Making Perfect Deviled Eggs


Nothing disappears faster off a potluck table than deviled eggs. In fact, some people go to potlucks just for the deviled eggs. (That would be me.) I’ve made deviled eggs numerous times, but have never been entirely happy with the result–because of my lack of expertise in hard-boiled eggs.

Making perfect deviled eggs, of course, starts with perfect hard-boiled eggs. This has long been a stumbling block for me in my deviled egg pursuits–until I read this discussion on the Chickens in the Road forum. The entire discussion is interesting, but if you want to cut to the chase, you can also find the perfect hard-boiled egg method here and also in this post, below. This method has saved my life, my sanity, and my love for deviled eggs. Or at least that last one.

Note: First bring eggs to room temperature.

To make perfect, incredibly easy to peel hard-boiled eggs, bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. (I have to cover the pot to get my water to boil hard.) Add a dash of salt then gently lower the eggs into the boiling water with a slotted spoon.

Replace the lid and boil hard for 14 minutes. Drain and place immediately in cold water. Ice water is even better.

Lightly crack each egg all over then gently roll it between your hands. The eggs will practically leap out of the shells on their own, leaving the most perfect hard-boiled eggs you’ve ever seen.

Hard-boiled eggs worth writing home about.

Rinse in cold water to make sure you didn’t leave even the tiniest bit of shell on the eggs then allow the eggs to cool thoroughly before slicing. You want to be sure they are chilled all the way to the center. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Eggs slice much more cleanly when they’re cold. Once chilled, slice eggs lengthwise with a smooth-bladed knife.

Squeeze gently to pop out the yolks and you’re ready to make deviled eggs!

Classic deviled egg recipes include the mashed hard-boiled yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper. Deviled eggs are most frequently sprinkled with paprika for taste, color, and just because it looks pretty. Parsley, chives, and other herbs also make a great garnish.

The classic recipe can be varied easily to suit your tastes or a special occasion. You can replace the mayo with any flavor creamy-style salad dressing, sour cream, or even horseradish. You can add different herbs, or include shredded cheeses or meats, particularly seafood (crabmeat or minced shrimp). Finely diced veggies also make a fun variation on the standard deviled egg. If you like spicy, use finely diced hot peppers with a bit of chili powder and garnish with a sliced olive or cilantro. The possibilities are endless.

The prettiest deviled eggs are made with the filling piped into the egg white halves, but you can also spoon it in.

How to make Perfect Deviled Eggs:

6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise with yolks separated
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Recipe makes one dozen deviled eggs.

Set aside egg white halves. (You can go ahead and place them in their “permanent home” while they wait for the filling.)

Mash yolks in a small bowl.

Add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper; mix well. Pipe filling into egg halves. Sprinkle with garnish.

No more waiting for potlucks! Make deviled eggs at home, preferably when no one else is around. Then you can eat them all.

But wait, there’s more! I love this presentation trick posted by Dede at Farm Bell Recipes. Instead of slicing the eggs lengthwise, slice them the other way. Line the cups of an egg carton with pieces of lettuce.

Place the egg halves in the cups and pipe in the filling.

Sprinkle garnish on the top. Shut the lid and transport!

For ease of serving, you can poke a toothpick in each deviled egg.

Isn’t that cute? I mean, if you’re sharing……..

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 21, 2010  

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57 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 6-21

    I like that idea of putting them in the egg carton. I love deviled eggs too. My sister always makes them for get-togethers and they always go fast! :happyflower: :happyflower: :happyflower:

  2. 6-21

    I can’t believe this – all my grown-up life I thought you couldn’t put the eggs in boiling water!!! This is amazing – I can’t wait to try it. And, who’s helping you eat them? The kids are gone…

    Love the egg carton idea.

  3. 6-21

    Even easier, the NordicWare microwave egg cooker. Put them in the microwave, take them out 8-10 minutes later, let sit for 15 minutes or more, hard boiled easily peelable eggs.

    I haven’t cooked an egg via the stove since i found this thing, and intend to never again.

  4. 6-21

    I mix/knead my filling in a zip lock bag, once it’s well blended I twist it into one bottom corner, cut the corner off and pipe my eggs. No bowl to wash!

  5. 6-21

    I bought a large tart pan. It will hold 24 halves. That is how we carry them to potlucks. They don’t slide together and make a mess. I also use a ziplock bag for the filling. Just dump it all in and knead. Then cut off a corner and squirt out. Throw the bag away. Not as pretty as yours but no bowl to clean. I work in a restaurant and we add about 1/2 cup of salt to our water when we do 5 dozen at a time. It definately makes peeling easier. Yours look great!!

  6. 6-21

    These are some great tips!

    I love the lettuce cups in the egg carton. I have two hard plastic cartons and didn’t know what to use them for because you can’t pick up an egg from them and a half would be impossible. Lettuce would be a super idea. Thanks, Victoria.

  7. 6-21

    Beautiful! I can’t wait to have some FRESH eggs to make some…couple more months!

    I will try to pass these tips on to my bachelor brother — he’s the one that supplies deviled eggs at all family functions, it’s what he knows how to make! I tried suggesting the piping thing in a ziploc bag, he didn’t think it was easy. Love Dede’s traveling idea!

  8. 6-21

    Oh! and I LOVE the chicken egg server you’ve got there…just cute, cute, cute!

  9. 6-21

    Don’t forget, never boil fresh eggs! They won’t peel worth a darn. If you use two-week old eggs, they will have developed a little bit of air space in the shell and when they’re boiled they’ll slip right out of the shells.

    Love the egg carton trick, I’ll have to use that soon!

  10. 6-21

    Johanna, this method actually works on fresh eggs!

  11. 6-21

    Think the whole point of this different way of boiling the eggs is that you don’t have to wait for the eggs to get old to use them.

  12. 6-21

    Yep, If we were 80 years old and grew up on a farm with chickens, we’d ALL know that this works with FRESH FROM THE COOP eggs. No more waiting for them to get as old as grocery store eggs. Try it if you have chickens in your life, you’ll be amazed! :o

  13. 6-21

    I’ve made pretty good deviled eggs before, but I didn’t realize all the things I’ve been doing wrong when cooling and cutting them! Definitely something to try next time. What a cute way to transport them! Personally I like dill relish in mine. :-)

  14. 6-21

    You make deviled eggs just like my momma taught me to make them! Must be the West-by-God-Virginia way – except we use sweet pickle juice instead of vinegar. I live in Alabama now and they want to put dill pickle in, no mustard – all sorts of strange variations.
    I like them a little sweet and tart – and I too go straight for the deviled eggs on any buffet table.
    Deviled eggs, the perfect dish !

  15. 6-21

    I alway thought I was the only one who couldn’t boil an egg properly-I have my recipe down to a science that my family will eat but always became so frustrated by the peeling and tearing up of the eggs it was rare I made them. I LOVE the egg carton idea too.

  16. 6-21

    We like ’em SPICY around here: I use chopped candied jalapeno in the filling, and I garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper!

  17. 6-21

    I love, love, love deviled eggs, and yes, here in the South they are like a national pot luck dish.

    I’ve started mixing 1/2 may and 1/2 sour cream, we like that at our house, rather than all mayo. And this year I chopped up a little cilantro and garnished, YUM. Grandma would not approve of that because it’s not standard, but it is tasty.

  18. 6-21

    Suzanne I have that very same chicken dish!!! I can attest to the method of boiling as it really does work even with fresh eggs. No more hard peelin eggs for me. I tell everyone I know about peeling eggs, lol

  19. 6-21

    These are great tips!! I do hate that when the shells stick to the eggs.

  20. 6-21

    I am the deviled egg maker for all parties/get togethers in our family and I always go buy store bought just because of the peeling issues with fresh eggs. I am so happy to find this method and will try it ASAP!

    I make my deviled eggs just like you do Suzanne except I use dill pickle juice in place of the vinegar. Everyone loves my deviled eggs. I was busy over the weekend and didn’t get a chance to make them for the Father’s Day dinner yesterday and I nearly go boo’d out of the dinner hall LOL!

  21. 6-21

    The recipe my mom used always had paprika on top.

    However, in the South….they add chopped up pickles (or a type of relish) to the top. Yuck.

  22. 6-21

    Suzanne! You were a day late with this trick! lol I made them for our fathers day picnic and because I use my fresh eggs the dog always gets several…fresh eggs are IMPOSSIBLE to peal…so I can’t wait to try this method! I use mayo, dill mustard, salt and dried dill in mine, with chopped calendula or chive blossoms as a garnish.

  23. 6-21

    My husband wants to marry you… because I just *have* to try that method of boiling, and once I have a bunch of boiled eggs of course I have to devil them!

    Our preferred variation – mayo (never salad dressing ew!), spicy brown mustard (because it’s all we ever buy lol), finely chopped dill pickle, and a bit of garlic and onion powders. Paprika on top is a must, otherwise I’ll wake up and find the man eating it straight from the jar. Yes, that has happened. He is strange.

  24. 6-21

    LOL . . .if you’re sharing!

    Thanks. . .for sharing!


  25. 6-21

    The tips are great. Thanks! I will try them the next time I want to make deviled eggs.

  26. 6-21

    Dede I love you! I am the designated egg maker in our home [for all family gatherings, holidays, etc.] and I hated having to transport them – such a brilliant idea! Bless you.

    Suzanne you aren’t kidding about how fast devilled eggs go at dinners/potlucks – I have made upwards of 72 eggs for one shindig and they disappeared within 5 mins!

  27. 6-21

    I never thought to use a egg carton :snoopy:
    they look delicious!!!

  28. 6-21

    Thanks for the tip on peel the eggs. I struggle with that. I have the same hen plate for eggs. I love it.

  29. 6-21

    I’ve been using this method for the last few weeks, since I read about it on the forum, and I am loving it! I usually keep some hard boiled eggs in the frig for a quick grab food, or to use in some kind of salad. This has really avoided alot of frustration with trying to peel fresh hard boiled eggs. I have some potlucks to go to in the next couple of weeks, and I will be taking some perfect deviled eggs with me. Thanks Suzanne and BuckeyeGirl for this excellant tip!

  30. 6-21

    How do you keep the shell from cracking when you put them into the boiling water? I thought they would crack from the swift temp change. Do you leave them out on the counter to come to room temp first?
    Hubby loves deviled eggs and pickled eggs.
    Another problem we have with eggs is getting enough to age beyond a week–they taste so good!

  31. 6-21

    Yes Monica—–I had the same question!!! I just put eggs on for potato salad, and had 4-5 crack as soon as I lowered them into the water :help: I wondered if they needed to be room temperature to keep the shock from cracking them, or what. I don’t want to sacrifice half of my eggs before I ever get them cooked!!!

  32. 6-21

    I had my eggs at room temperature. I’ll add that to the post!

  33. 6-21

    Thanks Suzanne. Other than the cracking problem, this worked like a charm. One shot out of the shell so fast it almost landed on the floor instead of my hand.

  34. 6-21

    …you can never have too many deviled eggs at party :lol:

  35. 6-21

    Saturday was the annual fundraising BBQ for our volunteer fire department and you all will never guess what we had about 6 big tray of? yep! Deviled eggs! I’ll bet they weren’t near as good as Suzanne’s. I didn’t get any as I was helping in the kitchen…. :hissyfit:

  36. 6-21

    I’m going to go make some deviled eggs RIGHT NOW because I’ve seen those pictures TOO MUCH!!! I figure why wait for a special occasion?!?! :hungry: :chicken: :hungry: :chicken:

  37. 6-21

    :happyflower: So pretty! And yummy…thanks for the tips on the hard boiled eggs! Hopefully they go as good as yours did!
    Sarah at

  38. 6-21

    I LOVE the chicken dish. After this post I’m not heading to the kitchen to make deviled eggs, though I love them, too. I going to Ebay to look for a chicken dish.
    My mom made deviled eggs with deviled ham. Buy it in a little can by the Spam, corned beef in a can, etc. A dozen yolks, can of deviled ham, enough mayo to mix. Yummy! My favorite thing at Easter, barbecues, etc.

  39. 6-21

    My deviled egg recipe is similar. If I’m taking them to an adventurous gathering, I use anchovy paste in place of salt—adds a nice complexity, and it’s not fishy, honest. If I have dozens to make for a large gathering, I place several newly-peeled eggs in the juice from a jar of pickled beets overnight and then follow recipe. People are tickled by the pink-and-yellow eggs!

  40. 6-21

    A couple other good things to try – what I do is sometimes put a dash of red hot sauce in the egg mix, and sometimes I fry up some good crispy bacon and put bits and pieces of that on my deviled eggs – people tell me the bacon kind are really good. Just sayin’ :))

  41. 6-21

    What a great post! There is nothing more frustrating than a hard boiled egg that won’t peel properly, especially if you have promised to bring them to a party that day.

    I am so hungry for deviled eggs now, I might just have to make some for myself tonight.

  42. 6-22

    Suzanne, I LOVE the chicken deviled egg platter. Is it an antique? I’d love one of those. So, very festive.

  43. 6-24

    Oh those look good.

    Hey Suzanne, did you get your oven fixed/replaced? I think I may have missed that posting. I hope so!

  44. 6-24

    Yes, I got my oven fixed a while back! I’m baking again!

  45. 6-24

    East Texas has a lot of old Southern recipes (Maryland Chicken=smothered chicken) and I never had deviled eggs that didn’t have pickle relish or chopped up sweet pickles in them. And pickle juice instead of vinegar. That little bite of sweet makes them taste “right” to me. I heard of folks actually putting chopped onions or chopped celery in them but no one in my area would ever admit they’d actually known anyone who would be likely to do that. All the other add-ins–anchovies, hot peppers, mayo/sour cream mix–I’ve seen in Ladies who Lunch type cookbooks. Now dill pickles and dill pickle juice just strikes me as nasty.

  46. 6-24

    I consider myself a pretty decent cook, but I’ve always been troubled by hard boiling eggs. This is by far, the best method I have come across! My eggs turned out perfect, and I was able to peel the shells in nearly one piece. The deviled egg filling was delish, too! Many Thanks!!

  47. 6-27

    I have been searching for about a year now for a method to produce perfectly boiled eggs. I can’t thank you enough for this post. My frustration has finally been ended as I tried this method today and it works perfectly:))) Thanks, thanks, and more thanks.

  48. 6-27

    I’ve had a terrible time peeling boiled eggs. But you CRACKED THE CODE! I followed this and you’re right, they jumped outta their shells! I could kiss you! Happy dance! :snoopy:

  49. 6-29

    Yeah!!! I admit I had my doubts. I’ve tried a lot of different methods on fresh eggs that haven’t worked but I just used this one and peeled 2 dozen perfect eggs that I got from my hens yesterday. Thank you!

  50. 6-30

    hope this works! since i have started raising chickens the eggs seem harder to crack!

  51. 7-6

    Great recipe thanks! I’ll try it next week!

  52. 7-29

    just to be on the safe side – wash the egg carton out with soap before you put the lettuce and cooked egss in it. The outside of eggs can be contaminated with bacteria and you wouldn’t want that in contact with your yummy food!

  53. 12-21

    Did you know that develed eggs are called that because they have hot sauce in them. If you don’t use hot sauce they are called stuffed eggs. I make both and sprinkle paprika on the develed eggs and dried parsley on the stuffed ones to tell the difference.

  54. 8-23

    A wonderful way to make hard boiled eggs!! You might also like to try a dash of curry in the yolk mix – gives it that special taste that folks say is delicious but just can’t out their finger in what it is that makes them so delicious!! Also you can add a dash of horseradish to the mix for a deviled egg that’s made for a brunch with bloody Mary’s on the menu…yum!! Thanks for the tips and a great food site!! susieqgoody

  55. 3-26

    I just tried this boiling and peeling technique and it worked like a charm. Wish I would have known about it before I made 10 dozen deviled eggs for my son’s grad party!

  56. 4-14

    Thanks for this (long-ago) recipe! I’m making them for the first time this year for our Easter dinner.
    Will your kids be home for the holiday?

  57. 4-22

    I have been trying to boil and egg that will peel. This is the first recipe that works. Thanks so much, I will no longer hold back from boiling eggs. :woof:

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