How Long Do Eggs Last In The Fridge & Can You Freeze Them?
Much like tomatoes, there has been some debate about whether or not eggs should be stored on the countertop or in the fridge (more on that below), but the freezer is usually left out of the conversation. Though it may sound unappetizing, storing your eggs in the freezer is an effective way to preserve their freshness.
Whether you have leftover yolks from a baking project or your carton is nearing its expiration date, a nutritionist explains the best methods for freezing your eggs.
When should eggs be stored in the freezer?
The standard shelf life for an egg varies depending on where it came from.
Grocery store eggs should be refrigerated for safety reasons and can last for up to five weeks in the fridge, registered dietitian Emily Kyle, R.D., says. After that, they should be moved to the freezer.
If your eggs are from a farm and haven't been washed, Kyle says they can be kept at room temperature for up to one month. "This is because the eggs are laid with a bloom (thin outer layer) on the outside of an eggshell that protects the egg from bacteria." As a keeper of 14 egg-laying hens, she would know.
After one month, the farm-fresh eggs should be moved to the fridge for food safety reasons. These have the ability to last up to six months in the fridge before they should be moved to the freezer, Kyle tells us.
How do you freeze eggs?
Eggs can't just be popped in the freezer, shell and all, or they'll crack. The best method for freezing the entire egg, according to Kyle, is as follows:
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, one by one.
- Beat them until incorporated.
- Place into individual-size containers to freeze.
If you're freezing just the eggs yolks, those should also be beaten. Adding a sprinkle of salt to the mixture can keep them from becoming overly gelatinous or thick. Plus, you won't have to worry about seasoning them later on.
Since egg whites are already in an uncongealed, liquid form, they don't require any additional steps to freeze. Just store them in an individual container.
To keep your eggs at a safe temperature, Kyle recommends thawing the eggs overnight in the refrigerator. "Do not thaw on the counter," she says. Pro tip: Freeze your eggs individually to avoid using them all at once.
There are several ways to safely store your eggs. If store-bought, they should always be put in the fridge for at least five weeks. Farm-fresh may be able to last on the counter but will eventually need to be moved to the fridge or freezer.
Frozen eggs maintain the same nutrients as fresh eggs. "Similar to fruits and vegetables, when frozen at peak ripeness, the freezing process may actually help to preserve important nutrients," Kyle says.
Just make sure if you are freezing your eggs to do so properly with the directions above.
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.