Egg prices soared 60% in the past year and remain high, thanks to good old inflation. Now is a great time to stock up if you see a sale. But what happens if you bring home more than you can easily consume before the expiration date? Can you freeze eggs to use later on?
Luckily, the answer is yes — but you’ll need to know how. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, uncooked eggs can be frozen for up to one year. However it’s important to make sure your freezer’s temperature is set to 0 degrees fahrenheit.
Can You Freeze Eggs In Their Shells?
While it would be incredibly nice to simply transfer egg cartons nearing their expiration date from the fridge to the freezer, it’s not that simple. Since eggs contain water, the interior contents will expand and crack the shell, which is the last kind of mess you want to deal with in your freezer.
The Best Ways To Freeze Eggs
The best way to store uncooked eggs in the freezer is to beat your eggs until mixed, but not so much that they are foaming. Pour the mixture into a date-labeled plastic bag or an ice cube tray, which measures out to be approximately 1/2 egg per cube. If using the latter method, transfer cubes to a plastic bag or container once frozen, which usually takes a few hours.
If you’re a fan of egg white omelets or like making meringues, there’s an easy way to freeze egg whites, too. Simply break and separate the eggs into yolks and whites. Transfer the whites into freezer-friendly containers or plastic bags. Label each container with the number of egg whites and the date. If you think you’ll just need one egg white at a time, freeze each one in an ice cube tray and then transfer it to a labeled container. Later on, when you’ve thawed them in the fridge or under cold running water, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will allow them to beat to better volume.
Egg yolks need a little more care because they become more gelatinous once frozen, especially when frozen as is. To slow down the gelation process, beat the yolks of roughly four eggs with one of the following ingredients: 1/8 teaspoon of salt for main dishes; 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar or 1 1/2 teaspoons of corn syrup for desserts. Label the container with the date, number of yolks and what ingredient you’ve added.
Dealing With Hard-Boiled Eggs
You might be wondering can you freeze eggs that have been hard-boiled? Unfortunately, you’re out of luck on this one. The texture of frozen hard-boiled eggs will make them unappealingly watery and tough.
The Safest Way To Thaw Frozen Eggs
When you’re ready to use your frozen eggs, thaw them in the refrigerator for several hours or run them under cold water. It’s best to cook them as soon as they’re thawed, so don’t let them sit around in your fridge for several days. Thawing them on your counter is not recommended. Once thawed, refreezing eggs is not advised.
Eggs that have been frozen properly can be poured into a quiche recipe or used in desserts. You can make almost anything with an egg that’s been previously frozen, except a sunny-side-up egg since they need to be mixed before heading to the freezer.
Now that you know you can take advantage of a good sale and stock up, you’ll never have to worry about not having one on hand for a last-minute nutritious meal or a big batch of cookies.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.