May 1, 2012

How to Freeze or Dehydrate Eggs

Although backyard-fresh eggs last for months in the refrigerator (and store bought eggs at least one month in the fridge), there are a few reasons you might want to preserve eggs for later use. If you have backyard chickens, you may find you're getting more eggs than your family (and neighbors!) can eat. I do recommend keeping them for when the chickens are molting and not producing many eggs, but eventually you may run out of refrigerator space. If you buy store bought eggs, learning to preserve eggs also allows you to take advantage of great sales. And with preserved eggs in the pantry or freezer, you'll always have a back up when you run out of fresh.

Freezing Eggs

Frozen eggs are very good for cooking and baking. Once thawed, you can use them in any recipe, exactly how you'd use fresh eggs.

1. Break open one egg at a time and pour the contents into a bowl. Whip to mix, using an immersion blender, traditional blender, a whisk, or a fork.
Blend together the egg yolks and whites.
2. It's generally recommended that for every cup of whole eggs you should stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar or 1/2 teaspoon of salt, to prevent graininess after defrosting.

3. Pour the whipped eggs into the cups of an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-proof, airtight container and place in the freezer.
Pour the mixed eggs into the "cups" of an ice cube tray.

In most cases, a frozen cube equals about 1 egg.
Ice cube trays vary, so if you think you'll need to know exactly how much frozen egg equals a fresh egg (say, if you plan to bake with them), begin by whipping up a single egg and pouring it into the ice cube tray. In my experience, larger ice cube trays hold 1 egg per hole, but I have several ice cube trays that only hold half an egg.

Be sure to thaw completely in the refrigerator before using.

Dehydrating Eggs

Dehydrated eggs are good for many kinds of cooking - even scrambling - although they have a stronger egg flavor than fresh eggs. Do note that while some people say they use home dehydrated eggs for baking, I've had little success with this; for some reason, I can't get baked goods to rise properly with home dehydrated eggs.

On the plus side, dehydrated eggs take up very little room in the pantry...and they are good terrific for camping or backpacking - just add water. Homemade dehydrated eggs are much more economical than store bought dehydrated eggs - but some experts say home dehydration may not kill salmonella or other bad bugs - so use your best judgement. (Store bought eggs are more likely to have salmonella problems, so I would never home dehydrate them.)

The actual job of dehydrating eggs is very easy- but it does take a bit of time for them to dehydrate, so plan on doing a few trays at once. These directions dehydrate just six eggs - enough for one tray on a Nesco dehydrator.
Use 6 eggs for every fruit roll sheet on a standard dehydrator.
1. Place a fruit roll sheet onto a dehydrator tray. (It must be a fruit roll sheet and not just a piece of parchment paper; you'll need the lip on the end of the sheet to keep the eggs from dripping off the tray.

2. Put six eggs in a bowl and whip them to blend. I use my immersion blender, but you could do this by hand or with a traditional blender.
Blend the egg yolks and whites.
  3. Pour the whipped eggs slowly onto the fruit roll sheet. Dehydrate at 145 degrees F. for about 16 hours, or until the eggs are thoroughly dry and extremely brittle.

Pour the mixed egg yolks and whites onto a fruit roll sheet.
What the eggs look like after being fully dehydrated.
4. Put the brittle eggs into a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder and turn into a powder. Store in an air tight glass container in a cool, dry, dark location.
Powdered, dehydrated eggs.
 One heaping tablespoon is the equivalent of one fresh egg. To reconstitute, mix one tablespoon dehydrated egg with two tablespoons water. Stir; let sit for 5 minutes before using.

NOTE: Some sources say to cook the eggs in a Teflon frying pan (without any added fat) before dehydrating. This results in a much less flavorful product - and one in which many of the nutrients are already cooked out.

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  1. How long have you stored the dehydrated eggs for? I am wondering if you could do it long term in a #10 tin can. Cause what they charge in the stores for dehydrated eggs is ridiculous, especially if I can do it myself.

  2. Jessica, I've only stored them for about 9 months. Some people have expressed concerns about the safety of home dehydrated eggs. I definitely wouldn't use store bought. Also, I recommend you make a small batch and see if you like them as well as commercially canned dehydrated egg.

  3. FYI...If you reconstitute the dried egg and then cook it do you need to worry about the safety? Cooking the eggs either before or after shoudl kill any bacteria.

  4. I would think that if you cook the eggs thoroughly, there should be no problem - but this is just my opinion.