freeze eggs

Can You Refrigerate and Freeze Eggs?

In the US, Australia, and several other countries, eggs are considered perishable items. Thus, we need to refrigerate them at all times.

While refrigerated eggs can keep well up to 3 to 5 weeks, you might need additional time to finish up a carton of eggs in a particular situation. This begs the question: can you freeze raw eggs for later use?

Perhaps, scrambled eggs are one of your family’s favorites. Although it is a simple dish, preparation always takes time. So you’re wondering: can you make scrambled eggs in advance and freeze them for future serving?

Or, you have some leftover egg whites after baking your favorite cake. However, you have no plan to use them anytime soon. In this case, you might be wondering: can you freeze egg whites for later?

If you relate to one of the situations above, keep reading. In this article, we share everything you need to know about freezing eggs in various forms, raw and cooked—and whether freezing is worth trying.

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cooked egg

Can Eggs Be Frozen?

Freezing is undoubtedly an easy method to preserve foods at home. When it comes to freezing chicken eggs, only some types of eggs freeze well.

According to the USDA, you should never freeze raw eggs in shells. During freezing, the liquid expands and causes the shell to crack.

If that happens, they are no longer safe to use due to the risk of bacterial contamination. In a worse scenario, cracked eggs may contaminate the whole freezer.

Soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs are not recommended to freeze. The white part turns rubbery and watery after thawing, making it unappetizing and inedible.

Luckily, these types of eggs can stand cold temperatures and freeze pretty well.

–   Mixed egg yolk and white

–   Egg yolk and white

–   Cooked eggs or dishes prepared with eggs, such as omelet, scrambled eggs, pie, quiche, casseroles, etc.

How To Freeze Eggs

Although freezing raw eggs in a shell is strongly discouraged due to safety concerns, raw eggs can be frozen safely after removing the shell.

You can freeze them as a whole or after separating the yolk and whites.

When it comes to leftover cooked eggs, rest assured that you can freeze them successfully.

Let’s get down to the practical guide on freezing eggs in all forms!

Freezing Whole Eggs

If you want to use frozen eggs for your breakfast recipes, cooked dishes, or baked goods, freezing beaten eggs is your way to go.

Here is how you should do it.

1. Start by determining the amount you typically need for a recipe.  It is best to pack an appropriate amount enough for one recipe, instead of packing all at once. This way, you can easily pull out one package and no need to deal with leftovers

2. Select only fresh, uncracked eggs.

3. Break them into a clean bowl.

4. Whisk them gently until the whites and yolk are thoroughly combined. Stop whisking before they turn frothy because the air bubbles will risk getting freezer burn.

5. Pack the beaten eggs in a freezer-safe container or a zip lock bag.

6. Seal the container tightly.

7. Label each package with the freezing date and amount.

Freezing Egg Whites

Freezing egg whites is a simple kitchen hack. Check the step-to-step guide below.

1. Select clean, fresh, uncracked eggs.

2. Break them and separate the yolks and whites. Remove any pieces of shells.

3. Mix the whites gently without whipping in the air.

4. Pack into a freezer-safe container or freeze in ice cube trays.

5. If freezing in ice cube trays, pour the whites into the tray, cover with aluminum foil, and flash freeze for a few hours or overnight. Remove frozen cubes and pack them into a freezer bag.

6. Seal the container tightly.

7. Label the package with the freezing date and amount.

Freezing Egg Yolk

While freezing egg whites is relatively easy, it is a different story with freezing the yolk.

If you freeze egg yolk without additional preparation, it will be difficult to work with because egg yolk thickens during freezing. It won’t get back to its initial consistency even after thawing. 

Luckily, adding a pinch of salt or sugar is all you need to do to minimize this undesirable change. (*)

1. Select clean, fresh, uncracked eggs.

2. Break them and separate the yolk.

3. Beat the yolk until they are smooth.

4. For every four egg yolks, add a pinch of salt or 1 ½ teaspoon sugar or corn syrup—depending on how you want to use the yolks later, for something sweet or savory.

5. Blend the mixture gently and transfer it to a freezer-safe container.

6. Seal the container tightly.

7. Label the package with the freezing date and amount.

Freezing Cooked Eggs and Egg-based Dishes

Whether having leftovers or preparing in advance for weekdays dinner, egg-based dishes such as omelet, frittata, casserole, pie, or quiche are considered freezer-friendly.

1. Prepare the dishes as usual and cool down quickly. Avoid leaving them longer than 2 hours at room temperature. If freezing leftovers, make sure that the dishes are still fresh and unspoiled.

2. Freeze the dishes as a whole or in portions, depending on how you want to serve them later. Individual portion takes less time for thawing.

3. Pack into a freezer-safe container or freezer bags.

4. Seal the container tightly, mark with the freezing date and amount.

5. Transfer the package into the freezer.


How To Defrost and Use Frozen Eggs

To thaw frozen eggs, simply place the package in the refrigerator and let it thaw slowly overnight.

For quick thawing, thaw them under running cold water. Make sure the container is tightly sealed and doesn’t leak.

To ensure food safety, dishes containing eggs have to be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 160 °F.

Use thawed eggs immediately after thawing or within the same day. Here are some ideas to use up your supply.

Whole, lightly beaten eggs: There are a lot of recipes calling for whole eggs. Thawed whole eggs work entirely similar to the fresh ones. You can use them in cooking and baking, such as:

–   scrambled eggs or omelet with vegetables and cheese

–   baked dishes, such as quiche, frittata, casseroles

–   baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, muffins

Egg yolk: You can use thawed egg yolks in both sweet and savory dishes, depending on what you added before freezing; salt or sugar. In general, thawed egg yolks work well for ice cream, pudding, mayonnaise, and creamy sauce.

Egg whites: Frozen egg whites are also as versatile as fresh ones. You can use them for scrambled eggs, meringue, macarons, pavlovas, mousse, angel food cake, or any recipes calling for egg white.

What to do with accidentally frozen eggs?

Sometimes, our fridge can be so cold that the eggs are accidentally frozen. In this case, examine them thoroughly and discard any cracked ones. If the shells are not broken, you can keep the accidentally frozen eggs until you need them.

For thawing, simply put them in the refrigerator overnight. Sadly, they may only work in limited recipes.

Without the addition of salt or sugar, the frozen yolk has a thicker consistency which makes it difficult to blend with other ingredients. You can hard boil them, but using them in baking or cooking recipes would be difficult.

How To Defrost and Reheat Frozen Egg-based Dishes

Cooked dishes are perishable and should not be thawed on a kitchen counter.

To thaw cooked dishes safely, simply place the frozen package in the fridge to thaw slowly.

Alternatively, soak it in cold water and change the water a couple of times until the food is completely thawed. Make sure that the container is sealed tightly and doesn’t leak.

Reheat thawed dishes in an oven or microwave until the internal part reaches a safe temperature of 165 °F. Serve immediately and keep in the fridge for up to three days.

How Long Can You Freeze Eggs?

Whole eggs, egg yolks, and whites can be frozen safely for up to 12 months. (*)

Meanwhile, leftover egg-based dishes are best to enjoy within 1 to 4 months after freezing while still having optimal flavor.

Types of EggsFreezer
Raw eggs in the shellFreezing is not recommended.For accidentally frozen eggs, keep them frozen until needed. If the shell cracks, discard them and clean the freezer thoroughly.
Egg yolk12 months
Egg whites12 months
Mixed egg white and yolk (raw)12 months
Hard- and  soft- boiled eggsNot recommended
Casseroles2 to 3 months
Pies (pecan, nuts, fruits)3 to 4 months (after baking)
Pies (pumpkin)1 to 2 months

FAQs

How can you tell if eggs are bad?

Don’t use them if the shell has cracked. Spoiled eggs also emit a sulfuric smell that you won’t miss. If they smell and look normal, crack them on a clean plate. Check for discoloration, off-odor, and unusual appearance.

What happens if you eat bad eggs?

Eggs may contain harmful bacteria, mainly Salmonella and E. coli. Thus, eating spoiled eggs may cause food poisoning. The common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Contact your physician if you experience severe symptoms. (*)

Is it okay to leave eggs unrefrigerated?

Eggs should be kept in an area with a consistent temperature. Although they can be kept in the cupboard, it is best to keep them in the fridge. Once eggs have been refrigerated, it should be kept that way.

Summary

Freezing is the ultimate method to extend foods’ shelf life. But, not all forms of eggs can be frozen successfully.

First, you should never freeze raw eggs in a shell for safety considerations. Meanwhile, soft- and hard-boiled eggs are not recommended to freeze due to undesirable changes in textures.

Luckily, raw eggs freeze well after the shells are removed. You can freeze them in three ways; as a whole and lightly beaten or freezing the yolks and whites separately. With some little tricks, you can keep your egg supply longer and safely!

Finally, if you run out of eggs for cooking, you might want to check these eggs alternatives.

Up next: How long do eggs last

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