5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Deviled Eggs

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

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.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Deviled Eggs

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.

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.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

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.

Try Our Favorite Deviled Egg Recipes