Before you scramble, hear us out.
Advertisement
store-eggs-two
Credit: Getty Images

Few foods are better than eggs. They're a nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein, iron, choline, and tons of other vitamins and minerals. But the best part about eggs? Their versatility. You can prepare them in endless ways, plus they're easy to make and cost almost nothing.

That said, eggs are only as good as their shelf life. Those who've inadvertently kept a carton long past its expiration date (and smelled the result) know how crucial it is to prevent spoilage.

"I grew up on a farm and joined a multi-generational line of egg farmers,"  says Jesse Laflamme, the CEO (and third-generation egg farmer) of Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs. "There's probably little that needs to be said about the number of eggs we had in and around our kitchen, and that at times we had to employ some pretty clever storage tricks to minimize waste." His top tip for keeping eggs fresh is quite surprising: Freeze them. "It takes a little finessing, but you can freeze both egg whites and egg yolks."

Surprised as we were? Don't worry, we grilled Laflamme on how to do it. Below are some of the tips that worked for his family.

The Yolks

First, never use liquid leftover egg yolks or whites that have been outside the shell for more than two to four days. For optimal freshness, store them in airtight containers, covering the top of your yolk with water to prevent it from drying out. Remember to remove the water before cooking.

According to Laflamme, the right technique will enable you to freeze your egg yolks for up to four months. Naturally, the freezing process can compromise the texture of egg yolks, making them much more difficult to cook with. To prevent this, beat in either ⅛ teaspoon salt or 1½ teaspoon sugar for every four egg yolks (¼ cup), according to the American Egg Board. "Note which ingredient you introduced, so you can use them for appropriate dishes," he says. "Accidentally using salted egg yolks for your homemade birthday cake just isn't the same!"  And always write the freeze date on your storage container.

When cooking with frozen egg yolks, thaw them first by running them under cold water. You can substitute 1 tablespoon thawed yolk for one fresh yolk.

"Temperature can impact your ability to digest eggs and benefit from the wealth of nutrients they offer (B and C vitamins, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants)," he says. "So it's important to purchase high-quality eggs that can withstand the stress of extreme temperatures. Our hens have more time to roam and forage outdoors on grass than cage-free hens, which often have no outdoor access."

The Whites

Egg whites hold up better than egg yolks when frozen, lasting up to 12 months. That said, we recommend staying within a two-month window.

Try storing one dozen egg whites in an ice-cube tray, which allows for simple-to-remember portions and easy access. These can be brought to room temperature and then used for an array of baked desserts.

Whole Eggs

"You can also freeze whole eggs in a variety of ways, but not inside the shell," explains Laflamme. Under extremely low temperatures, the eggshell will crack. Remove the shell and freeze the contents as a whole, topped with a little water. Or separate the yolk and whites, freezing them separately.

For the adventurous, you can also pickle your eggs for long-term storage.