Most of you are probably wondering why on Earth you would even think about freezing eggs. Anyone who has kept chickens or ducks knows while during the spring and summer your egg basket is likely overflowing and your fridge is piling up with eggs, during the fall and winter, you are likely facing an egg shortage as your birds go through their seasonal molting and egg production drastically slows down, or stops completely for a few weeks to months.
How do you combat this feast or famine egg situation; freeze those summer eggs for use during the winter of course!
Freezing eggs isn't as simple as plopping that cardboard container full of eggs into the freezer though. There is some preparation involved in preserving those prized eggs.
Can I Freeze Whole Eggs In The Shell?
The simple answer is no. When things freeze, they expand and eggs are no different. That expansion is likely to cause the shell to crack, even a small hairline crack can compromise the egg allowing bacteria to enter the egg and multiply making you very sick. So as tempting as it is to plop that container full of eggs into the freezer, don't do it!
Freezing Whole Eggs
Freezing whole eggs works best if you plan to use the eggs later as a fried egg. This is not the best way to freeze eggs for baking or scrambling as the texture of the yolk could be off a little once defrosted. To freeze a whole egg, start with fresh eggs, crack them individually into a silicone ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, the individual egg cubes can be popped out and placed into a freezer bag. Be sure to label and date them, as once frozen when you open the freezer a couple months later, it's hard to tell exactly what is frozen in that bag!
Freezing Egg Whites
Freezing egg whites works best if you plan to use them for recipes calling for just the whites. Simply separate the white and the yolk and freeze the eggs whites as above. You can either separate the whites and yolks into separate bowls and then pour into the ice cube tray, or separate the white from each egg directly into the tray. If you opt to separate into a bowl first, 2 TABLESPOONS equals the amount of egg white in one egg, so it's helpful to freeze in that quantity to make utilizing the egg whites in recipes easier later. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and place into a labeled and dated freezer bag.
Freezing Egg Yolks
To freeze egg yolks, you'll want to separate the yolks into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and whisk lightly. This will help keep the yolks from becoming a little grainy later. 1 TABLESPOON equals the amount of yolk in one egg, so it's helpful to freeze one tablespoon per cube to make using the yolks easier later. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and place into a labeled and dated freezer bag.
Freezing Whole Whisked Eggs
Freezing whisked eggs is best for using the eggs later as scrambled eggs or in recipes which call for whole eggs. For this method, crack your eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and lightly whisk. You don't want to incorporate a lot of air into the eggs, so don't go overboard on the whisking. A whole egg is equal to 3 TABLESPOONS, so it's helpful to measure 3 tablespoons into each cube as utilizing them later, one cube equals one whole egg for recipes. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and place into a labeled and dated freezer bag.
Using Your Frozen Eggs
Frozen eggs should last about 6 months in the freezer. To use them, defrost what you need for your recipe in the fridge overnight or defrost under cool water and use immediately. Only use them in recipes or applications which call for completely cooked eggs.
What About Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs do not freeze well since the white is high in water content and low in fat. Conversely, the yolk is high in fat and low in water. If you have to freeze hard boiled eggs, you will not be able to freeze the whites of the eggs, but you can freeze the yolks. Simply cook your hard boiled eggs as usual, cool them and then remove the yolks and freeze in a freezer bag. The yolk can be crumbled over salads later.
Freezing eggs is a great way to combat the fall and winter slow down in laying. Sure we could artificially light our coop and encourage our birds to lay through the fall and winter, but our hens are a hardworking and integral part of our homestead providing us (and our customers) with healthy and delicious eggs most of the year, so a break from laying in the winter is well deserved so they can live as healthy and as long as possible.
So gather your ice cube trays, excess eggs and freezer bags and clear a spot in the freezer to make room for those excess eggs which will get you through the fall and winter.
Have you tried freezing eggs? What was your experience? Any tips?