AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Those who have chickens may find the laying hens in the back yard provide more eggs than a family can use before going bad. When the bounty is overflowing, preserve farm-fresh eggs by freezing.
Freeze Mixed, Whole Eggs
According to Alabama Cooperative Extension System food safety and quality agent, Dani Reams, the key to preserving eggs is to freeze mixed, whole eggs. First, break each whole egg into a clean container. Then, examine the egg to make sure it is in good condition and free of shell fragments.
“Cracking one egg at a time into a small container, like a jelly jar, makes it easier to examine,” Reams said.
After examination, pour the eggs together into a large container. Thoroughly mix the eggs and yolks, while trying to avoid incorporating air into the mixture. The National Center for Home food preservation suggests adding ½ teaspoon of salt per cup, 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar per cup or 1 ½ tablespoons of corn syrup per cup to help improve the texture of the yolks in the final product.
“If you choose to include one of the additions, make sure to consider the future use of the egg,” Reams said. “For example, I use salt when I put up eggs for scrambled eggs.”
Next, pour the mixed eggs into a freezer bag. Make sure to label the freezer bag with the date, name and number of eggs before freezing. When ready to use the eggs, thaw the frozen eggs the night before use in the refrigerator.
Reams said it is possible to freeze yolks and egg whites separately.
“If frozen alone, the egg whites should be stirred gently and strained through a sieve,” she said. “Additives are not necessary to freeze the egg whites.”
Mix yolks with 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons of corn syrup or ½ teaspoon of salt per cup of egg yolk to prevent graininess. This is equivalent to the mixture for the whole eggs.
For the option to thaw only one or two eggs at a time, Reams said a good alternative to a freezer bag is to use an ice tray.
“If you chose to use the ice tray, you should figure out the capacity of your mold before freezing,” Reams said. “Each cube in my ice mold holds about 1 ½ tablespoons of egg mixture.”
If there are issues removing the frozen egg from the ice tray, run warm water over the bottom of the tray to loosen the frozen pieces. However, be aware that some of the outer surface will also melt in the process.
To keep the pieces from refreezing together, place cubes individually on a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Then, return the cubes to the freezer until the melted outer layer is entirely frozen. Afterwards, place the pieces in a freezer bag for storage. Make sure to thaw the egg in the refrigerator prior to use, and prepare the eggs in thoroughly-cooked dishes.
To learn more about freezing farm-fresh eggs, visit the Alabama Extension website www.aces.edu and view our webinar on preserving the bounty by freezing. Also, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation for additional information on egg preservation.