The Big Mistake You've Been Making With Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are an obvious choice when picking what food to bring to a potluck or picnic. The popular side dish can be eaten with your hands, scaled up or down to feed any amount of people, and can be personalized with endless toppings to fit into almost any meal. While deviled eggs might seem super easy to make, as anyone who has woefully bitten into a smushy, watery, flavorless one knows, these two-bite snacks are trickier than they seem.

The biggest mistake people make with deviled eggs is not cooking the egg correctly. The Kitchn notes that a perfect deviled egg starts with a perfectly hard-boiled one. Cook your egg too long and you end up with gross gray yolks and that sulfuric smell people complain about when you ask them why they don't like deviled eggs. For a well-timed hard-boiled egg, The Kitchn suggests covering your eggs with water and bringing the pot to a boil. Once the water has begun to boil, take your eggs off the heat and cover them, leaving the eggs to sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. This method should achieve the firm whites and creamy yolks summer BBQs are made of.

How to handle your yolks

Another deviled egg issue The Kitchn has found is that many people do not allow the eggs to cool properly before trying to begin assembling their deviled eggs. If you try to shell a still-warm egg, you are more likely to rip the white. You can also run into issues with your mayonnaise or yogurt separating if your yolks are too warm when you mash them and mix with the other ingredients. To quickly cool your eggs, simply plunge them into an ice bath when they are fully cooked. Letting them sit in the ice-cold water for a few minutes will make them easier to peel and stop the cooking process in its tracks.

When mashing up the yolks, you should use a fork or potato masher to achieve a super creamy texture free of lumps. If these are still too lumpy for you, cookbook author Ruth Reichl recommends using a food processor for this step, which will make your yolks incredibly smooth and airy.

There's more than one way to top an egg

Once your eggs are properly peeled and ready to stuff, Southern Living has some tips on how to make the best yolk mixture for your deviled eggs. They state that one problem with many deviled egg recipes is that they call for too much or too little mayonnaise. You want your filling to have a creamy texture, but still taste like egg. The ratio they suggest is 1/2 cup of mayo for every dozen eggs you use. 

Similarly, when making your filling don't forget the spice! The "devil" in deviled eggs is crucial to balancing out the rich flavors which come from the egg yolk and mayonnaise. You can use hot sauce, spicy relish, or Dijon mustard to fill this spot, and under no circumstances should you forget the paprika on top.

Looking for a way to step up your deviled egg game and really wow you friends and family at your next get together? The Pioneer Woman offers up 12 fun garnishes to introduce new flavors into your regular deviled egg line-up. If you want to really expand your repertoire, check out the Food Network's list of 50 variations on the deviled egg for you to try, with unexpected styles like martini, lobster roll, and pickled beet.