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Monday, January 16, 2012

Have a Surplus of Eggs? Try Freezing 'Em


Egg laying natural slows at various times of the year due to the heat, shorter days, molting etc.  [Read more here...] But if you plan ahead and freeze some of your eggs when they are plentiful, you won't end up having to resort to buying store bought (icky) eggs.



Last night I left two eggs in a basket down at the barn and they froze, cracking as the whites expanded.  They had to be tossed out, but there actually is a way to freeze your surplus eggs for later use.

FREEZING WHOLE EGGS:

Crack the eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk, trying not to incorporate any air.  Or you can crack the eggs into a strainer set over a large bowl and then gently push the yolks through the strainer with a rubber spatula. The idea is not to add any air bubbles into the egg but get it mixed and the yolks broken.

Add 1/4 teaspoon salt per cup of egg mixture to prevent graininess (or you can add 1 Tablespoon of sugar instead if you will be using the eggs for baking sweet desserts). If you don't mind the texture changing a bit, you can also skip this step and omit any salt or sugar.


Measure the egg mixture out into 3 Tablespoon portions (3T = one whole egg) and package into individual containers or ice cube trays and freeze until solid.  If using ice cube trays, pop out the frozen cubes, repackage in a freezer bag and return to the freezer.  Be sure to mark whether you have added salt or sugar to the eggs.


FREEZING EGG YOLKS:

Separate yolks and whisk lightly, adding 1/2 teaspoon salt (or 1-1/2 Tablespoons of sugar) per cup of yolk.   Measure out and freeze as above (one Tablespoon equals one egg yolk).

FREEZING EGG WHITES:

Separate egg whites and whisk lightly. You do not need to add any salt or sugar. Measure out and freeze as above (two Tablespoons equals one egg white).

Frozen egg portions - both whole and separated eggs - will last in the freezer for at least 6 months.  When you are ready to use them, defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.  Use the defrosted eggs immediately and only in recipes where the egg is fully cooked, or add directly to a skillet or pan if you are scrambling them.

Last week I defrosted some eggs I had frozen in September and they made wonderful scrambled eggs. I couldn't tell a difference between these and scrambled eggs made from fresh eggs. 


You can also bake with them. Quiches, frittatas and other egg dishes come out virtually the same as using fresh eggs, as do cookies, breads and cakes...





So next summer when you have a surplus of eggs, try freezing some.  I also find this is a great way to use pullet eggs in baking, since they are smaller than the large eggs generally called for in recipes, and its hard to guess how may pullet eggs equals one large egg. But by measuring out the egg mixture, you are assured of using the correct number of 'eggs' in a recipe.

I decided not to add any supplemental light this year to our coop, and between the sporadic laying and the eggs I froze at the end of the summer, we've had more than enough.  I like to give the girls a break in the winter because they work so hard the rest of the year providing us with their beautiful fresh eggs.  By allowing them to take the winters off, which is their natural cycle, they have a chance to replenish their calcium stores which are so important for strong shells and their protein stores which are low from their fall molt.. Read more about supplemental winter coop light HERE.

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25 comments:

  1. Ok, I just sent a post about my frozen eggs in the winters. lol Guess I should have looked a little farther. I will give this a try next summer! Thank you.

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    1. If your frozen eggs haven't cracked, they are fine to use. Just let them defrost and use them immediately. If they are cracked, I wouldn't use them. Too much chance bacteria has gotten in. Defrost them and scramble them up for the chickens.

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    2. I figure I'm cooking that cracked egg, which, being frozen couldn't have been breeding bacteria anyway, so what's the risk?

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  2. We freeze them with the shells on. We clean them first. Then when we want to use them, we just rinse them in cold water and the cracked shells slide right off. We put the egg in a dish to thaw and they great!

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  3. Thank you for this great info! I never knew how to freeze eggs!

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  4. I had never tried it before, but it worked just great.

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  5. You have such a beautiful site! It's my absolute favorite! I'm just dropping by to let you know that I featured this link on my latest 'Weekend Picks'. Have a blessed weekend!

    Love,
    ~Rebecca

    http://rebeccashearthandhome-proverbs31heart.blogspot.com/2012/06/weekend-picks-6212.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rebecca ! I appreciate that. Checking out your blog now <3

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  6. This is Awesome! Thanks for the advice! I have 4.5 dozen sitting on my counter for one month and today they were going out! I love to bake and am in culinary school ... so the thought of throwing my girl's gems was upsetting. Thanks again!

    Vickie (pacsmb@aol.com)

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  7. Our chickens aren't old enough for laying yet (I can't wait!) so we get our eggs from a neighbor right now. They freeze their eggs whole in the freezer and then crack them in a bowl to thaw. I had never heard of that before. So glad to know I can freeze them.

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  8. I had no idea this was possible. We are waiting for our 6 chickens to be providing us with eggs, hopefully in a couple of months. This info may come in handy. Thanks.

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  9. I have been freezing eggs whenever I get new laying girls that start out with smaller eggs until production gets going. I sell approx 3 doz a day, but don't like to sell new little eggs to our established customers. And this way i have eggs for the winter too. Great site!

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  10. Thanks for the info on freezing. Cant wait till my girls start laying so I can try this! !

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  11. I tried doing this but couldn't get the frozen eggs out of the ice cube tray... the tray actually broke before I could ever get the eggs out. Do I need to spay first with a non-stick spray? I would like to try again just not sure if I bought very cheep trays or what. I would love any input!

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    Replies
    1. Try dipping the tray in hot water and letting it sit for a few seconds. It will melt only the outer edge stuck to the tray and pop right out!

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  12. I did not know I could freeze them! Thanks

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  13. Great info here! Can you freeze hard boiled eggs?

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    Replies
    1. I don't believe you can freeze hard boiled eggs although I have never tried.

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    2. I have tried it and no, it didn't work. The whites turn transparent and rubbery. Gross. I don't know what the yolk was like, I didn't bother to open it and see. I just threw it out.

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  14. What is the longest amount of time they should freeze for, and how long should they take to defrost? Thank you.

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  15. Thank you Lord for this wonderful sit:-) . I get up in the mornings and turn on my music after Praying and daily BIBLE readings. The first thing I look to see wha y'all post. I grab a cup of coffee and that is how I start my days gettingte updates from ALL my chicken friends. I love yalls site always full of wonderful information. Thank y'all so much and my GOD greatly BLESS and keep you all and your families. Oh by the way love the freezing of the eggs.:-) :-) :-)

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  16. Great post! I did this last spring with several dozen (used small muffin tins instead of ice cube trays) and you are right, I cannot tell the difference. Anytime I need eggs for baking, I reach for the frozen ones, not the fresh (those are for frying). I put them in a bowl in a sink of warm water and they thaw in about 15-20 minutes. Anyway, I noticed the comment about freezing them whole in the shell. I think I need to try that. I wonder, can you still fry them like fresh eggs if frozen that way?

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    Replies
    1. No from everything I've read, if you freeze an egg whole it will crack and the texture of the insides changes and gets grainy. Not really optimal for use.

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