What Happens When You Freeze Eggs In The Shell

What Happens When You Freeze Eggs In The Shell?

Despite their versatility and the different ways they can be cooked and enjoyed, eggs are a staple ingredient in many households.

When eggs are kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks, they will go bad after a while. If you eat bad eggs, you can become very ill.

You might want to freeze eggs to keep them fresher longer, and freezing them in their shells might seem to be the simplest option.

But what happens when you freeze eggs in the shell? Eggs should not be frozen in the shell because they will expand as they freeze, which could crack the shell. When the shell cracks, bacteria can enter the egg and cause it to go bad. Additionally, freezing eggs in their shells may affect the texture and taste of the eggs.

Find out why you should never freeze eggs in the shell, and how to actually freeze them.

Can You Freeze Eggs In The Shell?

Freezing eggs in their shells can result in bacterial contamination, as well as changing the texture of the yolk.

As well as the egg yolk, the egg white is also contained in the egg shell.

Since the egg yolk and egg white are contained inside a closed shell, as they expand as they freeze, they could crack the shell.

A cracked shell allows bacteria to enter the egg, causing bacteria growth to increase and the egg to go bad more quickly.

The bacteria present in the egg will still be present even after the egg is thawed, even if it is in the process of freezing.

Eggs that are frozen in their shells run the risk of bacterial contamination, and once thawed, the yolks can become thick and almost gel-like, making them difficult to use in cooking.

The risk of bacterial contamination, and the risk of the texture of the egg changing, is too high to freeze eggs in their shells, and there are other ways to freeze them.

What Types Of Eggs Can You Freeze?

You should not freeze eggs in their shells, but this does not mean that you cannot freeze eggs at all. Eggs can be prepared in various ways for freezing.

Here are the types of eggs that you can freeze successfully:

  • Egg yolks that are raw

  • Egg whites that are raw

  • Whole raw eggs whisked together after being removed from the shell

  • Dishes with cooked eggs

How Does Freezing Change Eggs?

Once thawed, frozen food always changes in taste and texture, sometimes drastically, sometimes mildly, depending on when it was frozen.

When eggs are thawed, their taste and texture change, and how well they are prepared and protected for freezing determines how well they will survive.

Freezing egg whites, or eggs that have been whisked together, is not too adverse to their texture, and you won’t notice much difference if you freeze them properly.

When egg yolks are frozen on their own, the texture changes significantly. They become thick and gel-like when frozen, making them difficult to use once thawed.

As the egg ages, its flavor may change as well, becoming milder and more subtle. If it does, it could be a sign that it has begun to spoil.

The Best Ways To Freeze Raw Eggs

Depending on how you plan to use the eggs once thawed, raw eggs can be frozen in a variety of ways.

You can freeze raw eggs in the following ways!

1. Egg Whites

You can freeze egg whites for baking or to make egg white omelets later on.

The first step is to separate the eggs, keeping the whites and yolks apart.

The egg whites can then be placed into freezer-safe airtight containers or resealable freezer bags (squeezing out as much air as possible before freezing).

Make sure the container or bag is labeled with the date of freezing and how many egg whites it contains.

Alternatively, you can freeze egg whites in an ice cube tray and pop them out of the ice cube tray into a resealable freezer bag once they have frozen.

It allows you to remove as many portions as you like without having to defrost them all.

2. Egg Yolks

Since egg yolks turn thick and gel-like when frozen and thawed, they are difficult to use after freezing.

If you freeze egg yolks on their own, they will take on a gelatinous texture that you don’t like. However, you can prevent them from becoming too thick during freezing.

Per four egg yolks, you can add either 112 teaspoons of sugar, 18 teaspoons of salt, or 112 teaspoons of corn syrup to prevent the mixture from becoming gel-like.

By beating these into the egg yolk, the yolks won’t thicken, and they’ll be easier to use once they’re thawed.

If you are using the yolks for savory dishes, you may want to add salt, while if you are using them for sweets, you may want to add sugar or corn syrup.

It is possible to freeze egg yolks in ice cube trays, then transfer them to resealable freezer bags, or freeze them all together in an airtight container in the freezer.

3. Whole Eggs

You can freeze whole eggs by whisking the yolks and whites together, then placing them in a freezer-safe container that seals tight.

Eggs can also be frozen in ice cube trays and transferred to a sealable bag once frozen.

If you are freezing whole eggs, make sure to label the container with how many eggs you have frozen, just to make portions easier later.

How Long Can Eggs Be Frozen?

It is possible to keep eggs fresh for longer if they are frozen, and freezing extends the shelf life of eggs by a considerable amount.

Eggs can be kept in the freezer for up to one year when properly prepared and packaged. This is quite long compared to many other foods, so you should be able to use them before they go bad.

After a year in the freezer, the eggs will still be fine, but there is a possibility of freezer burn and deterioration in quality, which leads to the eggs not tasting as good as they would have otherwise.

How To Thaw Frozen Eggs

Thawing eggs properly is so important, as incorrectly thawing them could not only ruin their taste and texture, but could also put them at risk of bacterial contamination.

There are two ways to thaw frozen eggs.

In the first step, let the frozen eggs sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cook them as you normally would.

Alternatively, you can leave the eggs in the fridge overnight to thaw.

If you use this method, the eggs won’t reach any dangerous temperatures that might encourage bacteria growth. Their thawing should take a few hours or overnight.

Final Thoughts

Eggs can be frozen, but they should not be frozen in their shells.

A frozen egg’s liquid expands as it freezes, and when it expands, the egg’s shell can crack, allowing bacteria to enter, and spoiling the egg.

When frozen in the shell, egg yolks become thick and gelatinous, making them difficult to use once thawed.

You can learn what to avoid when freezing eggs in the above article, as well as how to freeze eggs to keep them fresher for longer.

Related Questions

After learning how to freeze raw eggs, and what happens to frozen raw eggs in the shell, here are some additional questions we thought you might have.

Can you freeze hard-boiled eggs?

The whites of hard-boiled eggs will become tough and rubbery when frozen and thawed, and will not be very enjoyable to eat.

Where is the best place to store eggs?

Refrigeration is the best place to store eggs and keep them fresh longer.

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