When the days get longer, hens will naturally lay more eggs. If you have 12 hens, you could find yourself with nearly 6 dozen eggs each week. Unless you eat eggs for every single meal, that can add up.
Storing them in the fridge is a good option for long-term storage, but what happens when you run out of space?
Did you know you could dehydrate eggs to make your own easy-to-store powdered eggs?
Indeed, you can dehydrate eggs in a dehydrator if you keep them there at 160 °F (71 °C) for 10 hours (to kill all salmonella)… until they look flaky.
Alternatives to Dehydrated Eggs
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of dehydrating eggs, there are a few things you need to know about preserving eggs in general.
There aren’t a ton of ways you can preserve eggs for long-term storage that won’t totally alter the flavor and consistency.
While dehydrating eggs allows you to enjoy them as you would normally in a typical scrambled state, other methods, like pickling or fermenting eggs, alter the flavor and composition of the eggs quite considerably.
Benefits of Dehydrating Eggs
Powdered eggs are great for long-term storage. Dehydrating scrambled eggs for backpacking, camping, and even bug out bags helps to make quick and easy on-the-go meals!
It also helps keep the nutritional value (minerals, vitamins, etc.) intact so you don’t lose any much-needed nutrients or flavor.
Today, I am going to show you how…
First off, why would I dehydrate eggs even though I have backyard chickens? Well, there are times when the girls aren’t laying as well, such as going through a molt or during the extreme heat of summer, or the shorter days of winter.
Having some long-term storage of eggs to bake with is a comforting feeling to have. Trust me.
For those who do NOT have backyard chickens, you can easily stock up on eggs when they are on sale, dehydrate and be able to use them anytime, saving you money. (win-win)
You can also buy eggs that are already dehydrated. Why would you want to do this?
Well, if you’re headed out on a backwoods camping trip and want to take a good source of protein with you (without having to lug around a fragile carton of eggs), then dehydrated eggs are the way to go.
However, these are often loaded with preservatives and anti-caking agents. They can also trigger food allergies and usually aren’t made from hens who laid their eggs in the most ethical conditions.
Uses for Dehydrated/Powdered Eggs
You can use dehydrated/powdered eggs for a wide variety of baking projects including:
- Jelly bases
When frozen, a dehydrated egg can add a bit of extra volume to a cake. Dehydrated egg whites can be used to make meringue (yum!) and cream icing.
Problems with Dehydrating Eggs
Some people have difficulty grinding the dehydrated egg(s) into powder. Others have complained about the egg clumping up in their food processors because they weren’t completely dehydrated.
By far, one of the most common problems people have with dehydrated eggs is their texture after being rehydrated. It’s been described as grainy and unpleasant.
How to Dehydrate Eggs Steps
- 3 1/2 dozen eggs
- Start with your eggs. This was 3 1/2 dozen total.• Crack them open into a bowl, about 18 at at time. More than that and it will take a loooooong time to do the next step.
- Whisk them like crazy, to get them all mixed together.
- Scramble them over medium to medium-low heat. I used a cast skillet iron so I wouldn’t have to add any additional oil. This took about 25 minutes to cook on low heat.
- Lay them out on a dehydrator sheet. 3 dozen eggs took up 7 sheets, Spread out as thin as possible.
- Dehydrate at 160 °F (71 °C) for 10 hours.
- Place dry eggs in a food processor (or blender) and whirrrr for a minute or two. This will process them down into a fine powder so that they are not grainy when you try to reconstitute them. Blend on high for best results. If you don’t have a blender, you could use a mortar and pestle or a seed grinder.
- Store in a cool, dry place in a tightly covered container.
Tips for Dehydrating Eggs
The first thing to know is that you can dehydrate both raw and precooked eggs. If you dehydrate raw eggs, you’ll notice that they have a less gritty texture.
You don’t have to worry about contamination, either, as you’re going to cook them when you rehydrate them anyway.
You can also cook them beforehand, which is what the method above suggested. If you dehydrate, fresh raw eggs, you’ll follow the exact same steps I told you about before, except you’ll skip the step where you scrambled them on the stove. Just jump right to the dehydration process.
If you want to make the eggs easier to powder/grind, take the dehydrated eggs and freeze them first. Then pop them into a blender and you should get a nice egg powder.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, keep in mind that you can also dehydrate eggs in your oven. Ideally, your oven should be set to about 115 degrees Fahrenheit to do this
If your oven doesn’t go to temperatures lower than 170 degrees (which, unfortunately, is common) then this method will not work for you.
It should also be noted that the oven method of dehydration can be messier, more difficult, and even smellier than the dehydrator method.
Start by pouring your eggs onto nonstick cookie trays. Pour or spread them out so that they are distributed evenly. In most cases, you’ll be able to fit up to 12 eggs per baking sheet.
It’s important that you don’t coat the tray with any kind of oil before beginning this process. Fats will cause spoilage later on, plus they can cause the eggs to separate.
Then, you’ll bake the eggs until they are crispy, stirring them often. It can take up to twelve hours but often takes only six. Make sure you stir the eggs every couple of hours to promote even drying.
If some dry faster than others, you can remove them to prevent them from becoming scorched and allow the others to continue drying.
How to Store and Use Dehydrated Eggs
Dehydrated eggs’ shelf life, in my experience, is about a year, stored in a tightly closed container.
You don’t need to leave any headspace, but ideally, you should use a container with non-permeable sides, like one made out of glass.
Mason jars are a good option for this, pack your powdered/dehydrated eggs into them with moisture and oxygen absorbers, secure the lid, and store them away from light.
An even better container is one that can be vacuum sealed after packing. Use a vacuum sealer and a few mylar bags and vacuum seal your eggs. The vacuum-sealed bags can then be stored in the freezer.
As for how to cook dehydrated eggs, add 1 Tablespoon eggs to the dry ingredients in a recipe, and 1/4 cup additional water to the wet.
However, there are some homesteaders out there who claim that dried eggs can be shelf-stable and used for as long as ten years (so long as they were stored in cool, dry, and dark conditions, and were rotated every three years.
This is so important to note, as dehydrated eggs require a lot less storage space – and fewer resources – than regular eggs.
You can use powdered eggs as they are, serving them up in your favorite egg or breakfast meal, or you can mix them into recipes where eggs are called for (sometimes, they won’t work as well in baked goods where whole eggs are required, though).
If you’re baking, you do not need to rehydrate the eggs before adding them. You’ll just add the egg powder and any water you need before continuing with the recipe as listed.
Whether you’re using them in pancakes or in quiche, you’ll love the versatility that powered eggs provide!
Have you ever tried to dehydrate eggs? Would you ever try them? What would you use powdered eggs for first? Be sure to pin this for later!
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Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.