If you have a few chickens it is easy to find yourself in the position of having a lot of eggs all at once certain times of the year. For a bit of time, we were doing a good job using our eggs for breakfasts and baked goods. My Dad eats a few eggs a day on average. That is still not enough to deplete our egg supply since we have 7 hens laying large eggs full time.
Some of you may have read my article from a few years ago about various methods of preserving eggs. If not then you may want to check it out or if you have read it before, it may be worth revisiting if you want to try a lot of different methods.
This is my first time dehydrating eggs. I was a bit uncertain about it because you hear a lot of things about food safety. Well, they sell dehydrated eggs all the time so there has to be a safe way to do it. Also with any food preservation method, there is some risk, at least in part due to human error.
That being said, you are dehydrating eggs at your own risk. The quality, method, and storage practices you choose are not in my control. Sorry that I have to say this disclaimer but it is what I have to do to tell you about something a lot of people choose to do. If you are really worried then I advise trying out some of the other methods I talk about in my egg preservation article or simply pickle them. Here is a link to my article on how to pickle eggs.
I have heard of people doing it using a cookie sheet and their oven but I find that it is hard to keep an oven on a low enough temperature and consistently warm enough to safely dehydrate eggs. A food dehydrator changes things.
I have a Nesco food dehydrator and fruit roll-up trays. The dehydrator has a temperature setting which is very nice since you have more assurance that you are dehydrating at a safe temperature. The fan also helps keep the temperature consistent throughout the dehydrator.
The more trays you use the harder it is to keep the temperature right so when dehydrating something like meat or eggs it is best to limit how many trays you stack on top of one another. I am sticking to 3 trays. If you don’t have fruit roll-up trays for your dehydrator, you can probably buy them for a reasonable cost. Just make sure you get the right size.
Make sure you have your dehydrator in the location you want it to be throughout the egg drying process. If you move your dehydrator while the eggs are still runny you will make a mess. I learned this the hard way by just nudging my dehydrator over a little bit.
Crack eggs and mix well. A wire wisk works to mix a lot of eggs up at once.
Pour eggs into fruit roll-up liners placed in your dehydrator. Do this carefully. Our hens lay large eggs. I was able to mix and pour 8 eggs per tray. I used 3 trays so that is the equivalent of 2 dozen eggs.
Set your dehydrator to 145 F. If you do decide that you want to do an extra tray or two, then you might set it to 165 F.
Let eggs dry for 18 hours straight. This is adequate time to dehydrate and ensure that any bacteria that are present are sterilized.
Carefully flake eggs into a jar with a moisture absorber or vacuum seal in small bags with a moisture absorber.
Eggs can be rehydrated or just used dry in baked goods and cooking.
1 Tablespoon of Dehydrated Eggs and 2 Tablespoons of Water=1 Large Egg
Knowing how to dehydrate eggs can help you take advantage of any sales you find on eggs as well.
Choose eggs that are as fresh as possible and that don’t have any cracks. You don’t want to dehydrate eggs that are more likely to be contaminated due to cracks.
Considering the cost of buying dehydrated eggs you can save a ton of money by doing it yourself.
A dehydrator is an excellent investment for any prepper and will pay for itself quicker than you might think. While it may seem like leaving something on for 18-20 hours is a lot of energy, the truth is that a dehydrator doesn’t burn as much as you think. You can keep it going with very little backup power too.
Dehydration Time Debate
Some methods for dehydrating eggs online called for 6-10 hours of dry time. I suppose that may be enough if you are doing a tray or two but I like to be a little more cautious than the average person when it comes to food safety and prep.
How the big food manufacturers dry eggs.
Commercial dehydrated eggs are produced using a method known as spray drying. This is accomplished by pasteurizing eggs and then spraying them into a heated tank where they water is evaporated out. They also remove the natural sugars that are in the eggs. The sugar removal is done to increase the shelf life.
Can you use an oven to dehydrate eggs?
You can use a cookie sheet and oven to dehydrate eggs but the results are often disappointing from the accounts I have read. The eggs take on a flavor and texture that is not appealing.
Baking and cooking is the best use for dehydrated eggs but some people like them just fine re hydrated and scrambled.
The vast majority of people seem to prefer a fresh egg over a dehydrated one. The texture is different and the only way to prepare them is scrambled or to make french toast or similar. I think dehydrated eggs are a great way to preserve eggs so that you have them for baking and cooking throughout the year. This also allows you to have a stash of eggs for these purposes so that you can use whatever fresh eggs you are able to get for things like having an over-easy egg in the morning, a poached egg, and for hard boiled egg dishes.
Dehydrated eggs can also be used for dog and cat food topping.
While you may not want to feed all your eggs to pets, it is far better than wasting them and if you are raising your own backyard chickens, I bet the occasional egg is far cheaper than buying fancy dog and cat food supplements, canned foods, and treats.
Plenty of readers have commented about making their own dog food or recipes for feeding pets if they run out of dog food. While a lot of those ideas may not be practical for some of us with really big dogs or multiple dog households, they are right that eggs, rice, and whatever else you can throw in the mix, would be far better than nothing for your pooch.
This is also an option if you are too concerned about the potential for salmonella to be comfortable eating eggs you dehydrate at home but want to do something with them. Dogs and cats are not near as sensitive to food poisoning as people in most cases. My dogs have stolen and sucked enough raw eggs to convince me of that.
Home dehydrated eggs have a shelf life of about a month without refrigeration and up to a year if kept in the fridge. In contrast, the eggs you can buy in a #10 can or in a bucket from Augason Farms have a shelf life of a decade.
Do you dehydrate your own eggs? Do you have any tips for using them? I would love to hear from anyone that has tips on how to make scrambled eggs from dried eggs so that is tastes a little better and fluffs up more. Is it even possible?