Freezing eggs is very simple that even a novice cook can do it. To safely freeze eggs for future use, leave them raw or cook them as you would for breakfast or in a casserole or quiche, then wrap them appropriately for safe keeping in the freezer.
Eggs can be frozen individually or in amounts that are used in typical recipes in the home. They can be kept raw or precooked for freezing to preserve them for longer than normal if there is a surplus of them in your home. Wrap them individually for better longevity and freshness.
How to Freeze Eggs, Raw or Cooked with 100% Success
Though it might seem unconventional, it is absolutely possible to freeze eggs at home. This process might appeal to the budget or bulk shopper, those who raise chickens, or individuals looking to stock their loved ones’ freezers.
What are the Benefits of Freezing Eggs?
1Saving Money- Arguably, the number one benefit of freezing eggs is doing so for the sake of saving money. As long as you have the means in which to freeze the eggs and store them, there’s no reason that this process couldn’t be done on a regular basis to stretch your dollar a bit further.
2Mobility: It’s also possible to imagine that cracking eggshells might be difficult for people with sensory or motor planning issues, so having already cracked eggs that are frozen fresh at the ready might be a lifesaver.
3Accessibility: Some states, such as Massachusetts, have implemented such extreme regulations regarding egg production they have inadvertently made eggs nearly inaccessible at an affordable price. For example, they’ve banned the sale of all eggs from chickens housed in enclosures smaller than 1.5 square feet per hen. This animal welfare law, which goes into effect at the start of 2022 will affect roughly 90% of the eggs sold in the entire state.
How Not to Freeze Eggs
A key thing to always keep in mind when trying new things with food is the food safety associated with it. The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agree that it is never safe to freeze eggs in their shells.
The inside of the egg expands while freezing, which leads to the shell cracking, as the expanding inner part has nowhere else to go but to break the shell.
Once broken, there is massive potential for bacteria to enter the egg. You might have noticed this situation occur if you accidentally put your egg carton too far in the back of the fridge, where undoubtedly, an egg will freeze and crack.
Any of the following types of eggs: chicken, duck, or goose, can undoubtedly be frozen at home. Even egg beaters can be frozen, as long as the carton is unopened, and you follow the following procedure for freezing a raw poultry egg.
How to Freeze Raw Eggs
When freezing raw eggs, you should consider the best process that aligns with the type of egg you have and the final product you are looking to use the eggs within. There isn’t much equipment needed to freeze raw eggs successfully, and you probably already have them all in your kitchen.
To successfully freeze eggs you’ll need:
- an ice cube tray or a muffin tin
- oil spray
- a whisk
- plastic wrap, a ziptop bag, or a container
- raw eggs
- salt or sugar (dependent on the final recipe use)
The sugar and the salt help to protect the egg’s flavor in the freezer, along with preventing excess freezer burn.
For each egg, add 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt for savory recipes, or 1/4 of a teaspoon of sugar for sweet recipes.
Eggs can be frozen by being cracked into lightly greased ice cube trays or muffin tins if kept in their raw state before freezing. You’ll likely find that a standard ice cube tray section will fit one raw egg, which is suitable for portioning purposes.
Another good idea might be to freeze the egg in muffin tins, in amounts that you know you will need for a particular recipe. If you do this, be sure to label the number of eggs that are frozen together appropriately. Then, flash freeze with a little plastic wrap on top to prevent skin or crystallization of ice from forming on the surface.
Once totally flash-frozen, the eggs can be popped out, wrapped individually, and kept either in a ziptop bag or a container that can withstand the freezer’s temperature. Once separated from the yolks, egg whites tend to freeze with better results because their consistency does not have a noticeable change after being defrosted. Therefore, this is an excellent option to consider if you make individual dishes that only need the yolk today.
You can save the whites in the freezer, diminishing the amount of food waste. Freezing yolks without the white tends to be a bit more complicated, as the final result is not such a good one. Yolks are already viscous, but after being frozen, they thaw out even more syrupy and gelatinous. Their strange consistency after being defrosted is due to “gelation”, which means that ice crystals form inside the yolk—the yolk changes to a syrupy consistency that might ruin a recipe.
If you are looking to freeze the entire egg, whites, and yolks together, the best process is to scramble them together. The homogeneous mixture lessens the potential of the yolk’s texture change. Whisking the egg together and adding either the salt or the sugar are the best defenses to ensure an adequately defrosted egg as if it was a fresh one.
Eggs can safely stay in the freezer for up to twelve months when wrapped and cared for properly. Like all foods, it is never the best idea to refreeze eggs because with every defrost and refreeze, the opportunity to harbor unsafe bacteria increases significantly.
How to Freeze Cooked Eggs
Freezing cooked eggs are invaluable to people who are short on time and want to grab something quick to eat or stocking a freezer for a family member or friend, and you want to make sure they have healthy food on hand. Fully cooked yolks freeze well, much better than raw yolks, though the whites of a cooked egg tend to be a bit rubbery.
Hard-boiled eggs are probably your best bet for freezing in terms of all the possible ways to make boiled eggs due to the consistency of the yolk, though if the texture of the white or the yolk doesn’t matter to their consumer, then any doneness of the boiled egg will still work.
The same is true for fried eggs. However, keep in mind that the more cooked the yolk is, the better it freezes. Completely cooked scrambled eggs freeze and then defrost surprisingly well. Their texture after the defrost might not be as billowy as if they were freshly made, but there isn’t much noticeable difference in the consistency or taste that would dissuade someone from freezing them.
To freeze a cooked egg, cool them down, and deshell if necessary. Allow the eggs to come to a cool enough temperature that they can be touched or safely put away, and then they can either be individually wrapped or placed together in a ziptop bag or a freezer-safe container.
Thawing Frozen Eggs without Losing Quality
When it comes time to thaw the eggs, be mindful of food safety. The following steps can be done with the egg if it is either frozen raw or frozen after being cooked. If you have the time to do so, defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.
If you are short on time, the raw egg can be defrosted (in the storage bag) by running under cool water or placed in a bowl filled with cool water. The water’s coolness will still be warmer than the freezing temperatures of the freezer but cool enough not to spoil the food.
The raw eggs then need to be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce foodborne bacteria, and cooked eggs can be reheated in the microwave while still frozen if you choose, since they are already cooked, for about three to five minutes.
Tips-n-Tricks for Egg Freezing Success
After following the steps above, there are a few things to keep in mind for the egg’s actual freezing stage.
- Ensure that the freezer you are using is safe enough to stay in a frozen state and that the door of the freezer closes reliably.
- Don’t store the eggs on the fridge’s door, as that tends to be the warmest place of the freezer.
- Be sure that there is enough room for the flash freezing of the eggs, where you freeze them in the ice cube tray or the muffin tin if that’s the process of choice.
- After that initial freeze, be sure there is adequate space to store the eggs. If you choose to make a few breakfast sandwiches, burritos, or egg puffs in your Instant Pot, keep them in a way that best avoids freezer burn.
One tip to do this would be to completely let the food cool down, and then wrap them in foil individually, and then place them into a ziptop bag or a freezer-safe container.
Plan to make the right amount of eggs for the space you have available. Making precooked options like a breakfast sandwich can help provide healthy food for those quick, on-the-go mornings.
Recipes Containing Frozen Eggs
Given the frozen eggs have likely already whisked and stored with either salt or sugar, any recipe that you would typically use an egg in can be done with your frozen ones in place of your fresh ones.
Eggs freeze well when they are also inside a recipe already, when they aren’t necessarily the star ingredient, like in a meatloaf, a meatball, or a stuffed pepper recipe. Doughs with eggs in them like fresh pasta or cookie doughs also freeze nicely.
Custards, stuffed pasta shells, or even the cheese filling to later stuff a pasta, usually aren’t affected negatively by the freezer, despite having eggs as significant ingredients in their mixtures.
For dishes where eggs are the main component, like a casserole or a quiche, the best thing to do is first bake the casserole, cool it to room temperature, to help prevent excess condensation before wrapping them for the freezer.
Wrap them well with some plastic wrap directly on the food’s surface, then foil around the entire item, including the baking pans, and place them into the freezer. These pre-cooked dishes can stay frozen for two to three months. When looking to reheat, you can defrost it, then warm it in the oven as if you purchased the item already made from the store, except that you did it yourself. Be sure to have the baking pan, if it is ceramic or glass, come up to a warmer temperature before reheating, because if put in the oven directly from the freezer, it can shatter in the oven.
Food Safety by Labeling
It is an excellent idea to label the containers with the date you froze your egg items, along with the original sell-by date, to keep track of the freshness of the eggs in the freezer. Continue labeling the number of eggs or the serving portions of your food items, so you don’t have to unwrap everything to know what is inside. Good labeling is helpful because you can keep track of the eggs in your freezer in an organized way.