Why You Should Consider Baking With Dried Egg Whites

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Eggs whites are an important ingredient in your culinary arsenal, but their dried version may be superior to fresh egg whites in many ways. Exploratorium goes on to extol the virtues of egg whites, noting they are mainly comprised of water, a little protein, and without the cholesterol and fat concerns that keep us talking about yolks. 

These babies are the primary ingredient when whipping up meringue for a lemon meringue pie and a go-to for omelet lovers watching their waistlines. We use egg whites in cocktails or in a homemade classic white cake to create a feathery light texture. Egg whites are in a word: egg-cellent. However, when using fresh egg whites, there is a high potential for waste, as well as safety issues. 

First, when you separate the yolk from the white, you either end up freezing the yolks for future use and forget about them or you wind up tossing them out. Neither option is optimal. But that's not the only aspect that might cause concern. When working with egg whites, South Dakota University Extension explains for the safety of your food, you want to make certain the egg whites are fully cooked, which might not always be in your recipe's best interest. That's why when a recipe calls for this ingredient, you may want to reach for dried egg whites instead.

Powdered egg whites are safer

What exactly are dried egg whites? The USDA explains dried or powdered egg whites are exactly what you think: a powdery white substance, which is pasteurized egg whites that have been dehydrated and can be revived with a little water when you are ready to use them. Better Homes & Gardens touts the fact that because dried egg whites are pasteurized, they don't need to be thoroughly cooked before serving as fresh egg whites do. South Dakota University Extension concurs, noting dried egg whites are a better option for recipes like royal icing and Italian meringue.

Additionally, powdered dried egg whites are convenient because they are considered "nonperishable" and aren't going to go bad any time soon. As a matter of fact, when stored properly, dried egg whites have a shelf life of 5 to 10 years, per "Role of Materials Science in Food Bioengineering" (via Science Direct). And on top of that, you do not need to wait for the eggs hit the recommended room temperature of between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit before you start baking, per Food Network. Dried egg whites can be found at just about any grocery store in the baking aisle or online.