This article was updated June 2023.
The first time I tried smoked eggs, a friend brought them out at a backyard barbeque and the reaction from all of the guests (including myself) was overwhelmingly positive. My friend had only recently purchased a smoker and was experimenting by smoking all kinds of food. Smoked eggs are quite simply, delicious! I have since gone on to cook them several times myself and they are always a crowd pleaser. Preparing these eggs takes a few days, so this isn’t something you can whip up in an afternoon, but the end result is worth the wait.
Want to serve up finger food that’s a great conversation starter? Looking for a handy mess-free snack to pop in to your backpack while hiking? Smoked eggs are a versatile and healthy option that fit any occasion.
How to make smoked eggs:
I’ve never been a huge fan of hard boiled eggs, not because I find them unpleasant necessarily, but just that they are a little bland and I love my food and big flavors. Despite this, I’ve often stashed a couple of boiled eggs in my pack for lengthy hikes because they are a great low fat, protein hit that will fill you up. Once I discovered smoked eggs, they became one of my favorite ready-to-eat snacks because I love the smoky taste so much!
Boil the eggs, but don’t overdo it. You want them to be just cooked through – I reckon 5 minutes is usually about perfect, but it depends on the size of your eggs. (I actually love using quail eggs instead of chicken eggs, but obviously they require much less cooking time). Take care not to crack the shells while they are cooking and once done, allow them to cool completely in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Place the eggs in brine (I suggest 8.65oz salt to one quart water or 272g to one litre water) and leave the eggs soak in the brine for around 72 hours or 3 days.
In either your smoker or an oven, slowly heat your eggs at around 140°F for 4 hours or so. You will see moisture droplets forming on the outside of the shells as they dehydrate.
Get your smoker burning at around 195°F and place the eggs inside. Maintain this temperature for start smoking taking care to maintain this temperature for around 5 hours. You’ll need to turn the eggs every couple of hours to ensure even cooking and color and keep a close eye on temperature control. Your eggs may explode of temperatures climb above 210°F and all your efforts will be wasted! (Always better to go lower and slower when smoking).
Refrigerate for a day, then peel and eat!
Note: Whatever smoking wood you have available will be good for the smoker. Pecan, cherry, oak – all of them are good to use. If the brown colour permeates to about 1/16 below the surface when you cut one open, you’ll taste the smoke flavor throughout.
I do know people who peel their eggs before smoking for a more intense smoked flavor, so why not experiment with your smoked eggs to find the version that works best for you?
Tips for cooking the best smoked eggs:
A couple of tips to get the best results with this recipe:
1. Use smaller eggs if possible
2. White eggs work best
3. Super fresh eggs can be harder to peel neatly. Eggs that are a few days old tend to shed their shells alot easier when it comes time to peel them.
Variations on smoked eggs recipes:
Once you’ve nailed the basics, you can take your smoked eggs in a few different directions. Here are my favorites:
Cold Smoked Eggs:
You’ve already done the hard work by creating your smoked eggs. Top them with salt, pepper and some pesto mayonnaise or garlic aioli and a sprinle of salt and pepper. Voila!
Green Tea Smoked Eggs
Tap each clean egg on the countertop gently, rolling them carefully to lightly crack the surface but don’t completely break them open. Put the cracked eggs into a pot with boiling water, soy sauce, tea leaves, star anise, orange peel, and peppercorns, then simmer for 2 hours on low heat and covered. Allow the eggs to cool in the cooking liquid, and put them in the refrigerator and let them steep overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, simply peel and eat.
Deviled smoked eggs:
- For presentation purposes, slice your eggs in half lengthways, then take a small slice of the back of each half, so they balance with their inside facing upwards.
- Scoop out the yolks and mash together with the egg white trimmings.
- Mix mayonnaise, mustard, sriracha and Worcestershire sauce to the egg yolk mixture and whiz in the food processor to a thick puree. I’ve left the amounts up to you depending on personal taste. If you like spicy, add more sriracha. Add more mayo in order to get a creamier filling etc.
- Spoon the mixture back into the egg white halves or pipe it in using a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag with a lower corner clipped off. Top off with a sprinkling of chives and/or smoked paprika, or a dollop of salmon caviar. For the meat lovers, you can also top with bacon, shredded brisket or pulled pork, if desired. Store them in a covered container in the refrigerator or use plastic wrap to cover them loosely before serving. These always get a “wow” from my guests at a gathering and there are never any leftovers!
Smoked dishes always have a unique taste. You may also like some of these smoked recipes: