For some reason, a decision was made to freeze some eggs. Maybe you ran out of room or didn’t want to waste food. Perhaps you had a moment (like most of us), where you just forgot yourself and you have no idea how they got there.
It’s OK. Stuff happens, and we certainly don’t want to waste them. The price of eggs has become outrageous lately, to the point where people who can are buying the entire chicken.
So, is it OK to eat eggs that have been frozen? Yes and No. Egg shells should NOT be frozen. Since eggs are over 70% water, they will expand when frozen and can crack the egg. This will allow bacteria from the shell to get on the flesh. However, if the eggs have survived the deep freeze without a crack, they are OK to eat. Eggs that have been de-shelled before being frozen are perfectly fine to eat.
How To Tell If Frozen Eggs Are Safe
According to the USDA, shelled eggs should not be frozen. If the shell is cracked, the egg is no good and should be thrown away.
If you’re not sure about other eggs, trust your nose. Always check for odor. However, in the case of a bad egg, you probably won’t need to, you’ll smell it right away.
Also check to see if there are any visible irregularities in the egg, odd color, strange consistency, etc. If any of them are present, you may just want to throw the egg away.
If you’re dealing with a shelled egg, why not try the float test? It’s super easy and you’ll know for sure, fill a bowl with water. Then place your egg in the bowl:
- if the egg floats, it’s old, toss it.
- if the egg sinks and stands, it’s OK, but not totally fresh.
- if it sinks and goes on its side, it’s a primo egg, full of freshness.
Should You Freeze Eggs?
Aside from the cracked shell thing, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t freeze eggs. Eggs can be frozen for up to a year. Though they should be used within 4 months for maximum quality and taste.
It’s understandable that you may want to save leftover egg whites or yolks. Nobody wants to waste food. So go ahead, knowing that they will not harm you.
However, you should be aware that the egg may not defrost back to its original texture or consistency. There are certain steps that should be taken if you’re going to freeze eggs for future consumption (more on that later).
If you’re freezing a whole egg, first remove it from its shell and whisk it together.
Can You Freeze Egg Whites?
Yes. Egg whites can be frozen. In fact, this is probably the part of the egg that freezes the best. Just pour the egg whites into a container, whisk them for about 30 seconds, and seal them up. Make sure to date and label the container.
Can You Freeze Egg Yolks?
Egg yolks can be frozen, but are thicker than egg whites. Due to this, yolks have a tendency to get gelatinous when frozen.
You may be left with a thawed out piece of Jello instead of your tasty yolk. But no worries, here’s a little trick to ensure your frozen yolk will bounce back when defrosted.
For every 8 ounces of yolk, use either 1/2 teaspoon of salt or 1-1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Use whatever ingredient that will match the intentions you have for the egg. For example, use sugar if you want to make a cake. Use salt if your plans are for scrambled eggs.
How Should You Thaw Eggs?
No matter what part of the egg you are using, it must be completely thawed before using. Move your eggs from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight. This will avoid any bacterial build up. To speed things up a bit, feel free to run cold water over the frozen container.
The eggs should be thawed in 6-8 hours. Use them right away.
What Are The Best Ways To Store Eggs?
According to the Incredible Egg (the website for the American Egg Council), the best way to store your eggs is refrigeration at 40 degrees or less.
It’s best to keep them in their original carton away from other foods. Keeping them in the carton keeps them from picking up other smells, keeps moisture in, and protects them from accidents.
Here’s a breakdown of how long eggs can be stored in the refrigerator:
- raw, whole egg (beaten) – 2 days
- raw, egg whites – 4 days
- raw egg yolk – 2 days
- hard boiled egg (in shell) – 1 week
- hard boiled egg (peeled) – used on the same day
How Long Can You Leave An Egg Unrefrigerated?
Eggs should not be kept unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees, then no longer than an hour.
What Should I Look For When Buying Eggs?
- buy grade A or AA eggs (the cartons are labeled)
- do not buy eggs that are cracked or dirty.
- make sure the eggs you buy are in the refrigerated section.
- if buying egg whites or egg by-product, make sure the container is sealed.
- if an egg breaks while you are moving them yourself, you can crack the egg into a container and store it safely. No need to toss it.