Can you freeze eggs? Yes, but there's a right and wrong way to do it

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Can you freeze eggs? Yes, but there's a right and wrong way to do it
There are many ways to freeze eggs, but a few specific ways you should avoid. Jamie Grill/Getty Images
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
  • You can freeze egg whites and egg yolks separately, or whole lightly beaten eggs.
  • When freezing raw eggs, it's important to take them out of their shell.
  • You can also freeze cooked egg-based dishes like quiches and frittatas.

Freezing raw eggs is a great solution to a number of predicaments, whether you're about to head out of town with a dozen eggs still in your fridge or you've got some unused yolks from a soufflé recipe.

Since you can freeze eggs both whole and in parts, freezing is "the best thing to do with them, instead of tossing them, or taking a risk and leaving them in your fridge," says Yumna Jawad, the founder and content creator of Feel Good Foodie, a website dedicated to creating healthy recipes with feel-good ingredients.

To get the most out of your groceries and minimize food waste, learn how to freeze whole eggs, egg whites, and egg yolks below.

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How to prep eggs for freezing

While there are numerous ways to freeze eggs, there are certain methods you should avoid.

According to the FDA, raw eggs should never be frozen in their shells. Eggs contain water, and since water expands when frozen, freezing a raw egg might cause the shell to crack. This can allow bacteria to enter the egg and make it dangerous to consume.

In addition, the FDA does not recommend freezing hard-boiled whole eggs or hard-boiled whites. Because the water within the egg structurally changes when frozen, the texture of hard-boiled eggs - particularly the whites - will become unpleasantly chewy once thawed.

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The types of eggs best for freezing include whisked whole raw eggs, raw egg whites, and raw egg yolks, as well as cooked egg-based dishes, like scrambled eggs, quiches, and egg casseroles.

However you choose to freeze eggs, it's important to freeze only fresh eggs. To check the freshness of eggs, try the egg float test. Fill a bowl with water and submerge the eggs. If the eggs sink, they're still fresh. "Some people think that it's a myth, but it's really not," Jawad says. Sinking "means they're sturdy and heavy … and if they float, they're bad."

What you need

  • Muffin tin, ice cube tray, or freezer-safe containers
  • Fork or whisk
  • Salt or sugar
  • Aluminum foil or plastic wrap (optional)
  • Freezer-safe bag or container (optional)

How to freeze raw whole eggs

Can you freeze eggs? Yes, but there's a right and wrong way to do it
You can also whisk several eggs together and then divide into a muffin tin by weight or volume. Adam Gault/Getty Images
The steps for freezing raw whole eggs versus egg parts are similar. For best results, whisk the egg until its consistency is smooth before freezing - this step improves the texture of the defrosted egg.

Jawad recommends using a muffin tin for freezing: "It fits so neatly, and you can tell that each muffin tin equals one egg." You can also freeze multiple eggs together and still label how many are in the unit.
  1. Crack the eggs. You can crack them directly into the container you'll use to freeze the eggs, such as a muffin tin or large ice cube tray.
  2. Lightly whisk the eggs. Use a fork or small whisk to blend the egg yolk and whites together. You'll know they're properly mixed when the blended egg is smooth with no clumps.
  3. Add sugar or salt. Depending on what you'll use the frozen eggs for - e.g., a cake versus an omelette - whisk in a pinch of salt or sugar. For a more exact measurement, add a ¼ teaspoon of salt per cup of eggs or ¾ teaspoon of sugar per cup of eggs.
  4. Freeze the eggs. Put the muffin tin in the freezer until eggs are frozen, about four hours. You can also cover the tin with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  5. Label the date and store until ready to use. Note the date that the eggs were frozen-they'll last for a year after that date.
  6. Remove the eggs (optional). To save freezer space, remove the frozen eggs from the tin and put them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Run a butter knife around the edges of the egg if it's difficult to remove from the tin. Return the eggs to the freezer.

How to freeze egg whites

In addition to egg-white-only bakes like macaroons or angel food cake, egg whites can substitute whole eggs in savory dishes like omelettes or quiches.

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To freeze just the egg whites, divide the egg whites into the muffin tin, about one egg's worth of whites per muffin cup. Whisk the whites until they feel completely smooth with no clumps.

Freeze the egg whites in the muffin tin until solid - about four hours. Label the date that the eggs were frozen and then store them for up to one year. You can also move the frozen egg whites into a different freezer-safe container to save freezer space.

Best freezer-safe containers

Insider Reviews team recommends the best food storage containers. Check out our favorite freezer-safe options.

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How to freeze egg yolks

Common yolk-only recipes range from sweet to savory, like crème brûlée or lemon curd to mayonnaise or carbonara.

To freeze just egg yolks, divide the egg yolks into the muffin tin, one yolk per muffin cup. Whisk the yolk until blended, then add salt or sugar - ½ teaspoon salt or ½ tablespoon sugar per 1 cup yolks. Whisk thoroughly; you'll know it's completely mixed when the yolk is lighter in color and feels completely smooth.

Freeze the yolks until they're solid, at which point you can optionally transfer the yolks to a different freezer-safe container. Label the yolks with the date they were frozen and use within a year.

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How to freeze cooked eggs

Can you freeze eggs? Yes, but there's a right and wrong way to do it
Smaller portions cool faster and can therefore be frozen sooner after cooking than larger dishes. iuliia_n/Getty Images
While frozen raw eggs last so long, sometimes the trickiest part is remembering to use them, which is why Jawad usually cooks eggs before freezing them. "Sometimes, we freeze things, and we're optimistic that we'll use them," she says. "You're more likely to eat it if it's actually cooked in advance."

This tactic works best for egg dishes in which the whites and yolks are mixed together, like frittata or egg muffins, because cooked egg whites that are frozen separately from the yolks become tough and chewy.

To freeze cooked eggs, allow the dish to cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for up to three months. For larger dishes, divide into smaller portions to cool more quickly and maximize freezer space.

How to thaw frozen eggs

When you want to use a frozen egg, the safest option for defrosting is to thaw it overnight, or at least for a few hours, in the fridge. The egg is fully thawed, Jawad says, when "it's runny again and has the consistency that it had before."

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If you're pressed for time, you can put the egg in a small bowl that's inside a bigger bowl of cold water. Cold water works, Jawad explains, since it's still warmer than the frozen egg. The temperature difference also won't shock the frozen egg, as warm or hot water might. This method takes 20 to 30 minutes.

For cooked eggs, thaw overnight in the fridge and then heat in a microwave, on a stovetop, or in an oven until heated through.

Quick tip: Remember to use freezer-safe containers for storage, and if you see freezer burn - a thick white film of ice crystals on the outside of the food item - discard the eggs, as they are no longer safe to eat.

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Does freezing eggs change the taste?

Freezing eggs does change their taste: "It's kind of like when you freeze garlic," Jawad describes. "The taste is a little bit reduced. It's not as wonderful as it is fresh."

However, when it comes to raw eggs, this change matters less depending on what you're using the eggs for.

For example, in baking - when eggs are used more for their leavening quality than their taste - the flavor of a baked good shouldn't change. On the other hand, for savory dishes like frittatas, where the egg flavor is important, Jawad recommends "fluffing it up with lots of vegetables and aromatics, so you're not just eating the eggs by themselves."

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Insider's takeaway

It's possible to freeze raw eggs, either whole or in parts, and only requires a freezer-safe container, something to whisk the eggs, and a pinch of salt or sugar. Since frozen raw eggs last up to a year when stored properly, freezing is a great option for minimizing food waste.

However, since they last so long, remembering to use them can be difficult. In particular, if you're freezing several raw eggs together at once, Jawad recommends, "Label it so that you know the date that you froze it and how many eggs are in there, so you're not playing guessing games a year later."

Another tip to ensure frozen eggs get used is to cook the eggs before freezing. Frozen cooked eggs last up to three months in the freezer and can be reheated after thawing overnight in the fridge.

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