You've probably been in this situation: Your recipe calls for egg whites only, so you fill your refrigerator with a container of egg yolks, but by the time you figure out what to do with them, they go bad. Although freezing whole intact eggs isn't recommended, you can freeze egg yolks if you treat them first—but you can't just toss the container in the freezer.
How to Freeze Egg Yolks
Egg yolks thicken when they are frozen, taking on a gelatinous quality. If you freeze egg yolks as is, they become unusable in recipes. The trick is to beat the yolks until they are smooth and add, salt, sugar or corn syrup before you freeze them. For four egg yolks, add 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar or corn syrup.
Label the container or zip bag with the number or yolks, the date and whether you added salt or sweetener, which is important to know when you could be using the yolks for either a main dish or a dessert. Freeze the containers for up to one year.
Thawing Frozen Egg Yolks
Thaw the container of frozen egg yolks overnight in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Use the yolks as soon as they’ve thawed. Substitute 1 tablespoon thawed egg yolk for 1 large fresh egg yolk in your recipe. Use thawed frozen eggs only in dishes that are thoroughly cooked.
Things to Know About Uncooked Whole Eggs
- Store raw eggs in the refrigerator in the carton they come in, which is designed to protect the eggs from picking up odors from other foods and to prevent moisture loss.
- Keep fresh, uncooked eggs in the shell refrigerated in their cartons for at least four to five weeks beyond the packing date or about three weeks after you bring them home.
- Don’t leave eggs out in a hanging basket. They age more in one day at room temperature than they do in one week in the refrigerator.
- As soon as you cool hard-cooked eggs, refrigerate them in their shells and use them within one week.
- Refrigerate leftover egg whites in a covered container for up to four days.
- Store leftover yolks in water in a covered container in the refrigerator and use them in a day or two. If you can’t use the yolks quickly, freeze them.