Deviled Eggs

Hard boiling: Figuring out how to hard boil a fresh egg, that could peel, was surprisingly if embarrassingly challenging. But peeling alone won’t do, the white should be set but not rubbery, and the yolk should be set but not dry (and especially not green).

Some Background:

I started with the, somewhat standard, method of bringing “cool” water with the eggs to a boil, and then removing from heat and covering for 10 or so minutes. This method was inconsistent at best, and very difficult to peel with fresh eggs, yielding unsightly pot marks. I then added salt and (1/4 cup) vinegar to the water, and dropped the eggs into boiling water to simmer for 14 minutes. These results were consistent and peeled well, but because the outside cooks so much faster than the yolk at the higher heat it was impossible to get the perfectly tender whites (borderline rubbery).

Finally I attempted to steam the eggs (per Alton Brown) and after some trial and error with timing and temperature, found a simple, consistent method that yields tender whites and creamy but solid yolks with as few cooking variables as possible. Additionally, it takes less time, energy, and water with this method. I may still revisit that original method, adding the “hole punch” to aid in peeling, but right now steaming is both simple and consistent. In any case I recommend you see what works for you, there’s more than one way…

Some quick tips:

  • Store eggs in the carton on their side (with a rubber band to hold the container together) so that the yolks are better centered.
  • To test for done-ness the egg should spin on a counter top almost endlessly. If the egg only makes it a few rotations on the counter, it’s contents are still liquid.
  • To peel, crack the shell in a few places with the back of the spoon and roll along the counter top, and remove shell under running water.

As for the deviling: I offer a very basic recipe that can be modified (but needn’t be) for 8 eggs and my favorite recipe for 12 eggs with heavy influence from Michael Schwartz. I suggest a food processor for a smooth filling, and if you are making enough a pastry bag with a wide tip is both faster and prettier. I also much prefer the eggs cut crosswise, not lengthwise, for both taste (proportions) and visual appeal. The egg halves deserve a healthy amount of filling, so you will likely not fill them all…better to leave a few out than skimp.

To Hard Cook Eggs (Steaming Method)

  1. Bring eggs to room temperature or run briefly under warm water. Much like a steak a cold product will cook poorly.
  2. Bring a stock pot (with a steamer basket) with 3 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat (about 1/2 an inch).
  3. Add eggs to steamer basket
  4. Let steam, covered, at medium-high heat for 10 minutes (for golden, creamy, barely set yolks. After 13 minutes and the whites get firmer and yolks more dry, which is okay for some applications like salads).
  5. Remove from steamer basket using tongs and transfer to ice bath for 5 minutes

Ingredients (Colin’s Favorite)

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (to taste, I like a rounded tablespoon)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 dashes Habañero hot sauce (to taste, up to 4 but I like 3)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 bunch fresh chives, minced

Tools (Colin’s Favorite)

  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Large bowl for ice bath
  • Stock Pot or large saucepan with steamer basket
  • Food Processor and Pastry Sieve with larger tip

Directions (Colin’s Favorite)

  1. Peel and slice eggs in half crosswise, using a pairing knife to carefully cut the bottom so they stand upright.
  2. Scoop out the egg yolks and place egg white halves on a tray.
  3. Add to the food processor the yolks, mayo, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, pepper, mustard, and half the paprika. Process until very smooth.
  4. Using a spatula move the mixture to the pastry bag, squeezing the contents to the bottom and twisting the top. A larger pastry tip will work better.
  5. Fill the egg whites with the mixture, adding plenty to each egg. You may not fill all the halves, and this is okay.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining paprika and chives.

*Makes 18-24 deviled eggs (halves). Good loosely covered for a day or so.

Ingredients (Basic Recipe)

  • 8 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Tools (Basic Recipe)

  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Large bowl for ice bath
  • Stock Pot or large saucepan with steamer basket
  • Food Processor and Pastry Sieve with larger tip (optional)

Directions (Basic Recipe)

  1. Peel and slice eggs in half.
  2. Scoop out the egg yolks and place only 12 egg white halves on a tray. (I recommend using the 6 eggs or 12 egg white halves that look the best, with the yolks centered, etc.).
  3. Mash yolks and add mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  4. Fill the 12 egg white halves (from 6 eggs) with the filling of all 8 eggs.
  5. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika.
  6. Allow eggs to refrigerate for at least an hour so flavors may blend.

Variations (Basic Recipe)

Yolk mixture may be seasoned with

  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme, parsley, chives, or dill
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar and/or, for a more ‘deviled’ flavor, 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

*Makes 12 deviled eggs (halves). Good loosely covered for a day or so.


All recipes stolen/borrowed from somewhere, butchered/adapted exclusively by CHEF BOY/R/C.