How to Make the Best-Ever Deviled Eggs, According to a 5th Generation Chicken Keeper

We're never not happy to see a deviled egg. The savory, creamy, super satisfying appetizer is a great addition to an Easter brunch, a summer cookout, a game-day gathering, a holiday party or any other time you want to put out a crowd-pleasing snack.

Deviled eggs are simple, but that's what also makes them a little tricky. They can be as basic as hard-boiled egg whites filled with cooked yolks mixed with mayo, mustard, salt and pepper, which means there's nowhere to hide.

To help you dial in your deviled egg game we reached out to one of our favorite eggs-perts, Lisa Steele. She's a 5th-generation chicken keeper, founder of the Fresh Eggs Daily blog, author of The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook, and host of “Welcome to My Farm” on CreateTV and American Public Television, so she really knows her stuff, including how to stuff a deviled egg.

Steele has been making deviled eggs for a long time, and when she first started brining them to parties she was surprised by the reaction.

"When we first started raising chickens, and my husband was in the Navy, we used to go to a ton of events: military events, barbecues, potlucks, etc.," she says. "I started bringing deviled eggs thinking, 'No one's going to eat these things.' They were the first thing to go. People are just obsessed with them."

To make sure your deviled eggs are the first to go at your next party, follow these tips and tricks from Steele.

Related: How to Avoid the Dreaded Green Ring Around Your Hard-Boiled Egg Yolks



10 Top Tips for Making the Best Deviled Eggs

Use these tips for deviled eggs that your guest will rave about.

Go for fresh eggs. Some people say that fresh eggs don't peel well, so you should use older eggs to make deviled eggs. While Steele says that it's true that fresh eggs are harder to peel, older eggs might not be the best choice for deviled eggs. "The problem is, as the egg ages, it loses moisture," she says. "And an air sack starts to form in one end, so when you peel that egg, you've got this dip in one end, which is not going to be attractive. So you really don't want to use old eggs, you want to use fresh eggs because they're nice and egg shaped."

Skip the boiling water. To make sure the eggshells slip right off your eggs, Steel swears by steaming them instead of boiling. The gentle cooking method will also help prevent the dreaded green ring from forming around the edge of the yolk, which is a chemical reaction that's triggered by heat.

To steam eggs, add a few inches of water to a bot and add a steamer insert or basket. Once the water comes to a boil, add your eggs, cover the pot and steam them for 12 minutes. While the eggs cook, set up an ice bath. When the eggs are done cooking, transfer the eggs to the ice bath to cool for a bit, then peel them.

Have some backup. When Steele makes deviled eggs, she likes to cook a couple more than she plans to serve. She often adds a few more yolks to the filling mixture, which ensures that the deviled eggs are nice and full. Extra steamed eggs are also great to have in case any of the whites cook up strangely and you need to swap one out.

Taste, taste, taste. As with cooking in general, it's important to taste your deviled egg filling as you make it. Recipes are a great guideline, but there are so many variables in your own kitchen (the size of your eggs, the richness of your yolks, the type of vinegar you use) that tasting as you go is the only way to make sure your deviled eggs taste good to you. And this is another place where those extra yolks come in handy. If you have extras you'll have plenty for tasting and filling.

Make it smooth. Nobody wants lumpy deviled egg filling. To get the filling for her deviled eggs nice and smooth, Steele uses a standard or immersion blender. She's not a fan of pushing yolks through a fine mesh sieve or a cooling rack because cleaning cooked egg yolk out of those tools can be a real pain.

Fun up the filling. There's no one way to make deviled egg filling, which is part of their charm. Over the years, Steele has made many many different fillings. She loves a classic deviled egg and also enjoys mixing things up, depending on her mood or the party she's going to. She often uses Champagne vinegar in the filling, but also likes mixing in grainy mustard for some fun texture. She sometimes makes a "loaded" deviled egg inspired by loaded baked potatoes by adding shredded cheese and sour cream to the filling and topping them with crumbled bacon. "I like looking in the fridge and seeing what's in there and saying, yeah, I could mix that into the filling," she says. "There are no rules when it comes to deviled eggs."

Related: I'm Only Making Jacques Pépin's French-Style Deviled Eggs From Now On

Fill it right. Sure, you can spoon the filing into the egg whites, but Steele is team piping bag. Adding a star tip adds a fun flair and is easy to use. If you don't want to go the piping bag route, Steele has also used a small ice cream scoop to add the filling to deviled eggs, which creates a fun rounded dome shape instead of the classic piped look.

Top it off. Once you have your eggs filled, it's time to top them off. You can keep things simple, but Steel isn't a fan of paprika. "I don't think it's attractive looking, and I think it's just so cliche," she says. Instead, try some finely chopped scallions or chives (or another herb), a sprinkling of black or pink salt, some crushed pink peppercorns or a drizzle of chili oil.

Keep them steady. Once you've made your deviled eggs, it's time to put them on a plate or tray. And if you don't have a special devile egg plate with little divots to cradle the eggs they might go sliding all over the place. Steele can. help you solve that problem. "Just line your plate with lettuce leaves or anchor each egg with a little do of the filling," she says, noting that this is yet another reason to make extra filling.

Keep them chilled. If you're making deviled eggs for a picnic or other summer gathering you might be a little concerned with them sitting out in the hot sun. As with other perishable foods, they shouldn't sit out at room temperature for more than two hours, but to keep them cool Steele suggests filling a cake pan or large bowl with ice and placing your plate of deviled eggs on top to keep them cool. Another idea? Keep them in a cooler until right before you're ready to serve them.

Up next: The Famous Million-Dollar Deviled Eggs That Are As Rich and Delicious As They Sound