5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Deviled Eggs (2024)

Kelli Foster

Kelli FosterSenior Contributing Food Editor

Kelli is a Senior Contributing Food Editor for Kitchn. She's a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and author of the cookbooks, Plant-Based Buddha Bowls, The Probiotic Kitchen, Buddha Bowls, and Everyday Freekeh Meals. She lives in New Jersey.

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updated Apr 30, 2019

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Deviled Eggs (1)

Slide a platter of deviled eggs onto the table at any holiday gathering, picnic, potluck, or get-together and it’s all but guaranteed they’ll be gobbled up in no time. These two-bite snacks start with hard-boiled eggs and are seemingly easy to pull off, although there are a few common errors you’ll want to avoid.

1. Overcooking (or undercooking) the hard-boiled eggs.

The best deviled eggs start with well-cooked hard-boiled eggs. When they’re overcooked, the yolks not only have a gray-ish hue around the outside, but they also have a sulfuric odor that can be powerful and sometimes stinky.

Follow this tip: Our favorite method is to cover the eggs with water, bring the water to a boil, and then let the eggs sit off the heat for about 10 minutes. This makes whites that are firm but still tender and yolks that are set but still creamy. You can also get the same result by cooking the eggs for eight to nine minutes at low pressure in an Instant Pot or electric pressure.

  • How To Boil Eggs Perfectly Every Time
  • How To Cook Eggs in an Electric Pressure Cooker

2. Not cooling the hard-boiled eggs first.

Cooling between cooking and assembling deviled eggs is a crucial step. When the eggs are still warm, the whites are more delicate, making them easier to tear or rip, while yolks that are too warm can cause the mayonnaise or yogurt to separate.

Follow this tip: The fastest and easiest way to cool the cooked eggs is by plunging them into an ice bath for a few minutes right after they come off the stove or out of the Instant Pot. In addition to making the deviled eggs easier to prepare and assemble, this step also makes for easier-to-peel hard-boiled eggs.

3. Not breaking up the yolk enough.

The best part of deviled eggs is the creamy filling. And it’s at its best when it’s super smooth and free of lumps of whole egg yolk.

Follow this tip: For a smooth, lump-free filling, use a fork or a potato masher to thoroughly break up the egg yolks before adding the other filling ingredients to the bowl.

4. Going overboard with the mayo.

Mayonnaise (or sometimes Greek yogurt) is the ingredient that gives deviled eggs a creamy filling. But when you’re heavy-handed with this ingredient, not only will it overpower the taste of the filling, but it can also make for a loose, runny filling that’s tough to pipe into the egg white.

Follow this tip: Having just the right amount of mayonnaise in the filling makes for good flavor and good texture. Remember that you can always add more mayo, but once it’s mixed in you can’t take it away. Be conservative when when adding the mayo or yogurt, and add more as needed.

5. Preparing the deviled eggs too far in advance.

While deviled eggs can absolutely be prepped in advance, too much of a head-start can leave the taste and texture of these two-bite treats a bit lackluster and dry.

Follow this tip: The best way to get a jump-start on deviled eggs is by knowing your timeline and working in steps, if necessary. The eggs can be cooked and stored, uncut, in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. The filling can be made and stored separate from the eggs up to two days before serving, while the assembled eggs can be made up to a day in advance.

Read more: Deviled Eggs: The Make-Ahead Game Plan

Try Our Favorite Deviled Egg Recipes

  • How To Make Deviled Eggs
  • Avocado Deviled Eggs with Everything Bagel Spice

  • Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs with Toasted Pecans
  • Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Deviled Eggs (2024)

FAQs

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Deviled Eggs? ›

I like to cut the eggs across the middle. It makes them easier to fill and easier to stand up. You might have to cut a sliver off the bottom to steady them, but they never slip 'n slide like they do when you cut them longways.

How do you not mess up deviled eggs? ›

I like to cut the eggs across the middle. It makes them easier to fill and easier to stand up. You might have to cut a sliver off the bottom to steady them, but they never slip 'n slide like they do when you cut them longways.

What happens if you put too much mayo in deviled eggs? ›

Going overboard with the mayo.

But when you're heavy-handed with this ingredient, not only will it overpower the taste of the filling, but it can also make for a loose, runny filling that's tough to pipe into the egg white.

How do you make deviled eggs creamy and not lumpy? ›

How do you make deviled eggs creamy, not lumpy? Get out your food processor: If you mix the yolks in your food processor with the mayonnaise and mustard, it will make the filling light and fully emulsified, like a mousse.

How to tell if deviled eggs are bad? ›

If they have a sulfurous, unpleasant odor, it's time to toss them. Also look for discolorations. If the egg white or yolk filling looks a bit off, you may not want to eat them. Finally, if you taste one and it has an "off" flavor, you'll want to send them straight to the trashcan.

Can you mess up deviled eggs? ›

Deviled eggs can be watery, dry, or lose flavor the longer they sit, so don't make them too far in advance. For the best results, prep your eggs and make the filling up two days in advance, and store them separately.

How do you boil eggs so they peel easily for deviled eggs? ›

The best method is to bring the water to a full boil and then reduce it to a simmer, carefully lower the eggs in (a slotted spoon, fine mesh strainer, or spider-skimmer work well), cover the pot, then keep them at a low simmer for 13 minutes.

Why add vinegar to deviled eggs? ›

Do I have to use vinegar? No, but it does give the eggs that tangy flavor. If you choose to leave it out you may want to add a little more mustard. If you don't have vinegar on hand, you can also replace it with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Why are my deviled eggs runny the next day? ›

It's common for deviled eggs to "sweat" in the fridge, which can make them kinda soggy in a day or two. The paper towels will absorb the extra moisture and keep them fresh much longer! Change the paper towels every other day if you haven't already devoured them by then.

What is a thickening agent for deviled eggs? ›

If you have a baby in the home, baby cereal can work as a thickener. Baby cereal is typically made from neutral-tasting rice, so using it shouldn't impact the flavor of your deviled eggs too heavily. Alternatively, if you really have nothing else to work with, all you need is more eggs.

Should you make deviled eggs the night before or the day of? ›

Prep deviled eggs too far in advance, and you'll have dried out filling and stinky boiled egg whites. For the best results, prep your deviled eggs up to two days in advance and keep the egg whites and filling separate until you're ready to serve. This prepping method also applies if you're not even leaving the house.

How long should deviled eggs sit before eating? ›

4: Pipe the Filling and Garnish the Eggs

Place the egg whites on a platter. Pipe the filling evenly into the egg whites. Top with finely chopped chives and a sprinkle of paprika. Refrigerate for 20 to 25 minutes prior to serving.

Is it better to use old or new eggs for deviled eggs? ›

Fresh eggs, with their smaller air sacs, are more likely to have a smooth ovoid shape when peeled, which looks more appealing in applications as deviled eggs. OFF-CENTER YOLK: Fresher eggs are more likely (though not guaranteed) to have centered yolks, again leading to more attractive deviled eggs.

Is it better to make deviled eggs day before or day of? ›

I like these deviled eggs best on the day they're made. If you're making them for a party or gathering, I don't recommend assembling them more than a few hours in advance. Store them in the fridge until you're ready to eat, and wait to add the garnishes until right before serving.

Is it better to make deviled eggs the day before? ›

Prep deviled eggs too far in advance, and you'll have dried out filling and stinky boiled egg whites. For the best results, prep your deviled eggs up to two days in advance and keep the egg whites and filling separate until you're ready to serve. This prepping method also applies if you're not even leaving the house.

Is it better to make deviled eggs when they are warm or cold? ›

Be sure to transfer them to an ice bath right away to stop the cooking process and cool them down quickly, which makes the eggs easier to peel and ensures that the yolk isn't too warm when mixed with the mayonnaise and mustard (which risks creating a runny filling).

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