Tips for Freezing and Thawing Eggs

Can you eat frozen and defrosted whole eggs?

Woven basket of brown, tan and white eggs on wooden table surface

The Spruce / Steven Merkel

There are a couple of ways eggs end up frozen: either intentionally when you freeze them after a summer surplus (or your eggs in the refrigerator are about to expire), or unintentionally when the temps are low enough for them to freeze in the nest boxes before you collect them.

How to Defrost Eggs

If you keep chickens, you know there are days when temps drop below freezing and the eggs are frozen by the time you get to them.

It is easy to defrost frozen eggs; just wash them really well, peel off the shell, and put the frozen egg in a zip-top bag or a glass jar. Place the bag or jar in a container of hot water, and let it sit for about five minutes. If you do not have the time or are really impatient, you can keep changing the water or just let hot tap water run over the bag for a bit.

Also, since yolks take longer to defrost than the whites, you can smoosh the yolks through the bag with your fingers. It helps distribute the warmth to the rest of the egg and speeds along the process a bit.

The microwave is not a good way to defrost eggs. This method does not work because the whites will cook while the yolks are still defrosting.

Yellow egg yolk in zip-top bag placed in glass bowl of hot water for defrosting

The Spruce / Steven Merkel

Frozen Eggs Used for Recipes

You probably want to know if frozen eggs work as well as fresh eggs in recipes, right? Well, almost. You might not want to bake a souffle with them, but the eggs certainly work fine as scrambled eggs or in basic baked goods.

Thawed egg whites will beat to better volume if you allow them to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. It is recommended that you use thawed frozen eggs only in recipes that are thoroughly cooked through.

Tips for Freezing Eggs

If you have a surplus of eggs, you can freeze egg yolks and whites separately if you plan to use them separately later, or you can gently stir yolks and whites together and put the mixed egg in a container.

  • Expiration date: You can freeze eggs for up to one year in a home freezer.
  • Freezing portions: If you choose to only freeze egg whites, you might want to use a standard ice cube tray for each egg white. This makes measuring easier. Once each egg white is frozen, you transfer the cubes to a freezer container or bag. Each cube measures as one egg white.
  • Label the container: Make sure to label the freezer container with the number of eggs you put into the container as well as the date, so you know for later.
  • Plan ahead: If you have a larger family, then it might make sense to freeze by the half dozen or more. Freeze a portion that you would normally use for a morning's breakfast for your family. Having these ready portions can make meal planning easier. All you have to do is take the next morning's egg portion out of the freezer the night before and defrost it in the refrigerator overnight. The eggs will be ready to use by morning.
Egg whites frozen in blue ice cube tray on wooden surface

The Spruce / Steven Merkel