Where growing, making & good living come together

Cold smoking eggs – first attempt

Posted by on Friday 3 September 2010 in cooking, smoking | 0 comments

Last week I mentioned in passing that I had another go at cold smoking using my fantastic cold smoke generator. We very much enjoyed the cheese so I wanted to do more of that – but I also wanted to try a couple of other things too, namely eggs and chillis.

Following the directions in my smoking book (Home Smoking and Curing by Keith Erlandson), a week or so earlier, I put some of our girls’ eggs aside to age (since super fresh eggs are rather difficult to peel) then hardboiled them to perfection even if I do say so myself. Then they went in my make-do smoke house, with the cheese and the chillis, and the CSG loaded up with some lovely smelling hickory.

Because I was distracted during the day (carrying 1.5tonnes of woodchips down to the chicken coop then by a comic-book-bringing visitor), I didn’t turn everything as dutifully as I did the first time. I think I first turned the eggs after about six hours – they were a peachy orange on the top side but surprisingly still white on the side facing the CSG and the remaining four hours. (The CSG runs for 10hrs, not the 12hrs recommended by the book, but I don’t think two extra hours would have made a lot of difference in this instance.)

Neither of us had eaten a smoked egg before but my book said “of all the smoked foods the flavour of smoked eggs is unique” – so with that in mind, and the memory of the bizarre experience that is eating pickled eggs, we waited with curious tastebuds … and were somewhat let down. They were nice, yes, and we both enjoyed them but to me at least, it felt like there were two separate flavours – the egg and the smoke – and they hadn’t really bonded together.

I think I changed too many variables at once to be able to ascertain what’s to blame for the lacklustre experience. As I said in my smoked cheese tasting post, I wanted to try a different type of wood and I wanted to enlarge the chimney hole because I was worried that there wasn’t enough smoke flow. Changing both things at the same time though means I’m not sure what reduced the smokey flavour – further experimentation is definitely needed.

Longer in the smoker might have improved things too – as I said above, I doubt an extra two hours to meet Erlandson’s directions would have changed much but it would be interesting to see what they’d be like after two cycles of the CSG (so 20 hours in total). Another thing might have been temperature – Erlandson recommends 26C, which wasn’t an option while also smoking cheese. The ambient temperature of the garden was about 18C that day and I’d deliberately put the smoke house in the shade so it wouldn’t get sun-warmed. It might be worth trying a cheese-free smoking session with the smoker in the greenhouse (which is in direct sunlight until about 2pm) to pump the temperature up a bit. I’ll achieve perfection, I will!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *