored in the freezer or a fridge. Personally, I use the fridge, but have seen no ill effects from a Fire Brine cured egg being frozen and then thawed. However, don't refreeze an egg that was previously frozen.
I've left eggs in Fire Brine for more than 72 hours with no ill effects noticed. The eggs fish just as if they were cured for 24-48 hours. Brined eggs milk out quicker than other curing methods. The milking process is a good thing, but you may need to have more eggs on hand to tie into spawn sacs. After about 15 drifts the spawn sacs turn white, which is a sign it is time to switch to a new sac.