It’s time for a gathering and you’re asked to bring something. Smoked deviled eggs are a great compliment to nearly any far.
But why are they called “deviled?”
They’re not surrounded by brimstone. Wait. Charcoal? Hummm.
The truth is there is historical precedence to naming spicy, peppery, or hot foods. If you look at a red chili pepper sauce in Italy named Arrabbiata, the term translates as “angry.” So it’s not a far jump to a zesty stuffed egg obtaining the name “deviled” (although some folk tone down the inference, designating them as Russian eggs or dressed eggs).
While the history of deviled eggs traces back to the Ancient Romans with spiced peahen eggs, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that deviled eggs appears in cookbooks resembling what you now see.
The Yum Factor
Have you ever tried smoked deviled eggs? If not, get ready for a taste bud explosion. They’re simple and complex at the same time. Egg whites are an ideal vehicle for smoke, absorbing it easily. With a little patience, your smoked deviled eggs will become the talk of the town.
- 1 Dozen Eggs
- Water for boiling
- Wood Chips
- 1/8 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 1 Tbs vinegar
- 1 Tbs coarse ground mustard
- Salt to taste
- Chopped chives
- Place the eggs in a large pot. Cover them completely with water. If you want the shells to come off more easily, add a tablespoon of vinegar (any kind will do)
- Bring the water to boil, continuing to boil for 3 minutes
- Turn off the burner and cover the pot, leaving the eggs in the water for another 10 minutes.
- Drain off the water, rinse, and put them in the fridge to chill while you prepare your smoker.
- Bring the smoker to 180 degrees F., following the manufacturer’s guidelines for the wood chip amount.
- Peel the eggs, rinse, and slice them in half.
- Carefully slice them in half length-wise on a good cutting board. Scoop out the yokes (a melon baller works really well).
- Set the yokes aside in a bowl.
- Transfer the egg whites to a grilling rack covered with cooking spray.
- Surround the eggs with large pieces of ice. This is called cold smoking. So doing keeps the eggs from getting rubbery.
- Smoke for 20 minutes; remove from the smoker and cool.
- Meanwhile, mash the egg yolks, mixing them with everything but the chives and paprika. Try and get out all the lumps.
- If you want a fancy presentation, use a plastic food bag, transferring your yoke mix into it. Cut a corner of the bag’s bottom diagonally or in a V shape.
- Push the mixture through to fill your egg hollows.
- Garnish lightly with chives, parsley, and paprika.
- Chill and serve
* If you are not fond of chives, parsley makes a suitable garnish too.
Smoked Eggs Tips & Tricks
There are some common questions that come up when considering smoked deviled eggs.
For example, what’s the best wood? We recommend mild wood chips like cherry, apple, and maple. Eggs are delicate and something like mesquite might overwhelm them.
It is best if you make the deviled eggs on the same day you want to enjoy them. If you have to make them ahead, keep the filling separate for assembly just before you serve.
If you have leftovers (yeah, right!) they’re safe to store in the refrigerator for four days. Use them for “egg salad” sandwiches.
- Try using smoked paprika, and adding a bacon crumble, or sliced olives.
- Mix in some chopped pickles to the yoke blend, or perhaps sour cream.
- Some like it hot! Use a dash of hot sauce in the yoke mix.
- If you are feeling adventurous, you can cook the eggs in your smoker instead of in a boiling pot. In this case bring your smoker to 325 degrees F. Put the eggs on the smoker grate for 30 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath, chilling completely before peeling.
Pit Master’s Memo
In the food timeline, deviled eggs were all over Europe by the 1400s. Some popular ingredients at this juncture were cilantro, coriander, pepper, fish sauce, oil, and salt. The cooks had a nifty presentation where, after the egg halves were stuffed, they fastened them back together with a small stick (akin to a toothpick these days).
Other transformations to deviled eggs (any of which you could adapt to your smoked deviled egg recipe) include:
- 15th Century: use of mint, parsley, cheese, and raisins
- 19th Century: first suggestion of using mayonnaise as a glue for the stuffing
- Modern European Twists: serving the egg decorated with parsley and tomato on a vegetable dish, like salad.
Deviled Eggs Around the World:
In France, using pepper, anchovy, pickled herring, and parsley are not unusual.
In Hungary the eggs are stuffed with milk-soaked bread and mustard, sometimes topped with sour cream.
Favorite seasonings in Germany are anchovy, cheese, and capers.
So, get creative with your smoked deviled egg fillings!
At the Bar:
- Bloody Mary
- Sauvignon Blanc