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Can you freeze dry eggs?
Eggs are an essential staple that most food storages need and try to have. I’ve found multiple reasons to keep freeze dried eggs in my pantry every day and this is without having any real reason to stock up.
If you asked me how many eggs I have on my counter right now? I’d have to be honest and say 17 dozen. Yep. You read that right. SEVENTEEN DOZEN.
I have 6 kids – 5 of which are boys and they are hungry eaters. We eat eggs in the things we bake, in breakfast dishes with hashbrowns, lunches, dinners, and even snacks (my kids are obsessed with hard boiled eggs and all the things you can make with them).
Unfortunately, I can’t freeze dry hard boiled eggs… wait, I haven’t tried that yet. I’ll let you know how they turn out (I’m adding them to my list of items I want to try as we speak!).
What I KNOW I can freeze dry and what I stock up on every week is raw egg powder.
Check Out My Video Here On How To Freeze Dry Eggs
Scroll to the bottom on how to reconstitute them!
Here’s why I stock up.
- Egg prices are transient. Some weeks I can get 5 dozen for $3.27 and some weeks they’re priced at $8.97. I’m not going to lie. On those weeks I’ve been known to ask if the eggs come from golden chickens. The weeks where eggs are under $5 for 5 dozen, I buy 4 boxes. This is because we go through 5 to 7 dozen on a light week.
- When I was going through my food storage needs, I realized I had hashbrowns, meat, peppers, flour, sweeteners, candy, ice cream, fajitas, and pizza – and more! but for the things I needed to put together like cakes, scrambled eggs, omelettes, bread, and casseroles I was going to need the binding power of eggs. Raw eggs. Not those rubbery pre-cooked scrambled eggs, either. I was going to need raw eggs.
- Reconstituting freeze dried egg powder is easy. The ratio of water to powder is simple to remember – 1:1. For whatever amount of egg powder you mix in a bowl you’ll add the same amount of water. One tablespoon of each. One cup of each. Nothing is easier than that!
- Super light. When you package the freeze dried eggs in Mylar, it doesn’t get any lighter! Well, unless it’s an empty bag, but that’s just weird.
***I use the medium freeze dryer from Harvest Right, so these measurements are specific to those trays. You’ll need to make adjustments according to your own freeze dryer tray sizes and what you’re comfortable doing.
In my stainless steel trays that come with the freeze dryer or that I can buy extra, I can fit just over 4 cups of scrambled eggs. The measuring cup in the picture is 2 cups. I fill it twice. If you have the small version of the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer or the large version, your trays will hold a different amount since I have the medium size. You’ll want to measure and test.
Do NOT leave your eggs whole to freeze dry them.
They need to be mixed. The fat in the yolks when left intact makes it almost impossible for the freeze drying process to complete. When you mix them into a scrambled mixture, you’re releasing the fats and letting them become easier to lyophilize. It’s a word. I promise.
The process for doing eggs is a little more engaged than just throwing things on a tray and tossing them in the freeze dryer.
Let’s get the eggs ready!
You don’t want to slop eggs all over the place. So putting them on the tray and then putting them in the freeze dryer straight away will not work. I don’t care how steady your hands are. Sliding your tray into the shelves is not always steady either. Sometimes you hit the lips in the back and have to adjust the trays to get them in. That’s more movement you’re putting on liquid eggs.
If you do any of that with a raw egg mixture that hasn’t been prefrozen, you’re asking for a mess. Trust me. It isn’t pretty.
Find a Flat Space in your freezer (BEFORE freeze drying)
So, the best way to do it is to find a flat space in your freezer. I have two upright freezers full of food (I’m working on emptying them!) and there’s no room on those shelves. The bottom pull out freezer of my fridge inside the house has drawers and they’re obviously full. I have a family to feed, people! Full freezers are a necessity.
So, when left to my own resources, I found out that one of my trays will fit underneath the drawer in my bottom freezer. Crazy, right? But let’s be honest, when you need space and you can’t compromise and you don’t have room for anything else anywhere, you do what you gotta do.
This is the space in my freezer I’m talking about. You can see where my stuff is piled in the top shelf and the pull-out drawer. Is that broccoli? I’m going to freeze dry it!
I sat the tray inside on the bottom and made sure it’s centered.
The lighting isn’t good and this is with a flash and a ton of lights glowing in there. One of the drawbacks of a pull out freezer.
Putting eggs in the freezer NOT the freeze dryer
Once that’s in place and I’ve mixed the eggs really well in the measuring cup, I squeezed the full cup into the small space and poured the egg mixture into the tray. Then I refilled the cup and did it again. The eggs settled into the tray and I slowly closed the drawer.
Obviously, I prayed the whole time that the drawer wasn’t going to knock the tray over. Can you imagine if eggs spilled all over the place? Shudder. That’s a mess, I’m just not interested in dealing with.
Here it is waiting for me to close the drawer.
Pull out of the freezer
Once I opened the drawer three hours later, I was able to pull out the tray without worrying it was going to spill everywhere. If you’re not sure if that’s long enough, then leave it in as long as you need to. I’ve gone overnight before. You do what you gotta do.
I can then freely store the frozen trays anywhere I want, stacked up or otherwise, in the other freezers while I do the next tray.
I would only do eggs if I had another load already in the freeze dryer so I’m not wasting time doing the trays of eggs.
That glossy dark coloring is evidence that they’re still wet, but frozen. I like how you can kind of see the egg shapes in there. Once they’re all ready, I put them onto the shelves in the freeze dryer.
How do I freeze dry raw eggs?
Many people think it’s next to impossible to do the freeze drying for themselves. This is far from factual. Freeze drying at home is made easy by Harvest Right. They sell three different sizes of freeze-drying machines that do everything in the machine – except prep and package.
That’s up to you.
For all intents and purposes, here at Freeze Drying Mama we use the medium sized freeze dryer. You can check out the sizes offered at Harvest Right here.
What this machine does is first freeze the items on stainless steel trays to -41 degrees or lower. This takes about 10 hours or so.
Then a vacuum pump turns on and creates a vacuum inside the drum. This is the drying stage and will vacillate the heat of the tray up and down to a pretty warm temperature. This makes the frozen items release any water in them in vapor form. The vacuum sucks the moisture to the drum and this collects in ice form on the inner circle of the drum.
Then there’s the final dry which is essentially the same thing, but with a time associated with it as it gets closer to being finished.
Here’s my time-saving trick with raw eggs.
On the machine there are settings that you select to run a load.
For eggs, I don’t press pre-frozen when the option comes up. I select not frozen, but I definitely select the liquid option. These eggs were dangerously liquid when they were unfrozen.
The reason this saves time is because the pre-frozen setting demands 30 minutes of pre-freezing. I’m not the biggest fan of waiting for anything. I figure eggs frozen solid aren’t going to thaw in the 30 minutes it will take during a normal session to freeze. Your choice how you go forward, though. Harvest Right recommends pre-freezing and I’m not one to tell others to buck the rules. I do that on my own.
I do roughly two dozen large eggs on each tray, because that’s about four and a half cups. The eggs take approximately 28 hours to go through the freeze drying process in the freeze dryer. This DOES NOT include the time in your freezer.
You’ll have a lot of ice on the drum because of the crazy amount of liquid.
The tray looks like it’s covered in a large softer-yellow wafer when you pull it out.
Cracking is okay, because it shows you that the eggs are finished.
Press your hand along the top of the eggs and feel for any cool spots before you pull it out of the freezer dryer. This will tell you if it’s finished the freeze drying process or not. You can also run your hand along the bottom of the pan to feel for the same thing. Any cold spots or even spots where you’re not sure means you need to keep the drying process going.
To continue your batch, you would put everything back in (trays and the cover), close the door, close the drain valve, and then press MORE DRYING TIME on the screen of your freeze dryer. It will give you an hour to let the vacuum pump cool and then it will start up a default of two more hours to dry. You can add or subtract time as you see fit on that screen.
I used these metal spatulas to cut them out. Cutting down, I created a cut out line and then lifted up the large chunks of freeze dried eggs and put them into a Mylar.
As I added more and more, I crunched the wafers into powder which makes more room in the bags. I generally put half a tray’s worth into a quart Mylar bag.
You can see I didn’t put a liner in these trays. It’s a liquid and can just go under the liner which would make things difficult when you’re trying to bag them.
Reconstitution takes a ratio of 1:1 for egg powder and water. Some people use 1:2 ratio. It really just comes down to the texture you want.
When I put the powder in the Mylar bags, I use a simple 300 cc oxygen absorber that comes with the Mylar bags I order.
Have you tried freeze dried eggs? What did you think?