Eggs will keep for much longer if refrigerated than if kept at room temperature, as they often are in other parts of the world. In the United States, eggs are typically washed much more thoroughly than those in Europe. While this is fine from a hygienic standpoint, it also means that the eggs’ natural protective coating is washed away, making refrigeration necessary.
Many refrigerators have a built-in egg tray inside the door. It is convenient, but it is not the best place to store eggs. Every time you open the refrigerator, the temperature rises slightly, and items near the door suffer the most pronounced effect. A low shelf towards the back of the refrigerator makes for better egg storage.
There is conflicting advice on whether eggs are best stored in their cardboard cartons or in airtight containers. Either is fine, and the cardboard cartons are admittedly more convenient to use. If using the cartons, store the eggs away from foods with strong odors, as the shells are fragile and permeable and will take on the smells of the foods around them.
Refrigerated Storage Time: Up to 3 or 4 weeks. To determine if the eggs are still fresh, try this water test from Bon Appetit.
Do not freeze eggs in the shell. As they freeze, the liquid will expand, and cleaning up exploded eggs in the freezer is no fun. Instead, crack and separate the eggs. The egg whites can be frozen in airtight containers with just a little empty space on top to allow for expansion. The yolks can also be frozen, but you’ll need to mix in 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar per cup of yolks so that they aren’t pasty and unappetizing when you defrost them.
This way, a recipe that calls for egg whites only provides yolks for another day’s batch of ice cream. Or a recipe that calls for just the yolks leaves you with whites for another day’s candied pecans.
Frozen Storage Time: Up to 1 year.