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By Nellie's Kindness Crew
Have you ever wondered how to make eggs last longer? Found yourself with a carton nearing its expiration date and want to avoid waste? One of the easiest ways to extend the shelf life of eggs is to freeze them. Here's how!
Eggs can be safely frozen for 2-4 months, depending on the form they're frozen in. Freezing eggs is a fantastic way to eliminate food waste in your home and plan ahead for baking, weekday breakfasts, lunchbox snacks for the kids, and family dinners.
You can freeze eggs whole, egg whites only, and yolks only, but it's important to freeze each part of the egg properly to avoid any strange texture upon defrosting. Adding dates to the containers that you freeze your eggs in will also help you keep track of what's what, and portioning your eggs out before freezing allows you to thaw only what you need for any given meal or recipe. Portioning can be done in reusable containers, zip top freezer bags, and even ice cube trays.
When freezing whole eggs, always crack them into a bowl and whisk until the yolks are broken up and fully combined with the whites. Whole eggs should never be frozen in the shell: the egg whites will expand as they freeze, ultimately rupturing the shell and leaving you with lots of shards and a funky texture. Whole eggs can also be frozen in the form of a frittata, strata, quiche, casserole, egg bites, or a baked good containing eggs. In most cases, whole eggs can be frozen for up to 4 months, but we recommend keeping them in the freezer for 2 months or less for best results.
Fresh egg whites can be separated from yolks and safely frozen for up to a year, but are best when used within 2 months. Freezing is a great option when you've made a particularly yolk-heavy recipe like hollandaise sauce, and find yourself with leftover egg whites that you don't plan on using right away.
When frozen separate from egg whites, egg yolks can take on an unusual texture if not correctly prepared for freezing. Although this may not affect the flavor, it can change the texture enough to make the yolks difficult to cook with. To avoid this, simply combine the egg yolks with a little bit of sugar or salt, depending on your intended use for the yolks; sweet or savory. Egg yolks can be frozen for up to 4 months, but are best in texture and flavor when frozen no longer than 2 months.
Frozen eggs can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or for 2-3 hours on the counter if you plan to use them immediately. No matter what you're making, be sure to give the eggs a good whisk after thawing to ensure that the mixture is uniform. Eggs should only be frozen once, so only thaw what you need, and toss any thawed eggs that you aren't able to use within 24 hours.
Hard-boiled eggs should not be frozen, as the processes of freezing and thawing will alter their texture too much. However, freshly cooked hard-boiled eggs keep well in the refrigerator for up to a full week.
Got a carton of expired eggs? Use this trick to check if they're still fresh. And if you need to use up your eggs before they expire, try these freezer friendly recipes.
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