It seems like only yesterday that I’d lift my nestbox lids hoping to find one or two eggs. Nowadays, I hope that I’ll have enough room in my collection basket for all that I find. The increase in daylight hours triggered my hens’ internal egg factories, and it’s not unusual to collect two to three dozen eggs per day. We sell hatching eggs as well as shell (eating) eggs, but even with regular customers, we find ourselves overflowing with eggs.
This might not seem like much of a hardship, especially with four sons who love eggs. Even growing boys have their limits, however, and they’ll eat carbonara, omelets, egg sandwiches, quiches and custards only so many times. Our hens could not care less that the kids are at capacity; they keep laying regularly until late fall. With our cartons all packed, our collection baskets full and eggs sprawling across our kitchen counter, I knew I had to find a way to store our surplus so that it wouldn’t go to waste.
Enter the freezer. Eggs can be stored for as long as one year when properly frozen. After they’re thawed, frying or poaching them is out of the question. Just the same, your frozen eggs can be used for cooking and baking—and you’ll be glad you stored surplus eggs when your girls’ production slows down for the winter.
The Equipment You Need to Freeze Surplus Eggs
You’ll need several standard ice-cube trays. Use plastic or silicone ice-cube trays for better-defined cube formation. Be sure to have either sturdy freezer storage bags or locking containers in which to store your egg cubes.
How to Freeze Egg Whites
Carefully separate your egg whites from your yolks, making sure that no yolk gets into your whites. This is vital, as yolks freeze differently from whites and the presence of any yolk in your whites will affect how well you can use your thawed whites. Use one egg white per ice-cube tray pocket. Freeze the whites thoroughly, then transfer the formed cubes to a storage bag or container. Label your storage bag or container with the date the egg whites were frozen.
When you’re ready to use your frozen egg whites, thaw them slowly either in the refrigerator overnight or under running lukewarm water. Thawed egg whites must be used immediately. If you plan to beat the thawed whites, let them come to room temperature first. Use two tablespoons of thawed egg whites where recipes call for one fresh egg white.
How to Freeze Egg Yolks
Unlike egg whites, which retain their liquid nature, egg yolks thicken when frozen, becoming so gelatinous that they are unusable unless treated prior to freezing. Place your separated egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat them until smooth. If you plan to use your egg yolks for savory dishes, add 1/4 teaspoon salt per eight yolks and beat to combine. If your egg yolks are destined for desserts, mix in one tablespoon granulated sugar per eight yolks. Pour your treated yolks into your ice-cube trays and freeze. Once thoroughly frozen, place your yolk cubes into your storage bag or container and label this with the date and whether they yolks are sweet or savory.
Thaw frozen yolks the same way you thaw frozen whites: in the refrigerator overnight or under running lukewarm water. Like egg whites, thawed egg yolks must be used immediately. Use one tablespoon thawed egg yolk where recipes call for one fresh egg yolk.
How to Freeze Whole Eggs
To freeze whole eggs, crack your surplus eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until fully blended. Pour the beaten eggs into your ice-cube trays and freeze. Once fully frozen, transfer your egg cubes into your storage bag or container and label this with the date. When ready to use, thaw the eggs in the refrigerator overnight or under running lukewarm water. Use three tablespoons of thawed beaten egg where recipes call for one whole egg.