Can Raw, Whole Eggs Be Frozen So They Last Longer In the Fridge?

I hate to see food go to waste too, but in this case freezing the eggs might cause more trouble than they’re worth.

For one thing, the shells will probably crack because, as you might expect, the whites expand when they freeze, just as water does when it turns to ice. There’s nothing you can do about that. There may also be some deterioration of flavor, depending on how long you keep them in the freezer.

More troublesome is the fact that the yolks will be thick and gummy when you thaw them out. That’s called gelation, the formation of a gel.

It happens because as the eggs freeze, some of the proteins’ molecules bind themselves into a network that traps large amounts of water, and they can’t unbind themselves when thawed. The thickened egg yolks won’t be very good for making custards or sauces, where smoothness of texture is important. Using thick-yolked eggs in other recipes can be risky, and if a recipe bombs, you’ll be wasting a lot more than a few eggs.

Next time, leave them in the fridge if your trip isn’t going to last more than a couple of weeks, or hard-cook them all before you leave.

Manufacturers of prepared foods use tons of frozen eggs in making baked goods, mayonnaise, and other products. The gumminess is prevented by adding 10 parts of salt or sugar to every hundred parts of shelled, beaten eggs before they are frozen.

I suppose you could do that too if you wanted to take the trouble, but the salt or sugar would sure limit your use of the eggs.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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