With egg prices through the roof, when you find a decent price it’s tempting to grab a couple of dozen. But, like anything, they have a shelf life. There are some tricks to storing eggs and you can freeze them for use later.
In this article, I’ll take you through the best way to store eggs, how to freeze eggs in an ice cube tray, and what you can do with frozen eggs.
How to Store Eggs
Storing eggs properly and safely in your fridge will help them stay fresh and last to their “best by” date.
Most importantly, keep the eggs in the carton they came in. Place them on an interior shelf in the middle of your fridge rather than the door.
While the egg holders that so conveniently come with your fridge are a nice idea, they don’t do your eggs any favors. Think about how many times you open the door to your fridge in a day. The door is the warmest place in it and your eggs need to stay around 40°F to stay fresh the longest.
When you store them in a separate container you lose some valuable information. That carton has lot code (important tracking information if you need it) and the “best by” date.
You’ll want to keep an eye on that date. If you are getting close to the date, it’s time to use them or freeze what you have left and start fresh.
How Long Will Fresh Eggs Last?
If stored correctly, raw eggs in their shell will last 4 – 5 weeks after they are packed. The “best by” date will give you the best indication of when you should use them.
Out of the shell, if it is cracked and beaten, a raw egg will only last 2 days in the fridge.
Freezing in this case is a great idea. Frozen, slightly beaten eggs will last up to a year.
Don’t try to freeze the egg in the shell. When an egg freezes, the inside expands and the shell is likely to crack. You will end up with a mess in the freezer and the potential for bacteria to get in.
How to Freeze Whole Raw Eggs
You can freeze raw eggs in an ice cube tray or a muffin tin. This makes it easy to pull the amount you need out when you are ready to use them.
- Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk them lightly to combine the whites and yolks.
- Distribute the beaten eggs into the wells of an ice cube tray. I like this silicone ice cube tray that comes with a lid. You can stack them in your freezer and the lids help prevent spills. (affiliate link)
- Once the liquid egg is frozen solid, remove them from the tray and place the cubes in a resealable bag that is labeled in the freezer.
Here’s a short video showing how to freeze eggs
How to Freeze Egg Whites
Sometimes recipes call for egg yolks but no whites. Don’t throw those whites out! They freeze well and can be used later for meringues or angel food cake.
The process is similar to freezing a whole egg. You can freeze the whites in an ice cube tray, or if you know you’ll be thawing them all at once, just pour them into a resealable bag, labeled with the number of egg whites.
I’ll often have a bag started in the freezer and then add to it as I have more egg whites. When I have enough to make a cake, I thaw them in the fridge overnight and we have a delicious, light treat the next day!
How to Freeze Egg Yolks
Egg yolks are an entirely different story. The proteins in the yolk become gelatinous and clump together when frozen. It thickens and becomes almost pasty. When you thaw them and try cooking with them you’ll end up with tough clumps or stringy pieces of egg yolk in your product.
Can you get around this? Sure, you just need to add either salt or sugar syrup to the egg yolks to prevent the proteins from clumping together.
The rule of thumb is to add ⅛ teaspoon of salt to 4 egg yolks or 1-½ teaspoons of sugar syrup per 4 egg yolks. Keep in mind, if you use the sugar syrup method, you’ll only be able to use those eggs in sweeter products, like baked goods.
Can you Freeze Cooked Eggs?
You can freeze cooked eggs, but they are best if they are mixed into other dishes.
Frozen scrambled eggs will be tough when you reheat them, but they work in a pinch.
Hard-boiled eggs are okay, but it’s best to just freeze the yolk in this instance. Once cooked the whites become tough when they are frozen and then thawed.
The best way to freeze cooked eggs is to make a frittata, egg muffins, quiche, or egg-based breakfast casserole. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat them in the oven in the morning.
How to Use Frozen Eggs
Frozen eggs can be used in baked goods or in more savory dishes including quiche or frittatas.
Remove the number of egg cubes you need and place them in a bowl or container in the fridge to thaw. They will usually thaw in 8-12 hours. Take them out of the freezer the night before you need to use them.
Tip: Don’t try thawing them in the microwave, you’ll likely end up with scrambled eggs. And please avoid thawing them on the counter at room temperature.
If you are short on time, place them in a resealable bag and submerge them in cool water.
Use the thawed eggs immediately.
A Few Tips for the Best Quality Frozen Eggs
- Make sure your eggs are still within the “Best By” date for the best quality.
- Blend the eggs before freezing. Egg yolks get thick and stringy when they freeze. If you freeze an egg without blending it, the yolks won’t mix well once they are thawed. You’ll have much better results if they are broken and combined with the whites.
- Beat one egg and see how much fits in the well of your ice cube tray. You’ll know how many cubes = 1 egg.
- Make sure the eggs are fully frozen before removing them from the tray. Store them in a resealable bag in your freezer.
My friends at The American Egg Board have great tips and recipes for using and storing eggs. Be sure to check out their website!
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