Raw chicken eggs on old wooden table.
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What Happens When You Freeze Eggs In The Shell?

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Eggs are a staple ingredient in so many households — this is due to their versatility and all the different ways they can be cooked and enjoyed.

Eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks, but after some time they will go bad, and if you end up eating bad eggs, you can become very ill.

To keep eggs fresher for longer, you might want to freeze them, and the easiest option might seem to be to freeze them in their shell.

But what happens when you freeze eggs in the shell? You should not freeze eggs in the shell — the liquid inside the egg will expand as it freezes, which could cause the shell to crack. When the shell cracks, bacteria can enter the egg and cause it to go bad. Freezing eggs in the shell can also have a negative effect on the egg’s texture and taste.

Read on to find out more about why you should avoid freezing eggs in the shell, and the best way to actually freeze eggs.

Can You Freeze Eggs In The Shell?

It is strongly advised that you do not freeze eggs in the shell, as it can lead to bacterial contamination, and it can cause the egg yolk to change in texture.

Egg shells contain liquid, both the egg yolk and the egg white.

As with almost all liquids, as the egg yolk and the egg white freeze, they expand. Being contained inside the closed shell, as the egg liquid expands, it could crack the shell of the egg.

When the shell is cracked, it allows for bacteria to enter the egg, and when this happens, bacteria growth increases and the egg can go bad quickly.

Even though the egg might be in the process of freezing, it can still spoil, and the bacteria will still be present when the egg is thawed.

Other than the risk of bacterial contamination, freezing eggs in the shell can cause the yolk to become thick and almost like a gel, which can make it really difficult to use the eggs in cooking once they have been thawed.

Overall, you should avoid freezing eggs in the shell, as the risk of bacteria contamination, and the risk of the texture of the egg changing, is too high, and there are other ways to freeze eggs.

What Types Of Eggs Can You Freeze?

As mentioned above, you should not freeze eggs in the shell, but this does not mean that you cannot freeze eggs at all. Eggs can actually be prepared for freezing in a variety of ways!

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

  • Raw egg yolk
  • Raw egg whites
  • Raw whole eggs that were removed from the shell and whisked together
  • Cooked egg dishes

How Does Freezing Change Eggs?

Freezing food always has an effect on the taste and texture of the food once it has thawed, and sometimes the change can be drastic, and other times it can be mild.

The taste and texture of eggs do change once it is thawed, and how well prepared and protected the eggs are for freezing determines how much they are protected.

The texture of egg whites, or eggs that have been whisked together, is not too affected by freezing, and you should not notice too much of a difference if the eggs are frozen properly.

The biggest change in texture would be when egg yolks are frozen on their own. Egg yolks turn thick and gel-like when frozen, and this makes them quite difficult to use once thawed.

The flavor of the egg will change slightly too, becoming milder and more subtle. The egg should not take on any new flavors though — if it does, it could be a sign that it has started to spoil.

The Best Ways To Freeze Raw Eggs

You can freeze raw eggs in a variety of different ways, depending on how you want to use the eggs once thawed.

Here are the best ways to freeze raw eggs!

1. Egg Whites

Freezing egg whites is great for when you want to keep them for baking or to make egg white omelets at a later stage.

To start, you would obviously have to separate the eggs, keeping the whites and the yolks separate. 

Once you have separated all the eggs, you can either portion the egg whites into your desired portion sizes with resealable freezer bags (squeezing out as much air as possible before freezing) or put them all into a freezer-safe airtight container.

It is a good idea to label the container or bag with the date of freezing, and how many egg whites are in the container.

Another way to freeze egg whites is to place the egg whites into an ice cube tray and place this in a freezer. Once frozen, pop the egg whites out and place them in a resealable freezer bag.

This allows you to remove as many portions as you want without having to defrost them all.

2. Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are difficult to freeze as they do turn thick and gel-like when frozen and thawed, which causes them to be very difficult to use afterward.

It isn’t worth freezing egg yolks on their own, since the gelatinous texture they take on just isn’t great. However, you can prevent them from becoming too thick during the freezing process!

To stop them from becoming gel-like, you can beat in either 1½ teaspoons of sugar, ⅛ teaspoons of salt, or 1½ teaspoons of corn syrup per 4 egg yolks.

Beating these into the egg yolk helps to stop the yolks from thickening, and they should be easier to use once thawed.

Keep in mind what you would be using them for — adding salt would make the yolks better for savory dishes, while sugar or corn syrup would make the yolks better for sweet desserts.

The yolks can be frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred to resealable freezer bags, or frozen all together in an airtight freezer container.

3. Whole Eggs

Whole eggs are very easy to freeze — you just have to whisk the egg yolks and the egg whites together until blended, then place the egg into a freezer-safe container that seals airtight.

You can also freeze the eggs in ice cube trays and transfer these to a sealable bag once frozen.

When freezing whole eggs, make sure to label the container with how many eggs have been frozen, just to help with portioning later on.

How Long Can Eggs Be Frozen?

Eggs can be kept fresher for longer when frozen, and freezing extends the shelf life of eggs exponentially.

When prepared and packaged properly for freezing, eggs can be kept for up to one year in the freezer. This is quite long compared to many other food items, so you should be able to use the eggs before they begin to decline in quality.

The eggs will be fine to use after a year in the freezer, but the chance of freezer burn and the eggs declining in quality increases with time, and they won’t taste as good as they would have if used within the recommended time frame.

How To Thaw Frozen Eggs

Knowing how to thaw eggs properly is so important, as thawing them incorrectly could not only ruin their taste and texture, but it could put the eggs at risk of bacterial contamination.

To thaw frozen eggs, you have two options.

The first is to leave the frozen eggs to sit at room temperature for no longer than 30 minutes, and then cook them as you would normally.

The other option is to leave the eggs to thaw in the fridge overnight.

This is the safest option, as the eggs will not reach any dangerous temperatures that might encourage bacteria growth. The eggs should thaw completely within a few hours or overnight.

Final Thoughts

Eggs are fine to freeze, but you should not freeze eggs in the shell.

As the liquid inside the egg freezes, it expands, and when it expands, it can crack the shell of the egg — this allows bacteria to enter the egg, which could cause it to spoil.

The egg yolk will also turn thick and gelatinous when frozen in the shell, making it difficult to use once thawed.

Read through the above to understand what to avoid when freezing eggs, as well as some suitable ways to freeze eggs, to keep them fresher for longer!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve learned all the best ways 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?

You can freeze hard-boiled eggs, but it is not recommended as the whites 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?

The best place to store eggs and keep them fresher for longer is to keep them in the refrigerator

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