How to Dehydrate Eggs (or not)

farm fresh eggs

Lest you think that everything I attempt always turns out perfectly (not that you had any reason to actually think that…), allow me to share my adventure into the world of egg dehydration.

Since my post on freezing eggs got so much positive feedback, I thought I’d look into some other ways to preserve extra eggs for later. You can pickle them, cover ‘em in lard or grease, and even “water glass” them by immersing them chemicals.

I’m not a fan of pickled eggs, and none of the other methods seemed too appealing to me, so I got to thinking (which is always dangerous)…

A lot of bulk food and survival food type of stores carry dehydrated eggs. So why couldn’t I dehydrate my own at home?

After a little research, I discovered that it is a fairly common practice, but I also came up with mixed reviews. Some people said it was “dangerous” to dehydrate your own eggs, while others said it was super easy and safe.

I’ve never tried commercially dehydrated eggs, and my chickens are laying well right now. So of course, I had to try it. Off to my laboratory kitchen I went.

First up, the cook-then-dry method.

I scrambled 4 eggs in a frying pan, just like I was cooking them up for breakfast. I put them in my dehydrator, set it at 145 degrees, and let ‘er rip.

how to dry eggs

First problem– they took forever to dry… Even longer than the raw eggs below, which really surprised me. And when they finally DID dry, the egg particles were rock hard and, to be quite honest, I had no desire to figure out how to grind them. So we’re calling that attempt a FAIL.

Next up, the “raw egg” method:

For this test, I chose 4 very fresh, homegrown eggs. (If you try this, I recommend only using eggs that come from a reputable source (i.e. That’s NOT random grocery store eggs). There seems to be some debate over whether the eggs will get hot enough to kill any bad bacteria, like salmonella. I used my homegrown eggs, which I happily eat raw, so I wasn’t worried.)  

I scrambled them really well, and then poured them in a thin layer on my dehydrator tray.

how to dehydrate eggs

(I also attempted to dry another test batch of eggs in my oven. FAIL. The lowest my oven will go is 170 degrees, and even though I tried to stir the eggs every once and a while, it was just a mess. Not recommended….)

I set my dehydrator at it’s highest setting (145 degrees) and left it for about 6-7 hours.

dehydrated eggs

When they were “done” they were dry and crumbly, but definitely not powdery. Definitely more of a grainy consistency. But, I thought I’d try to cook them up anyway.

 1 Tablespoon of egg powder + 2 Tablespoons of water = 1 fresh egg (or so they say…)

After mixing the dry eggs with water, it was still pretty grainy. So I let it sit for 5 minutes. Still grainy. So I cooked it up in a skillet to make scrambled eggs. Which resulted in grainy “scrambled” eggs. They tasted okay, but the consistency was hard to get past…

My next bright idea was to try grinding them down a bit more. My reasoning was that perhaps a finer powder would absorb water better, thus improving the texture.

I got out my trusty electric coffee grinder. Bad, bad, bad idea. My coffee grinder still won’t speak to me. In fact, I tried to use it to grind some flax seed the other day, and it was still sputtering and spewing egg gook. Moral of the story: do NOT use a coffee grinder to grind dry eggs. Period.

The food processor didn’t really work either. Maybe mine is just a cheap model, or perhaps there wasn’t enough quantity, but the eggs just kinda sat in the bottom of the bowl and didn’t really grind.

So out came the mortar and pestle. It sorta worked, and got the eggs ground up slightly finer, but after a second attempt to re-hydrate and scramble, the results were still mildly gross.

Grainy Scrambled Eggs.

I did use my dry eggs in a muffin recipe, and it turned out normal and un-grainy… Perhaps powdered eggs are only supposed to be used in recipes?

So. It appears that I have three options:

  1.  Freeze my extra eggs.
  2.  Give my extra eggs away.
  3.  Or learn to love pickled eggs.

I really wanted this to work, but it just plain didn’t. At least not for me… I might end up trying it again, but probably not for a while… It seems like a lot of work for a less-than-yummy end product.

So readers- I am dying to know– Have you ever tried dehydrating eggs? Was it successful or not? Any tips you can share?

A few other eggy posts:

This post was shared at: Simple Lives Thursday


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Comments

  1. If you would take the first eggs you dried… freeze them and then pop them in the blender they should powder :)

  2. I love that you tried it, failed, then told us about it anyway. :) I still have to try the frozen egg thing . . .

  3. I have never tried dehydrating eggs. Although I am going to take a look at freezing eggs :) :)

    This is a different question, but have you made homemade yogurt? I just started the GAPS diet and at some point I’m going to have to learn to make it myself. The recipe itself is easy…but I’m debating about using a dehydrator or a yogurt maker.

    Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • Yes, I frequently make homemade yogurt and love it! It’s very good for you. I just incubate mine in a cooler filled with hot water. Or, you can leave it in your oven with just the light on (nothing else). Good luck!

      • I have been making my own yogurt for a number of years now. I tried, initially, about 25 years ago with a yogurt maker… it works – does the job… these days, I do similar to Jill… I make my yogurt & leave it, covered in towels – no water!, in a cooler for 12-24h with the lid in place. Have fun!

  4. No, I haven’t, but I surely did enjoy reading your post. I actually laughed out loud (with you, not at you, you know… ;) Thanks for the information. One year I successfully stored eggs, dipped in lard and then packed in salt, in a cold cellar. They lost quality, but stayed safe. Still, though… not too neat. The old timers used “water glass” but it is expensive, so I never tried that. I will try the freezing, though. Thank you!

  5. I absolutely love that you tried this! I’ve thought about it since I dehydrated chocolate pudding but that was a big fail as well. If you have chickens you can scramble the extra and feed to them instead of commercial feed – or to your dog or cat, or make something that you can freeze like ice cream base or eggnog (which we use as smoothie base or for instant breakfast on the run). Thanks for sharing with SLT!

  6. Mandi is right, in theory. First, foods to be powdered should be dried hard. Then if you freeze them for 15-30 minutes before you powder them, it works much better. I’ve never done this but it’s mentioned in my dehydrator cookbook that this works for making vegetable powders; it crisps the food so that it doesn’t gum up the processor. I don’t know why it wouldn’t work for eggs…

    Also, if you make more than 4 at a time (like fill all your trays), you might find that your food processor does a good job of powdering them. I have a small one that would work for 4 eggs, but those big ones will need more food in them to work well. I wouldn’t give up on the idea, in other words. You have your own chickens, so “research” cost isn’t an issue for you like it is for most people who can’t, or don’t, have hens. ;D

    I do think that powdered eggs would be better off being used in cake/muffin recipes; anything baked. I can’t imagine they’d be any good the way you’re trying them. They’re powdered, after all, and when you cook up scrambled eggs, they’re not powdered. So you can’t expect the results to be similar. It might work okay to make omelets with powdered eggs, though. It’s worth a try, I guess. Maybe they’d work in a breakfast casserole with some dehydrated hash browns and dehydrated cooked sausage? That way everything is already chunky so you wouldn’t notice or mind if the eggs weren’t “normal”. ? (Just thinking about backpacking meal ideas now–you wouldn’t have to use other dehydrated foods in the dish.)

    • I think you’re on to something here. :)

      I’d also like how I found this when I can not eat eggs right now and I LOVE eggs! :(

  7. I have been researching dehydrating eggs as I have 11 prolific egg-laying chickens which I did not realize upon getting chickens for just two people. Oops! I thought I would get only about 6 eggs a week. Lesson learned… we women ovulate different from chickens. Obviously, all I needed were a couple. Anyway… I am writing you to tell you what a wonderfully enjoyable and funny writer you are. Your tempo, humor, and delivery flow along flawlessly as you are still greatly informative. Thanks for the giggle and information. I actually dragged my 83-year-old dad downstairs to read your blog on dehydrating eggs and we just giggled through the whole thing. Now I know to not throw a bunch of eggs into my Excalibur and expect perfect scrambled eggs a year from now when we are all “self-surviving” which is what other goofy blogs seem to convey. Count me in as a reading fan! Heather Glass from Boise, Idaho

    • I have dehydrated whole eggs with great success. This is how I do it: first if I have farm fresh eggs I pasteurize them; if I am using store bought eggs they should already be pasteurized. Next I preheat my dehydrator to 135 degrees F. I then break the eggs into a bowl and whip them until they look like they are going to form peaks. I then pour my eggs evenly onto clean fruit leather trays that have sides. I then dehydrate the eggs for 12 hours. after the eggs are dehydrated I crumble them as small as I can and then put them threw my coffee grinder. If they bind up the grinder that is a indication the eggs are not dry enough. if you need to put them back into the dehydrator and dry for an additional 4 hours. after I have my eggs ground to a fine powder I usually place the powder on a clean fruit leather tray and dehydrate for 2 more hours. Your finished product should not clump together when squeezed. I have made scrambled eggs with my powder and could not tell the difference in taste from scrambled eggs made from fresh eggs. The only difference in preparing scrambled eggs with egg powder is that you must let the egg mixture stand a good 5 minutes to let the eggs reconstitute or you will get a grainy texture.
      Scrambled egg recipe
      4 tablespoons whole egg powder
      4 tablespoons water
      splash of milk
      salt and pepper to taste
      whisk together until well combined
      let stand 5 to 10 minutes
      cook as you would scrambled eggs made from fresh eggs.

  8. Hi I’ve been dehydrating eggs this week so far 7 dozen, I don’t have chickens as I live in the burbs though I grew up on a farm and the farming life never leaves your blood, so I buy eggs when they are very cheap dozens at a time, I did a lot of research before dehydrating I saw a lot of people scrambling them some adding oil ‘a no no’ some adding butter ‘no no’ I boil them – then I guarantee there is only egg and nothing else that can contaminate a batch of hours of hard work, I boil then use a hand grinding mill to break them up to smaller pieces looking like they are scrambled then I dry them in the oven on 100 fan forced stirring them frequently never leaving them for a moment as they can burn fast, the whites always takes the longest to dehydrate yolk is very fast, taking them out when they look like they cant take the over anymore, then I mill them again now they are finer and can fit on the one tier on the dehydrator, checking them each half hour prodding with my fingers making little mounds so each little bit gets its turn to be dehydrated .. Another tip when boiling the eggs splash and dont be shy some vinegar in the water it helps part the shell from the sack and does not alter the taste of the egg.. Hope this helps, Always interested in any tips or easy ways ….
    Cheers, Kerryn….

  9. P.S with the egg shells dry them out in the sun, crush them and throw them in your garden beds ‘snails hate them’ :)

  10. Michelle Colebourn says:

    I read on another website that it works best if you separate the yolks from the whites and dehydrate both egg elements separately.

    The egg yolks should be whisked together without anything else and cooked in thinner layers……..whilst the egg white should be whisked into a foamy meringue *again, with no other ingredients* prior to dehydrating.

  11. I take six free range eggs, crack into a smalll bowl, one at a time, and add to my mixer. I beat on high until they become kinda meringue stage……………scramble in a teflon skillet until completely done. Cool, chop up in medium pieces. Place on parment paper in your dehydrator……temperature about 145 degrees……….depending on the dehydrator you have. Dry to brittle stage…….remove , let cool and powder in a dry blender. Turned out great for me. There is a differences between a dry blender and a wet blender. Wet is for mixing liquids and a dry blender is for grinding nuts, seeds , popcorn, etc. Place your eggs in jar with an oxygen absorber and add lid and ring . Be sure to store in a cool dark area. Also be sure to label. For your info, Store bought eggs turned out great also.

    • Kathy Hendrix says:

      Hi. I just did my first batch of eggs very similar to the way Julia did hers. I used regular blender on high. Came out a very fine powder (six eggs=about 1 cup). I will be rehydrating and trying some for breakfast. (My son and I will be going on 2-week bicycle camping trip. Thought it would be a nice alternative to instant oatmeal). I think if you had taken the 1st batch that you threw out, and blended them; they would have been fine. I read somewhere that they should be brittle. I will try putting in freezer before blending next time, as the blender needed soaking to get the last of the fine powder out.

  12. Kathy Hendrix says:

    Just tried rehydrating for breakfast–yuck–grainy. I guess they will be tried for baking. For survival, I would eat them just before insects, although insects would probably taste better. :(

  13. Thank you for posting this. I have celiac disease and react to tiny amount of gluten contamination. I can only eat eggs from pasture raised chickens and they are only available in the warm season here. I froze a bunch last warm season to get me through the winter, but they sure take up space in the freezer. That got me thinking about dehydrating. It was sure nice to find your post and realize that I need to take my thinking in another direction. Thank you!

  14. Bridgett says:

    I add half water and half milk put my dehydrated eggs back in blender on high a few seconds or more then cook. it does help get most of the GRAINY out not all but most. hope this helps

  15. MaryBeth says:

    I think you can grind them to powder successfully in a grain-type grinder.
    VitaMix has a grain container + special blade https://secure.vitamix.com/32-Ounce-Dry-Grains-Container.aspx
    I have this and I grind all kinds of dehydrated veggies etc. in it. Works for stuff like grinding pepper, cinnamon sticks. I once dehydrated 2 large banana squashes and then ground them to powder.

  16. I’m defiantly going to have try this, if it at least works in baking then its a go for me. I want to make up some baking mixes and I don’t always have eggs or money. So what I’d like to do is have everything a full mix, just add water. Premixes save time and are a good gift. I’ve seen someone do up one that was a cookie mix in a jar layering each ingredient like sand in a jar, then tag and labeling. It was very pretty and that receiver could make it up when ever they wanted to and not get inundated with cookies on the holidays lol

  17. My dad gave me a bunch of dehydrated eggs this spring and I originally had the same problem… til I read the directions :p (go figure)…
    (1Tb egg + 2 Tb Milk) To get your eggs to be ok (not grainy), let them “rehydrate” in MILK sitting on the counter for 5-10 minutes… THEN cook!
    If you dont have enough patience, dry eggs are only good for baking.

  18. I am in the process of drying egg whites. I whipped them in the Kithenaid until they were stiff peaks and then swiped them in about 3/4 inch thickness on Silpat sheets, stuck them in the dehydrator at 165 degrees. I am needing meringue powder for a glaze recipe I want to try. I am hoping that it will powder easier if it is whipped first. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  19. They turned our perfect! Nice and powdery, dried in a few hours.

  20. Great article and comments. Very helpful. After reading the OP and all of the comments I am ready to try this myself.

  21. Great stuff, Jill! You should do a YouTube vid about Prepping! :)

  22. I had some dried eggs bought online. I decided to seal them in pint jars. So, yesterday, I had no eggs(we get them from a friend) and went for the unflavored gelatin, my egg substitute, and then remembered the powdered eggs. (nice with a food saver, you can just reseal, huh?)
    I added the water to the powder and let it sit for about 10 minutes while attending to cooking.
    I used the egg in cornbread–my husband ate the whole thing by himself except for two small pieces.
    It was great; you’d never guess it was made with powdered egg.
    A success and I am gonna dry my own also..the project for this week when we get farm eggs.

  23. Thank you for sharing. Thanks also to everyone who shared their comments. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but repeatedly “chickened out” so to speak. I am on my way now with dehydrated eggs being my next project with the dehydrator. I love finding new things I can dehydrate to store more compactly. Wonderful!

  24. I scrambled my eggs then ran them through the food processor. I then dehydrated the eggs and when done put them through the food processor again. Running through the first time made the egg not clump up when dehydrated. Seems to have worked out good so far.

  25. Since you have chickens and are using FRESH why not oil the extra ones to get them to last for several months?

    http://www.offthegridnews.com/2012/03/05/preserving-eggs-for-the-long-term/

  26. I have just done my first batch after seeing it on youtube. I watched OurHalfAcreHomestead and she uses a coffee grinder. Mine turned out fine and crumbly except for a few hard lumps,

  27. I found this website explaining how to dehydrate eggs. They tried your version and another approach I think:

    http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/blog/how-to-make-powdered-eggs.htm

  28. Michelle says:

    I dehydrate raw. Then blend. Soak 1 tb to 2 tb water. Blend before cooking. Makes ok scrambled eggs.

  29. I have a dozen hens who give me a dozen eggs nearly every day! I give many eggs away to family and friends, but got to wondering how I might store some of the extra I have hanging around; it’s not like I’m not going to get more tomorrow (at this point in my hens’ lives). So, I thought to myself “Hey, maybe I can make my own powdered eggs. Brilliant idea! I was so excited that I had this thought….I was certain it came from God because I wouldn’t have thought of it on my own. So I set out to discover the best way to dehydrate my own fresh eggs! I decided to go with the wet-dry method. I beat 6 eggs together per fruit roll tray, dried them at 145 degrees for about 16 hours. They look disgusting, and smell worse than that! (First time I dried them in the house; now they’ve been delegated to the garage.) After drying them, I ground them in the dry container of my Vitamix…makes a nice powder, then put the powder into a food saver bag and sucked all the air out. After a couple of months of dehydrating and storing my beautiful, treasured eggs I decided I might want to cook some up to see how they are. I just did that 15 minutes ago…..and they were NOT at all like I expected them to be. I used 1Tbsp of powder to 2 Tbsp water, but didn’t let them soak for 10 minutes (I will do that next time, along with the milk idea). I couldn’t get past the grainy texture….and the color threw me off a bit as well, but I suppose I would eat them if I were starving…….just before I had to eat insects. I think I will try freezing some. Thanks for the post and stay in His grip!

  30. Bless you, my child. If you’d ever bought commercially dehydrated eggs, you would know that even those are only to be used in baking–they taste **horrible** and have terrible texture if you attempt to make scrambled eggs, omelets, or any other dish with still-recognizable egg in it. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who ever made the mistake of taking powdered eggs on a camping trip, LOL.

    The ready-to-rehydrate-and-eat precooked scrambled eggs sold for food storage and backpacking by Mountain House and others are freeze-dried, not dehydrated, after cooking. They are edible, but I think only so-so in flavor (which is probably why they’re always sold gussied up with some added freeze-dried bacon, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and/or cheese). Freeze-drying, unlike dehydration, maintains the original size and internal structure of what is dried. Rehydrated freeze-dried will taste and look just like the same item frozen and then thawed. However, there are also issues with freezing eggs and then using them for cooking–yolks usually have to be stabilized with massive infusions of either sugar or salt before freezing to maintain their cooking characteristics.

    The only successful, delicious storage egg product in the world that I have ever found is Ova Easy egg crystals–which are pasteurized and freeze-dried, presumably using some variation on the technique described in the article linked below, although they do also say they remove the glucose for better shelf stability, so probably that freezing technique plus some additional manipulation before crystallizing and then flash freezing and freeze drying.

    Unless/until you can buy a home freeze dryer, stick to pickling your eggs or keeping them at 50 degrees or lower with one of the standard shell-sealing preservation techniques (oil, waterglass, etc.)

    Here is that article on freeze-drying eggs, which will give you some idea of the issues involved in successfully drying eggs for storage.

    “Preserving functional properties of hen’s egg yolk during freeze-drying”

    http://fs.unb.br/nutricao/laboratorios/tecdie/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Preserving-functional-properties-of-hens-egg-yolk-during-freezedrying.pdf