Can I freeze egg whites for making meringues later?

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6 Comments

702551 August 10, 2015
Yes, this is what professional cooks do. It's a great technique to reduce waste.

Note that there are other uses for egg whites than meringues (like clarifying/fining stocks), so other cooks in a restaurant kitchen have a need for egg whites beyond pastry.
 
702551 August 10, 2015
Note that you can do the opposite as well: freeze egg yolks for future use (like creme anglaise).
 
sonya August 10, 2015
I'm copying this from www.cookscountry.com (2010):

"Can leftover egg whites be whipped after defrosting?

Custards or other recipes that call for thickening with egg yolks often leave the cook with leftover egg whites. We’ve recommended freezing individual whites for later use in recipes. But do they whip to the same volume and consistency as fresh whites?

We compared frozen egg whites that had been defrosted overnight in the refrigerator to fresh whites in two recipes: our Angel Food Cake and the meringue topping for our Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie. In both instances, the frozen whites reached the desired consistency (soft peaks for the angel food cake and stiff peaks for the meringue topping) a few seconds faster than the fresh. A little research revealed that freezing the egg whites begins the process of unwinding their proteins, which the mechanical action of the whip continues. That was the only difference. Otherwise, frozen and fresh whites performed equally well.

THE BOTTOM LINE Use either frozen (defrosted) whites or fresh; they whip to the same volume and consistency, but be mindful that frozen whites will reach full volume a little more quickly."
 
boulangere June 21, 2015
Yes, I do it all the time. Don't freeze (or store) them in anything plastic. Plastic is a petroleum product, and tends to retain even traces of fats, and the minutest amount of fat will prevent your whites from whipping. Proteins are long, sinuous, complicated molecules, and even tiny amounts of fat (typically from the yolk) will cause them to slip apart into small segments that will not whip up. I freeze mine in bulk in either glass or stainless steel. As for thawing and using for meringues, know that the average large egg white comprises 1 ounce. So if your recipe calls for 4 egg whites, measure 4 ounces of them in a liquid measuring cup.
 
AntoniaJames August 11, 2015
So helpful, Cynthia. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I learn something new that's really useful, every time I read one of your answers. You're amazing. ;o)
 
Diana B. June 21, 2015
Yep. Freeze them in ice cube trays, then pop them out when frozen into a freezer bag. It's recommended you use them within 12 months of freezing, but they should whip up just fine when thawed.
 
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