Eggs are prone to freezing when the temperatures go very low. A tell-tale sign of a frozen egg is a cracked shell, and this crack can either be big or as thin as a hairline.
When the temperature drops lower than 32 degrees, it will take only 36 minutes for raw eggs to freeze. Once frozen, eggs can remain fresh for as long as 12 months.
However, frozen eggs come with many pros and cons. While they are still edible, their use becomes limited when frozen. The egg yolk and the white properties completely change once an egg is frozen.
How To Check If An Egg Is Frozen
Frozen eggs become denser than raw eggs, much like hard-boiled eggs. There are a number of ways to check if an egg is frozen; here are some:
Spin the egg on a tabletop and slightly touch it to stop the spin. A raw egg will continue to spin due to the momentum of the contents, but a frozen egg may instantly stop. This logic is based on how hard-boiled eggs display this action compared to raw eggs.
Another way to check is by closely looking for any cracks on the egg shell. One of the properties of liquids is expansion when exposed to really low temperatures. Therefore, the expansion of the liquid content inside an egg causes the shell to crack open when it is frozen.
Are Frozen Eggs Safe To Eat?
Yes, it is safe to consume a frozen egg, provided it doesn’t have any cracks on the shell. Frozen eggs can be easily thawed and eaten however you like. But, when there are cracks, it is likely to have been exposed to harmful bacteria and hence must be discarded.
However, if you notice a crack but the inner membrane is still intact, it is safe to eat. An intact membrane means the interior contents are still sterile and free from any bacterial contamination.
Does Freezing Affect An Egg’s Contents?
Yes, it does. Both the egg’s yok and the white get affected differently as a result of freezing. However, the flavor of the eggs isn’t affected much as the texture of the yolk and white.
Few studies have shown that freezing denatures the protein in the egg whites, thus allowing them to foam easily. This characteristic is important while baking since it produces more foam while whisking.
In contrast, egg yolks develop a thick gel-like consistency once they are thawed. This could be due to the formation of ice crystals when frozen.
How To Use Frozen Eggs?
Frozen eggs have limited use, so there may not be many recipes you can try with frozen eggs. For example, making a sunny side up or poached eggs may seem impossible with frozen eggs since the yolk’s texture is affected.
As mentioned above, it is easier to use them while baking or for recipes where it needs mixing with other ingredients. If you want boiled eggs, then going for hard-boiled is a safer bet.
How do you thaw a frozen egg?
Thawing eggs is easy and must be done inside a refrigerator. Put the eggs in a closed container and keep them in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours. Thawed eggs must be used immediately or for not more than a few hours.
If you notice the egg contents oozing out of the shell after thawing, then it is best to discard such an egg.
Consuming frozen eggs is a risky affair because you are at risk of bacterial contamination through cracks in the eggs. Salmonella is a commonly found bacteria on eggshells, a common cause of infection through raw eggs.
Eggs freezing in the coop during winters is a common hurdle many poultry keepers face. Keeping the chicken coop warm and insulated during harsh winters is always recommended.
Though chickens don’t usually lay eggs in winters, you may sometimes get one egg per day during the season. You can use insulating materials such as straw or even a heating pad placed underneath to keep the eggs warm. It is safe to say that frozen eggs are a convenience if you want to preserve eggs for longer months and use them.