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Can frozen egg whites make a decent meringue?

Phurstluv Jul 20, 2011 04:20 PM

Hi Everyone -

I am making a strawberry pie, and need 9 egg yolks. So I figure I'll make another pie next week, with a meringue topping (lime & raspberry). Was wondering if I could use the egg whites, that I will freeze for a week. Has anyone tried this before and does it work? Thanks ---
Signed, novice baker.

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    Liz K RE: Phurstluv Jul 20, 2011 04:25 PM

    Absolutely...I do it all the time.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Liz K
      Phurstluv RE: Liz K Jul 20, 2011 06:48 PM

      Thanks so much!!

      1. re: Liz K
        bushwickgirl RE: Liz K Jul 21, 2011 05:18 AM

        And so do I.

        Tip: I mark the container of frozen egg whites with the amount of whites and date of any additions, as I tend to just pile them up in the container and forget how many I have, for those recipes that call for a specific number of whites or a measurement instead of a weight. If you forget how many you have, one large egg white weighs 30 gm.

        1. re: Liz K
          NYchowcook RE: Liz K Jul 21, 2011 06:34 AM

          any particular type of container to use for freezing? Is a plastic zip bag okay? That is, will eggs unattach from the plastic? Or what do you recommend? TIY

          1. re: NYchowcook
            bushwickgirl RE: NYchowcook Jul 21, 2011 07:40 AM

            I have plastic lidded Ziploc containers, but I've been known to use repurposed sour cream, ricotta or yogurt containers. I also have some Rubbermaid plastic tubs with pretty tough snap on lids. I don't use zip freezer bags for whites, but if you could get it propped up until the contents freeze, I'm sure it would be fine. I've never had those bags leak anyway.

            If you run a bit of hot water over the frozen whites in the bag, they'll pop right out, en masse.

        2. JoanN RE: Phurstluv Jul 21, 2011 05:53 AM

          Definitely. But it should be noted that frozen whites don't foam quite as well as fresh so may have somewhat less volume and may have to be beaten longer to achieve the consistency desired.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JoanN
            bushwickgirl RE: JoanN Jul 21, 2011 07:41 AM

            Good point.

            1. re: JoanN
              Phurstluv RE: JoanN Jul 21, 2011 08:35 AM

              Thanks, that 's exactly what I was wondering.

            2. e
              Erika L RE: Phurstluv Jul 21, 2011 09:05 AM

              Ditto all the comments. FWIW, I use a glass canning jar and then put a piece of blue painter's tape on the lid. I make another hash mark whenever I add an egg white. I don't know what's the longest I've collected whites before using them but it's definitely months, not weeks.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Erika L
                jules127 RE: Erika L Sep 23, 2011 11:15 AM

                So I tried it, I have my egg whites stored in the freezer and can't remember how many but I plan on weighing them before using. The recipe I am making requires only 2 whites. Do I thaw the whole batch and refreeze? Or how do I thaw just enough for what I need?

                1. re: jules127
                  bushwickgirl RE: jules127 Sep 23, 2011 03:43 PM

                  Well, the best thing is to thaw what you need, but if the egg whites are one solid frozen mass, I don't know how that'll work for you; perhaps you have been frozen in a zip loc, and you could chop off a bit instead of defrosting. 30 grams per large egg white.

                  I thaw egg whites in the frig, and I don't think I've ever refrozen them, but somehow I think it wouldn't hurt them.

                  In the future, you might consider marking your container with amount and date of addition, to keep a running total, that or set up containers with amounts for specific recipes.

              2. j
                Joebob RE: Phurstluv Sep 23, 2011 06:31 PM

                It IS possible to keep whites frozen too long. All I could make with them was flat nut-meringue cookies. Couldn't get a real foam no matter how long I beat those poor suckers.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Joebob
                  bushwickgirl RE: Joebob Sep 24, 2011 10:37 AM

                  Did you let them come to room temp first? did you wipe the bowl with an acid (vinegar) to make sure it was grease free? Just checking.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl
                    Joebob RE: bushwickgirl Sep 24, 2011 11:12 AM

                    Didn't wipe the clean bowl with acid, but whites had been frozen for more than a year.

                    1. re: Joebob
                      bushwickgirl RE: Joebob Sep 24, 2011 01:42 PM

                      Assuming that your bowl was grease free then it's probably the length of time frozen.

                      Refer to somervilleoldtimer's post downthread, I have heard this tip as well, and don't know if it works but it's worth a try.

                      Or just use fresher egg whites. ;-)

                      1. re: bushwickgirl
                        somervilleoldtimer RE: bushwickgirl Sep 27, 2011 05:32 AM

                        Interesting tip about the acid. I don't do that; I just wash the bowl and beaters with soap and warm water and give them a really good rinse, and then wipe them with paper towels to be sure they'll really clean before I put the whites in the bowl.

                        1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                          bushwickgirl RE: somervilleoldtimer Sep 28, 2011 01:04 AM

                          That grease thing can be a problem with plastic bowls, and it's better to use metal anyway, especially copper. Even the smallest amount of grease ( let's call it fat, grease reminds me of cars somehow) residue can affect the egg whites negatively.

                          I don't use plastic mixing bowls, not allowed in my kitchen.

                          1. re: bushwickgirl
                            somervilleoldtimer RE: bushwickgirl Sep 28, 2011 08:48 AM

                            I either use the metal bowl that came with my Kitchenaide, or I use one of my standby old Pyrex, i.e. the set that came with tiny blue, small red, medium green, and large yellow. My mother still has the tiny red. I used to have green and yellow, and they both broke, so I replaced them at ridiculous expense at a barn sale in Vermont (that was pre-EBay.) But I do love those bowls.

                            1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                              bushwickgirl RE: somervilleoldtimer Sep 29, 2011 01:22 AM

                              My mom had that multi-colored Pyrex set, I remember them well. I had a red one for the longest time, given to me by a friend.

                              I have glass, stainless steel and a copper bowl especially for egg whites, which I always forget to use, as it lives on top of my cabinet.

                2. s
                  somervilleoldtimer RE: Phurstluv Sep 24, 2011 10:49 AM

                  I remember reading long ago that when freezing egg whites for a sweet dish, break up the whites with a fork and add a little sugar to the white before freezing. Before freezing for a savory dish, break up the whites and add a bit of salt. Don't know why/how/if it makes them better for whipping later, but probably won't hurt.

                  1. j
                    J.Dish RE: Phurstluv Sep 29, 2011 10:03 AM

                    Egg whites will never go bad. If you put them in an impeccably clean dish they will stay good forever. I was told by an old Chef of mine that they are the most alkaline food we eat. While I have never read into that, I do know that I've had whites in the fridge for months and never lost them. I've also read that (probably to a certain point) old whites are better for making macarons.

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