You know how when you get eggs, you have to crack them open first? Did you know you can actually get liquid whole eggs? Like, the eggs came already cracked, open and ready for use. Sometimes liquid eggs are in a juice box. Now that’s some pretty awesome stuff.
What are Liquid Eggs? Let’s find out!
The first and most obvious point to note here is that the eggs are in a state of fluid consistency. Liquid, as the name states. They are just like your average, shell-covered eggs, but the difference between these and the eggs in a carton is that the liquid eggs have been pasteurized, homogenized and packed in a juice box. They don’t have a shell and are sold in a pack. If you look closely the next time you go grocery shopping, I’m sure you’ll spot them right there in the dairy aisle.
Pasteurization is a process where the eggs have been heated to a temperature high enough to kill microorganisms, but not so hot as to cook liquid eggs. The eggs are also cooled rapidly. Pasteurization helps to remove Salmonella and other infectious bacteria that can be found in the company of eggs. So, this process makes pasteurized liquid eggs germ-free and extra safe. The eggs are pasteurized according to U. S. Department of Agriculture’s rules.
How does the egg become liquid?
Before the eggs become liquid, they are just regular eggs. Usually, a factory takes care of the liquidation process with heavy machinery, so I’m just going to give you a rundown of the basic process:
First off, when the eggs arrive at the factory, they are properly washed and screened. A machine screens the eggs for dirt, cracks and other abnormalities. The cracked eggs are removed and converted into feed for chickens.
Then, the whole eggs are transported to another machine where they are cracked. The contents are poured into a sieve-like cup. If you didn’t know, an egg has two parts—the albumen, or white, and the yolk, or yellow. The yolk remains in the cup of the sieve and the white drains out. This way, the yolks and the whites are separated.
Now they are put in the pasteurizer.
The yolks and egg-whites are pasteurized separately for reasons I’m not sure, but probably something to do with temperature. The yolks are pasteurized at ranging temperatures between 138-142°F (59-61°C) for about two and a half minutes. The egg whites are pasteurized at 132°F.
If the aim is to make liquid whole eggs, food handlers will then blend together in equalized portions the pasteurized yolk and white. It’s important for the amount of yolk that would originally be found in an egg to be measured and added to the right portion of liquid egg white.
The only way we can label this product as ‘whole eggs’ is by getting the proportions right. If not, the ingredients section will instead state that the product contains egg whites and egg yolks. If the factory wishes to make liquid egg whites instead, they can then use the available egg white.
Temperature is a key point to note about pasteurization. It is important that the eggs are at room temperature before pasteurization begins. Bacteria dies at a particular temperature, but if the eggs are cold, the bacteria will remain present when that temperature is achieved.
I know some people are DIY freaks and would love to make their own liquid eggs, especially since reading that factory process can get a little boring. So I’m going to digress for a bit and talk about how to make your very own liquid eggs. Don’t worry, they’re really easy to make.
Liquid Eggs Ingredients
Normally, these are just liquid whole eggs produced in a similar way to what I described above. But sometimes, a company chooses to spice things up and add salt, syrup, or sugar.
What you’ll need:
- A liter bottle or any container of the same size (but a bottle is preferable so you can shake it)
- 500ml of water
- 160g of egg powder (you can use store-bought egg powder, but since we’re living the DIY life, I’ll show you how to make it)
Pour the water into the liter bottle. Add the egg powder little by little. In the intervals, cover the bottle and shake. Do this until you’ve converted the entire powder into liquid eggs.
If you prefer to make your own egg powder, you will need a food dehydrator (you can get a really cheap one from your local Walmart), eggs, and a ziploc bag or something similar to store the powdered eggs in. Please note that it must be airtight.
There are two ways to make your own powdered eggs—the wet-dry method and the cook-dry method. Let’s focus on the latter since it’s the one I used. You’ll need about a dozen eggs for this method.
Whisk a dozen eggs using a blender or electric whisk for an even smoother result. Pour the liquid into a non-stick skillet and cook it like you would cook scrambled eggs. Don’t season it or add anything, though. Just let it dry.
Place your cooked scrambled eggs onto the drying rack in your dehydrator and set the temperature to about 150°F. You can use a wooden spoon to scatter the eggs about.
Let these dry for a couple of hours until they’re thoroughly crisp. Some of the chunks are going to be pretty big so blend them up in a dry blender until everything turns to a fine powder. Bag it up and store it for future use.
Note: the wet-dry method gives the powder an orange color, while the cook-dry method gives it a yellow color. But regardless of which method you use, the egg mixture will turn yellow once you add water and convert it to liquid eggs, As an added advantage, powdered eggs have the longest shelf life when compared to liquid eggs and regular eggs. They can last up to 10 years!
Eggs are a super healthy choice, but there are some people who can’t tolerate eggs. This could be because of egg allergies, a vegan diet, or simply preference. Luckily, there are plenty of egg substitutes that taste just as great as actual eggs. You can use vinegar, applesauce (or pureed apples), mashed bananas, yogurt, whipped cream, or baking soda. The vinegar and baking soda come in handy if you are substituting eggs for baking.
Now all this is fascinating, but you’re probably wondering: why liquid eggs anyway? We already have regular eggs, and we already have juice in boxes. Why do we need eggs in a juice box? What is the difference between liquid eggs and regular eggs?
Liquid Eggs VS Real Eggs – Similarities and differences
There are many similarities and differences between real and liquid eggs, so let’s talk about what they are.
- Well…they’re both eggs. Notwithstanding the texture and consistency, liquid eggs are still eggs.
- When poured into a skillet, they both sizzle. They can both fry, and be food.
- They are both yellow. The liquid whole egg is yellow because it’s mixed with the yolk, and a regular egg, if whisked, is yellow as well.
- Both contain equal amounts of protein. In a regular egg there are 6 grams of protein, and you’ll find the same 6 grams in one serving of liquid eggs.
- Liquid eggs are made from regular farm eggs.
- The first difference is in the texture and consistency. Liquid whole eggs are liquid, and a regular, solid egg is a bit thicker.
- The next difference is in the packaging. Liquid eggs are usually contained in a pack similar to a juice box or in nylon bags packed in a carton (these are bigger). Regular eggs are protected by their shells—brown or white—and are packed in a crate or carton.
- To make regular eggs liquid, we can crack them open and whisk them. Of course, they are acceptable in all recipes requiring eggs, but this isn’t the case when it comes to liquid eggs. For example, liquid eggs can’t be hard-boiled, poached, or used to make scorched eggs.
So then, what’s the advantage one has over the other?
Liquid eggs have a longer shelf life. They can last up to 3 weeks. They are pasteurized to destroy Salmonella and other bacteria. This feature isn’t available with regular eggs. Liquid whole eggs are simple to use, consistent in measurement, safe, and are generally high-quality. Regular eggs differ in sizes, so measurements are a little tricky.
I know what you’re probably thinking—what about the nutritional factor? Liquid eggs nutrition values are virtually the same as with regular eggs. Regular eggs have 6 grams of protein in their albumen (white), as well as 5 grams of fat and 185 milligrams of cholesterol in the yolk.
Since liquid whole eggs are a blended mixture of the yolk and albumen, the same nutritional statistics stand for liquid whole eggs. But for liquid egg whites, there’s a difference. Liquid egg whites have about 5 grams of protein, no fat, and no cholesterol. It may seem these are the healthier option, but in reality, it varies by individual, as each person has their own nutritional needs. Eggs also contain about 25 milligrams of choline, which is very important in memory development, liver function, and other cell functions.
Which Egg is Right For Me?
As with anything in life, there are a few points to consider when making the decision between liquid eggs and regular eggs.
The first is family. How large is your family? What are the nutritional needs of individual members? Is anyone a diabetic patient? Is there a tendency for high blood pressure or hypertension? Are there children in the family? Each of the aforementioned cases needs special care when it comes to nutrition, so you must bear that in mind when shopping.
Next is the budget. Liquid eggs are generally more expensive than regular eggs. If you can’t afford to buy liquid eggs all the time, you could opt for regular eggs and save the liquid ones for those emergency situations.
And lastly, your recipe. What are you using the eggs for? Just regular breakfast scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon or to bake a cake? Does the recipe call for hard-boiled eggs? Obviously you can’t use liquid eggs if that’s the case. And this brings me to my next point. What exactly can a person use liquid eggs for? How and when do they substitute for regular eggs?
Liquid Eggs Uses
- Regular cooking. You can use liquid eggs to make scrambled eggs, stir-fried eggs, fried eggs, egg sandwiches, egg frittatas, and egg rice. Basically, you can use liquid eggs for almost any recipe. The only exception I can think of is in the case where the recipe calls for hard-boiled, poached or scorched eggs. Just be careful with the conversion. I’m talking about the weight of traditional eggs versus the weight of liquid eggs. The average weight of a large egg is 50 grams. You can measure out the same weight with a measuring scale or any substitute for the liquid egg.
- Bulk cooking. If you’re a professional caterer, it might become cumbersome to have to crack eggs every time you need it. So having liquid egg in store will be fantastic. Just measure out the weight of five or so of the regular eggs you normally use and divide by the number of eggs you weighed to get an average. Then measure out the same quantity for the liquid eggs.
Before I forget to mention it, liquid eggs need to be preserved in a special way. If kept in a refrigerator, keep the eggs at 40°F ( 4°C ) or below. If frozen, keep eggs at 0°F (-4°C) or below.
What Can You Make With Liquid Eggs?
I can’t stress this enough. You can make virtually all the same things you can make with regular eggs. You can make egg frittatas, scrambled eggs, omelets, or egg pizzas. They also work great for baking. Just compare the shell egg quantity you were using and convert it to the amount in liquid eggs and you’re good to go.
Liquid eggs are even good in ice cream, mayonnaise, and salad dressings. As an added bonus, I’m going to share with you my favorite egg recipe. You can try it with liquid eggs and I assure you the taste will be just as delicious. I call it ‘eggs ratatouille’.
Please note that this recipe is for two servings.
- ½ tablespoon of olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil or canola oil (pick your favorite)
- Medium-sized onion, thinly chopped or diced
- Red pepper (orange pepper is a good substitute), seeds removed and thinly sliced.
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped (you can reduce the quantity if you’re not a fan of garlic)
- ½ a tablespoon of chopped rosemary
- Diced eggplant (aubergine)
- 1 diced zucchini (courgette)
- 200 grams of chopped tomatoes
- ½ tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 100 grams of liquid eggs (the equivalent of 2 large eggs).
- Small handful of basil leaves.
- To make the ratatouille: Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, pepper, garlic and rosemary, and allow everything to cook for 5 minutes while stirring frequently until the onion has softened. Add the eggplant and zucchini, then cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, then a little water. Bring the pan to a boil, cover, then let it simmer for 40 minutes, uncovering after 20 minutes until the quantity has reduced and become pulpy.
- Stir the vinegar into the ratatouille, then make five small spaces for the eggs. Turn about 20 grams of liquid eggs into each hole. Cover, then cook for 2 to 5 minutes until the consistency sets as softly or firmly as you like.
- Scatter the basil over the ratatouille and serve with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.
And there’s everything you need to know to enjoy your liquid eggs. So next time you go shopping, be sure to pick up a pack and try them out. With a pack of these, you can be assured that you won’t crack a spoiled egg into your mixing bowl.