How Lemon Juice Can Take Your Deviled Eggs To The Next Level

Deviled eggs have been a staple appetizer at all kinds of gatherings for well over 100 years now. As Southern Kitchen reports, the first mention of the culinary creation popped up in The Montgomery Advertiser newspaper all the way back in 1877, and people have been making them ever since.

It's not hard to imagine why deviled eggs have remained so beloved over the years. First of all, they're relatively economical as far as appetizers go — eggs are one of the more inexpensive and readily available protein sources for many home cooks. They also come in the perfect single-serving portions, so you can put out a tray and just watch everyone come and sample the tasty bites without worrying about how to divide something up neatly and easily. And they're delicious.

Another huge benefit to deviled eggs is that you can customize them however you'd like. Once you have the cooking process and core technique down — aka how to get all those hard-boiled yolks out without damaging the egg whites — you can add in any flavors or spices your heart desires. Some folks opt for simplicity, garnishing their deviled eggs with just a sprinkle of paprika or fresh herbs, while others go wild and add all kinds of extras, from avocado to adobo sauce to truffle oil, as Food Network notes.

If you're interested in leveling up your go-to deviled egg recipe, though, there's one simple ingredient you'll want to consider adding — lemon juice.

Why lemon juice transforms your deviled eggs

Any home cook worth their salt knows that acidity is a key component of just about any dish. As Food & Wine reports, a burst of acidity is an easy way to bring a dish to life, brightening and enhancing the existing flavors. For some recipes, this comes in the form of vinegar — everything from balsamic vinegar to red wine vinegar to plain old white vinegar, depending on what you're making and what flavor notes you want in your dish. In many cases, though, cooks reach for citrus juices like lime juice and lemon juice.

Lemon juice delivers a burst of acidity, yes, but as Real Simple explains, it also adds a bit of freshness that works incredibly well with the creamy, fatty, yolk-based filling of deviled eggs. Not to mention, it doesn't have an overpowering flavor — you can add a bit of lemon juice and still allow any of your other go-to mix-ins to shine.

As for the quantity needed, while it may depend on your preference, a good rule of thumb is to use about 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice (yes, it has to be from real lemons — bottled lemon juice just won't deliver the same freshness) for every dozen deviled eggs you're making. And, before you squeeze those lemons, take a moment to grate some of the zest — it makes a flavorful and colorful garnish atop your perfectly crafted plate of deviled eggs.