[most recent updates at the end]
something interesting I thought I would share...
I tried something new
I got a chicken egg this morning that was laid either very early this morning, or late last night (it's in the 20s outside). I brought it in and an hour later had an idea, I washed it then put it in the freezer. now, about 6 hours later I got a pot of water boiling, took the egg out, it must have frozen solid because it had a long crack lengthways. I put it directly into the pot and boiled for 10 min. I took it out and with a spoon and my fingernail attempted to pry it open and one whole side of the shell came off completely clean (only the tiniest bit of white egg residue apparently stuck to the thin embryo sac. I then took the spoon and gingerly pushed inside close to the shell and the whole egg popped out and the other half of the shell was completely intact, same, hardly any egg stuck. 2 clean egg shell halves that look like they were manufactured. I cut the egg open. The center of the yoke was still runny, soft boiled; maybe another 2-3 min. would have made it hard boiled? Tasted perfect, no mess or shelling. maybe the outside of the egg was a tiny bit chewier, but no gritty consistency. Will have to experiment and leave one in for several months to see if the taste changes on long term storage. Since it cracks the egg would be exposed a tiny bit to the air in the fridge, so I will store in a zip lock bag and burp all the air out.
makes for an easy hard boiled egg, no mess, no shelling... just need to have some frozen and then add cook time (I used a small pot and only 1 egg, so I guess experiments will need to be done because the more frozen eggs you add, the more it will cool down the boiling water and thus the longer the cook time you will need). Also, I imagine not every egg will crack perfectly along one side lengthways, but regardless of how it cracks, the shell should lift right off when pried.
no pieces of egg shell, I'll have to try that again. Poached is my favorite.
Also, I got tired of shelling fresh eggs to make my own pickled eggs, with some great recipies I just made up and most were great (one with beets, raw onion, and cloves and other spices, another with raw onion, curry, etc.). fresh eggs you lose so much trying to peel, and in pickling eggs you really need to have the entire white uncompromised; any exposed yolk will cloud the brine and also will not last as long (but under refrigeration, they will last years). I tried poaching, instead, with a traditional egg poacher, main care is to crack the eggs into each cup without breaking the yolk; those that break I save and scramble later. However, you need to cook them fully or the yolk will not be firm, and that is a bit gross in a pickled egg. However, I also wanted to try that, not only to save on peeling, but because the flat poached eggs fit much more easily in the mason jars; you just have to be very careful spooning and positioning them in not to break the thin surface over the yolk. The only other drawback to pickling a poached egg... the little bit of olive oil spray used in each cup causes the outside of the egg to take on a slightly different texture after pickled.
just thought I would share these ideas in case any others might find it interesting; want to try it. If you have too many eggs the question of what to do with them arises. I've read numerous things about freezing eggs. After a period of time, the taste changes, a bit freezer burn taste; that does not affect safety, only taste quality. However, I did one time scramble up a few eggs and filled a small tupperware about a 1/2 from the top, put lid on and froze. Then, after it was frozen, I covered it with 1/4 inch of cold water and replaced lid and froze. A year later I took it out to thaw, rescrambled, and it made a perfect omelet, eggs tasted like they had just been cracked.
Also, I have found to avoid freezer burn with fruit, vegetables, even meat (except hamburger, though possible if you make into firm patties or meatballs), put vegetables, fruit, meat in a tupperware (having same size makes for easy stacking in freezer; i like the clear plastic ones the local chinese restaurant uses for egg drop soup takeout), then fill to the top with cold water, make sure all air pocket are out, then freeze. Will last for many years without freezer burn, the water protects from the air, all that is required is to run under hot water and melt the ice off... or, if you have spare cans of chicken/turkey/beef/vegetable broth use that instead of water to freeze over the vegetables and then you just add the whole block of frozen vegetables/stock (running the tupperware under hot water for a minute will loosen so it pops right out) to the pot of soup and it will melt as you cook... and no worries about freezer burn... at least, I have never experienced any with this method for years... even if you open a few different cans of beans and don't use them all (or cook up your own), pour into tupperware, top with water or broth and freeze... then its ready in a few minutes next time you want them.
maybe others have already discovered these things; but thought I would share. Robert
I have recently frozen about 8 eggs in a small bowl in the freezer (hint, if you don't freeze them all at the same time, do not attempt to put another egg gingerly into the same bowl if your fingers are wet from having recently washed it (if you have your own chickens that lay eggs that need to be cleaned)... when you try to set one down, your fingers will touch the others and will freeze to your fingertips... out... but they loosen quickly under cold water.
I then put the 8 eggs into a chinese soup clear plastic take out container, filled with cold water, leaving a little room for expansion, and made sure the eggs at the top were turned crackside down so they are not exposed to any air. I believe this will extend the life of the frozen eggs against freezer burn. I will have to let you know in a year at which time I will hardboil some and then thaw some in the fridge in a bowl to see how they fry up. Or you can also experiment on your own. Water I believe prevents freezer burn... some crazy explorers/scientists ate frozen woolley mammoth that had been frozen for millennia in a glacier. While I would not advise eating an elephant (woolley or otherwise), I don't recall them saying it tasted freezer burned (maybe they did not have freezers back then). Regardless, I have never experienced freezer burn of anything submerged in water or other liquid.
Update: even after 2 years, the eggs can be used to fry, scramble, or hardboil. Place unfrozen eggs (run under hot water to remove the ice) into a pot that has already boiling water; a little learning curve is needed to know how long to cook, depending on how many eggs and how large the pot is and how quickly it returns to a rolling boil after adding the frozen eggs. 15 min. is a baseline time to test.
No change in egg flavor; very little change in consistency.
Recently, I decided to try putting fresh eggs into the tupperware, filling with water (to about 1/2 inch of the top) and then freezing. It worked as I thought, for the most part, the eggs entirely below the surface of the water cracked less, since the water froze first and then held the eggs firmer as the eggs themselves froze. Far less cracks, if any, occurred, and those cracks that do exist may not even be all the way through. Of course, the few eggs that slightly were above the top of the water have a few cracks.
[Eggs in photo below— Left: fresh eggs frozen in the water at the same time. Right: eggs frozen first, then submersed in water in tupperware and then frozen. This size tupperware from the local Chinese takeout holds around 8 eggs. I've had these containers for many years, and have frozen and rethawed soups and vegetables dozens of times. They are great containers.]
I believe sometime soon I will put the tupperware of uncracked eggs in the fridge and let it de-thaw slowly. Then, after a few days I will put a couple of the eggs on the counter for 30 minutes just in case they are not fully thawed. Then I will try frying and see how it works and report back here.
In a year I will take out the partially cracked, frozen eggs, and after I have water at a rolling boil, I will run hot tap water over the outside of the tupperware with it upside down in the sink, then, when loose, the frozen contents will slide out. Then I will run tap water over the eggs to remove the ice as quickly as possible and once all ice is off I will add to the boiling water for 15 min. I am fairly certain there will be no change in taste as no oxygen will have compromised the inside of the egg.
I put 4 eggs in the freezer then went out to do some yardwork.
I put them in a small plastic bowl, as when they freeze and crack, they may leak the tiniest bit.
I came back in 3 hours later. Only 1 egg had cracked. So I would guess that maybe freezing for 2 1/2 hours none would crack? Anyway... This time I got the water to a rolling boil FIRST and THEN put the eggs in. I cooked for 13-15 minutes. I then took the one that had cracked and peeled it; while I poured out the hot water and added cold tap water (I have a well so the water is cold) to cool them down.
The cracked one did not peel as easily, separating into halves, as fully frozen eggs have in the past.
(normally I freeze them for at least 5 hours and they all crack, then which I put in the water WHILE bringing to a boil, and then boil for 13 minutes. I have not tried cooling the water down, but just use 2 spoons or a spoon and thumb nail--careful, it can be hot) to pop each halve off).
Also, there was no egg white leakage this way.
I tried peeling one of the uncracked ones after cooling them down. It did not peel that great, but was better than had I not frozen them.
I put the other 2 in the fridge. This morning I peeled them... the easiest peeling egg ever...
I have my own chickens and peeling farm eggs that are hard-boiled is nearly impossible. The white membrane between the egg white and the shell will not separate from the egg white. I have heard using eggs that are a few weeks old, rather than fresh, will help... Regardless, the eggs I used were laid that day. The freezing did not effect the egg white or yolk (maybe it makes them just the tiniest bit tougher); however, it did cause the egg white, it seems, to "sweat" after refrigerating, and the entire shell peeled off easily.
This seems to be the best method. I think 2 1/2 hours freezing will do it; bring water to rolling boil, then put in eggs and boil for 13-15 min. Then pour out hot water and add cold water from the tap to cool them down.
hope this helps. Feel free to email your comments / experiments. I wonder if I will go down in history as the man to invent the frozen hard-boiled egg...? I can only hope.
Someone recently told me that she heard someone say you should not wash a farm egg until you are going to use it and asked what I thought. Below are my thoughts.
I heard one person say that, but I don't believe it and I am not putting eggs with shit on them in my refrigerator...! (I don't mean to be crude or vulgar, but I thought that word necessary so people realize what they are putting in their refrigerator if the egg is unwashed.) A chicken coop and henhouse is filled with, let me now refine it to POOP, whether wet or dry and the majority of "dust" is POOP DUST. You should hold your breath or pull your shirt up over your nose and mouth if when you are in the henhouse the chickens all flap their wings, such as if you just threw them some scratch)... you don't want to breath regular dust, let alone poop dust. This dust covers the eggs because it covers the feathers of the chicken who laid the egg and sat on it till she felt like getting up. Chickens dust themselves in their own poop dust. Further, after they lay the egg, sometimes they just hang out and then poop on the eggs. In rainy or snowy weather, their feathers and feet are filthy and wet and so are the eggs. To put unwashed eggs in the refrigerator is just STUPID. Air circulates in a refrigerator. Whatever is on the eggs will circulate and contaminate everything.
Such people who mindlessly say not to wash the eggs (because they mindlessly heard someone else mindlessly say it) claim that the egg is coated with some protective layer when the hen lays it, which keeps oxygen from penetrating and when you wash the egg that removes that coating and the egg won't last as long. It is really a moot point. Eggs will last MONTHS in the fridge... HOW MUCH LONGER do you need to keep them...?
Further, the fact is, that if you do not wash the poop off an egg in a timely fashion, the poop will STAIN the egg shell; and this shows that this "alleged protective layer" really does not help much... and more important is POOP penetrating a permeable shell.
Maybe in ideal circumstances (in which the chickens will not poop on their own eggs, and in which the chickens are clean and dry--of course, rainy days, the eggs are wet and filthy), in which there is no poop dust in the henhouse or chicken coop at all, and maybe before the era of refrigeration it was something to think about, but I think anyone who suggests it modernly is both ignorant and anti-intellectual (and quite possibly never even had chickens of their own to have ANY clue what they are talking about, and have simply passed on to you someone else's ignorance they incorporated into their own).
Just my opinion.
Egg shells are permeable. watch how quickly the water will dry on an egg shell after washing it... that is because some of it is absorbed by the shell. To leave wet poop on and egg shell will cause the shell to absorb poop. If the feces stain the egg with color, then clearly poop itself has penetrated to some degree also. Poop is where the salmonella or e-coli or whatever bacteria comes from. Anyone who puts that in their refrigerator is asking to get sick.
It is foolish. If someone is so concerned about it, wash the eggs, let them dry, then give them a nice coat of oil or paint or shellac or polyurethane.
Kind of senseless.
How long do you need to keep an egg before you use it? If you are not going to use it in a few months, you probably don't even need them so why have them?
or do like I do, freeze them if you don't plan on eating them for a year.
I discovered another excellent easy peel hardboiled egg techique, for my farm raised eggs.
boil the hardboiled egg however you normally would... then, rinse in cold water... put into the freezer... I am guessing any amount of time that it takes for the eggs to freeze and crack is sufficient. I only planned on doing it for an hour, but forgot about them--until the next day. Then, a lightbulb came on and I remember. I retrieved them, left them on the counter to thaw (or you can thaw in the fridge, but it will take longer). I've done this twice now, with a dozen eggs, every single one a perfect peel, the egg falls right out of the shell. Usually the egg will crack while freezing, so you don't even need to crack it, just tug at the crack that is there and the egg will slip out easily once you pull the shell apart.