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Can you freeze eggs?

Many people find themselves being left with spare egg whites or yolks after a recipe requiring just one or the other, or even throwing out unused eggs when the box hits its expiry date. This food wastage can be easily avoided by freezing eggs. However, the following guidelines need to be met to ensure the eggs remain safe.

First of all, each egg needs to be cracked out of its shell. The egg white and yolk will expand when frozen so if left intact this could damage or break the shell. Only freeze eggs which are fresh and in date; all British Lion Eggs are labelled with a best-before date stamp on each individual egg shell. You may wish to freeze the whole egg or just the yolk or white, which we have explained below.

When placing raw egg in containers before freezing, be sure to leave about a half-inch room for expansion. Make sure all containers are labelled with dates, volume of eggs used and detail of any other external ingredients for your future reference.

Eggs can be frozen for up to a year, although it is recommended to use them within 4 months for freshness.

Freezing Whole Eggs

To freeze eggs whole, the white and yolk will need to be beaten together. Pour the contents into a container suitable for the freezer, label with the date, seal and freeze.

Freezing Egg Whites Only

With egg whites, it is a simple procedure of pouring into a container, mixing the whites together, tightly sealing the contents and freezing; freeze them in smaller quantities to speed up the thawing process.

Freezing Egg Yolk Only

To freeze the yolk by itself, start by separating it out and placing it into a container.

Egg yolks demand a different process due to their thicker consistencies. The yolk will gel if left in its original form which would render it unusable for recipes; therefore you should add some extra ingredients to prevent the gelation (eggs turning sticky).

Salt and sugar are particularly useful. Add half a teaspoon of salt or 1 – 1½ tablespoons of sugar for each 240ml of raw egg; use according to whether you intend to use the egg contents for sweet or savoury purposes. This will stop the gelation of the yolks.

Use the yolks within a few months for best results.

Defrosting & Eating

Frozen eggs in any form need to be fully thawed to be used and can only be eaten in thoroughly cooked dishes. Never cook eggs directly from frozen. To defrost, move the egg from the freezer to the refrigerator to be stored overnight, this will help to avoid any exposure to bacteria. To quicken the process, run cold water over the freezing container. Be sure to use the eggs as soon as they have thawed.

Can You Freeze Eggs?