Review: OvaEasy egg crystals are a tastier alternative to powdered eggs
Since starting here at The Prepared, I’ve become something of a powered-egg connoisseur. Eggs were hard to come back last spring, so I tried some powdered eggs from American Family Supply. Those were gross, so I tried again with the Augason Farms scrambled eggs. Those were… somewhat less gross. I then taste-tested most of the major powdered egg brands for the guide to #10 food stores.
The better powdered eggs are okay for baking, but are borderline inedible on their own, with a strange, chemical-cardboard off-taste. The scrambled egg mixes add more powdered ingredients to mask the flavor but end up just making it worse in my opinion.
By far the best “powdered” eggs I’ve tried have been the OvaEasy egg crystals.
What makes OvaEasy crystals different
The process of turning eggs into powder is kind of wild. First, the eggs are liquified, and then they’re shot out of spray nozzles, like a giant Super Soaker, into a drying tower. A stream of hot air is blown through the tower, and as the tiny droplets of egg hit the stream, they’re turned to powder.
The spray-drying process, which has been around since the 1930s, is an effective way to make a mostly-safe product with a much-longer shelf life than fresh eggs. But it has its share of downsides. The most obvious is flavor. The taste of even the best powdered eggs can be generously described as severely overcooked (but not burned) eggs. I’m guessing that’s because they were cooked as they were dried before being cooked again.
Another thing that’s terrible about powdered eggs is the consistency. Scrambled eggs are usually best a bit undercooked, but that’s not the case with powdered eggs. Undercook them and you’ll end up with powder mush. They must be cooked through thoroughly.
After reading my dried egg diatribes, the folks at OvaEasy sent me some samples of both the plain egg crystals and their Egg in a Cup product. I immediately gravitated toward the Egg in a Cup, which comes in three flavors:
- Sea Salt & Pepper
- Mediterranean Fritatta
They’re easy to cook: add a half cup of water, stir, and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir up the cooked eggs and cook them longer if needed.
In their dry form, the crystallized eggs look pretty similar to any powdered egg, but upon closer inspection, they resemble sugar granules: coarse and ever so glittery. Nutritiom, the company behind OvaEasy, is somewhat cagey about their drying process, but they offer a basic overview.
The key difference between traditional spray-drying and the OvaEasy process is temperature. While spray-drying exposes the eggs to temperatures up to 390ºF (199ºC), OvaEasy eggs are processed at a much lower temperature, under 134ºF (57ºC), and then freeze-dried.
The result is powdered eggs that taste and behave more like real eggs. You can undercook them a little bit and they won’t be powder mush. As far as the flavor, it still doesn’t come close to a fresh egg, but it’s leagues above typical powdered eggs.
Like powdered eggs, the OvaEasy eggs benefit greatly from some flavor masking. But while powdered eggs can be made only sort-of edible, the OvaEasy eggs can be pretty good with some additions.
The Sausage flavor should really be called “sage,” since these cups are entirely vegetarian, but it’s probably still my favorite flavor. The Mediterranean Frittata flavor is also pretty good. It includes freeze-dried spinach and tomato, which is surprisingly good. I didn’t care as much for the Sea Salt & Pepper, which doesn’t do much to mask the slightly off-flavor of the OvaEasy eggs.
The downside: cost
The OvaEasy eggs have a big downside to powdered eggs: they’re expensive. Each Egg in a Cup costs $3, though a case of them costs about $28. That’s reasonable for what they are, but if you’re looking at them for your food storage, a whole #10 can costs over $120, about double the price of Ready Hour whole egg powder.
A much cheaper option is the Ova Easy Eggs from Rainy Day Foods, which cost $72 for a #10 can. In our #10 can comparisons, the Ova Easy was by far the best powdered egg. Right now, the best non-crystallized whole egg powder from Ready Hour costs $55. I think the extra $17 or so is well worth it for the better flavor.
I was confused that Rainy Day Foods was selling OvaEasy eggs, so I asked Nutritiom to clarify. Yes, that is indeed Nutriom’s OvaEasy eggs, just sold as a private label through Rainy Day foods. Same product, only much cheaper.
Like powdered eggs, you can use the OvaEasy crystals in baking. I haven’t tried this yet, but I imagine that the results would also be much better than egg powder.
Rainy Day Foods says that in optimal storage conditions (a cool, dry, dark place), a sealed can will last for 10 years. Once opened, the crystallized eggs will last about one year.
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