Classic Devilled Eggs are a favourite addition to brunch, barbecues or buffets. Struggling with cooking and peeling eggs for best results? Or ever wondered how some devilled eggs have a better colour and flavour than others? Read on for some tips and tricks.
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The first thing to know is how to make perfect boiled eggs that are easy to peel. I used to think older eggs were the key but I hit the jackpot recently and now I know the secret. I was given the book The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. My life in the kitchen is forever changed!
Always boil more than you think you’ll need. For two reasons. One, there’s always some person who sneaks 4 or 5 before dinner when no one’s looking. And two, if you have trouble peeling one or you split one while filling it, just use those to make up some egg salad or Potato Salad.
How to make a perfect boiled egg
I used to add my eggs to a pot of cold water, bring them to a boil, then remove from heat and leave in the pot with the lid on. Not any longer. The method in the Food Lab really really works. Trust me, I’ve made many boiled eggs and in spite of sounding a little quirky, the science is correct.
Make up to 6 eggs at a time for best results. Use a pot large enough and enough water to hold 6 eggs submerged without being too full. Bring the water to a boil.
While that’s happening, take a tray of ice cubes out of the freezer. Remove them into a bowl. Also, get your eggs ready and it’s helpful to have a large slotted spoon or a smaller mesh strainer so you can lower all the eggs gently into the water quickly.
When the water boils, add the eggs gently all at once. Time them for 30 seconds. Then, dump in all the ice cubes. The reason I suggest having them in a bowl is it’s easier to slide them in. Otherwise you’re trying to crack them out of the ice cube tray and boiling water splashes on your bare hands. I learned that from experience.
Now, wait for the water to return almost to a boil. A very gentle simmer. Turn the heat down and maintain that gentle simmer, barely a simmer really, and time for 11 minutes. Or 12, just in case to make sure the yolks are solid. Drain the eggs, then cool quickly in an ice water bath. You might need to drain and add cool water a few times before the ice melts to keep the water cool.
You will be amazed at the texture of the white part of the egg and how perfectly the yolk is cooked. Not to mention how easy they are to peel. And there’s no grey ring around the yolk. I will never boil eggs any other way, ever again.
Peel the eggs and get a small bowl ready to make the filling.
Have you ever cut an egg in half and the yolk is way over to one side? Here’s how to avoid that. Lay the cooked peeled egg on its side. It will naturally roll so that the heaviest part is at the bottom. That will be the side the yolk is hanging out. Now give the egg a quarter of a roll and cut it in half. The yolk should be centred better.
How to make the best Devilled Egg filling
Crush up the yolks with a fork first. This helps prevent your filling from having a lumpy texture. Try to get them really crushed well.
The secret to getting a really deep yellow coloured filling? Plain old every day yellow mustard! It adds a little zip too. Then add mayo and a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth. I like to use a combination of dressing style mayo, (the sweet stuff like Miracle Whip) and real mayo. One is too sweet and one isn’t sweet enough. But here’s a trick if you only have real mayo, add a spoonful of sweet pickle juice!
But there’s something else that people go hmmmm I’m tasting something but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Curry powder. Seriously. Try it!
Arrange the cut eggs on a plate. They’re slippery little suckers so make sure they don’t have too much room to slide around. If you put a paper towel underneath it helps to anchor them and soak up any liquid.
Spoon the yolk mixture into each egg. You can get fancy and use a piping bag but sometimes that’s more work than it’s worth and you waste some of the yolk. They taste exactly the same if you just pile it in.
Garnishing isn’t necessary but a little something on top finishes them off nicely. The traditional sprinkle of paprika is pretty popular, or you can use something green. My top three are minced chives, tiny fresh herb sprigs or capers.
So with a few simple tips and tricks you can be the devilled egg rockstar at your next party.
Here’s the recipe:
- 8 large eggs
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- ¼ tsp curry powder
- 3 Tbsp regular mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp dressing style sweet mayonnaise ie Miracle Whip
- pinch of sat if desired
- paprika if desired
- snipped chives if desired
- fresh chopped herbs if desired
- capers if desired
- Bring large wide pot half filled with water to a boil. Carefully add eggs using a large slotted spoon on mesh strainer. Allow to boil for 30 seconds, then add one full tray of ice cubes. Keep burner on high and once water starts to simmer, lower heat to continue a gentle simmer for 11-12 minutes. Drain and chill as quickly as possible, adding cold water and more ice to the pot. Allow to chill at least 30 minutes or refrigerate to make devilled eggs later.
- Peel eggs and rinse to ensure no bits of shell are left behind. Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully remove yolks and place in a bowl. Place a paper towel on a plate and lay cut eggs on top.
- Crush yolks with a fork until grainy. Add mustard, curry powder and mayonnaise. Stir/beat until smooth. Taste and season with a pinch of salt if desired.
- Spoon filling into eggs generously.
- Top with any combination of garnishes if desired.