How to Freeze Eggs - Whole Eggs, Egg Yolks, and Egg Whites
It's been almost exactly 2 weeks since I wrote my "Calm and Logistics Minded Approach to Preparing for The COVID-19 Pandemic", and it's kind of wild how quickly things snowballed since that day.
2 weeks and 4 days ago, I was doing our normal weekly grocery shopping, when I noticed that the two stores I went to were sold out of ALL garlic powder. That was my big "Well, things are REAL" moment. I immediately went to buy a ton of dry herbs and spices at Bulk Barn, then went home to craft a shopping list / plan. The next day, we followed through on that plan, and our credit cards groaned.
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Since that day, I've noticed a few things that I could have done better, mostly little things I could have added. A couple cans of pumpkin would have been nice, but mostly because I'm in the mood for pumpkin pancakes or waffles lately. No huge oversight, just a nicety. Rice Krispies for Rice Krispie Treat was another thing I would have added to our personal shopping list. Overall, no major complaints.
As you've probably seen, supplies have been coming and going in bursts, and access to some fresh supplies .... might be tenuous in the next few months. That's probably why I've been getting questions about food preservation - particularly, when it comes to eggs.
The good news is YES, you can definitely freeze eggs! It's easy, not very messy, and doesn't involve a lot of degradation in thawing/cooking after being frozen. (Which is not the case with a lot of fruits and veggies!).Frozen eggs are good for about a year.
When it comes to freezing liquid or semi-liquid items in small quantities, usually I recommend ice cube trays. As I tend to use large eggs, that's a really annoying option - MOST ice cube trays aren't big enough to hold a whole egg in each individual cavity, and I can't be arsed to separate them into weird portions.
Enter the silicone muffin tray!
I purchased THIS 3 piece set a while back, which - as it turns out - is the *perfect* size for large eggs. See crappy cell phone pic below:
Perfect, eh? Just enough room for expansion, and/or accommodating slightly larger eggs!
How to Freeze Whole Eggs
How to Freeze Whole Eggs
- Silicone Muffin Pan
- Baking Sheets
- Freezer Bags
- Large Eggs
- Place silicone muffin pan(s) on baking sheets.
- Crack an egg into a muffin pan cavity. Repeat for as many eggs as you want to freeze.
- Carefully transfer baking sheet and muffin pan to freezer
- Allow to freeze until frozen solid - several hours. Try not to allow it to remain in the muffin pan for too much longer after being frozen, this is not a long term storage plan!
- Label your freezer bags. You'll want the date you froze them, the best by date (a year later), and any other information you'd like. I usually just put "whole raw eggs", lest I forget they weren't cooked. (Hahaha - I don't freeze cooked eggs!)
- Pop frozen eggs out of the muffin pan. Transfer to freezer bag(s).
- Push. suck as much of the air out of the bag as possible, seal well.
- Return to freezer.
- Remove as many eggs as you'd like to use. Place in a bowl (bowls, if you'd like to keep them separated).
- Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag, return to freezer.
- Cover bowl of frozen eggs, transfer to fridge to thaw overnight.
- Once thawed, use as you would a fresh egg
Now, in MY opinion, this is the best way to freeze eggs, with regards to stocking up for the current/coming situation. There are other ways you can freeze eggs - and parts of eggs - but it gets more fussy, and is more about how to deal with leftovers.
How to Freeze Egg Yolks
When I used to make a lot of Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I would find myself with a LOT of egg yolks. I could either freeze them, or toss em. (Note: Normal ice cube trays are *great* for freezing egg yolks on their own! I prefer silicone ice cube trays, like these). The thing with freezing egg yolks is that they require special treatment.
First, separate the eggs into your ice cube tray, one per cavity*. Then, you'll want to decide what you'll be using them for, roughly - sweet or savoury.
If savoury: Put a healthy pinch of salt into each cavity, stir well (I use a toothpick).
If sweet: Measure ¼ tsp of sugar into each cavity, stir well.
Either way, freeze until frozen, pop out of the cavities, transfer to labeled freezer bags (Date frozen, best by date, and "Sweet" or "Savoury"), and freeze until ready to use.
To use, take out as many as you need, place in an appropriate bowl, cover and thaw in your fridge overnight.
How to Freeze Egg Whites
Egg whites, on the other hand, can be frozen as-is. Pop em into ice cube trays* (1 egg white per cavity, if you need to keep track of how many you'll be using, when thawed), and freeze.
Once frozen, pop out of the cavities, transfer to labeled freezer bags (Date frozen, best by date), and freeze until ready to use. To use, take out as many as you need, place in an appropriate bowl, cover and thaw in your fridge overnight.
If you'll be using previously frozen whites for anything that requires beating them to peaks, you'll want to not only let them thaw first, but come up to room temperature right before using them.
Final Thoughts on Freezing Eggs
No matter whether you're using whole eggs, egg whites, or egg yolks, remember: They don't have a shell, and eggs are incredibly sensitive to environment (Scents, flavours, moisture/dryness, etc.) You should use them as soon after thawing, as possible.
* NOTE: If your ice cube trays aren't very rigid, place them on a small baking sheet BEFORE putting the eggs in!