Ready or Not #55: Freezing Eggs

Because we are dealing with eggs and because I wanted to make sure that you get accurate information, I went to The American Egg Board (www.aeb.org) web site to get you the best frozen egg information out there. Below is what they say works.

“If you receive a windfall of eggs far beyond your capacity to use within a few weeks, they can be frozen—not in the shell, of course. Freeze only clean, fresh eggs.

Whites: Break and separate the egg, one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets in the whites. Pour them into freezer containers, seal tightly, label with the number of egg whites and the date, and freeze. For faster thawing and easier measuring, first freeze each white in an ice cube tray and then transfer to a freezer container.

Yolks: Egg yolks require special treatment. The gelation property of yolk causes it to thicken or gel when frozen. If frozen as is, egg yolks will eventually become so gelatinous that it will be almost impossible to use in a recipe. To help retard this gelation, beat in either 1/8-teaspoon salt or 1½ teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per ¼ cup egg yolks (4 yolks). Label the container with the number or yolks, the date, and whether you’ve added salt (for main dishes) or sweetener (for baking or desserts).

Whole eggs: Beat just until blended, pour into freezer containers, seal tightly, label with the number of eggs and the date, and freeze.

Hard-cooked: Hard-cooked yolks can be frozen to use later for toppings or garnishes. Carefully place the yolks in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to come at least 1 inch above the yolks. Cover and quickly bring just to boiling. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, in the hot water about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and package for freezing.

Hard-cooked whole eggs and whites become tough and watery when frozen, so don’t freeze them.

To use frozen eggs: Thaw frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator or under running cold water. Use yolks or whole eggs as soon as they’re thawed. Once thawed, whites will beat to better volume if allowed to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.”

Mmmm. Pretty interesting. Of course I had to freeze a whole egg just because I was curious as to how hard the yolk got and yep, it got hard. My frozen yolk was the consistency of thick, hard peanut butter. Not very useable. The egg white however did just fine. I fried it up to see if it tasted okay or if it was grainy at all or curdled in texture. I couldn’t tell the difference between the fresh egg whites versus frozen egg whites. I didn’t try the fixing the yolk with salt of sugar, but I did try mixing the yolk and the white together and then freezing it. After thawing it out I wasn’t too impressed because it looked kind of thick and it seemed a little darker in color. I decided to fry it up anyway just to see how it would turn out when cooked. I was really surprised at how well they turned out. The minute the eggs started cooking in the pan they turned back to the color that I was used to. They fried up very nice and fluffy. When I served it to my test subject, my son, he said that they tasted really good and after I tried them I had to agree with him.

I would suggest that you test your favorite egg recipes out by freezing them and serving them to your family. The most important part of this test is to NOT tell your family that you first froze the egg based item. This way you will get a better, non-prejudiced, answer. In this case, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. After trying egg freezing, I think that I am going to continue to do it. The big thing to remember is to rotate them and make sure that the frozen egg is well packaged so that they won’t pick up freezer tastes. There would be nothing worse than to bake a cake that had a hint of fish added.

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