caesar salad deviled eggs

I know I told you my days of late have been a blur of butter and a plume of winter spice but I didn’t forget that December is as much about cocktail parties as it is about cookie swaps. And cocktail parties need snacks. They need bacon-wrapped dates and stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail and parmesan biscotti. They need elegant little toasts and spanakopita triangles. And they need deviled eggs. In fact, I’d argue that without deviled eggs, it’s actually no party at all.

the peeling forces were with me
de-bellied yolks

Of course, to make devilled eggs, you need to make peace with peeling hard-boiled eggs and I want to tell you, I’ve spent a lot of time peeling hard-boiled eggs, mostly ineffectively, and have come up with several theories that since I have the mic, I will now bore you and the rest of my audience with:

ready to mash

  • Theory 1: It varies by bird. I asked a friend who lives in Atlanta and keeps chickens (chickens with awesome names, like Jackie Brown and Buffy the Worm Slayer, I might add. She also grows collards; she says it’s the law in Georgia.) and to sound off on the Great Debate of Egg Peel-ability. She said each of her chickens lay different kinds of eggs, whose shells peel at varying levels of ease. However, although this is a perfectly reasonable and entirely accurate position, because it gave me little that I could share in the way of usable cooking tips, I continued peeling, complaining and cooking up theories.
  • Theory 2: The egg smells fear. Surely I’m not the only one whose noticed that the more you need your eggs to peel neatly, the less likely they will. Making egg salad? Eggs will peel delightfully, and nobody will ever know. Shooting a deviled egg recipe for a cookbook? Hello, puckered golf ball-looking eggs! In short: the egg is kind of a punk. (By the way, I have not re-shot my cookbook’s deviled eggs as of yet, because I’m stubbornly hanging onto the to the insistence that my photos represent things that happen in real, imperfect kitchens. But man, those are some ugly eggs.)
  • Theory 3: Hard-boiled eggs — like your humble host aspires to — get better with age. As you can guess, I learned this by accident. I made these eggs Monday but didn’t get to cooking with them until Thursday. Do you see those smooth eggs and large peels? Total show-offs. A little Googling led me to pages that discuss in finite detail the altered ph and protein and water levels of peeled eggs. I’ll spare you all this and just assure you that science agrees with me, the internet agrees with me and I cannot believe nobody told me this before. Unless you have a chicken in your backyard that produces perfectly peelable fresh eggs regularly, boil your eggs a few days before you’re going to peel them and lo and behold, intact eggs will be yours!

caved to fussy, piped tradition
crushed croutons

Ahem, and now back to our regularly scheduled programming: I spied this recipe for caesar salad-style deviled eggs in a new book from Sara-Kate Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy’s and immediately wished I’d thought of it first which is pretty much my favorite thing to happen when I thumb through a book. I mean, how brilliant is the merger of hard boiled eggs and Caesar salad? And how fun would these be to start your next cocktail or dinner party? That’s the theme of the book — entertaining. Good Food to Share is a celebration of dinner parties, of dishes that are meant to feed a crowd. It makes me want to move somewhere in the city with a large dining room a kitchen that will allow me to work on more than one dish at a time so I can have dinner parties every week, which probably means that my husband will hide it soon. The recipes are fresh and approachable, and they seem like easy wins when you’re feeding a crowd, and yet not the same stuffy, predictable staples of dinner parties of yore.

deviled eggs

These eggs are a perfect example. The standard, old-school deviled eggs gets a little help from the ingredients in great caesar salad. The only thing I must warn you about is that I had such entrenched views of the way I wanted the eggs to taste that I took a lot of liberties with the recipe, adding lemon juice and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce to the yolk filling, two of my favorite aspects of caesar dressing, and nudging the other ingredients — mayo, Dijon, lemon zest, parsley and Parmesan — according to my tastes. I am, apparently, a deviled egg control freak. I hope you don’t hold it against me.

garlic crumb-ed deviled eggs

One year ago: Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Two years ago: Vanilla Roasted Pears and Build Your Own Smitten Kitchen
Three years ago: Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingernsnap Crust and Veselka’s Cabbage Soup and Spelt Everything Crackers
Four years ago: Pear Crisps with Vanilla Brown Butter and Chicken and Dumplings
Five years ago: Salted Chocolate Caramels, Zucchini Ham and Ricotta Fritters and German Pancakes

Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs
Adapted from Good Food to Share

Serves 6 to 12

To make these and bring them to a party, Sarah-Kate suggests that you can prepare the filling and crumbs separately and assemble them when you get there. This will ensure that the yolks don’t dry out and the crumbs stay crisp and light.

6 large eggs
12 small romaine lettuce leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons mayo (2 is suggested but 3 will make a creamier filling)
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cups (30 grams) panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese or more to taste

Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once water begins to boil, reduce it to medium-low and simmer eggs for exactly 10 minutes. Drain eggs and cover with cold water. Sitting them in ice water will help the eggs chill more quickly.

Do ahead: As I discovered giving your eggs two to four days to rest in the fridge ensures that they peel more easily. If you’ve got time, do this now.

Arrange 12 small lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Carefully peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Arrange the whites on leaves. Mash the yolks with the mayo, Dijon, Worcestershire (if using), lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the parsley until smooth. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set the filling aside.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the anchovy and garlic and cook, stirring, until the anchovy begins to dissolve into the oil, about 1 minute. Add the lemon zest and bread crumbs and saute them until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and set crumbs aside.

When you’re ready to serve the eggs, spoon the yolk mixture back into the cavities of the egg whites, mounding it slightly in the center. (To make extra-cute eggs, you can pipe the filling with a star tip.) Sprinkle each egg with some of the crumb mixture (about 1 teaspoon), allowing some to spill onto the lettuce cups. Garnish with remaining chopped parsley and serve.

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316 comments on caesar salad deviled eggs

  1. My mom, who also raises chickens, says that the older the egg is that it’s easier to peel – something about the proteins in the albumen being less sticky to that film on the inside of the egg?

  2. Lora

    If you want easy to peel hard boiled eggs, buy your eggs at least a week before you need to boil them. If they are at least a week old, the shells come right off. Never buy and boil on the same day! You’ll end up with a mess and definitely pissed off!

    1. Betsy

      I’m interested in bringing these to a brunch but one attendee is a strict vegetarian. Any thoughts about replacing the anchovy?

        1. Brynn

          Made this today for Christmas and subbed in capers to keep it vegetarian. I used 1/2 T to sub for the one anchovy, and chopped them really fine (almost to a paste) with the garlic. They gave the panko a some flavor, but I wouldn’t have minded more (I live capers!). Next time I make it I’ll bump to 1T, and maybe add some to the filling so the flavor is more dispersed.

      1. Judi Aiello

        I’ve been making these for years for every occasion and all my company loves them…in many variations…just omit the anchovies and serve them on the side if need be!! I always have little decorative cups on the side with other fill-in possibilities!! Let your company choose for themselves!! They’re yummy, filling & different and your company will love then!!


  3. Bethany

    My eggs always peel easily if I run them under cold water after boiling them. Don’t know if there’s a theory behind it but it’s always worked for me. LOVE deviled eggs!

  4. Sid

    Don’t boil them before you peel them. Leave them a few days before you boil them. It’s the fresh eggs that are hard to peel. Shocking them in ice-water after boiling also helps.

  5. I’m with you, it is just not a party without deviled eggs. Many years ago, a boyfriend talked me out of bringing deviled eggs to a party after I had told everyone I was bringing them. He thought they were “weird”. To say the least, we aren’t together anymore, plus I don’t think we were every invited to another party by that group of people again. I can’t tell you how much disappointment the plate of cookies I brought instead created.

  6. Wanna peel eggs every time??…don’t put them in cold water. Bring water to a full rolling boil, add eggs and boil 14 minutes. Plunge in ice water to stop cooking and peel immediately. Works EVERY time…new egg, old egg, any egg.

    1. Dawn Cas

      Yes! I’ve tried everything and this was the one to work every time. I have a long handled, slotted spoon to lower them into the boiling water. I let mine cook for 11 to 12 minutes at a medium-low boil.

    2. Kimberly

      I’m a bit confused…you say not to put the eggs in cold water,,,then tell use to plunge them in ice water..??? I’m not being snide at all, I honestly don’t understand the contradicting directions? Would you mind explaining?
      Also, I tried the “trick” where you cook the eggs on day, put them in the refrigerator and peel then net day or two after…and I had the absolute WORST time trying to peel those eggs. I gave up after the 7th egg. The shells were practically glued to the eggs, I used to raise chickens and found that I had to wait 2 weeks at least to end up with eggs which would peel easily…but Oh My GOSH…those fresh, just laid and right from under then hen make the absolute BEST poached eggs…no need to vinegar whatsoever!!! They had tight, firm whites that stayed right with the yolk, not a loose strand in sight. You ought to try Poaching a freshly laid egg…You’ll never go back to store bought week old eggs again for poaching!

  7. Please tell me these can be made without anchovies?? (Even typing the word brings me out in a cold sweat…) I know. Pathetic tastebuds. Also, do you find that the boiling time differs depending on your water (seriously)? Where I grew up (lovely soft Irish water) eggs always needed 10 mins. Here (hard mean London water) they need only 6. Eggs – always upsetting science. I think it’s the chickens’ way of messing with our heads.

    1. deb

      Reluctant — Yes, you can make them without anchovies. I’ve only used the tap water we have in NYC but if your recipe for successful hard-boiled eggs varies, use it instead.

  8. I made deviled eggs for the first time for Thanksgiving, and I used about half old eggs, and half new eggs, and just about half of them peeled easily. Anyway, I loooove deviled eggs, and now that I realize they’re not all that difficult to make, I foresee making them much more often. Can’t wait to try these ones!

  9. Ada

    I completely agree with your delicious list of party foods but wish to add the humble pig in a blanket. What it lacks for in sophistication it more than makes up for in deliciousness, as evidenced by the fact that it’s always the first thing to disappear at the parties I’ve attended. Also, Jacob is so big now!

  10. I’ve also heard it’s the older the egg, the easier to peel explanation. Strangest thing. Last week while I was waiting for the bus I decided to distract myself from the chill — seriously, it was 62 degrees on Monday, and by Thursday it was 42? — by creating different flavors for deviled eggs to change things up for all the upcoming holiday parties. (Five separate ones next Saturday. Shudder.) I came up with basil-flecked, bits of caper, adobe with chipotle, and a flavor-packed anchovy one. But I like this next step in anchovy-meets-egg via a Caesar salad.

  11. Cha

    We DO have chickens in our suburban MN back yard, and I can confirm your findings. Let the egg sit in the fridge a good week – or better if you’ve just taken it out of the hen house – before you try to boil and peel them.
    This looks delish! We bring deviled eggs to an annual New Years event and will try these this year. Thanks!

  12. Jennifer

    Re: different chickens, different egg peelability. I’m definitely convinced this is true. I generally buy my eggs from some local German Baptists. They’re great for scrambled and fried, very fresh, thick whites, almost orange yolks. But even when they’re a month old, they’re a pain in the ass to peel. To the point that almost half the white will come off with the shell. And I’ve read about and tried all the different tips: use old eggs, boil them a day in advance before peeling, add salt to the boiling water, peel under running water, crack the entire shell, crack just the top/bottom/side, crack a ribbon around the middle and pull from there. None of it works.

    Whatever kinds of chickens they have, they make eggs that have two membranes inside. One generally sticks to the white, and one generally sticks to the shell. Getting under both, plus the shell itself, without ripping off the white, oh my god, soooo hard. I’ve basically resigned myself to not eating hard-boiled eggs. Which sucks, cause egg salad? Awesome! Deviled eggs? Ohmygod so god! Just a sliced hard-boiled egg on toast, with salt & pepper? Damn fine.

  13. Trisha B

    Great tip about the lag time between boiling and peeling. Thanks! I make a great deviled egg with blue cheese vinnaigrette and green onions, but will have to try this one now.

  14. Connie

    I consider myself a pretty good cook, but just last night threw a few down the disposal while making potato salad! I’ve heard before that older eggs peel easier, but I didn’t think about boiling them and waiting a few days before peeling. I’m hoping this is the ticket! And BTW, the eggs look awesome and will be on the list of wonderful things to share at Christmas dinner! Thanks for posting, and tweaking for all of us! Love your blog!

  15. KarenBoe

    For perfect hard boiled eggs, bring the water to a boil, turn the heat off and cover the pot. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then drain and let sit in cold water to cool. I learned this method from the Time-Life series of cookbooks a billion years ago and it always works. The eggs are never over cooked and never have that green ring around the outside of the yolk.

  16. Wow I’ve never attempted deviled eggs but these look so great! Your eggs look delightful!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sadly I was asked to BAKE for a party this coming weekend or I might have shown up with these lovely looking treats!

  17. After reading the “deviled egg” title, I just knew the comments section would be filled with this-is-how-I-do-hard-boiled-eggs tips. :) Sweet. I have to concur with the old eggs. However, the boil-ahead thing is immensely appealing for my holiday planning, as I can’t guarantee I’ll have less-than-fresh eggs on hand by the time the end of the year rolls around, and I’ll need those *&#% shells to come off. Thanks, as usual, for an awesome post [muah!]

  18. Nuala

    And here’s another food science tidbit for you: not only does setting the eggs in cold water speed up the chilling process, if the water is cold enough, the resulting pressure differential helps pull the sulfur away from the yolk, getting rid of that nasty green color. Three cheers for science!

  19. I saw these go up on your flickr stream and have been anxiously waiting for the recipe. I’m a little upset that in all the variations of deviled eggs I have made I never thought of caesaring them up. I’ve discovered that older eggs in general are easier to peel. I buy eggs about a week before I plan to hard boil them. I also have noticed that generic white shelled eggs are a lot easier to peel than brown eggs.

  20. JK

    Yes, I’ve read in several different places that older eggs peel better! So perhaps it doesn’t even matter if they’re cooked and then left in the fridge to think about what they’ve done or if you just let them hang out, uncooked, for a few days to a week after buying them but before cooking them.

  21. Chelsey

    Egg shells allow for gas exchange- the longer your eggs sit, the more air is allowed into the egg. Using an older egg lets air surround the egg under the shell so the shell doesn’t stick to the egg.

    I’ll have to try this recipe! I’ve always been a fan of adding curry to my deviled eggs.

  22. I had backyard chickens and their fresh eggs were COMPLETELY unpeelable…you had to let them age for about 2 weeks before you could peel them, which always kind of freaked me out. But then again, I suppose grocery store eggs are always that old and you just don’t realize it.

  23. Love deviled eggs. I remember reading somewhere that a single deviled egg makes a great afternoon snack, and immediately scoffed. Who eats only one deviled egg?

    Your link to those Parmesan biscotti makes me remember why I love this site (like I ever forgot). I found that recipe tucked within the depths of Epicurious, and made it for last year’s cocktail party. A few months later, while cyber-stalking you via your “surprise me!” feature, the very same recipe popped up. We clearly have the same tastes.

  24. Yum! I also agree with the “using slightly aged eggs” theory for peel-ability. We have a little coop at our farm so they are SUPER fresh. I have to hide a dozen in the back of the fridge and plan ahead. Otherwise, utter frustration!

  25. Meri

    You know that video going around about peeling garlic? Try it with your hard-boiled eggs in the drained pot with the lid on. I ended up with the egg completely peeled and all the shell on the other side of the pot. Plus, it makes an awesome clatter.

  26. Sarah

    I have found that slicing the eggs whites crosswise (as Molly shows here: helps to hide any divots that have occurred during the peeling process. Plus, since you take a tiny slice off the bottom, they stand upright and don’t slide around on the plate when you are transporting them to a party! I do agree with the old egg theories: whether you buy eggs and wait to cook them or cook them and then wait to peel them, they definitely do better than buying/cooking/peeling all on the same day.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I might have to host a party just for an excuse to make them!

  27. Susan

    You made these look so pretty and appetizing. I don’t often make deviled eggs because the eff-ing peeling really pushes my patience. And because they are usually on the cusp of expiration so the whites get really thin on one side and are hard to cut without tearing the white. Drives me crazy. Thanks for the tip, I’ll keep it in mind next time I need to make them.

  28. I’m going to have to figure out a way to transform this into egg salad, as I have no parties to go to until the week of Christmas and I clearly can’t wait that long to try this flavor combo. Plus I’m pregnant and have to eat what I want the instant I want it. No impulse control.

  29. This recipe IS quite brilliant, and they are lovely to look at too! Love the idea of the lettuce cup and the crunchy breadcrumbs, they add much needed texture to this treat.

  30. Liz

    I keep chickens (with equally as cool names: Marge, Ethel, Frankie, Louise and Thelma) and I can attest to the the theory that different chickens produce different shells. As a few people here have noted, the longer an egg sits the more air is trapped underneath the shell, making it easier to peel. Did you know that store bought eggs are usually months old? That’s why they are much, much easier to peel than freshly laid eggs.

    Can’t wait to try this recipe out! Your eggs looks absolutely stunning and totally cookbook worthy.

  31. CM

    I was stopping in to say the same thing as KarenBoe. Your eggs are overcooked! Use her method and you will get perfect creamy orange yolks instead of crumbly yellow/green ones. (Can’t agree with commenter Sid though — don’t boil them before you peel them? Sounds like a big mess!)

  32. Erica

    Someone else already said it but I’ll reinforce that if you let the egg cool completely, or merely run it under cold water for 30 seconds before peeling, the peel will come of perfectly.

  33. LJ

    So many people have suggestions for easy to peel hard boiled eggs, but what I have found to work best is the “shock” method. I put the eggs in water, bring to a boil for one minute, remove them from heat for 10-15 minutes, return the pot to heat and bring to a boil again for one minute and then promptly drain and rinse the eggs under very cold water. It’s a bit of a pain, but it keeps the yolks yellow, and makes the shells easier to peel.

  34. KarenBoe has hit the nail on the head – your eggs are overcooked, as evidenced by the grayish hue on the outside of the yolks. I second her method, it’s always been reliable for me.

  35. Kiki

    Can’t remember where I read this, but have you discovered the miracle of steaming eggs? They peel so smoothly. A few eggs in a vegi steamer for 12 (or was it 20?) minutes and you have perfect eggs for peeling and deviling. Scouts honor.

  36. For what it’s worth, Alton Brown has an easy method for making hard-cooked eggs in large quantities. Set as many eggs as you like on the rack of a cold oven (with a baking sheet below, just in case). Turn the oven to 325 and cook for 30 minutes. For reasons I have yet to learn, it prevents the green-tinged yolk and the consistency is (maybe it’s just my imagination) a little creamier.

  37. Sarah Jane

    Yet another suggestion for peeling eggs: I have a 50-hen flock, and am famous (ahem) for my deviled eggs. While the older ones peel most easily, I have a 99% success rate with super-fresh eggs if I prick a hole in the butt end before boiling. There is air in there and it bubbles out during cooking. I also bring water to a boil before adding the eggs, and cool them down with cold water so I can hold on to them while peeling. This way you really don’t have to plan ahead (a major plus for the busy farmer/hostess).

  38. I read that thing about the older eggs being easier to peel in Shirley Corriher’s book, CookWise (do you know that book? It is a kitchen science dream manual!) but they are still a booger to peel. They must smell my desperation and fear :) Can’t wait to try this recipe, ugly eggs or not.

    P.S. I soooo want a chicken so I can name it Buffy the Worm Slayer.

  39. Ruth

    I have been following your blog (like almost everyone else I know) and I find that many of your posts come very close to reading my mind. But nothing comes closer than this. A perfect opportunity to try my hand at something new and make it the combination of two wonderful starters. Thank you!

  40. Amanda

    If you run your boiled eggs under cold water for five or ten second, you have no problem peeling them. Saves the forethought of earlier boiling!

  41. Sherry

    I figured out by laziness and then by trial and error that if you let the eggs come to room temperature before you boil them, the shells practically slide off. Doesn’t matter how fresh or old or what kind of hen laid them or the phase of the moon, etc.. Just let them sit on the counter in the carton for a few hours, or overnight, and boil them when they are room temp. Done, easy.

  42. Caesar salad and deviled eggs?! My head is exploding!

    In addition to the cold/days old boiled egg peeling method, I find that if I bust the shell all over into hundreds, nay, thousands of cracks while it’s still on the egg, I find it all comes off a lot easier.

  43. Kc

    After boiling run under cold water always works for. Just continue running in the water until egg is cool. My dad swears by putting vinegar in the water you using to boil the eggs.

  44. LM

    If you remove the boiled eggs from the hot water and place them quickly in ice cold water, the peeling will be a brise! I promise! I hope you get to read this comment, it will change your egg boiling experience :)

  45. Jessica

    When I read your post, I thought of this commercial:

    The product is suspect, but the commercial cracks me up every time. I love how the woman at the beginning looks like she was in a catfight with hard-boiled eggs.

  46. Cathie

    I’ve heard both older eggs/not peeling them right away, but based on my last experience with peeling eggs, I’m going to have to go with “they smell fear.” Unless I waited so long to peel them that it looped back around to terrible, because I probably took half of the white with the shell. Sigh.

  47. Ah yes, you have perfected the egg to lettuce ratio in the perfect caesar salad. Instead of a yolk or so in the dressing, the eggs have taken over and the greens have but dwindled to but a meager accompaniment. Well done eggs in earning your rightful spot amongst the salad ingredients, well done. I’m comin’ for you!

  48. Heather

    I agree with KarenBoe’s method for boiling the eggs, and I’ve got a tip for peeling them. After letting the eggs cool in the cold water (and I do this in the same pot), I drain the eggs, put the lid on the pot, and shake it around for a few seconds. It breaks up the shells just enough that they’re pretty easy to peel. I also generally use older eggs, so that might have something to do with it, too.

  49. This is an absolute egg peeling think tank! I love deviled eggs and the idea of adding ceasar salad flavors is making my mouth water. Thanks for reminding me about bacon wrapped dates. I am also a fan of bacon wrapped water chestnuts sprinkled with a little bit of brown sugar and baked.

  50. I have backyard chickens and I have the hardest time peeling eggs simply because my eggs are always really really fresh. If I had old grocery store eggs, I think they would peel a lot easier.

  51. alison

    My grandmother taught me that to peel a hard-boiled egg without making them ‘holey’ was to knock it hard on one side so that the shell was cracked, and then roll the egg around on the table surface, so that the cracks would extend all around the eggshell. Then peel it. Apparently this wouldn’t affect the surface of the cooked egg coz of the membrane in between. i know it sounds weird, and so do my friends. i’m the only one i know who cracks her eggs like that, but i’m also the only one who never had ‘holey’ eggs in her life. :) try it!

  52. Susanne

    Only one person mentioned this before, but steaming is the method I learned while working in a restaurant. Set-up a steamer, add the eggs, and top with the lid… from there it is 18 min. It has been years since I learned that and what I teach my cooks. Maybe it is something with the steaming that helps them separate so easily… but I’m shocked when I don’t ever hear about this method.

  53. Sydney

    I have always boiled for 10 minutes with just barely enough water to cover the eggs (like mom said), but then I immediately flush the eggs in cold water and peel them while they are just barely cool enough to handle. My fingers are bright red when I’m finished.

    I’ve never looked it up, but as a materials scientist who has nothing better to do than wonder about it in my kitchen, I hypothesize that this method works so well because the shell is a ceramic material and the egg protein is much more like a polymer. Ceramics and polymers have vastly differing thermal properties, and so I think that the polymer contracts faster than the ceramic.

    For those of you who are less science-y, it would be the same phenomenon that causes sidewalks to crack and causes a plate or dish set on a burner (or some really cheap plates with hot food on one side) to break.

    My other trick is to find the end of the egg with the air pocket in it and use that to start peeling. I almost always have perfect eggs, no matter how long they’ve been in my fridge before or after boiling.

  54. chaz

    [If you remove the boiled eggs from the hot water and place them quickly in ice cold water, the peeling will be a brise! I promise! I hope you get to read this comment, it will change your egg boiling experience :)]

    The peeling will be a bris? Oh My!

  55. Kristin

    I have several (possibly superstitious) tricks I use every time I boil eggs. They peel so easily every time, so something must be helping!
    1. Only use eggs a week after I bought them.
    2. Put a splash of vinegar in the water.
    3. Put a dash of salt in the water.
    4. Shock the eggs in ice water after cooking.

    Works like a charm! I don’t know which of these does the trick, so I just do them all!

  56. Kara

    I’m surprised there’s still a lot of confusion about why some eggs are harder to peel than others. Everything I’ve read says exactly the same thing: it’s not a matter of boiling the eggs ahead of time, it’s the actual freshness of the egg. Fresh eggs, when boiled, will not peel easily. Eggs that have been sitting in the fridge a little longer (not past their freshness date, of course) peel easily. Alton Brown even says so, which is good enough for me. So if you only have really fresh eggs? I’ve read in several places that you should just barely prick the end of the egg with a pin before boiling. . .it allows just enough water into the shell during boiling to create that nice separation between the white and the membrane next to the shell. . .that nice separation that you notice when you boil slightly older eggs. I haven’t tried the poking-with-a-pin trick, but Amanda Soule (soulemama) swears by it with her home-grown eggs, and she’s another person I definitely trust. Mystery solved!

  57. HEY, dear owner of this website. so, tumblr said i cant share this, and that your site asked that this not be shared on tumblr. and that i should contact you directly to be able to share it. quick question… you are allowed to take someone elses recipie and blog about it while posting all of the info you need instead of telling people to buy the book, but i cant post this on my dumb ass tumblr?

    dont you want people to click on links to your site so that you can make ad money off other peoples recipies?

    bye, im never coming back. do me a favor and google the internet, and how it werks.

  58. What a great idea! I’ve only just recently been introduced to deviled eggs (weird, right?) and I freaking love them! There is a recipe in Vij’s At Home (a MUST HAVE cookbook if you love Indian food) for curried deviled eggs that I’ve been wanting to try. I’ll have to add these to the list as well!

  59. Kara – My mother always did that, I mean pricking the eggs with a pin. I remember my parents even had a shop bought gadget for that! I assumed it was to prevent the eggs from cracking during the boiling (happens especially if you take the eggs right out of the fridge). But – my mother made deviled eggs regularly and I don’t remember her having problems with the peeling (and she mostly buys fresh farm eggs). Will have to test it myself…

  60. Shiyiya

    Wow, over a hundred comments and nobody else has the same egg trick as me?

    Guys. Dribble a little oil in the water. Eggshells are porous, some will seep through, and the shell practically leaps off. It’s wonderful.

    (I boil my eggs for twenty minutes and like them best when the yolk has gone grey on the outside, but I accept that I am in a near-invisible minority there. I also don’t actually like the taste of eggs.)

  61. Riana du Toit

    Two tips: 1.knock a little hole with a sharp pointed object in the
    round side of the egg.There is a little air pocket there and bubbles come out in the hot water instead of causing the eggs to crack when the air expands.
    2. Tap the shell all over with a teaspoon before peeling instead of trying to remove whole pieces of shell.

  62. Jen

    Thanks for the “boil a few days before peeling” tip. Until now – though I’ve tried many methods – I’ve just considered myself lucky whenever a smooth egg appeared. Leave it to science to help create a thing of beauty, the perfectly smooth deviled egg! Happy Holidays, Deb.

  63. Eva

    The cold water thing works because it causes the membrane around the egg to tighten up ever so slightly, thus making it easier to peel. In German, this is called “Abschrecken”.

  64. Julia Jardim

    I don’t know if I’m being completely silly and this is already how you do it without much success, but since I’ve never experienced this kind of frustration when peeling eggs, maybe I should just add: have you tried delicately rolling the eggs between your hands or on a hard surface (so the whole peel cracks like a turtle’s back, but the inside of the egg is still intact) before peeling it? Normally, the membrane will help keep all little peaces together and the whole peel will come out when you pull the first one. It works better with Quail eggs, but chicken eggs never made me want pull my hair out, so I’m guessing this could help.

  65. Rachel (Richmond, VA)

    I prefer Sunny Anderson’s deviled eggs. Yokes, mayo, Dijon, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and pickled jalapeno peppers. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and frenches fried onions just before serving. I’ve made then twice for company, they never lasted. Better than the traditional recipe and they’ve got kick without being too spicy.

  66. I believe the breadcrumb will now become essential to the deviled egg. Genius! I can’t wait to make these. And I’m intrigued by your theories, especially the idea that a little spa time in the fridge can make an easy-off shell on a hard-boiled egg. Thanks.

  67. Ah. You have solved a mystery of my life — why I don’t like parties. It must be because I don’t like deviled eggs (or any other hard or soft-boiled egg preparation). But if I were ever going to attempt to eat a deviled egg again it would be this recipe because I love proper Caesar salads with all of the anchovy, coddled egg and Parmesan.

  68. I cannot eat commercially produced eggs after hearing of the discarded bird who was rescued to become a beloved pet and egg producer. So I pay extra to my “egg lady” at the local market. The eggs are laid by a free range, named flock. She shares the tip re: older eggs – fresh eggs are beautiful for poached, but not for boiled eggs. Use older eggs to get them to peel easier. This is a wonderfully tasty recipe.

  69. Lindsay S.

    Yeah, the grey ring on the yolks in your photos means they’re overcooked (they’re meant to be just on the solid side of creamy. Yours have gone past that into crumbly). Several years ago my husband convinced me to buy an electronic egg cooker (you can find ut on Amazon, by Hamilton Beech, IIRC), which takes the guesswork out of proper timing for hard, medium, and soft cooked eggs, and even though I scoffed at it at first, I have to admit that it’s pretty awesome. The device uses steam to cook, comes with a little thing to prick the ends, and has a steaming basket with which you carry the eggs to the sink for running under water when you’re done. Never once have i gotten that grey ring since I started using my little egg cooker, and the difference in taste and texture is really noticeable. Even without a gadget like this I think steaming is the way to get really great eggs.

  70. Ahuva

    Where did you get that wooden serving platter the eggs are on? Believe it or not, I’m not a huge deviled egg person, but I wonder how this would turn out as an egg salad?

    1. deb

      Ahuva — I think it was at Whole Foods, kind of a random impulse purchase when I was sick of all of my dishes.

      Brendan — I have no idea what you’re talking about. You can’t share something from this site on Tumblr? I see stuff from SK shared on Tumblrs all the time.

  71. I recently got chickens that were born on 8/1/11. They just switched to layer feed and I am very excited to begin harvesting eggs soon. Can’t wait to try this recipie as I love deviled eggs. My chickens have cute names too: Pansy, Poppy, Petunia, and Petal. I want to eat my eggs as fresh as possible so I think I am going to try the pin prick method.

  72. It also helps if you use eggs that are a few days old (they don’t need to be super fresh unlike when you poach or fry). As the egg gets older, there becomes more air space between the white/yolk and the shell. Hence it makes peeling easier. I love the whole Caesar salad/deviled egg idea. It’s actually quite whimsical considering there is traditionally egg yolk in the dressing.

  73. Jenn

    Consider making your own mayo too–Michael Schwartz has a great recipe that uses soft boiled eggs–whites and yolks and it is amazing and creamy–really takes the deviled egg to a new level (he has a recipe for that as well). The cookbook is “Michael’s Genuine Food.” Check it out!

  74. Kari

    These look amazing, I’ll definitely be trying them.
    As for peeling the eggs, I’ve noticed some people in the comments have suggested cooling them before peeling them. Yes, you should cool them after boiling them, but that is to stop the cooking process and avoid overcooking them. To get a nicer peeled egg you should peel them warm. I boil them, plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process, then peel them before they become completely cooled off. If they’re fridge cold I let them warm up close to room temperature, then run them under warm water before peeling them.

  75. wenders

    Some people have commented on the whole gray egg thing. Martha Stewart has a recipe on her website for perfectly hard boiled eggs. I’ve had great success with that. I’ve also taught my 10-year old to do the same and she has enjoyed beautifully hard-boiled eggs. Love the caesar salad deviled eggs idea. Will be putting that in my must-try list! Thank you for all your wonderful and tested ideas.

  76. Karen

    These sound outstanding, and I am not a big fan to begin with. More than one Easter I have ended up with eggs that are not cooked through – and those really don’t peel well at all!
    Of course, my DH loves deviled eggs of all kinds. I have been known to buy eggs that are already boiled and peeled (found at Trader Joe’s) just to make the whole process more accessible (especially when I haven’t allowed time to properly “age” my eggs for easier peeling).

    My dad was convinced that the way to get the shell off easily was to gently crackle the shell all over; then remove a small piece at one end; then hold the egg up to one’s lips and blow air through and around it. I think the idea was to get some air between the shell and the egg. Seemed like a find idea at the time, although I remain unconvinced that it actually comes true – mostly it just makes a squeaky rude noise…

  77. Jennifer

    I found a great method for boiling eggs on a bento website; they turn out great every time without any green tinge. (They also say fresher eggs are harder to peel.)
    You let your eggs come to room temp, then slide them in boiling water. Boil for ten minutes, remove from heat, cover, let stand for ten more minutes, then shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Ta-da! Perfect eggs.

  78. Paul

    Another trick for great hard boiled eggs is turn the carton of eggs on it’s side for 24 hours before you boil them.This will center the yolk perfectly in the middle of the egg, so all the eggs are perfectly uniform, with no weak edges.

  79. Susan Stefun

    Though I’ve tried every tip listed in the 134 comments above, including the least mentioned but most effective, peeling under running water, I still occasionally got the stuck-tight shells, until I found the NEVER-FAIL METHOD: after hard cooking–NOT boiling–and cooling the eggs (I drain them, add ice and tap water to cover; wastes less water and gets rid of old ice cubes), gently crack all over,open the larger end enough to insert the tip of a teaspoon and run it all around the egg just under the shell, pushing off a strip of shell as you work down the egg. Presto–smooth, shell-free egg in 2-3 seconds.

  80. These look to-die-for! I have to restrain myself from printing off every recipe you post & adding it to my pile in the kitchen. I just keep repeating that you’ve got a cookbook coming out for my birthday. :)

    Don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this yet, but the absolute easiest way to boil those puppies (come out perfect every time–no gray or runny yolks, just creamy little sunshines) is to use a rice cooker (/steamer). If you’ve got one handy, you just splash in enough water to cover the bottom of the pot, add the eggs (only one layer, just like when you’re boiling), and set the timer for white rice (or about 20 mins, depending on the cooker). No cracked eggs, no messing with the stove…you can even leave them in there to cool & it still won’t overcook the yolks; it just firms up the whites a little more.

  81. First off, so glad you mentioned dates wrapped in bacon! I just made these this past weekend, and like an idiot newbie, put them on a flat baking sheet in the oven and filled my entire house with smoke due to the pour over of grease. I thought, “If Deb had written up this recipe, she would have warned someone like me.”

    Second, I’m sorry for people like Brendan who give you such ridiculous grief. I think your writing, siting, and verbal tact is so dead on and awesome. I’m certain people are honored to have their books mentioned on your site. Forget him and keep bringing us the amazing work you bring!

  82. Hello! These look great. And can you believe I had my first deviled egg this year? Craziness abounds apparently, because they’re amazing. Can’t wait to be invited to a party so I can make these for the guests :)

  83. Jill

    The secret to peeling eggs is steaming them rather than boiling them. I have hens and can steam an egg the same day it is laid and it will peel perfectly. Just put the eggs in a steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes.

  84. Love these!
    I love the piped filling – which tip did you use? I recently got piping bags and tips for my birthday and am jumping at every opportunity to use them! ( I am 14) Love the cookbook jealousy – (why didn’t I think of that?!?!?)
    Thanks for your blog and the awesome pics!

  85. Heather

    After boiling, keep your eggs in the fridge in a bowl of water. They will peel effortlessly on the day of boiling, the day after, the 3rd day after and so on.

  86. Alison

    I’ve been having the same egg-peeling conversation in my head since Thanksgivingtime, when I got two consecutive requests for Spinach-Bacon Deviled Eggs (think spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, crammed into a boiled egg: mmmm). The internet led me to try a sprinkle of baking soda in the water when boiling or coddling eggs. I think that’s tied to the whole pH thing. Not sure about the science, but it worked for me! I had around 90% clean-peel return rate in two separate dozens that were boiled, cooled, and peeled in the same day. I’ll never boil another pot of eggs without 1/2 tsp of baking soda.

    The spinach-bacon eggs call for crispy bacon crumbs, thawed chopped spinach, softened butter, mayo, apple cider vinegar, S&P. They’re incredible, along the same lines as these caesar salad eggs.

  87. Wayne

    So much advice! So, it seems:
    * use older eggs
    * cook them well in advance of peeling
    * put them into boiling water (but they will sometimes burst, in my experience)
    * plunge them into cold water after cooking
    * roll them on a hard surface to crack the shell (Jamie Oliver does this)
    * and my tip- hold each egg under a stream of cold water from the tap and as you pull a piece of shell from the white allow the water stream to jet between the shell and white. This will lift most or all of the shell away from the white. Try it!

    1. deb

      Wayne — You get an A in comment-reading. :)

      To be frank, I do none of these things and with rare exception of the eggs that were slightly overcooked in these photos (hence the green edge of the yolks, you can chalk it up to being distracted by a toddler, or, real life), now find that all I need to do is let them rest in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and the shells come off easily. I like all the tips but I always go for the most minimal effort possible, as long as it works.

  88. I’m glad to see you included anchovy in this recipe :-) I’ve grown to appreciate anchovies in recent years and find they add a welcome touch of salinity and brininess. Looks yummy!

  89. Lydda

    To echo Wayne, a while back I learned a trick to peeling hard-boiled eggs: Certainly do not use fresh fresh eggs, and after they’re boiled pour off the hot water, leave in cold water for a few minutes, and then pour that off. THE TRICK: After draining the cold water, cover the pot and shake gently to crack the eggs all over. THEN peel them while running a bit of cold water over them. The slowly running water helps to get beneath the shell and help it come off. There may still be a few bumpy uglies, but this helps lots.
    Don’t know that I would boil them a few days before using. That’s planning farther ahead than I usually do!!

  90. Gina Siciliano

    I was not that lucky a few days ago peeling my boiled eggs that had cooked 3 days before. I had a very hard time and thought maybe my eggs had not b een fresh at the tim of puchase.Maybe yes or no?? Help!!

  91. lee

    All of the above tips work, particularly with older eggs. But the absolute best, as only one other poster says, is letting the eggs come to room temperature prior to boiling. Works every time!

  92. Jaine

    All you need to do is put a good sprinkling of salt in the water when you add the eggs. Easiest thing in the world.
    I think the salt must tighten the membrane underneath the hard shell.
    I use the box to sprinkle the salt, so it must be over a teaspoon full. Maybe half a tablespoon.
    Works every time.
    Then dip out the eggs and put them in cold tap water and leave them a while. Every message board I see I try to spread the word.

  93. Don’t boil eggs. Steam them. 12 min. at sea level, 13 min. for large, (add 1 minute for x-large) were I live (Apx. 1200 ft.)
    Don’t start them ice cold, let them warm up a little before cooking. Some very cold eggs tend to crack while cooking. When done, immediately immerse in ice water until cold. 10 min. or so. They will peel easily, egg age does not seem to matter with this technique.

  94. What is it about boiled eggs and caesar salad? I make my home made caesar dressing with hard boiled eggs and it’s creamy and delicious…and no worries about salmonella! Lasts for weeks, too! And I agree about using older eggs and bringing them to room temp first. I’ve tried boiling eggs fresh from my hens and the white comes off with the shells :(

  95. lesliepie

    We keep laying hens and are familiar with peeling pain-in-the-butt, hard-boiled eggs. We have luck with letting them sit on the counter for 24-28 hours before boiling. Our “Raising Chickens for Dummies” book said something about more airspace in a less-fresh egg makes for easier peeling. Seems like there are lots of theories!

  96. Renate

    We recently acquired a variety of chicken breeds, and the Auricanas lay very tiny eggs, about half the size of the other chickens’ eggs. I’ve started making devilled eggs with them, and they turn out simply adorable. They are just bite sized, and are probably much more fussy to work with, but well worth it. These Caesar salad ones will be next!

  97. Omar

    I like Wayne’s idea of peeling directly under running, cold water.. but definitely, I love the idea of just boiling them ahead of time and letting them sit in the fridge. I used Martha’s method for perfect boiled eggs, brings eggs and room temp water come up to boil, take the pot off the burner, cover for 5 minutes exactly, then drain.

    Let me also say that I’m obsessed with deviled eggs where the egg yolks are mixed with mayo and sriracha, piped into the shell and topped with roasted red bell peppers, balsamic and chives!

  98. Kristina

    Probably someone already said this, so I’ll reiterate if so. My grandmother taught me that you scramble new eggs, and boil old eggs. If you let the eggs sit in your fridge for at least a week before boiling, they pretty much always peel easily, although it always helps to sit them in the fridge for at least a day.

  99. Stephanie

    I beg of you: don’t bring these to a potluck unless you have gluten-free bread crumbs or a labeled plate without any! This is one of those foods that folks like me throw right onto the plate without worry. Now I have to worry.
    NOT to say you shouldn’t make these for home use, or for your own parties without allergic folks. (They look great!) I just worry about those foods that are usually “safe” being converted into ones that aren’t.

  100. I’d always read they had to be cold, so I put them in the fridge for a while and go on to something else and they peel perfectly well. Now on to this marvelous recipe: My favorite salad combined with my favorite food (egg), I will make! I’ll probably have to make lots cause I can see me eating a half dozen myself. Thank you for posting this lovely dish.

  101. Sarah

    My last chef in the kitchen I worked told me to add a teaspoon or so of baking soda to every couple quarts of cold ice water before adding the eggs. I am pretty sure this is another way to change the pH of the shells. So for those of us who are currently on the way to the grocery store to buy a dozen eggs and NEED to be eating these in thirty minutes and not in 3 days, give this a try.

  102. Laura

    All the egg peeling tips are cracking me up, no pun intended. I read this post at 2:30 am in a fit of insomnia. Made me so hungry for deviled eggs that I had to go to the fridge and get a cheese stick so I wouldn’t start making them right now at zero dark thirty. Sorry, not a very useful comment but felt like chiming in. :)

  103. Sarah L

    Not sure if this was mentioned (there’s a 169 comments right now) but I read in America’s Test Kitchen – Cook’s Country that if you set the carton of eggs on its side the night before you boil the yolks will be centered. No more super thin whites that break easily. We’ve tested it and it works. One more reason to plan ahead for deviled eggs. Looks tasty!

  104. I always make deviled eggs for holidays and parties. This is a great variation on an old classic. I can’t wait to try it! Do you think anchovy paste would work as well as a regular anchovy?

  105. Ali

    I LOVE the rest of your audience! He’s adorable, and every time you post a pic it shocks me how long I’ve been reading your blog!!
    On the eggs note, I pretty much live off them, boil them a dozen at a time, and half way through one dz. boil another and shove it to the back of my fridge, makes things crazy easy, plus having a dozen eggs on hand, makes impromptu party invites a breeze (everyone loves the person who shows up with deviled eggs!)

  106. Jaye

    am I allowed to say (type p**s off to Brendan of the Tumblr Fame? really. go away and reserach someone who cares on the internet. This website is quirky and wonderful and has a faithful following. Sorry that it distressed you that you couldnt steal from it. gormless.
    ok. rant over.,love the recipes, love jacob and cannot wait for the cookbook.

  107. Cici

    Hi – verrrrry new here, but you’ve already given me so many gifts so it’s time to reciprocate. Perfect boiled eggs every time: start with cold water, cold eggs, bring to boil and at the second it starts to really boil, cover with tight fitting lid and turn fire completely off, wait 10 minutes – no cheating and looking and releasing steam, after the entire 10 minutes, remove top, pour out water and replace with ice cubes and water…wait a few minutes and perfect boiled eggs, shell release with ease, yolks remain yellow…works every time

  108. I’m pretty sure the only thing that could stop me from eating a hundred of these would be the massive heart attack I would get about two-thirds of the way in. They look addictive.

  109. ME

    Deb – I admire your response to overly emotional posts, bravo.

    This recipe is fabulous – thank you for inspiring me to break away from the basic paprika-topped midwestern church-basement eggs. Though, I’m not sure I can tell anyone what is actually IN them until they try them and fall in love first. :-)

  110. bell

    I’ve never tried a devilled egg (I know, blasphemy!) but have always wanted to. They just don’t seem to exist in Ireland, but believe me, they will very soon! That Brendan fella seems to be a right eejit – I, for one, am most definitely coming back to your site!

    Thanks yet again

  111. Shelly

    Merci beaucoup for another amazing recipe. Its sometimes hard to sell devilled eggs as a fantastic appetizer … I think that the ubiquitous dried out bland paprika covered devilled egg has done that! …… these went over very well, very tasty

  112. Mary C.

    I have got to try this!!! I thought I was on to something with the Cooks Illustrated way, but I still run into trouble with that method! Soooo excited :) I will be making these soon!!

  113. dayna

    The best tip I ever learned for getting eggs to peel well is to use a sewing needle or a pin and poke a tiny hole in one end of the egg before you boil them. It seems to work well regardless of the age of the egg.

  114. laurie

    I have noticed that the brand of egg affects the ease of peeling. The cheaper supermarket brand often works better than the more expensive one with the fancy health claims. Maybe, as someone else noted, the type/breed of chicken affects the eggs. I prefer the cold water, bring to boil, turn off heat for 10 minutes, and cool quickly with ice water method. The egg yolks have a creamy texture and no green. However, sometimes they peel, and sometimes they don’t. This recipe looks divine.

  115. Cheaper is likely older. I raise chickens and I can attest to the fact that it is age above all else that makes a difference, unless you get the occasional shell-less egg as I do, in which case there is no peeling involved, but your chicken is suffering a calcium deficit.
    Older eggs are easier to peel, but eggs that have been boiled and left to sit a few days are even easier. Ask any Orthodox Christian who breaks eggs on Easter Day! That’s when I make MY deviled eggs because they require no effort.
    DEB – LOVE these. I’ve made similar, but you balanced off the flavors nicely. Great idea for the holidays!

  116. These look fantastic! Two of my favorite things involving mayonnaise, together at last :) (Also curious about the anchovy paste angle – I mean, it’s so easy to keep on hand, but is it similar enough in flavor?)


  117. MaryM

    I promise, no tips for peeling. However, when I’m making deviled eggs I always cook at least a couple of extra eggs and add the yolks to the rest. That way I’m assured of having enough filling to make nice tall eggs. If there is any filling left, it’s cook’s treat spread on a cracker! I love the idea of anchovies, and I think I’ll add anchovy paste to my next batch.

  118. I have never, and I mean NEVER, made deviled eggs. I think the idea terrifies me because I am thrown back to memories of a banquet hall, the virginia reel, and a boy with sweaty hands whose mother is forcing him to dance with me. The deviled eggs were ever present at these recurring functions. But maybe, just maybe…I could give this a go…

  119. Any ideas how to adapt these for fish allergies? They sound amazing!!

    I always always use eggs that have been sitting in the fridge for weeks for hard boiled eggs; and cook them often for healthy snacks. Deviled eggs are a lovely treat, for dinner (perhaps with cheddar cheese and a small salad), and of course for cocktail parties. If I want to get really egg obsessed, perhaps I will host deviled egg party with a few different types of eggs and accoutrements.

  120. Marie M.C.

    Old eggs. The older the better. I haven’t read though all the comments so don’t know if someone else has mentioned another method for peeling the eggs. Peel a little from both ends. Put the egg to your month and blow. Yeah, don’t laugh it works! Check YouTube. Also, I always add two eggs just for extra yolks. And sometimes if I feeling especially fancy I’ll put the yolks through a sieve. Oh dear. You’ve done it again. Deviled eggs, NOW.

  121. Emily

    Salt is my secret to peeling hardboiled eggs. As soon as the water starts to boil (I put the eggs in the cold water, then put on the stove), I add a tablespoon or so of salt and voila! Always works!

  122. Marie M.C.

    Google “Tim Ferris How to peel a hard-boiled egg + youtube”. Also, Deb, saw something about you in Time Magazine. SmittenKitchen is a must read or best blog or something great. Guess what? They’re right! Congratulations!

  123. Christina

    I made these tonight and they were the best deviled eggs I’ve ever had…and my moms from Alabama. The crunchy breadcrumbs on top are the best part. First time using anchovies and I’m converted!

  124. I’m curious to find out if you know of any research that suggests people are more likely to purchase food after seeing great photos. I’m sure that it’s true but am looking for some kind of proof for a project I’m working on.

    (Those look really good btw!)

  125. Carmen

    The eggs are not peeling because you are boiling them too long. Just put the eggs in cold water, when they start to boil, boil for an additional 1 minute. Cover and turn off the heat. In 10 min or so you will have easy peel boiled eggs.

  126. Melanie H.M.

    So, when you say boil eggs a few days ahead of time you mean planning ahead? That’s crazy-talk! But now I want to boil a few eggs just to test that theory, plus the kids love deviled eggs. :D

  127. Abbey

    I’m so glad everyone is giving you such great advice about how you’re doing EVERYTHING wrong! haha

    This looks perfectly lovely. My husband is a deviled-egg lover (to the point I have to assemble them right before any party or he sneaks too many out) and I think he’ll love this twist!

  128. These are adorable! Love the idea of serving them on romaine lettuce. i’ve been reading your blog for about a year, and finally decided to add my voice to the miriad of comments. Thanks for bringing out the delight that comes from cooking awesome food in little kitchens!

  129. Thank YOU! I thought I was the only one who couldn’t figure out how to peel a hard boiled egg with out giving it pock marks or worse, taking off big chunks of white. I now feel brave enough to make devilled eggs for our New Year’s dinner.

  130. Andrea

    Hi, my cousin Seth (Ibelieve a friend of yours) forwarded me your blog site. I am the unofficial queen of deviled eggs in my family. We are meeting at Seth’s house for a party and I was given this recipe to try. Cannot wait, sounds fabulous!

  131. WineGirl

    I have to say that when I have my favorite “I don’t feel like cooking and no one else is around alone in the kitchen with eggplant” dinner, I usually slice some nice salamie, with good bread and oil, and olives, and cheese, and grapes, and a fresh hard boiled egg. And when I follow the “recipe” for a hard boiled egg from the throw back “Better Homes” red plaid cookbook, it comes out picture perfect, but only if doused in cold water immediately. Dessert is always a good piece of dark chocolate. Did I mention that the main course is red wine?

  132. Carroll

    I used to boil (old) eggs ahead of time to take in lunches. When I tried to eat them, the shells refused to let go of the yolks! I think they dried out in the fridge. I started putting a wet piece of paper towel with the eggs in a ziplock bag when I took them to work and they peeled perfectly at lunch time.

    NB – put the raw eggs on a plate the night before you want to make devilled eggs. This centers the yolks in the middle of the white.

  133. Heather

    So many posts on how to cook eggs, I did not read them all (shame).
    Here is a tip. Steam the eggs. Put them in a steamer basket, which will hold them just above the water in the pot. Steam them for the same amount of time as you would boil them.

  134. KatieB

    So I failed to follow any of the egg peeling suggestions because, well, I had an hour to make something for potluck and I had a dozen fresh eggs (and I’m talking friend’s-chickens-laid-them-this-week fresh!) and I REALLY REALLY wanted to try this recipe. So my whites were seriously ugly but it really didn’t matter because the flavor was delicious and those crispy little crumbs all over the top pretty much concealed any ugliness that lurked beneath. Thanks for the recipe – it was a crowd favorite!

  135. KatieB

    p.s. I may or may not have let a few curse words slide in the process of peeling my eggs…yet another reason to follow the recommended instructions :)

  136. These look delicious! What a great idea. I love caesar salad and deviled eggs, so this looks right up my alley.

    Just recently made your ribboned asparagus salad, btw, and it was a nice change-up for asparagus. I included it in my blog post, too!

  137. I have no idea if someone mentioned this already because I am not reading over 200 comments on my 2 inch screen…. But the age of the egg also makes a difference. As the egg ages the proteins in the white begin to break down. So when fresh they have a good hold on their shells as the break down they loosen up so to speak. That is what causes the two different consistencies you see some times with store eggs when you fry them.

  138. Kblue

    These eggs look and sound so yummy…and *gasp* Caesar salad isn’t even a favorite of mine.
    I am way too unorganized to boil eggs days in advance or think about how young or old my eggs are. My mother always told me to run eggs under cold water before, or while peeling. Works beautifully for me every time. I usually simultaneously pour out the hot from the pot and run cold water in. Then I peel away. If an egg is especially difficult, an extra shot of cold water always does the trick.

  139. Julia Child has a chapter on what she calls HB Eggs.The short version for cooking is: Use old eggs. Put them in cold water. Bring to boil, boil 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and let sit, covered, 15 minutes. Shock in cold water, peel. Perfect. No unsightly grey or green on the yolks.

  140. LYntheKitchn

    Best tip I ever got, (if you didn’t have a few days to let them sit after boiling):
    After boiling, I run cold water in the pot, and then add some ice. Drain all ice and water, put the lid back on and shake the pot with eggs in it. The shells almost fall right off.

  141. stephanie

    i too find the older and also less fancy the egg (i.e., i have better luck with still good but not just bought eggs from a regular chain grocery store than organic or whole foods or what have you) the easier to peel.

    also, to hard boil eggs i cover them with cold water and add coarse sea salt, then bring to a boil. as soon as they boil turn off the heat and cover them. (so they’ll boil for about a minute or two.) leave them there in the hot water for ten minutes. peel under lukewarm/cool running water. if you forget and leave them in the hot water longer than ten minutes nothing terrible will happen either :)

    eating a salad with eggs in it right now and this caught my eye. yum!

  142. Lasynda

    Two tricks I have been taught when boiling eggs.

    First before you put them on to boil use a pin to make a tiny hole in the bottom of the egg. This allows the water to sneak in and help make it easier to separate from the egg when done.

    Second after cooking run them under cold water or ice water if you have it and this makes the egg pull away from the shell also making it peel all nice and pretty

  143. kathy

    Thanks for the best tip ever. I boiled several to eat in salads the next few shifts, chilled them until 24 hours later. The shell slipped right off.

  144. I agree with you, it’s good to know the trick how to pill eggs, otherwise the whole experience can turn into a fight. Luckily, when I was a kid my grandma taught me. When eggs are already boiled, put them under cold running water for about 1 minute. Once you can handle holding one, crack the eggs on all sides and pill one piece, “catching” the sticky film. The rest is easy. It pills off like cracked shell embroidery and you get a perfectly marble-like egg. Try it and let me know if it does the magic.

  145. I haven’t had devilled eggs for ages but my little brother learned to make them at school and then always made them for every family party so they really remind me of when I was young! Yours look lovely.

  146. Another great caesar salad riff! I used to make a deconstructed one on a garlicky toast with whole boquerones, but, frankly, this is a much better party dish. Hiding the anchovies is the key. And thanks for the tip on peeling. And for making me hungry after I’ve already eaten dinner.

  147. Um, yum! Love deviled eggs. I could eat like 20 in 5 minutes.

    For some reason peeling eggs is so fun to me. It;s like a game. I like to try to get off the shell in as few pieces as possible. I’m a nerd.

  148. nancy

    yep, putting the eggs into already boiling water is the way to go. It always worked for me, than I switched to starting with putting the eggs into cold water and bringing it to a boil, and I couldn’t figure out why it was soooo hard to peel. I went back to the boiling water method and never had a problem again.

  149. CarrynM

    We made these for a get together we went to on Thursday. My husband, who was unsure about deviled eggs and doesn’t like fish at all, loved them. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ll probably be making them again very soon…

  150. Hi Deb,
    I absolutely love deviled eggs and this recipe looks great. But before I make your recipe I have to solve a problem. I’m a native New Yorker who just moved to Denver, 5280 feet above sea level. I’ve been cooking up a storm, but there have been a few altitude-related mishaps. Among the failures is a curried deviled egg recipe that I tried to make a few weeks ago. Oy! It was such a mess. Any clue on how to peel and make deviled eggs at altitude? I’d love to bring them to a little holiday party in Breckenridge…Thanks!

  151. Carol Gelles

    i’ve quickly glanced through all the peeling advice and may have missed this tip – so sorry if it’s a repeat. Adding salt to the water before boiling is supposed to be
    helpful for perfect peeling.

  152. Just a few days ago I read on a blog that adding baking soda in the boiling water makes it easier to peel eggs. The recipe was for quail eggs that are usually even harder. I will try both your tips.

  153. Brenda

    Egg tip – I just cooked two dozen quail eggs this last weekend to pickle and I cooked them for 4.5 minutes in half white vinegar and half water and they peeled beautifully. Don’t see why it wouldn’t work on a chicken egg. And this recipe sounds so delicious I will make for our New Year’s Eve party.

  154. Eileen

    Made these, w/o anchovy, fabulous!! thank you! the crunch of the panko is a perfect contrast to the creamy goodness.
    Have to say, if you want these asap, just place boiled eggs into an ice bath for 5-10 min. Works every time for me. If u add ice/water to your pot, you risk warping the pot.
    I cant imagine planning days ahead to “rest” the eggs when I need to have these bites of deliciousness! :)

  155. Your pictures are cookbook worthy. Beautiful. A tip about peeling eggs: Don’t use fresh eggs. Eggs can last for up to six weeks in the fridge. As they age an air cell develops. Without the air cell you cannot remove the shell.

  156. Monica

    I made these last night for my book club (Nora Ephron: I Feel Bad About My Neck). The book was hilarious and the eggs were are fantastic. Nice balance to all the Xmas cookies. I’ll never deviled eggs any other way!

  157. tciesla

    I have lots of tiny eggs right now from my Serama hens. I think these will make the cutest bite-sized deviled eggs. I was NOT looking forward to the whole peeling issue with my eggs. I tried a suggestion above, I think it was #10 post above. Put them in boiling water for 14 minutes, then into ice water, then peeled immediately. Every one of these 27 tiny eggs peeled perfectly, even the eggs laid today!!! Thank you for the tip William! This totally blows my previous theory of letting the eggs age before boiling.

  158. Made these and they were a great success, did three dozen and just tripled quantities and then tasted, added, adjusted seasoning. I used day-old ciabatta crumbs, heavier but good..

  159. Lee

    ok.. so here is my two cents worth on the egg debate! I have always put eggs in cold water bring to a boil and let sit for a bit then drain and sit in cold water. My luck has always been hit and miss. So then I try different methods with various success..So this year as I boiled away for pickled eggs trying to use up the 17 eggs a day we are getting from our hens my know it all spouse comes along and does it his way (post #245) and I hate to say he was right! Just now I did another dozen day old eggs…put them in boiling water for 10 – 15 min drain add cold water and peel right away..again, perfectly peeled eggs! I hate it when he is right!

    I look forward to trying these eggs, they look delish!

  160. Kelly Culler

    Just finished making my deviled eggs for Christmas Eve. I have no party without deviled eggs. I thought I was just old fashioned. Best deviled egg story ever…when I was about 13 my grandmother put me in charge of the deviled eggs. We were all talking and laughing. I finished my job to realize that I had chopped the whites up with the yolks! Oops..never lived that one down. Merry Christmas!

  161. How I cook the eggs has never seemed to make much of a difference to how well they peel BUT once the eggs are cooked, making sure the membrane under the shell is moist, not dried out, makes a huge difference. I roll each egg gently on the counter to introduce a fine network of cracks all over the shell and then I put them in a bowl, cover them with cool water and let them sit for at least 20 minutes. The shells come off wonderfully.

  162. Chris

    Egg peeling trick: Crack the bottom and peel away enough to get a teaspoon in. Then run teaspoon around the egg. Usually works fine. Works better for me under running water.

  163. Omar

    A brilliant idea.. kudos to the genius’ that you mentioned. I made these for our Christmas lunch and was super pleased. To add to the food-nerd in me and as my siblings’ house ran out of mayo (!), I made a house-made mayo (Alton Brown’s recipe) for this and was in deviled-egg heaven.

  164. Kate

    I made these for Christmas and they were so good that I made them again for Boxing Day! Except for the second batch I made extra breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top.

  165. Ann

    I made these for our Christmas Eve appetizer buffet and they were the first to disappear! The crunchy crumbs are what make these so great! It’s a keeper!

  166. Amanda

    Another egg trick I came across, which wouldn’t work for Deviled eggs but for other hard boiled purposes where you plan on chopping them up. Cut the cooked egg in half with a knife. Really. Then you can use a spoon to scoop the egg out of the shell not unlike how you empty an avocado. It is a pretty cool trick for potato salad and the like.

  167. Omar

    Just made these for the family when I was “home” for Xmas. Had to make Alton Brown’s mayo as the family was mysteriously out of any and all mayo. Anywho, super tasty..the bread crumb topping as a contrast to the soft, filled eggs was truly sensational and the flavors themselves…. Yum!

    I am always terribly intrigued by people that make things and then say that somehow the recipe writer messed up. That’s all I’ll say about that!

  168. The photographs on your site are amazing! And deviled eggs are the best. My mom taught me to peel hard boiled eggs under cold water. It’s one of my favorite memories, cooking with her and making deviled eggs!

  169. These look incredible! I’ve always been a huge fan of deviled eggs and egg salad but usually I only make the basic versions of them.I may have to shake up my egg routine with these!

  170. Audrey

    I made these for NYE and they were really good. I goofed and put the panko on top right away, so by the time of the party after chillin’ in the fridge, the crumbs were not crispy. Don’t be like me and forget to follow the directions. I didn’t think they tasted super “Caesar” to me. I may add more anchovies next time. Or, maybe make a paste of the anchovies with the garlic and add them to the egg yolks, then put a whole parmy crouton on the top? I dunno. Thanks for the recipe! I have heard of this site before, and can’t believe I have only just now looked. I’ve been missing out.

  171. Irina

    I recently discovered this: put hard boiled eggs in a bowl of cold water, crack each egg all over- I roll them on the counter, and then peel them while they’re still submerged. The shells come off pretty cleanly, attached to the membrane. I think it’s because the cold water shocks them and then prevents the membrane/shell from sticking to the albumen. Or something. It just works.

  172. I too have a problem peeling eggs. I have also noticed that when peeled a few days after boiling, it is easier. I just wish I were better at planning ahead!

  173. Charlie

    If you boil them until they are done throughout,immediately put them in cold water,and the inner skin/membrane will loosen from the main part of the egg for the most part..I find ity works really well.

  174. I laughed out loud when I read about egg salad eggs and deviled egg eggs… I universally get perfect peelers when I make the egg salad, but my last three deviled egg preparations were all shell-stickers. Ugh. Maybe I’ll tell them they’re going to be made into egg salad, and they’ll believe me. ;) Love this rendition of a true party classic. Thanks for the recipe!

  175. Zan

    I made these for our Oscar party and they were a big hit. I had leftover breadcrumbs and used them to top a simple spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, lemon and parmesan…absolutely delicious.

  176. Mary L Brown

    I used to make 10 dozen hard boiled eggs every other day. They were used for cheese plates (salad, two slices of bread, one egg quartered and three pieces of 2X3 inch slices of various cheese’s. Of course some went for egg salad on pumpernichel bread topped with shredded cheddar cheese. And last but not least some egg salad went to make “Tornados” which were six inch bagutte sliced in half with some bread removed to put the egg salad even with the bread. They were topped with sharp cheddar and mozzarella mix with two slices of tomato then broiled untill the cheese melted. Anyway the eggs were kept in the walk-in-fridge overnight. To peel them they were rolled gently near the middle of the egg. The shells almost came off in one piece. Love your very informative blog. Chefwannabe

  177. If you remove the boiled eggs from the hot water and place them quickly in ice cold water, the peeling will be a brise! I promise! I hope you get to read this comment, it will change your egg boiling experience haha. Greetings from Hollandia

  178. Megan

    I brought these as an appetizer to a Christmas party and they were a hit. My husband didn’t want me to bring the lettuce though because he said that it’d go to waste. It went to waste in our fridge instead because he forgot to eat it.

  179. TaosRob

    We live at 8500 feet so I have learned a lot about using a pressure cooker. Cooking eggs in a pressure cooker results in eggs that always peel perfectly, even the freshest eggs! Use 1 cup water. Eggs must be on a rack. Cook 5 minutes after pressure is reached. Release pressure quickly with cold water. Chill eggs in ice water.

  180. Cherubaby

    i always add salt and a bit of vinegar to the water…NEVER boil more than 10 minutes unless you want that grey around the yolk…yuck
    after boiling them 10 minutes i plunge them in cold water…very cold water…then i proceed to the peeling part with my teaspoon…i tap on the widest end of the egg with the spoon and smash the shell just a little..take a bit off then i insert the tip of my teaspoon …go in under the shell…go around the egg and VOILA!!!…no messy looking egg ever after…:)

  181. Autumn

    “How to Cook Everything” has taught me to boil the eggs for 12 minutes, then run them under cold water for 2. They peel as if I’m simply taking off the wee egg’s coats, every single time. I just pile them all in a bowl, and sit it under the tap so it fills and refills by itself. I usually forget, though, and let it run for more than 2. It’s never failed me, though.

  182. Kelley

    These were a hit for poker night. The panko is a really fantastic topper, although doubling the recipe made far too many crumbs. I think a single recipe of crumbs for a double batch of eggs (a full dozen) would be plenty. I also added some white wine vinegar and sriracha to boost the flavors. Make sure to eat the eggs wrapped in the romaine leaf, it’s a wonderful contrast and keeps the panko from falling everywhere.

    I hate mashing the yolks by hand because they’re never as smooth as I’d like, so I run them through my mini food processor and get a beautiful filling in seconds.

  183. Judy Padgett

    You know I have found that using an egg cooker is excellent for getting perfectly peeled eggs – no matter how old they are. I have never had eggs not peel perfectly every time. Egg cookers are the BEST!

  184. James

    Your yolks are lookin’ a little ferrous sulfide-y there. Making a small pinhole incision in the broad end of the egg, followed by simmering them in gently boiling water for 12 minutes, and then dunking them into ice water for a few minutes is much more convenient, as well as fool proof, if you ask me. :)

  185. Jennifer

    I can’t remember where I learned this tip but I have always wanted to share… The night before you make your deviled eggs turn your eggs upside-down and the next day when you boil your eggs the yolk will always move to the center of the egg. Just a fun tip I thought I would share.

  186. linda

    i just saw your recipe on pinterest for the eggs in spicy tomato sauce and decided to ck out your sight. it is wonderful.. I just happened to peek at your ceasar deviled eggs and noticed you have some trouble peeling them.. we raise chickens for fun and the fresher the egg the more likely you can’t peel them. for fresh eggs the secret is to place the eggs into rapidly boiling water then bring them back to a boil . turn off and let sit for 15 min.. they should peel easily. some have also mentioned adding baking soda to the water but I haven’t tried that yet.. good luck and thank you for the great recipes.

  187. Heidi H

    Just made these for a dinner party and they disappeared almost immediately. Everyone loved them, and I even got a “better than my grandma’s”. I think it’s the crunch that puts them over the edge. I might try a smidge more garlic next time.

  188. Amber

    SK is one of my favorite food blogs, but I have learned with food blogs to review the comments before trying a recipe. I was vastly disappointed while reading the comments for this post, as basically nobody had tried the recipe out and everyone was just posting their opinion on how to boil the perfect egg. I am a professional and well trained chef, I also have my opinion and method for boiling an egg. Yet I’m not commenting to state my opinion on the best egg boiling method, merely the recipe/concept. I tried this recipe out (using my own personal method for perfect boiled eggs) and it was amazingly good. At a dinner party I threw this weekend for 16 people, everyone raved about them and 11 requested the recipe. Definitely a delicious varation of a classic.

  189. East West Girl

    Didn’t have anchovies so I just made the Egg Part. I served artichoke and olive tapanade, cheese straws and white bean red pepper dip for a small cocktail party. The deviled eggs were gone in a flash! I was surprised.
    I dig that this is such a retro dish. This going to be a party staple.

  190. Becky McWhorter

    Sorry to chime in on boiling eggs, but throw in a good handful of salt and they peel easily. Don’t skimp on the salt. It’s not going to penetrate the shell.

  191. Amanda

    Made these today for a different Easter egg, and they were great! Didn’t have anchovies, but did everything else as called for (minus tabasco sauce) and they were delicious. Thanks for the good ideas!

  192. Carrie

    Hi Deb!
    I recently bought Julia Child’s “The Way to Cook” – Judy above mentions Julia’s HB Eggs directions but failed to mention the most important step – the hot water dunk. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, put them in an ice bath and reserve the hot water. When your ready to peel put the eggs in the very warm/hot water for a minute or so and then peel away. It’s brilliant, the cold contracts the egg and the hot water expands the shell away from the egg!
    I thought of this post last night when making egg salad and thought it would be prudent to share it with the world – it works. Happy Peeling :)

  193. Rani

    First… the amount of people leaving you advice is hilarious. Second… thanks for the great post… I feel a little dirty…. reading it was was a bit of soft food porn! Can’t wait to try it and might have to hunt your site for some more goodies! YUM!

  194. Laura

    I only used your recipe as inspiration so this is not a review, but I wanted to share that the version I mixed up included some minced pepperoncinis sprinkled on top and–my stars–were they ever delicious.

  195. Tamara

    Made these for a party – they were incredible. Made them again shortly afterwards. As for the different egg peeling tips. Tried old vs. new, shocked in ice water, left in fridge for several days before peeling, you name it. Still, some peeled well, and others, not so much. Luckily, I’d made a few extra, so I was OK. (Recently out for dinner, I noticed the deviled eggs served were far from perfect looking – i.e. some lumpy chunks of white missing!)

  196. made in advance for a party- sprinkled the crumbs right before serving. didn’t have anchovies but made as written otherwise. Dear Lord! These disappeared before all the guests even arrived. One guest made an announcement “are we polishing these off and hiding the evidence or trying to save some for latecomers?” (they ate them). Lots of requests for the recipe (Including a 70 year old grandma).

  197. C

    I use vinegar or salt in the water — it seems to help (but I thought the trick was to use eggs that are old, not giving them time after boiling. I’ll have to try that.)

  198. Noemi

    I just made these and they were so good and gone so quickly! I skipped the bread crumbs and mixed the pan-fried anchovy and garlic right in with the egg yolk mixture. It was a hit! Thanks for sharing this!!

  199. C

    A recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated recommends steaming instead of boiling eggs (boiling the water, then adding cold eggs). They say the sudden transition from cold to hot helps the egg membrane not stick to the shell. I don’t have a steamer, so I’ve dropped the cold eggs into the boiling water for 13 min. It seems to work well (and easy to remember — a similar technique for soft-boiled, at 6-1/2 min).

  200. Ruth

    I made these for my book club group and they loved them. I was expecting a more pronounced taste of Caesar salad. This taste is more muted. I’d like to amp it up and will play with some of the ingredients to see how I can do that. Otherwise, these are really tasty and a crowd pleaser. Very simple to make. I did pipe in the filling. Also easy to do. As for the peeling. I did cook these ahead and peel 2 days later. I prefer peeling immediately after cooking.

  201. I’ve made this recipe 4 times now (always to impress a crowd) and it blows people away every time! Non-deviled egg lovers become converts. Anchovy-phobes devour these. They are out of this world delicious. I also use the leftover panko topping on pasta and it’s delicious. Thank you, Deb!

  202. straightdish

    I recently discovered that steaming my eggs instead of boiling them is the best way all around-easier to peel, more forgiving timewise and less likely to get overcooked and green and sulfurous. Have you tried that method?

  203. Omg, looks amazing! You made me hungry and it’s still breakfast time here! Love love loves all your recipes, you are truly inspirational, I don’t know how you do it. Thanks, Keep it up.

  204. Emjay

    I’ve made these several times and they’re definitely a crowd-pleaser, even without the anchovy! I don’t know if others found this, but my first batch was a double-batch, and so I doubled the crumbs…. I had enough crumbs left for another four batches, with a little to spare! They’re delicious on tomato soup.

    I also added a couple of pinches of garlic powder to the yolks in my last double-batch, and I really liked the extra flavour that added.

  205. Nan

    I didn’t see in the comments that anyone else peels eggs the way I do. After boiling, I drain the water off , leaving the eggs in the pan, and then I gently shake the pan so the eggs hit each other and crack all over. I run cold water over the eggs and let them sit for about two minutes and they practically peel themselves. I have probably made deviled eggs every week of my married life because my husband loves them, but I’ve never eaten one!

  206. Ivy

    I have never made this full recipe but the method for boiling the eggs is the best! I have never had trouble peeling them and they are always beautifully done.