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Monday, August 20, 2007 

By Popular Demand: How to smoke eggs

I've gotten quite a few inquiries about smoking eggs of late, so I thought I'd take a quick moment and fill everyone in on how I do them. Frankly, it's stupidly easy.

One of my unwritten policies of barbecue is to try and make the most of my fire. For example, if I'm cooking a couple pork shoulders on my BWS (which takes 12-15 hours), I'll have a number of empty shelves. To me, empty shelves mean wasted smoke and heat, so whenever possible, I throw something else in the smoker. That's where the eggs are a great thing.

Here's my method:

Take one dozen eggs from the fridge. Put them onto one rack in smoker. Close door. Ignore for at least two hours. Yes, that's it. They go into the smoker uncooked and in their shell. Egg shells are permeable enough to allow the smoke to get into the meat of the egg.

The real key is to keep the temperature steady and avoid spikes. I smoke my meats at 225-235 degrees and that range seems to work really well for the eggs. If I let the temp spike (say to 250 degrees), it can result in an egg that bursts its shell, which is a bit of a pain because it rains shell fragments down on whatever is on the shelves below.

One thing that I've never gaged is exactly how long the eggs should stay on to make the perfect smoked egg. I tend to just leave them in the pit until they look pretty. Sometimes that technique can leave them a bit over-cooked (think hardboiled eggs that have been boiled too long). I figure two hours is about the minimum if you use my temperature range.

One method I have yet to try is to cook them until they're solid, crack the shells and them put them back in. Rumor has it that this'll give you even more smoke flavor.

Like I said, this is really easy. Just keep your temperature low and the eggs away from a direct fire. Good luck, and enjoy!

Chris

Your smoked eggs recipe was featured on Chicken Flicker's One a Day feature where we present a chicken related item each day.

Looking forward to trying the eggs.

http://chickenflicker.com/1aday/

-hen

I tried the eggs. Set the smoker at 230 degrees for 2 hours. Eggs in the shell. They were done perfectly. I could see the smoke color all the way through the whites. The only problem was - I couldn't taste the smoke. I might try soft boiling, cracking, marinating before smoking next time.

Estella,

I think the key is this - smoke them longer and use more wood or wood chips. The reality is that I'm probably over-smoking them, but that's the best way to ensure that they taste really smokey.

My dad and I have been smoking eggs for several years. After a lot of trial and error, this is how I do it and everyone seems to love them.

I use a Little Chief electric smoker and this method would be considered cold smoking. I'm sure the principles can be applied in many ways, though.

You also need a large box... large enough to cover the smoker and allow a decent amount of clearance. Vent the box in two or three places on the top. I cut a small spot on one side to run the smoker’s power cord through as well.

1. Boil, peel, and rinse the eggs.

2. Place eggs in wire container(s) (makes it easier to transport, but putting them directly on the rack would be fine as well).

3. Put eggs into smoker (make sure they are separated).

4. Place tray full (almost heaping) of wood chips onto heating element. I use hickory shreds (not chips), but I’m sure other types of wood would be fine as well.

5. Place a pie-plate half filled with water on the lowest shelf. This adds moisture to the mix and helps to keep the eggs soft.

6. Leave the door off of the smoker and place the box over the smoker so that the back of the smoker is 1-2 inches from the box (not sure, but I assume if it touches it might be a fire hazard). I do this to minimize the heat delivered to the eggs, while containing the smoke. I found that using the door on the smoker made the eggs rubbery due to the heat.

7. Smoke eggs till wood shreds are consumed (with my smoker, it takes 40 to 50 minutes). I generally wait till I see no smoke coming from the vents in the box. For me and my family, this is enough smoke flavor… if you like more, refill and replace the smoking wood and smoke further to taste.

8. Remove the box and the eggs. They should be a nice golden color.

9. Cut each egg in half and remove the yolks into bowl. I place the emptied whites into an egg tray.

10. Use a potato masher to mush yolks into a fine paste (so much easier than a fork).

11. Pour mashed yolks into a large freezer bag.

12. For each dozen yolks, add to bag: 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (I use tobacco because it’s not that hot. Unless you know for sure, don’t over do it).

13. Use hands to mash and mix ingredients. Push the air out first before sealing and push contents down with fingers multiple times to mix properly. Taste with clean spoon and add ingredients to taste/texture.

14. Push contents toward bottom corner of bag. Cut bottom corner of bag with scissors to create small hole.

15. Use hands to push contents toward hole in bag and use it like a pastry bag to push contents into empty egg halves. Use a pushing motion to fluff filling till egg hollow is full and slightly overflowing.

16. Fill under filled eggs with remaining filling (or just eat it).

17. Sprinkle eggs with paprika when done and refrigerate till served.

Do any of you use a brine first?

I'm really picky about the texture of my food. Silly I know, but I'm just that way. In my opinion it's best to smoke the egg in the shell from the raw form for 2 hours at about 225F. I have a Traeger smoker and it makes the best smoked anything. Anyhow, I find that cooking the eggs, pealing them and then smoking them makes them rubbery. If I smoke them in the shell I get the great smokey flavor and the eggs seem to be cooked perfectly at the 2 hour mark. No grey yolk like it's overcooked. If you have the option smoke them with Apple wood pellets. It gives the eggs a nice smokey bacon flavor.

Soak the raw eggs in Apple cider vinegar until the egg she'll turns soft...This will let more smoke flavor through the egg she'll and when done the shell will harden back up. I do mine at 200 degrees until the first one cracks then they're done...next I'm gonna try to smoke them soaked in acv until it eats the shell completely and just leaves the membrane as the vinegar shouldn't eat through that, leaving you an egg that doesn't even need peeled!

Any recommendations on peeling the eggshells after smoking them. Ours taste delicious but we are losing a lot of the white.

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