Big Game season is here, and I’m not talking about elk hunting. Everyone loves a good home-gate for a championship game, and the foods associated with it are a big part of the reason why. This is the time of year when finger foods reign supreme, with bite-sized morsels being passed around and piled high on paper plates.
These smoked deviled eggs are a perfect addition to that feast. The smoking adds depth of flavor, and helps the eggs to match some of the other fun meaty flavors you’ll be having with your game and also…well, we don’t really need a reason to smoke something, do we? We’ll be breaking out the Billows® BBQ control fan and the Smoke® X2 to keep our smoker at the low heat we want for these, and we’ll follow ideas from Vindulge and Susie Bulloch from Hey Grill Hey for how to top and flavor them. Deviled eggs are, after all, a blank canvas that you can adapt to anything you want. Let’s take a look at the method!
Cooking smoked deviled eggs
The easiest way to make smoked deviled eggs is to start with cooked eggs, then shell and smoke them. Of course, we’ve put a lot of thought into how to cook the perfect egg, and we’ve found that the best way is to steam them:
Prepare steamer or pot with a steam basket insert with 1 to 2 inches of water in the bottom of the pot. Put a lid on the pot and bring the water to a rolling boil before adding the eggs. Place whole raw eggs in a single layer into the steamer (make sure they’re suspended above the water), cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 12 minutes, then shock them in an ice bath for 15 minutes.
If you like your eggs more on the jammy-yolk side of things, shave a minute or more off of that time. (You can, of course, cook the eggs days in advance and keep them in the refrigerator.)
Smoking precooked eggs poses one small challenge: if we add too much heat to the eggs, we’ll overcook the yolks. What a shame it would be to have perfect yolks after steaming only to overcook them once they go into the smoker! We used the Smoke X2 with the air probe and hooked it to our Billows fan, then set the air temp to 170°F (77°C). At that low temp, we can generate plenty of good smoke flavor without cooking the eggs into bouncy balls. A half-hour, timed with a TimeStick®, will do just great to give them a nice smoke.
Deviling the smoked eggs
Of course, the classic filling for deviled eggs can be as simple as some mayonnaise and mustard mashed together with the yolks, but why should we stop there? The term “deviled” most likely comes from the addition of mustard and black pepper to the original dish, both “spicy” foods to the persons who named it. In fact, the name bears a symbolic kinship with dishes like the Italian fra Diavolo sauce, which is spicy. Now, most deviled eggs that I’ve ever eaten were far from devilishly spicy, but I suppose food used to be much blander. We can make them spicy, of course!
For instance, we can add some minced pepperoncini. And the adobo from a can of chipotle. And we can top them with pickled jalapeños and pulled pork! And we can sprinkle them with BBQ rub instead of paprika!
(We smoked a pork butt just for these eggs. Ok. We ate most of it without eggs. You won’t need a whole butt for a plate or two of eggs, but I don’t know anyone that will have a big problem with most of a shoulder of pork leftovers for later.)
And those toppings are just the beginning, too. You can grill some chicken breast, cube it up, and dress it in wing sauce to go on top. You could even top each one with a cube of pork belly burnt ends—or Asian sticky pork belly burnt ends for that matter. (Though if you go Asian, I’d sub in some sriracha for the adobo in the yolk mix.) The possibilities are limitless.
Yes, I think those are the deviled eggs that I want to have at my home-gate. Come to think of it, those sound like the eggs I’d want pretty much any time at all—from a Memorial Day picnic to a Thanksgiving buffet. Using Billows and the Smoke X2 to smoke the eggs (which you’ve perfectly steamed with the Extra Big & Loud) will give you savory, delicious eggs that you’ll want to stand up and cheer for, no matter the occasion or game.
For the eggs and filling:
- 12 eggs, steamed, cooled, shelled
- ¼ C mayonnaise
- 1 ½ Tbsp finely diced pepperoncini (about 4 medium peppers)
- 1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (the sauce only)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- ¼ tsp juice from pepperoncini jar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Pickled jalapeño slices
- BBQ pulled pork
- BBQ rub
Smoke the eggs
- Using your Billows and Smoke X2, preheat your smoker to a mere 170°F (77°C) and add the wood of your choice for smoke. (We liked pecan for this application.)
- Place your peeled, cooked eggs in the smoker and set the timer for 30 minutes. Smoke the eggs.
- Once the timer sounds, remove the eggs from heat and allow them to cool until cool enough to handle.
- Slice the eggs in half along their long axis. Scoop the yolks into a bowl, combine them with the mustards, mayo, pepperoncini, adobo sauce, and juice from the pepperoncini jar. Mash and mix well together with a fork. Season to taste with salt.
- Scoop the mixture into a piping bag or, as we did, a zip-top bag that you can cut a corner off of.
- Pipe the filling back into the egg-cups.
- Top the eggs with pickled jalapeño slices, little mounds of pulled pork, and BBQ rub for that traditional red color. Mix and match toppings as desired.
- Plate them up and serve, but be sure to get your helping early…they won’t be around for long!
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