Friday, June 22, 2012

Hard Eggs, part 2

In Part 1 I tried out Alton Brown's recipe for hard-cooking eggs in the oven.

Next I'll show you the results of cooking eggs in ashes and in salt, the more historical methods.

Well, the first attempt was not really in ashes after all.  The fire pit in my field kitchen was so hot that I thought I should just put the eggs in there.  I even built a little heat block so the eggs didn't cook too quickly.

This turned out not to be the best idea because after two hours in there, I cracked one to see how it was doing.  Oops!  It was only partially cooked and when I put it back into the heat, it popped open.
I put some hot coals right next to the remaining two eggs and let them sit for another two hours.  They were still somewhat raw, but that didn't stop the people who like soft-cooked eggs from eating them.

I would call this a "failure".

I tried again later by putting the eggs right into the hot ashes.  This fire was a lot hotter and it took all of five minutes for both eggs to explode with a startlingly loud BOOM!  They didn't make a mess (they just opened up; no shrapnel was ejected) but it sure scared me when they exploded.

Then I tried later that same day when the fire wasn't as hot and put the eggs in the ashes.  This time it took about 10 minutes for them to explode.  No such luck in getting eggs cooked in ashes.  I still consider it a failure.

Next I tried cooking eggs in the salt.  I put a layer of rock salt in a cast iron pan and set the eggs on top.

Then I covered them completely with more rock salt.  One thing I realized is that if I kept the salt reasonably clean, I could use it over and over again.

Then I put it into the fire pit with the full force of the heat.  I turned it once after about an hour since most of the heat was on one side.

After two hours I took out one of the eggs.  It was cooked to the point of being scorched around the edges!

All three eggs were like that but again, that didn't stop the hard cooked egg eaters from devouring them.  In fact, the feedback was that the eggs were very tasty.

I would call this a "success" with the caveat that I should try again to get the right timing down.  I thought it was interesting that the first attempt at both methods had the salt eggs cooking quickly as compared to the ones just in the fire pit.  They were all placed in the heat at about the same time.   And then I had such trouble getting the eggs in ashes to cook without exploding.

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