I became aware that roasted eggs were a ‘thing’ when I read “The Backcountry Housewife” (a must read). The writer states that:
“Experimentation has shown us that eggs do indeed roast quite nicely in their shells when buried in hot ashes for a quarter of an hour or more. A fine explosion results when placing the eggs in contact with hot coals, however. The roasted egg is very similar to a boiled egg.
Made dishes of boiled or perhaps roasted eggs are common in old recipes. These dishes are generally composed of the eggs, whole, sliced, quartered, or stuffed, with a white sauce. Mushrooms, onions, or oranges (if available) are common accompanying ingredients. …. If the eggs are stuffed, the filling may be mashed and seasoned yolks or bread crumbs. Forcemeat might also be included.”
Kay Moss and Kathryn Hoffman. The Backcountry Housewife. 18th Century Backcountry Lifeways Studies Program, Schiele Museum, 2001.
When we tested the method at Venoge, we waited until we had a nice mound of hot ashes to bury the raw eggs. We had a thin layer of ashes on the bottom and about an inch on top and sides. A few hot coals were present but none touched the eggs. It can take a bit longer than 15 minutes depending on the heat of the ashes.
The advantage of roasting versus boiling was apparent immediately. There is no need for another pot on the crane or trivet taking up space. Just remember where you buried the eggs!
- Hot ash (free from coals)
Place eggs on top of a thin layer of hot ash. Be careful to not include any coals or the eggs may explode or get too roasted on one side.
Cover eggs entirely with ashes and wait 15 minutes. You can turn eggs during cooking depending on the heat of your ashes.
Remove eggs and let them cool. We place ours in cool water so we can peel them easily. Remember older eggs peel easier than fresh eggs. So if you are having trouble peeling the eggs, like we did, it is likely you are using fresh eggs.