Isn’t it nice to put some eggs in the freezer? Come back months later and thaw like nothing had happened. Good as new even though the eggs are months older. Is it workable? Can you freeze eggs in the shell?
The basic idea of freezing. Water, when subjected to certain temperature will change into solid. Egg is about 75% water. It will turn into solid if cooled enough.
Freezing egg whites and yolks is not a problem. Mix them together, add salt or sugar, transfer to a sealed container, and then freeze. It would last for a year.
Yet, freezing eggs in the shell is a different story. Water expands when frozen. It will crack the shell causing the liquid to ooze out upon thawing. It’s not the scenario you wanted to see.
On the contrary, you can do some measures to alleviate the issue. Quick freeze eggs in the shell. In fact, some recipes call for frozen eggs.
Basic Idea of Freezing
Your cola bottle was three-quarters full. After freezing, it is almost full. Did it imbibe water in the freezer? I’m sure not. I’ll explain briefly the basic idea of freezing.
Water, when you subject it to 0ºC, it changes from liquid to solid. And as it changes, it forms large ice crystals, which makes it appear to have gained more mass. But it doesn’t. It only gains volume. It will go back to it its original volume once thawed.
Freezing gives benefits to most commodities but has some drawbacks. Freezing temperature is low enough to stop most microbial reproduction. It’s also low enough to stop fruits and vegetables’ physiological processes. Thus, delaying decay.
How about the drawback? Water molecules form large crystals, thus destroying molecular structure and bonds. After thawing meats become dry and tough, while vegetables turn soggy. Flavor degradation also occurs as a result.
Don’t lose hope. Quick freezing may solve the problem. Subjecting foods to temperature low enough to arrest big crystal formation.
Why Do Eggs Freeze?
The egg has:
- yolk in the center
- albumen known as egg white
- membrane covering the albumen
- external hard shell
Egg also holds proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. About 75% is water. The albumen is 90% water while the yolk is 50% water.
Shell is calcium carbonate. It’s rigid but it’s thin built makes it fragile.
Why do egg freeze? Because it has water. A lot of it.
I think you have a basic idea of what will happen if you freeze the egg. Freezing can easily blow up the fragile shell by turning the 75% water into large ice crystals.
Can You Freeze Eggs in the Shell?
Quick freezing works great if you have access to an industrial freezer. But don’t fret. You can get the same feat with home fridge and chest freezer by sticking to a few guidelines.
Home freezers at its maximum can lower the temperature down to -18ºC. But you often overcrowd the machine and let the frost to build up.
So, don’t overcrowd the freezer. Practice the habit of dividing foods into sections for cold air to circulate freely.
Defrost the fridge regularly to remove frost layers. Check the door seal for tightness and have it repaired once in doubt.
Check the temperature regularly. If it couldn’t reach -18°C, it may need a freon reload. The compressor might be failing. These call for repair or a new fridge.
If you’ve met the conditions, place the egg in a polybag and put it inside the fridge. It would last for 12 months.
I ask you again. Can you freeze eggs in the shell? Yes you can. But the shell might break. If it does, the polybag will save you from cleaning up the mess.
Can You Freeze Boiled Eggs?
Heat turns the runny yolk and albumen into bouncy mass. Where did the water go? The water is still in there. Held between protein to protein bonds.
What do you think? Can you freeze boiled eggs? I bet you can! Freeze boiled eggs the same way you freeze fresh eggs.
However, if you do it the wrong way, ice crystals will destroy protein bonds. Therefore, boiled eggs will release water when thawed and won’t taste as great.
Mini Sunny Side Ups – surprise recipe 1
Do you know what’s the beauty in frozen eggs? You can peel and slice them before cooking. Yes, some recipes require freezing the eggs first.
- Freeze the egg for an hour. Remove the shell. Then slice into thin pieces.
- While still frozen, fry in a covered pan, over a low heat, for 8 minutes.
- What you would get are several mini sunny side ups that you can put in burgers.
You must work fast because frozen eggs melt quickly. Use a sharp knife for cutting and wear thick gloves as protection.
Read my post on egg yolk substitutes.
Egg Tempura – surprise recipe 2
You’ll be able to fry a whole egg without boiling it first. Freeze the egg and make egg tempura.
- Freeze the egg for about an hour or 2.
- Remove the shells.
- Coat with prepared batter, coat with flour, then repeat two times.
- Deep fry for 6 minutes.
Frozen egg melts fast. You have to work as fast as you can. Take out a few eggs a time, to avoid the hassle.
Can you freeze eggs in the shell? Your answer might be different now. Because in order to cook a mini sunny side up and egg tempura, you must freeze the eggs first.
Provided that you meet certain conditions, you can freeze eggs in the shell. Not only freeze but freeze without cracking.
Freezing converts water into ice. In the case of eggs, freezing turns its 75% water content into solid. If done incorrectly, water will have the chance to form bigger crystals, causing expansion, and cracking the shell in the end.
Do something to resolve the issue. Most home freezers are capable of -18°C, enough to quickly freeze a bunch of eggs. Clear up space and create freezer sections to allow good airflow. And set the thermostat to maximum before tossing the eggs in.
Provide a power backup. You have no control over power interruptions so it’s good to have a backup ready. A green energy source like solar power is nice to have.
Recipes like mini sunny side up and egg tempura need frozen eggs. If you want to prepare these recipes, you have to freeze some eggs. Even if you don’t want to.
Read my other article on egg substitutes for vegan baking.