Easter eggs won’t be cheap this year and I’m sure many folks may have already turned to plastic eggs for this weekend. On average, sales of eggs in shells tend to go up +40% heading into Easter weekend, with retailers ordering six times their normal volume. Overall, egg prices are up +70% year-over-year as the average price per a dozen large Grade A eggs is +$4.50, some states are reporting +$7.00 per dozen. It’s worth noting, the average cost of a dozen eggs was $2.05 in March of 2022. A year earlier, that number was $1.63 per dozen.
One of the biggest reasons for the price inflation of eggs is that “bird flu” has reduced the overall supply of laying hens by more than 5%, year-over-year. Last year, bird flu claimed the lives of more than +53 million birds. Interestingly, Dollar Tree has pulled eggs from store shelves over prices skyrocketing, the company said.
If you’re worried about maintaining a stockpile for everyday cooking needs (or stress baking), there are a couple of freezing methods that will help extend the life of your fresh eggs. These are the recommended handling instructions from the American Egg Board:
If you have more eggs than you can use within a few weeks of buying them, you can break them out of their shells and freeze them. Freeze only clean, fresh eggs. For faster thawing and easier measuring, try freezing liquid egg in a standard ice cube tray first.
Break and separate the eggs, one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets in the whites. Pour the whites into freezer containers, seal tightly, label with the number of egg whites and the date, and freeze. Then transfer to a freezer container.
The gelation property of egg yolk causes it to thicken or gel when frozen, so you need to give yolks special treatment. If you freeze them as they are, egg yolks will eventually become so gelatinous that they will be almost impossible to use in a recipe. To help retard this gelation, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup of egg yolks (about 4 yolks). Label the container with the number of yolks, the date, and whether you’ve added salt (for main dishes) or sweetener (for baking or desserts). Freeze.
Beat just until blended, pour into freezer containers, seal tightly, label with the number of eggs and the date, and freeze.
You can freeze hard-boiled egg yolks to use later for toppings or garnishes. Carefully place the raw yolks in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to come at least 1 inch above the yolks. Cover and quickly bring just to boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and let the yolks stand, covered, in the hot water about 12 minutes. Remove the yolks with a slotted spoon, drain them well and package them for freezing. It’s best not to freeze hard-boiled whole eggs and hard-boiled whites because they become tough and watery when frozen.
HOW TO USE FROZEN EGGS
In a home freezer, you can freeze eggs for up to one year. When you’re ready to use frozen eggs, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or under running cold water. Use egg yolks or whole eggs as soon as they’re thawed. Thawed egg whites will beat to better volume if you allow them to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Use thawed frozen eggs only in dishes that are thoroughly cooked.
2 Tablespoons thawed egg white = 1 large fresh egg white.
1 Tablespoon thawed egg yolk = 1 large fresh egg yolk.
3 Tablespoons thawed whole egg = 1 large fresh egg.