Jul 6, 2023
Eggs are a great protein source. If you’re hungry, 2 to 3 will help fill your stomach until the next meal. But it’s a challenge to store it for the long term. There are egg powder and egg substitutes out there, but you don’t know what goes in it. On the other hand, if you process your eggs, you know what’s added and can prepare it the way you want. Here’s how to freeze-dry eggs and make your powder for your recipes.
Yes, you can freeze dry eggs and have them ready for your next breakfast or recipe. They’re easy to prepare and don’t take too long to reconstitute.
One thing you have to take note of, though. It’s easy to forget that you’re working with raw food when it comes to freeze-drying. You have to label your containers to let you know that one batch is raw. It’s easy to get salmonella when you’re dealing with raw ova. Food poisoning should be the least of your worries when you’re in a crisis or emergency.
There are several ways to prepare your breakfast staple before freeze-drying.
Some recipes call for separate whites and yolks. So what you can do is crack each one separately in a small bowl, then put the yolks and whites in a different container. This way, you won’t mess up your batch when you get a bad egg.
This is the most popular form of freeze-dried eggs because it’s easy to prepare, reconstitute, and cook.
The challenge is that when you freeze eggs, two things happen. One is that the white proteins denature, causing them to become fluffier. The yolks, on the other hand, become lumpy because of gelation behavior. What happens is that when you rehydrate and cook them, you get this lumpy, gooey mass. When you cook it, you get a scrambled egg that has an uneven texture.
So how do you prevent this? A study about yolk gelation mentioned that you could add 10% salt or sugar to the volume of the scrambled eggs or the scrambled yolk. Or you could work with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt or sugar for every cup of scrambled eggs. What you can use will depend on how you will use the eggs. Use salt for savory dishes, then sugar for making desserts.
Slice the hardboiled eggs into chunks similar to what you would want in your egg salad. Unfortunately, whole or halved hardboiled ova don’t freeze dry or reconstitute well. Only when you break them into small pieces will the edible ovules reconstitute properly.
We recommend pre-freezing, especially with scrambled eggs. It’s an option, and many who freeze-dry their eggs don’t pre-freeze. However, since we’re dealing with liquid, there’s a tendency for the food to foam in the dryer. When the food is solid, you lessen the chance of foaming and making a mess.
Some pre-freeze for 8 hours, some overnight. However, Harvest Right freeze dryer recommends that you pre-freeze for at least 48 hours. This way, you get ice crystal formation right down to the center of the food.
Be careful when handling liquids on trays. What you could do is put the trays in your freezer. Give yourself enough room for you to pour the scrambled eggs. Carefully position the trays so they’re stable and won’t disturb other food. This is better and safer than carrying a liquid tray to the freezer. No spills, no mess, and most importantly, fewer accidents.
Also, don’t fill the trays to capacity. Make sure that you only pour 1/2 or 3/4 of the way. If you choose not to pre-freeze, the egg will foam up and spill inside your freeze dryer. Especially if you add sugar to the mixture.
Once your eggs are ready on the trays, it’s time to start freeze-drying.
Freeze-drying eggs can take about 24-32 hours, depending on how much liquid your food has. You know the eggs are done when they’re dry, light, and flakey.
For the freeze-dried scrambled eggs, yolks, and egg whites that are raw, process them first to a fine powder. The more powdery they are, the easier and smoother they will be to reconstitute.
For the hardboiled ones, they’re fine to store as they are. Or, if you want to work with cooked eggs, you can grind them into a fine powder for later use.
Then you can put them in Mason jars for on-demand use or Mylar bags for long-term storage. Whatever you choose, remember to use 1-2 of the 300 cc packets of oxygen absorbers per gallon size of your container.
In theory, freeze-dried eggs should last 15-25 years when stored properly. Keep the containers in a cool, dry, dark place away from the sun and moisture. The temperature of the room should be lower than 72°F (22 °C), Keep the relative humidity level to 15% or less to lessen the risk of contamination.
With more and more people switching to freeze-drying their own food, everyone should be concerned about food safety. In his interview with CNBC Make It, Donald Shaffner, professor of food science at Rutgers University, recommends one thing. To cook the eggs to at least 160°F (71°C) to lessen the risk of salmonella.
You can use your freeze-dried eggs for almost anything that you need them for.
If you want to use them to make scrambled eggs, dilute them with cold water at a 1:1 ratio. About two tablespoons of freeze-dried egg powder to two tablespoons of water is enough to make a decent scrambled egg.
The good thing is, you can jazz it up a bit to make an omelet with mushrooms, onions, and ham or bacon!
You can also use the hardboiled egg to make an egg salad sandwich. Add enough water to moisten (not drown) the freeze-dried food, cover it, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then add your usual seasonings like pickle juice, mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper.
If you want to use the freeze-dried egg powder for baking, use a 1:1 ratio of powder and water. 2 tablespoons of the powder and 2-3 tablespoons of water is about the size of an egg.
Freeze-drying eggs can be a bit of work because of the attention to detail. But once you’re done with the prep, measuring, and labeling, all that effort is well worth it.
Just remember to label the containers to say they have raw eggs in them clearly. This way, you’ll know that you should be careful handling them, and they should be adequately cooked. Treat it the same way as you would with raw eggs. Wash your hands and utensils with soap and water thoroughly to prevent cross-contamination.
How would you like to freeze-dry your eggs? Let us know in the comment section.
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