Unrefrigerated eggs are a cruising staple. If eggs have never been refrigerated, they will stay good for a month or longer without refrigeration, regardless of what the FDA says. The only problem with this is that in much of the US (and perhaps other areas), it is impossible to buy eggs that have not been refrigerated.
If you have refrigeration and enough space for eggs for the time before reprovisioning, sure, you can use refrigerated eggs. But the rest of us end up eying powdered eggs . . . and wonder if we can stomach them.
My first experience with powdered eggs came when I was in Scouts and we did a week-long canoe trip. Our scrambled egg breakfast was less than inspiring — but we were hungry and ate it anyway. And when Dave and I began cruising, I bought a package of powdered eggs as backup. They “worked” in baking, but again I wasn’t thrilled with the results.
Guess what? You can now get REALLY GOOD powdered eggs — or actually, they are crystallized eggs. Thanks to reader Sue McDaniel on s/v Happy Dance, currently in Mexico, having come from Alaska (see their blog) for telling me about these. The brand is OvaEasy and you simply mix the powder with water and you can use it immediately just as you would a whole egg (you can also get it as whites-only). About the only thing you can’t do with it is have a fried egg or boiled egg!
Said Sue, “. . . an awesome product that a fellow cruiser introduced us to. It’s a crystallized egg and is amazing! The eggs come in powdered form, you just add water, and the shelf life is very long. And they taste and cook just like real eggs. Anyway, I thought you might like to give them a try. We love having them onboard as it certainly makes carrying eggs on long passages MUCH easier!”
And it’s not just Sue and I that think they taste just like real eggs — the reviews on Amazon are almost all raves. They work well in baking and taste great even for omelets and scrambled eggs.
You can get them in pouches that contain the equivalent of a dozen eggs, in large pouches with just over 6 dozen eggs and in large cans sold in 2-packs for a total of 12 dozen eggs. In the typical humidity of a boat, I recommend putting even unopened pouches into at least a Ziploc bag or, better yet, a Lock & Lock-type airtight plastic container. These don’t seem to absorb moisture quickly but my experience is that anything packed in foil pouches does pick up some moisture over time.
Okay, these aren’t cheap, costing over 50¢ an egg. You can get cheaper powdered eggs — but you’re probably not going to want to eat them. And they have a number of advantages:
- Need no refrigeration, even after the package is opened.
- Can make up the exact number of eggs you need at a time.
- Compact — even if you are somewhere that you can get never-refrigerated eggs, you might prefer these on long passages just because they take so much less space.
- Long shelf life — two years or more.
- No broken eggs!
You can get OvaEasy from Amazon US (as I’m writing this, Amazon Canada and Amazon UK are both extremely expensive; you’d be better off to buy from the US and pay for international shipping but that can change so check for yourself) and on the company site (no international shipping). As far as I know, they’re only sold online.