When we talk about storing eggs, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Your initial response may have been to keep it chilled until such time it serves its purpose or until it’s time to chuck it in the bin. But, can you freeze eggs? Yes, you can. This may strike as a surprise to many but believe me, this is a good news.
Why Freeze Eggs?
The mere reason why freezing eggs is a good option is because it prolongs the shelf life to up to a year. Yes, that long! Say, you bought a dozen of eggs and store them in the fridge. The following day, you learned that you need to take an emergency trip somewhere and you need to be apart from your home for a long period. What happens to your precious perishable groceries? The solution is to keep them in a temperature cold enough for bacteria not to thrive. I know these unexpected trips are rare cases. Freezing eggs may not be particularly applicable for an average household who consumes eggs for breakfast on a daily basis or just about anyone who buys just enough for everyone. This tip is essentially for those running bakeries or doing livestock farming on a micro scale. Even practical household heads will buy eggs in bulk when the supermarket announces a sale. These options are for you.
How to Freeze Whole Eggs?
Freezing whole eggs is easy. Just crack them open and drop all contents in a covered freezer-safe container. A useful hack is to drop each piece in containers with different pockets like an ice cube or muffin pan. In this way, it won’t create a huge mess in separating when the recipe calls for only a piece or two. On the other hand, if you think you will use them in one go, storing in a single container makes a sensible choice. Make sure that you freeze only the clean ones otherwise, you’re risking the whole batch from contamination.
Can you freeze eggs with its shell still intact? When we said it’s possible to freeze whole eggs, we only meant everything that’s inside it. Not including the shell. This is not recommended because there’s a possibility of cracking. When it does, you’re exposing the eggs from pathogenic microorganisms present in the surface. Oftentimes during winter, this case happens unintentionally. When it does, get rid of it immediately so it won’t cause further contamination.
How to Freeze Egg Whites?
It’s also possible to freeze egg whites. The above steps also apply. Just freeze them in a freezer-safe container and it’s good to last for a long time. There are recipes which call for egg yolks only and you’re left with a lot of egg whites. If you don’t have a place for its purpose yet, it’s better to keep them in the freezer for the meantime. However, when you do, make sure it is free from any foreign matter or it has not been contaminated by all means.
How to Freeze Egg Yolks?
Freezing egg yolks take a different path. They thicken or they form gel when frozen making it seemingly impossible to be used in the future. You need to inhibit this from happening either by adding ½ teaspoon salt or 1 ½ teaspoon of sugar or corn syrup per cup of yolk. This may affect the taste of the dish you’re trying to make the next time you use yolk. Thus, as early as now, you need to decide their fate already. Use salted yolks as an ingredient of main dishes and sugared ones for dessert recipes.
How to Freeze Cooked Eggs?
Can you freeze eggs that are already cooked? Here’s another surprise. The answer is an absolute yes! And sometimes, they taste even better when reheated. If you’re freezing scrambled eggs or omelette, the steps are simple. Just place them on a freezer safe container and store in the fridge.
On the other hand, if you’re freezing boiled eggs, you need to understand some facts first. Frozen cooked egg whites will turn rubbery when thawed and reheated. But, the yolk survives this extreme temperature well. So, if you’re planning to prolong the shelf-life of a hard-boiled egg, we recommend separating the yolk from the white and just consume the latter fresh. Same principles apply if you want to freeze egg dishes wherein the yolk and the eggs are clearly separated as in deviled eggs and sunny side-up eggs.
How To Thaw Frozen Eggs?
Thawing frozen eggs is simple. It’s similar as how you’ll defrost meat. Just keep them in the fridge overnight. Avoid thawing in room temperature. You wouldn’t want it exposed within temperature danger zones which are between 40°F to 140°F where bacteria proliferation is most active. If it can be helped, do not resort to microwave thawing. Before the yolk in the middle gets thawed, the white outside is starting to cook. Once defrosted, make sure you’ll use everything. Be on the safe side against foodborne illness and avoid re-freezing.
Is There A Difference Between Frozen Non-Frozen Egg?
Practically speaking, there’s not much of a difference between using chilled eggs and frozen eggs. Freezing it months later will yield the same quality of scrambled eggs, omelette, baked goodies as when you cook it with a freshly bought egg from the supermarket. However, if making sunny side-up with the golden yolk smiling perfectly intact in the center is crucial to a meal you’re serving, using frozen eggs may pose a challenge. Some bakers have also experienced difficulties in creating a good volume when beating egg whites thus, it may not do well for a good soufflé. But overall, if these qualities are not as crucial, feel free to use frozen eggs in whatever recipe.
Eggs are among the essential items in the world of cooking. It’s a very versatile ingredient acting as a dense source of nutrition, a binding, emulsifying, and hydrating agent in most baked products, and a lot more. If you think you might have excess eggs in the foreseeable weeks, think twice about throwing them away and try these alternative solutions. Hope we taught you a thing or two here.