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jmellis
11-17-2004, 09:09 AM
Hey Folks,
Here are some simplified instructions for dehydrating raw eggs for use on the trail. They work great for scrambled eggs or omlettes in the morning. They can also be used in cakes and bread mixes and maybe even a quiche?

Get out your dehydrator and some of the "fruit roll" sheets. These are the ones for drying liquids. 3 or 4 trays should do a dozen eggs.

Crack your eggs in a bowl and beat or wisk them till they're pretty foamy. The more air you whip into them the faster they dry.

Put the racks on the dehydrator one at a time and pour on a layer of eggs. This is easier than trying to fill them all and then move the trays.

Dry them on the higher setting like you would meat. In a couple of hours they will look like a mudpuddle that's drying up. They'll get dry and crack around the edges and get lighter in color.

I usually just let them go overight. I don't think you can overdry them. By morning they should be uniformly dry and crumbly across the tray. If you have a hard time getting some of the thick parts to finish drying you can break them up on the tray a bit with a spatula to allow the warm air to get to all sides.

Once they're done drying it's a little tricky to get them off the trays without making a mess. I usually get a very large mixing bowl or large salad bowl as big as the trays. Lift the sheet out of the tray and curl it a bit to break the eggs loose. If they're totally dry they scrape off the trays and into the bowl without much effort.

The weight is reduced by about a factor of ten (20oz of wet eggs makes 2 oz egg powder). I use a vacuum sealer to repackage them in lots of 2 or 4 eggs worth of powder to use for quick breakfasts.

To Use: put the granules in a bowl and use the corresponding amount of warm water (not hot or you'll end up with lumpy, crunchy poached eggs). Stir them up a bit and then let them sit for 5 or 10 minutes to reconstitute. Presto, instant eggs.

I like to dry some green pepper, onions, and tomatoes on another rack at the same time and mix up some "instant western omlettes". Just bring along some ham and cheese and you're all set.

I don't know what the shelf life really is. I usually only do a dozen or two at a time and store them in the fridge just in case. I've kept them around for months this way and then used them with no ill effects. I wouldn't suggest using them to make instant egg nog but that could be just fine. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

I got most of these ideas from "The Lightweight Gourmet" by Alan S. Kesselheim. It's got lots of good iteas for drying all kinds of food. I dried a batch of pizza sauce last summer for a weeklong canoe trip in Canada. The cheese and pepperoni travel fine and I brought premade crusts. Pizza for dinner when you're 40 miles from the nearest road was incredible.

rambler_wannabe
11-17-2004, 10:01 AM
THANKS.

Do you then grind it up into a powder or do you leave it in chunks?

BTW, the high setting on the dehydrater should be hot enough to take care of salmenela [sp] or other nasties just like for jerky. And the shelf life should be near forever because there is no fat, water, or air to cause spoilage.

jmellis
11-17-2004, 12:01 PM
You can run the finished "granules" through a blender or food processor sort of like making bread crumbs. Most chunks you can just break up with a fork or whisk if the machine is too much work. The finer the powder the quicker it will reconstitute. Just like anything else I would try this at home before you take it in the field. Scramble a few and get some family or friends to do a taste test against fresh eggs.

Ed C
11-17-2004, 03:44 PM
jmellis
Thanks thats some good info. How much water do you use to reconsitute say 2 eggs or 4 eggs. I think you started to tell us but it slipped by you or I missed it.
Ed

Marc Taylor
11-17-2004, 10:42 PM
Flash - Egg yolks contain fat.
Egg whites are nearly entirely made of protein, which is more sensitive to contamination than fats.
The environment in which you dehydrate will make all the difference, as contamination is introduced out of the shell - within certain time contstraints.

Very deep subject for such shallow experimentation.

No disrespect intended, just not all elements that may corrupt the product are covered.

Marc Taylor

rambler_wannabe
11-18-2004, 04:37 AM
point taken.

I knew yolk had fat, that was a complete mental lapse on my part.

My intention was to say that the shelf life should be similar to jerky, second mental lapse.