Can you freeze eggs?
Can you freeze eggs?

Many times baking recipes call for only one part of the egg, leaving you with spare egg yolks or egg whites. Instead of throwing them away, you can easily freeze eggs and save them for later. Also, there is no need to waste eggs when their expiry date is near, when there is a simple way of preserving eggs by freezing them, you can prolong their shelf-life and usability. Fresh eggs can be frozen, too.

Ofcourse, in order to freeze eggs properly, you’ll have to follow some guidelines, so that defrosted eggs are safe to use.

Now that we know that freezing eggs is safe, let’s see what’s the best way to do it.

How to freeze eggs?

You can freeze the following types of eggs:

  • Raw egg whites
  • Raw egg yolks
  • Entire raw eggs that are cracked from the shell and whisked
  • Cooked dishes with eggs

Also, you can freeze chicken eggs, duck eggs, and all other sorts of eggs.

If you try to freeze whole eggs in the shell, shell will crack during to egg expansion when exposed to cold
If you try to freeze whole eggs in the shell, the shell will crack during egg expansion when exposed to cold (shutterstock.com)

Basic rule No1 – you cannot freeze eggs in shells! Every egg needs to be cracked out of its shell before freezing.

When exposed to low temperatures eggs act differently than when cooked. Egg white and egg yolk will expand during freezing, and if they are left in the shell, the shell could easily damage or even break. Breaking the shell could lead to leaking bacteria into the egg, which will in that case be unsafe to eat.

If you decide to freeze eggs in the container (we’ll talk about ways of freezing below), make sure to leave at least half of an inch empty space so the eggs can expand. You can freeze more eggs or one by one.

Freeze only fresh eggs, that are not out of date. Label the container with the date of freezing and write down the volume of eggs, so you have all the information once you decide to defrost them.

What will happen if you freeze eggs in a shell?

According to both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), raw eggs in their shells should never be frozen.

Eggs are liquid and liquid expands when freezing. Their delicate shell will crack once the egg’s volume overcomes it, which will lead to contamination. Contaminated eggs can endanger your health, therefore they shouldn’t be eaten.

Also, if you freeze raw eggs in shells that can negatively affect their texture – egg yolk can become gummy and thick, and difficult to use after the eggs are thawed.

Tip: It’s not recommendable to freeze cooked eggs (soft-boiled or hard-boiled eggs), since they change their texture when thawed.

How to freeze whole eggs?

In order to freeze whole eggs, you’ll need to crack them from their shells and whisk egg whites and egg yolks together. When they are fully combined, pour the mixture into the freezer-safe container or zip lock bags.

For further usage, it would be best to freeze individual eggs. One egg for one freezer-safe zip-top bag.

Whisk eggs if you want to freeze them whole
Whisk eggs if you want to freeze them whole (shutterstock.com)

Label freezer-safe container or zip lock bag with date and volume of eggs, for safety purposes. Besides freezing whole multiple eggs or one egg individually, you can freeze individually yolks and whites.

How to freeze egg whites?

Freezing egg whites is simple. First of all separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Place egg yolks into the bowl and pour each egg white into the ice tray, freezer bags, or small freezer containers.

Separating eggs before freezing
Separating eggs before freezing (shutterstock.com)

Ofcourse you can freeze a few egg whites together, but keep in mind that smaller quantities will thaw sooner. Label the container with the date and volume of egg whites added.

How to freeze egg yolks?

If you want to freeze yolks separately, that can be done, too, but the process is a bit different.

Egg yolks have a lot thicker consistency than egg whites. Freezing egg yolks in their natural membrane will make them gel and they’ll become unusable for cooking or baking once they’re thawed. To freeze yolks properly and prevent gelation, you’ll need to add some extra ingredients, but don’t worry, those are ingredients we all have at home – salt or sugar.

Frozen yolks have gel-like consistency
Frozen yolks have gel-like consistency (shutterstock.com)

Salt and sugar will do the trick. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of salt or 1 teaspoon of sugar to 240ml of egg yolks. Will you add salt or sugar depends on your intention of using eggs later – if you plan to use them for salty recipes, add salt. If you want to prepare sweet treats, add sugar.

Freeze yolks using the freezer-safe bag or tray for ice cubes.

How to freeze eggs in ice cube tray?

Freezing in ice cube trays is probably the easiest way to freeze farm fresh eggs.

If you’re using an ice cube tray made out of plastic or a muffin pan, grease them with some vegetable oil before you pour eggs. Or you can simply use a silicone ice cube tray, which is non-sticky.

Whisk eggs, like when you’re making scrambled eggs. Pour egg mixture into the ice cube stray’s holes. Depending on the size of holes, they can be sufficient for one fresh egg or in some cases two.

Put it in the freezer for two hours. In two hours eggs will freeze.

Once frozen, transfer egg cubes into an air-tight container or freezer bag, and store eggs in the freezer.

How to defrost frozen eggs?

Frozen eggs need to be fully thawed so they can be used. Never use frozen eggs to add them to the dish you’re cooking. Wait until you have completely thawed eggs.

Also, never eat raw defrosted eggs! You’ll need to cook them or use them in baked goods before you can consume them.

In order to defrost, move eggs from the freezer and leave them in the refrigerator overnight, to slowly thaw. This will prevent bacteria exposure and keep your eggs safe.

If you want to thaw eggs more quickly, use cold water. Cold running water over the container will speed up thawing eggs.

Use eggs as soon as they thaw and never refreeze once defrosted eggs.

Do frozen eggs taste different?

The raw frozen egg usually tastes the same as a fresh one, but if you’re freezing yolks, for example, you’ll have to add some sugar or salt to prevent it from becoming gel-like. Spices will affect the taste, naturally.

Also, you can freeze boiled eggs, but be prepared that the freezing will change their taste and texture. When you freeze a hard-boiled egg, the white will release water during thawing, and it’ll become rubbery and tough.

Boiled eggs can be frozen too, but once thawed they will change texture and taste
Boiled eggs can be frozen too, but once thawed they will change texture and taste (shutterstock.com)

If you don’t like the taste of thawed eggs enrich them with some other ingredients in order to “camouflage” their flavor. You can make all kinds of baked goods, frittatas, scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon or vegetables, casseroles, etc.

How long can frozen eggs last?

Frozen eggs can last up to a year, but they will remain the best quality when used within 4 months from the date of freezing.

Type of eggsTime frozen
Raw eggsUp to a year
Boiled eggs3 to 6 months
Scrambled eggs3 to 6 months
Deviled eggsUp to 3 weeks
How long can eggs be frozen?

Citations

  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/can-you-freeze-eggs#freezable-types
  • https://www.peteandgerrys.com/blog/how-to-freeze-eggs
  • https://www.egginfo.co.uk/egg-safety/storage-and-handling/can-you-freeze-egg