Country Living Series

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dehydrating eggs

[The photos in this blog post are numbered since they are potential illustrations for a Backwoods Home Magazine article. This post is also more abbreviated than usual since the bulk of information will be contained in the article]

Over the summer, we had -- to put it mildly -- a glut of eggs. I wanted to find a suitable way to preserve the excess.

(Photo 326)

While there are numerous ways to preserve eggs, for a variety of reasons I wanted to experiment with dehydrating. There are many online references to the ease of dehydrating eggs, but nearly all of them admitted the potential for salmonella. Almost every reference I saw, people dehydrated their eggs at temperatures ranging from 125F to 145F. After some research, we learned that temp is too low, and 160F minimum (I bumped it to 165F to be safe) was necessary to keep salmonella from forming during the dehydration process.

We were in the market for a dehydrator anyway, so I began looking for a machine that achieved that temperature. To my surprise, even the most expensive dehydrators didn't go that high. I had better success with the lower-priced dehydrators and ended up ordering a Presto Digital Electric Dehydrator (model 06301) for about $65 on Amazon. I also ordered fruit roll sheets for each tray, since these are necessary to hold the liquified eggs.

(Photo 743)

Dehydrating is simple. I took five eggs at a time and blended them in a blender for a few seconds...

(Photo 756)

...then poured the liquified eggs carefully on the fruit roll sheet on each tray. The dehydrator came with six trays, which meant I could dehydrate 30 eggs at a time.

(Photo 757)

I set the temperature at 165F for ten hours.

(Photo 759)

At the end of this time, the dried eggs resemble thin peanut brittle, and the color is dark orange. (I learned that commercially dehydrated eggs are "de-sugared" before being dried, which better preserves the color and texture of the original egg.)

(Photo 746)

(Photo 747)

Some people recommend lightly oiling or spraying the fruit roll sheets so the dried eggs will slide off more easily, but I found this is absolutely NOT the case (at least, not with these particular fruit roll sheets). The eggs just slid off.

(Photo 748)

This is 30 eggs' worth of dehydrated stuff. Very compact.

(Photo 749)

I used our mini food processor to grind the dried eggs.

(Photo 750)

(Before)

(Photo 752)

(After)

(Photo 751)

30 eggs came to about four cups of granules. The dehydrated eggs have a "greasy" feel, but this is normal.

(Photo 754)

The next step was learning how well dehydrated eggs performed. To rehydrate, use a 2:1 ratio of water:egg powder. Here's one tablespoon of eggs powder...

(Photo 203)

...mixed with two tablespoons of water. Let it sit for a few minutes.

(Photo 205)

To test the dehydrated eggs in baking, I made two identical batches of cornmeal muffins. Here are the bowls of dry ingredients:

(Photo 208)

Here are the bowls of wet ingredients (dehydrated egg version is always on the left):

(Photo 207)

Ingredients mixed together.

(Photo 209)

Spooned into muffin cups, ready to bake. (By the way, I hope everyone knows the trick of filling any empty muffin spaces with water so as not to warp the pan during baking.)

(Photo 211)

Baked. This is the dehydrated egg version:

(Photo 212)

This is the fresh egg version:

(Photo 213)

Dehydrated version on the left, fresh egg version on the right. They look slightly different in size, but in fact they were almost identical (just my bad photography).

(Photo 214)

Cut open.

(Photo 215)

I couldn't taste the difference. I gave a "blind taste test" to Younger Daughter, and she couldn't tell the difference either. I give dehydrated eggs a "thumbs up" for baking purposes.

But what about direct eating? I scrambled two fresh eggs:

(Photo 219)

And I "scrambled" two tablespoons of rehydrated eggs (4 tablespoons of water):

(Photo 221)

There was no comparison. The rehydrated eggs were absolutely revolting (not to mention half the volume of the fresh eggs).

(Photo 222)

I tried rehydrating the dried eggs with milk instead of water...

(Photo 223)

...and the result was just as bad. MAJOR "thumbs down" for direct eating of rehydrated eggs.

(Photo 224)

Other people claim success in direct eating of dehydrated eggs, but I sure didn't.

Conclusion: Dehydrating eggs isn't worth it if you have to purchase eggs, but absolutely worth it if you have a surplus of your own eggs. But be safe -- don't dehydrate at temps lower than 165F or you risk salmonella poisoning.

I'm storing my dehydrated eggs in the freezer at the moment, but I will also fill some pint jars and use an oxygen absorber and store them in my canning closet, which is cool and dark.

14 comments:

  1. At 165 degrees you are cooking the eggs not dehydrating them. While you are not destroying the proteins at that temperature you are denaturing them. The lower temperature of 125 produces the best results with dehydrating but the best method is freeze drying.

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  2. If you're cooking them when you use them, just like you do with raw eggs, then is salmonella really an issue? Sure you'd have to wash hands and take care with the un-cooked dehydrated product, but thats sorta standard anyway (I mean, raw eggs are just as bad, so same precautions.....).

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  3. Try scrambling them first, the dehydrating
    D

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  4. Please do not take offense. I believe that some foods can be stored, abused, half rotted even wormy and still be perfectly safe to eat, like an apple for example. Other foods do not store well or even remain safe for long without either being cooked or refrigerated or safely preserved. When I go to a picnic I eat the food when it is served and I look at it carefully and smell it because I cannot know how it was cared for before beng put on the table. But after that I never touch prepared foods, such as potato salad, and if I feel the need to snack I go for the chips. Not every food can be safely dehydrated and then remain safe. Just my opinion.

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  5. I hard boiled mine then sliced and dehydrated using my Excalibur dehydrator with good results.

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  6. I wouldn't mind the corn meal muffin recipie

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  7. A couple of thoughts - one dried food company that sells dehydrated eggs suggested a proportion of 2 Tbsp egg powder to 3 Tbsp water - was supposed to be equivalent to 1 large egg. I also concur with the comment about the temp being a little high. If the eggs are still going to be cooked, would salmonella be an issue?

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  8. Here are some other preserved egg options https://youtu.be/yUYgguMz1qI
    Jas Townsend & Son You Tube ... Top 6 Historical Egg Preservation Techniques

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  9. Patrice, how long did it take to get the smell out of the house?

    Are you likely to try the pre-cooked methods described by Anonymous 8:04 and WhatIfWeAllCared?

    I use my convection oven when I need to dry something. Its lowest setting is 170 f. and I place a wooden spoon handle to keep the door slightly open, which lowers the temp a bit. I've gotten good results with pretty much everything I've tried.

    A. McSp

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    Replies
    1. We kept the dehydrator in a separate room, so it was simply an issue of keeping the door shut and the room's window open, so the smell wasn't so bad. I have no plans to cook the eggs first before dehydrating since I'm satisfied with what I have so far (I have a LOT of dehydrated eggs right now!).

      - Patrice

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  10. I've only used commercially dehydrated eggs and had great results in using them in recipes in place of fresh eggs. I've used both reconstituted dried eggs and just added the dried eggs to dry ingredients and added the extra water to the wet ingredients - easier to do.

    I have had good results using dehydrated eggs in a ratio of one fresh egg to one reconstituted dried egg for making omelets and scrambled eggs with herbs, onions, etc - something to give more flavor. Bad results in using just dried eggs.

    I'd keep dried eggs for use in baked goods.

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  11. I've been drying eggs for years now because of over exuberant hens in the spring and nonexistent eggs in the winter. Because heat is applied, low or high, you are in essence "cooking" the eggs. They don't translate well into fresh eggs but are great for baking and I'll even throw some powder into baked goods that don't call for eggs to give it an extra shot of protein. The cooking will kill the salmonella. You're right on the money Patrice. And it's a whole lot better than letting the eggs go rotten.

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  12. Mine tasted fine rehydrated, I used 12 turkey eggs and got 2 full pints, I used the microwave to cook them and they tasted as good as fresh. Even my hubby liked them

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