7/24/16

Can eggs be frozen? How long can eggs be stored? I just bought 15 dozen eggs!

Yesterday was our bi-weekly shopping trip.  I typically go to a larger membership warehouse first for some of our items, followed by a regular grocery store for the rest. Unfortunately, my local warehouse has been steadily going downhill in customer service, in-stock items and the quality of produce.  For the past year they regularly do not have signage up for prices, they are always running out of 'regular' stocked goods and the quality of their produce has gotten so bad I refuse to purchase most of it.

Yesterday my shopping list was fairly small.  About 12 items and 4 of which, I wasn't able to purchase!  Out of sour cream (again), the celery had to have been over a month old as the 8 or 9 bunches left were literally yellow and brown and had mushy spots, and the bananas were all brown and/or brown speckled and needing to be used ASAP in banana bread or pudding but absolutely not edible as a fresh, firm 'nana'.

And then I got to the eggs.  Our regular 18 count egg 'out'. Again.  My options were a different brand 18 count egg for almost $4 a pack (and I need two) or large box of 15 dozen eggs for just over $16.  Hello?  Spend almost $8 for 36 eggs or $16.60 for 180?  That is the difference between paying $.09 and $.20 per egg.

I told my 20 year old who was with me I was going to buy the 15 dozen.  She didn't believe me.  That is, until I grabbed the box out of the refrigerator and transferred it to our cart.  "We don't have room for those in our refrigerator!"  she exclaimed.  "Oh yes we do", I replied determinedly.

Although I've never bought this many eggs before, we do go through a lot of eggs as my husband would love to take 3 hard boiled eggs in his lunch every day if he could; but he can't as he goes through so many hard boiled eggs that I am often left rationing the eggs for my daily cooking and baking against his love of hard boiled, protein packed eggs and deviled eggs.  I can now make my blueberry bread with abandon (6 eggs) and homemade angel food cake 12-15 egg whites, and all the breakfast pizza and scrambled eggs my heart desires.

I planned on getting my own chickens this year, but when Spring came, so did a crazy life-schedule that had me gone cross-country more than I was home!  I couldn't get a chicken coop built and get the baby chicks and take care of those chicks as I am usually about 1000 miles from home more often than not.  But in anticipation of those chicks, I had started to save Styrofoam and cardboard containers from our store bought eggs (to store our fresh eggs in the refrigerator once they started laying abundantly).

Although we don't have room for a large box in our refrigerator, the top shelf (where we keep our eggs) had enough room once I cleared it out and repacked the eggs into cartons for freshness and longer storage.  (Don't store your eggs 'open' in the refrigerator nor in your refrigerator door.  More on that below.)

I may not be an egg 'expert' but I'm a pretty smart cookie with some wisdom and knowledge in me.  I already knew eggs can be safely stored and eaten for over a month in your refrigerator, in a carton, on a shelf away from fluctuating temperatures . I also know you can freeze eggs - although I that's never been something we've done (we go through eggs too fast in this family!).  Eggs that you buy and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 week peel easily when made into hard boiled eggs, and store bought eggs kept in right conditions in the refrigerator rarely ever spoil - even after 2 months - they just get a little drier or runnier.

But did I know enough general egg knowledge to store 15 dozen eggs?  Especially when I had already decided I would like to freeze some of them for emergency longer-term storage.  (Remember last year when chickens were getting sick and there was a run on eggs and suddenly all the stores jacked up their prices for eggs to more than double and triple?  Dried and freeze dried eggs went from $31 a can to up to $90 a can.)

I am getting ready to go do some freezing right now but thought I'd add this information to my recipe blog for my own information storage as well as my 3 young adult kids, and like the rest of my site; public use too.

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STORING EGGS
Refrigeration and Freezer


Eggs are perishable and must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Many factors can affect how long eggs last. When properly handled and stored, eggs rarely spoil. However, if you keep them too long, they are likely to dry up.

Refrigerator Storage: Refrigerate eggs at 40°F or less. Store them in their original carton on an inside shelf and away from pungent foods. The temperature on an inside shelf remains more constant than one on the door, which is opened and closed frequently. The carton keeps the eggs from picking up odors or flavors from other foods and helps prevent moisture loss.
Raw eggs that have been removed from their shells should be refrigerated in a tightly covered container. Refrigerated whole egg yolks should be covered with water to prevent them from drying out; drain before using. The following chart shows how long hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs last when stored in the refrigerator.

Eggs Refrigerator (35°F to 40°F)
Raw whole eggs (in shell) 4 to 5 weeks beyond the pack date or about 3 weeks after purchase
Raw whole eggs (slightly beaten) Up to 2 days
Raw egg whites Up to 4 days
Raw egg yolks Up to 2 days
Hard-boiled eggs (in shell) Up to 1 week
Hard-boiled eggs (peeled) Use the same day for best quality

Freezer Storage: If you have more eggs than you can use within a few weeks, you can freeze them, out of their shells. Freeze only clean, fresh eggs. Place them in freezer containers, seal tightly and label with the number of eggs, whites or yolks and the date. Defrost frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator.
Egg yolks thicken (or gel) when frozen. To hinder gel formation, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per ¼ cup yolks (4 Large) before freezing. Indicate “with salt” (main dishes) or “with sugar” (desserts) on the label. The following chart shows how long hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs last when stored in the freezer.

Eggs Freezer (0°F or colder)
Raw whole eggs (in shell) Not recommended
Raw whole eggs (slightly beaten) Up to 1 year
Raw egg whites Up to 1 year
Raw egg yolks Up to year
Hard-boiled eggs (in shell) Not recommended
Hard-boiled eggs (peeled) Not recommended (the white become tough and watery)



Source:  American Egg Board
The American Egg Board (AEB) is appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.




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