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How to Freeze Eggs- Step by Step (Prepare for Winter by Freezing Chicken Eggs in the Spring!)
Backyard hens laying more eggs than you can eat in a day? Preserving eggs for the leaner, winter months is a great way to be prepared.Jump to Recipe
Preserving Your Homegrown Eggs in the Freezer- How to Freeze Eggs
With the warmer weather and increased daylight, spring is usually when backyard chicken flocks begin to produce eggs at an overwhelming rate. Rather than eating scrambled eggs for 3 meals a day, preserving the eggs will mean that you’re prepared for the inevitable slump of winter.
Eggs can be preserved in many different ways. I’ve covered “water glassing” eggs (preserving them in a lime-water solution) here. And I have a post about pickling eggs here. But in this post, I’m going to focus on how you can preserve eggs by freezing them.
Why Should You Freeze Eggs?
Preserving eggs by freezing is a great way to ensure that even in bad weather or molting season, you’ll still have access to homegrown eggs for all of your cooking needs.
Freezing eggs is easy and doesn’t require any specialized equipment. And the end result is an egg that is perfectly suited to scrambling for breakfast or mixing in a cake.
While I tend to store a lot of eggs in water glass and by dehydration, freezing is another easy method I use for a few dozen eggs each spring. It’s a good way to have a more diverse pantry without committing the entire freezer to eggs.
Equipment & Ingredients for Freezing Eggs
There are basically 2 ways to preserve eggs through freezing: in the shell, and out of the shell.
If you plan to freeze eggs in the shell, you’ll literally just need eggs and some sort of container to hold them in. I like quart-size plastic baggies since they’re pretty cheap and they’re totally flexible and fit in small spaces in the freezer.
For freezing eggs outside of the shell, you’ll need a few extra things. Start with eggs (of course), a bowl or measuring cup to scramble in, and a mold or some sort of container. An ice cube tray is a great mold, each cube will hold about 1 egg worth of scrambled egg.
Freezing eggs is a great way to store any sort of egg- whether that’s a fresh laid egg from the backyard, quail eggs, duck eggs, or even eggs bought on sale from the grocery store.
How to Freeze Eggs: Step by Step
We’ll start with how to freeze eggs in the shell.
Start by gathering your eggs and containers of choice. A quart bag will hold about 6 chicken eggs. Wash your eggs thoroughly, making sure that there are no cracks or debris.
Gently place the clean eggs into your containers. Close or seal the container and gently place it into the freezer.
After 12 or so hours the eggs should be totally frozen. The shells may have cracked. Now that the eggs are frozen, the container can be moved around and tucked into smaller spaces in the freezer without harm.
These eggs will last in the freezer for about 1 year.
Next up, how to freeze eggs without the shell.
Start by gathering your eggs and whatever kind of container or mold you’ll be using. If you’re going to freeze the eggs in an ice cube tray, you’ll need the ice cube tray to freeze the eggs initially and then another container to store them in, such as a gallon bag, once they’re frozen. If you plan to freeze the eggs in the container they’ll be stored in (such as smaller ziploc bags or freezer-friendly tupperware) you can skip the ice cube tray and storage bag.
Next, scramble the eggs. You can add salt if you’d like, but I would suggest skipping any other seasonings and milk since it can affect the texture and flavor of the eggs after they thaw.
Keep track of how many eggs you’ve scrambled before pouring them into the containers or molds, that way you can accurately label (and use) the frozen eggs later.
Carefully move the container into the freezer, keeping them totally level as they freeze to prevent any dripping or spilling.
After about 12 hours (depending on the size of the container) the eggs should be totally frozen. At this point, you can move the eggs into the storage container. Inverting and flexing the molds will generally be enough to release the egg. If not, using a butter knife can also get them released and ready to be packaged easily.
Label the container with the date and the number of eggs inside.
These eggs will also last in the freezer for about 1 year.
What Can You Use Frozen Eggs For?
Now that you’ve learned how to freeze eggs, you’re probably wondering how to use them. From a frozen state, as is? Probably not!
To thaw the eggs, I recommend pulling them from the freezer the night before you’ll need them. Let them sit out and thaw on the counter overnight.
Thawing eggs in hot water can change their texture, it’s better to thaw them out slowly.
Once your eggs are thawed, they are ready for use. Eggs frozen in the shell may have a slightly more dense yolk than a fresh egg, and don’t tend to fry up as well. They are still great as a scrambled egg or as an ingredient in another dish.
Eggs that were frozen scrambled will be ready to use for scrambled eggs right away, or mixed into another recipe.
In short, except for hard boiling or frying, frozen eggs can be used for nearly any recipe that fresh eggs can.
Another benefit of freezing eggs in the shell, or individually in an ice cube tray, is that you can pull out the exact number of eggs you need for a given recipe, while leaving the rest frozen and in storage.
How to Freeze Eggs: FAQ’s
Can you freeze eggs in a carton?
You can freeze eggs in the carton, technically. But it’s probably not a good idea. During the freezing process, eggs in shells will usually crack. If these eggs are in a carton as they freeze, the white may leak through the shell somewhat and freeze the egg into the carton. It can be a mess to get the eggs out of the carton to thaw and use. A much better plan is to freeze eggs in a plastic bag or similar container.
Can you freeze eggs in the shell?
Yes. I like to wash the eggs first to prevent any debris or the like getting into the egg itself, but you can definitely freeze eggs in the shell. As I mentioned above, the easiest way to freeze eggs in the shell is to put a few in a ziploc bag and then stash them into the freezer, gently.
Can you freeze eggs and milk?
You can freeze eggs and milk separately, of course. Eggs can be frozen in the shell or scrambled and frozen in molds. Milk can be frozen in wide mouth jars or other freezer-safe containers. Can you freeze milk and eggs scrambled together? Yes, but you may find that the texture of the mixture has changed. I prefer freezing eggs on their own, and adding in milk after thawing.
Can you freeze eggs out of the shell?
Yes. Freezing eggs out of the shell will require some sort of mold or container to hold the eggs as they freeze. As I described above, freezing eggs out of the shell is as easy as scrambling the raw eggs, pouring them into a mold, placing the mold into the freezer, and then storing the frozen scrambled eggs in another container.
Will freezing eggs kill salmonella?
Freezing, unfortunately, does not kill salmonella. This is why I strongly suggest washing your eggs before freezing if you plan to freeze eggs in the shell. If you freeze scrambled eggs, the risk for salmonella after thawing may still be there. Be sure to cook whatever dish your previously-frozen eggs are in thoroughly in order to kill off any potential bacterial contamination.
Can you freeze egg whites?
Yes! Freezing just the egg white is a great way to have them on hand for recipes that don’t use the yolk, such as angel food cake, meringues, and Japanese pancakes. To freeze just the whites, carefully crack the raw eggs in half, and separate the yolk from the white by passing the yolk from shell-half to shell-half. Pour the white into an ice cube tray. Reserve the yolks for a recipe now, or place them in separate sections in the ice cube tray to be frozen separately. To thaw the egg whites, remove from the freezer and thaw in the fridge or on the counter overnight.
Can you freeze egg yolks alone?
Yes! Freezing the egg yolks separately from the egg whites is a great way to have yolks on hand for rich recipes without having to separate the eggs at the time. If you’ve just made a meringue or an angel food cake, freeze the yolks to save them for a future recipe.
To freeze egg yolks, separate the yolk and white carefully. Place each separated yolk in a section of an ice cube tray by itself. After freezing, the yolks can be moved to an airtight, freezer-safe container such as a ziploc bag. To thaw, leave the egg yolks on the counter or in the fridge overnight.
How to thaw frozen eggs?
Thawing frozen eggs is easy, but you need to be sure to plan ahead. Take the frozen eggs out of the freezer the night before you’ll be cooking with them. Leave the eggs in the fridge, or on the counter, overnight and they’ll be ready to use the next morning. Thawing in warm or hot water is not recommended. Thawing with the defrost setting on the microwave will begin to cook the eggs and is not recommended either.
How long do frozen eggs last?
For the freshest possible formerly-frozen egg, using them within 4 or 6 months is the standard recommendation. However, kept frozen, eggs can last for a year or more- long enough to store through your chickens’ molt or a slower winter-time laying season. (The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says that for best quality, egg products can be stored frozen for up to a year. They also recommend thawing by running the eggs under cool water or in the fridge. You can read all of their egg handling safety information here.)
I hope that you’ve found this post to be helpful and full of good ideas. Preserving eggs is a great idea and can keep you prepared for breakfast and baking, even when the hens aren’t laying as often. If you’re inspired to try preserving eggs in other ways, I suggest you check out this post with 11 other egg preservation ideas.
Do you have too many egg shells after all of this scrambling and freezing? Check out this post that will show you, step by step, how to make your own egg shell powder. After that, this post will give you a wide variety of ideas for using your homemade egg shell powder.
If you give freezing eggs a try (and you should!) I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Tag me on Instagram, @EmigrantFarms, or leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading and happy homesteading,
How to Freeze Eggs
- Measuring glass or bowl
- Fork or whisk
- Ziploc bag or freezer-safe tupperware
- Ice cube tray
- Start by washing your eggs, making sure the shells are clean and free of debris
- To freeze eggs in the shell, take your cleaned eggs and gently place them into your ziploc bag or other freezer-safe container.
- To freeze eggs out of the shell, scrambled, begin by cracking an egg into the measuring glass. Use the whisk or fork to scramble the egg thoroughly. Pour the scrambled egg into the ice cube tray or other freezer-safe mold. Repeat with the rest of the eggs.
- Gently place your eggs into the freezer, ensuring that the containers are level and do not drip or leak.
- After approximately 12 hours, the eggs should be fully-frozen. Move the scrambled egg cubes from the ice cube tray into another freezer safe container or plastic bag to reduce their exposure to oxygen.
- Label the container(s) of eggs with the number of eggs and the date.
- To thaw, place the frozen eggs on the counter or in the fridge overnight.
- Use as you would fresh eggs.