Q. I like to cook hard boiled eggs at the beginning of the week to eat as a high protein snack, to add to salads, or to make egg salad with, but sometimes I cook too many. Can you freeze hard boiled eggs?
A. Yes, and no. Let me explain. While hard boiled eggs can be frozen, if hard boiled eggs are frozen whole, their texture after being thawed is rubbery and unappetizing, and so it’s not generally recommended to freeze them this way. However, there are ways to freeze hard boiled eggs that make them suitable for use in recipes as garnishes, although it’s generally recommended to freeze raw rather than hard boiled eggs for more versatility and better texture.
To freeze hard boiled eggs, you must decide if you want to freeze both the white and the yolk, or just the yolk. Freezing just the whites is not recommended because they become hard and rubbery, although some people grate the yolk and the white together. I don’t recommend that however. To freeze just the yolk, hard boil the desired number of eggs.
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and let stand in the water for about 10 minutes, then remove, drain, and separate the yolk from the white. Use the egg whites immediately in salads or to make egg salad, or refrigerate and use within 24-48 hours. Place the hard-boiled egg yolks in a single layer in a freezer safe container or in a freezer bag, and then remove as much air as possible from the bag. Label and date all packages for future reference.
Frozen yolks can be stored safely for about 1 year. To use as a garnish, yolks can be crumbled and laid flat in a freezer bag before freezing. To thaw frozen egg yolks, remove the package from the refrigerator and let the eggs thaw for several hours or overnight. Egg yolks can also be thawed under cold, running water. Thawed eggs should be eaten immediately for best results and to ensure the best taste and texture. Crumble or chop the yolks and add to salads or use to make egg salad.
Thawed eggs should never be refrozen, and should be thrown away if not consumed within 24-48 hours. The yolks will not have the exact texture they had prior to freezing, and some people find them too rubbery to enjoy, so start with freezing just a few to see if you like them.