Salt cured egg yolks are a great way to get a flavor punch and little protein boost in many dishes! (And they’re also a really great way to use eggs that were frozen in the nesting boxes before you gather them.)
The only thing worse about hens not laying eggs over the winter is when they do lay eggs… and they freeze and crack before you gather them! So frustrating!
Especially if I had been planning on using them to make a creamy homemade Vanilla Pudding. (Which is all I can think about right now while I wait for Holly to have a calf and we start getting fresh milk again.)
But then I discovered the perfect way to use those eggs during one of our deep freezes this winter. In the form of Salt Cured Egg Yolks. But I didn’t stop there. Oh no, cause then I smoked them.
Ok so rather Bill smoked them. I was out in the barn spreading straw for the cows bedding while he smoked cured egg yolk.
Until now, whenever we faced sub-zero daytime temperatures, it was a showdown between me and old Jack Frost. Who would win the race to get to those eggs first?
To be fair, he was usually the victor. But you know what, I don’t care half so much now. Because at least the eggs don’t have to go to the dogs anymore. I know there IS something I can make with them after all.
Salt Cured Yolks: A Great Use of Frozen Eggs
Making Salt Cured Egg Yolks is so cool! It’s such a unique way to use an egg. It’s not terribly difficult either, though it does take some (passive) time. And it turns out that using partially frozen eggs is the perfect way to separate the yolks from the whites!
If you have your own flock of backyard hens, (Which you should. All the cool kids do. And don’t worry, you’ll rock at raising chickens!) you know that when the temperatures dip below freezing during the daytime, it doesn’t take long for eggs to freeze. Which really stinks because now your options for using the eggs are really limited. Ours usually became pet food.
When you make Salt Cured Egg Yolks with un-frozen eggs you must use a spoon to make indentations in the salt to carefully lay the delicate yolk down into the pocket. With frozen eggs, you want to partially thaw them to make the egg white easy to remove. Depending on how warm your home is this could vary anywhere between 1-3 hours or so.
The egg shells are cracked (if they weren’t already) and then peeled off like a hard-boiled egg. The egg white simply sloughs off leaving the firm yolk behind.
What To Do With the Egg Whites?
If you were able to save the egg whites and would like to use them for something as well, they would still work well as “binders” in recipes. Try using them in meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf. Or in some baked goods like pie crust or a white cake like my Strawberry Chamomile Cake with Strawberry Buttercream. Some granola recipes will use egg whites as a binder to make clusters.
If you’re not making anything like that soon, they can always be refrozen in ice cube trays (or I like to silicone ones like this for food) to use later. You could add a few to your scrambled eggs or Quiche Lorraine.
But delicious though the recipe itself may be, I wouldn’t try using once-frozen egg whites in anything calling for whipped egg whites that are stabilized such as my Berry Swirl Angel Food Cake or Meringue.
Salt Cured Egg Yolk Uses
Try Salt Cured Egg Yolk in some of these ways!
- Over your favorite Pasta
- Over Pizza
- Stirred into Alfredo Sauce or Carbonara
- Sliced on Burgers
- Mashed Potatoes
Salt Cured Egg Yolks Recipe
I’m sharing the most basic recipe for Salt Cured Egg Yolks, but have fun and experiment with different flavor combinations! Mix herbs and spices into the salt and they will permeate the yolk and flavor it much like they do when you make homemade bacon. You can try adding some heat with chipotle pepper, chili flakes or black pepper. Or make them savory with garlic and rosemary or thyme.
Use kosher salt to cure salt cure your egg yolks. It will absorb the moisture better without clumping so you can even save the salt and reuse it for later batches. I put mine in a clearly labeled bag so no one else uses it!
Salt Cured Egg Yolks
- kosher salt
- egg yolks
- apple wood, if smoking
- Use a small container to cure your egg yolks. The smaller it is the smaller surface area the salt needs to cover before building up the sides of the container and over the yolks.
- Fill the container with kosher salt to the depth of about an inch.
- Separate your frozen egg yolk from the egg white and set it on top of the salt. Make sure the yolks aren't touching so salt can fill the spaces in between.
- Cover the yolks the rest of the way with more salt.
- Set the container, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a week. They will be firm when they are done.
- Remove the egg yolks from the salt and brush off as much as you can. You can use a moistened towel to help brush off some salt, but I didn't bother getting it all off.
- Wrap the egg yolks in cheesecloth and set them back into the refrigerator to finish drying out for another week. I set my cloth wrapped yolks in a colander.
- You can cold smoke the egg yolks if you'd like. We used apple wood and smoked them for an hour.
- Wait another day or so after smoking for the smoke to mellow out. Then grate or slice them to use wherever you'd like the flavor boost.
- I put mine in a mason jar with a lid. They should be stored in the refrigerator indefinitely.
Did you make a recipe?
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