Have you ever lost your keys? It happens to the best of us. You check your purse, pockets, counters…and as a last resort, the freezer. Oh, what do you know? There they are, sitting on top of the ice tray.
You laugh, move on, unlock your car and think, “What a silly thing I just did,” BUT, have you ever accidentally placed an egg in the freezer?
This morning, my mom Googled, “I accidentally placed a chicken egg in the freezer…is it still okay to eat?” (And yes, I am still laughing about this)
Arizona summer is in full swing with triple digits forecasted on the regular, so we have been freezing our chicken feed before feeding it to our flock in an attempt to cool them off a bit. My mom refilled our freezer jars this morning after collecting eggs. Her hands were full, so she placed an egg inside one of the lid-less jars as she carried it. She came inside and placed the jar in the freezer…forgetting about the egg. Oops!
This became quite the learning experience for us!
We have never had chickens in cold weather and did not realize that eggs can freeze if left outside in the winter. They are okay to eat unless the shell is cracked. Eggs are about 75% water and 13% protein, so when frozen, all of that water expands and can crack the shell, inviting bacteria inside which can make you sick if you eat the egg. Not to mention the possibility that eggshell can stay within the yolk or white!
According to the United States Department of Agriculture:
“Shell eggs should not be frozen. If an egg accidentally freezes and the shell cracked during freezing, discard the egg. However, if the egg did not crack, keep it frozen until needed; then thaw it in the refrigerator. It can be hard cooked successfully but other uses may be limited because freezing causes the yolk to become thick and syrupy so it will not flow like an unfrozen yolk or blend very well with the egg white or other ingredients.”
My favorite part of the whole learning experience is reading stories of other people accidentally freezing chicken eggs.
Good news is, if you have a temporary lapse in judgement and accidentally place your egg in the freezer, or have your fridge set too high and freeze your eggs, you can still use them if the shell is in-tact!
Before cooking, defrost your egg following these easy methods from The Spruce Eats blog.
- Clean your eggs.
- Let eggs sit in warm water for five minutes to start the thawing process.
- Thaw eggs overnight in the refrigerator.
- Thawed eggs will only keep for about a day, so only thaw as many as you will use.
Frozen/thawed eggs are probably best for scrambled eggs as there is a high chance of yolk breakage during the thawing process.
Read this handy article from The Spruce Eats blog to learn in detail what to do with frozen chicken eggs and how to defrost accidentally frozen chicken eggs.