Is there any food more versatile than the humble chicken egg? It can be boiled, baked, scrambled, fried, poached or eaten raw! It is fantastic at binding other ingredients together and can be used to compliment or accompany other dishes. Recently, however, I discovered a new twist on an old favorite for enjoying this delicious super food; the Smoked Deviled Egg.
Deviled eggs have long been a favorite at cookouts and other family gatherings, but one my wife couldn’t enjoy as she doesn’t care for the taste of the yolk, even mixed with various condiments and vinegars to produce the typical deviled egg flavor. Then along came a smoker, a recipe, and an idea …. follow along as we transform the modest egg into an amalgamation of spices, smoke and bacon to produce a treat that I must hide from her else the rest of the family goes without! They are that good!
Step 1: The Goods
Eggs – 12 large
Bacon – 8 slices (traditional or thick cut, I prefer thick) cooked crispy
Mayonnaise – 1/3 cup
Jalapeno Mustard* – 2 tablespoons
Your Favorite Dry Rub – 2-3 teaspoons (2 if the rub is salty, 3 if it isn’t)
Cold smoke generator
Smoking vessel (smoker or cardboard box)
Quart size zip top bag or food processor (really, those are interchangeable?)
What we get:
24 of the best darn Smoked Devil Eggs you will ever taste!
Step 2: The Boil
This recipe calls for the eggs to be hard boiled prior to smoking them, which I find to be the correct sequence. Some will tell you to smoke them in the shell with heat, but I find the smoke flavor lacking and the eggs are incredibly hard to peel once done.
As there are as many different opinions on how to properly boil an egg as there are people who boils eggs, I will leave the method up to you but will let you know I do mine in an Instant Pot for 6 minutes and they are perfect, every time.
Cool and peel the eggs and set them aside to dry a bit on the outside. This is because the thin blue wisps of smoke will cling to a dry egg better than a wet one, and that is what we are after.
Step 3: The Smoke
Here is where we will stray from traditional BBQ, in that we don’t want to use any heat in the process of applying smoke to our eggs, since they are already cooked. Instead, we will use a cold smoke generator. While the cold smoke generator does generate a small amount of heat, it is not usually enough to affect the temperature of the food.
There are many commercial models available for generating the smoke; personally I use the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker since I cold smoke a lot of cheese, nuts, salt, fish, and now eggs, but they are a bit on the expensive side if you only do this type of smoking occasionally.
Here is where you get a bonus Instructable inside of an Instructable!!! I will show you how to create a cold smoke generator and smoking chamber for just a few dollars using a kitchen strainer and a cardboard box.
Stop by your local department/grocery store and pick up a 6” (15cm) mesh kitchen strainer for around $3 US. Then you just push the bottom of the strainer up through the middle to form a donut with the mesh which will allow air to flow all around your smoking pellets. You can place this right on concrete while in use; just don’t place it on anything combustible. If you don’t have concrete available, you can use a patio block to elevate it, or place it on an empty #10 food can with vent holes in the bottom.
Fill about 4” (10cm) of the donut with hardwood smoking pellets and grab a propane torch. The pellets will smoke at a rate of about 2” (5cm) per hour so this will be approximately 2 hours of smoke.
Light the torch and apply it to one end of the pellets. Here is an important step – keep the flame on the pellets for 45 seconds! After this, let the flame burn for 10 minutes to establish a good bed of coals from the pellets.
Step 4: The Smoker
As with the smoke generator, there are many commercial smoker options available but we are going to go stick with the inexpensive and effective for those who may not want or need a full time smoker. If you already have a smoker, feel free to use it!
Find a cardboard box that is wide and long enough to fit your wire rack in and tall enough to get the rack at least 6” (15cm) above the top of the generator. The bigger the better since you want a nice air/smoke mix to bathe your eggs with deliciousness.
Open the flaps on the bottom and top of the box. At this point you will need two of something to act as a shelf for the rack. This can be a cut up wire coat hanger, metal rod, or in my case a ¼” (1cm) wooden dowel. Poke two holes in both sides of the box (at the same level) and run the dowel across to form a shelf the size of your wire rack. Try to position these holes so your rack will not be right above where you will put the generator; you want the smoke to circulate around the eggs, not directly pour on to them.
Now you can cut some vent holes in the bottom of the box to allow air in and a chimney hole in the top flap to allow smoke out. The smoke generator needs good airflow to stay smoldering for two hours.
Step 5: Get Your Smoke On
If your smoke generator is still burning, gently blow out the flame to get the pellets smoldering. Place the box on top of the generator, bottom flaps out, then place your rack of eggs on the shelf and close over the top flaps, making sure the chimney hole is unobstructed.
If there is not enough wind blowing to create a good draft to keep the pellets smoldering, position a fan to blow air over the top of the chimney and create an artificial draft. Don’t blow the air into the bottom holes, all you will do is cause the pellets to catch fire again, which means too much heat and no smoke, and blow ash all over the place!
Wait 2 hours or until your pellets burn through and remove the eggs from the chamber.
Step 6: Mash It Up
Start by taking 5 strips of the crispy bacon and dicing them up very fine. Place the bits in a food processor or zip top bag. Now slice the eggs lengthwise to remove the yolks and have them join the diced bacon. Add the mayonnaise, jalapeno mustard and dry rub. Close up the bag; smash and work the mixture until all the ingredients are incorporated and smooth. Be careful during this step, the bag has a tendency to open up and lose it's contents if the mash up is too vigorous! Taste and adjust quantities to your liking.
Snip off a small corner of the bag, no bigger than 1/4" (1cm), or add the mixture to a bag and snip if you used the food processor, and proceed to pipe the mixture into the egg whites. Tear off a piece of the remaining bacon and garnish the top of each egg with it.
Pig out forever!
Step 7: To Go Box
Hopefully you have recovered from your friends and family trampling you to get at these morsels of smoky goodness. Now that you have the basics of cold smoking down, use it to enhance the flavors of all kinds of things.
In a typical year I will cold smoke 40lbs (18kg) of cheese (in the fall when the temps are not high enough to melt the cheese), 6lb (2.7kg) of nuts, usually almonds, 2 lbs (1kg) of sea salt and 10 lbs (4.5kg) of fish. Much of it ends up as gifts or additions to potlucks and of course there is just plain old snacking.
I hope you have enjoyed this Instructable and will post some pictures of your finished eggs for all of us to enjoy! As always, questions and comments are welcome. I have learned more about my past projects from the questions than I ever did making them!!