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A Southern Classic – Deviled Eggs, Part One

A Southern Classic – Deviled Eggs, Part One

Laura Davis with a modern classic from the South, Deviled Eggs. Part one in a very tiny mini series of two parts.
Text And Photo By Laura Davis

No Easter nor a family reunion was ever complete without Deviled eggs.  They are dead simple to make.  They were prepared at Easter because there was an abundance of eggs after the egg hunts and festivities.  Deviled eggs showed up on Easter and egg salad showed up a day or two after.  The recipes that my Granny and Mother made were basically the classic recipe below but they used dill pickle relish.  They confiscated those eggs and deviled them.  How ironic.  Something that could easily be done between an egg hunt and the Easter meal!  I must confess that I don’t really think anyone gave much thought to the possibility of the eggs going bad or making you sick at the time, they were more concerned about not wasting food.  It was a different time and we are all still around to tell the story!

The rooster deviled egg dish is one of my Mom’s that I like a lot.  It seems everyone in the south has a deviled egg dish.  I have never seen deviled eggs without one.  My Mom had one (or used to have one, I confiscated it!) and my Grandmothers had one and so on.  If you didn’t have one, someone would give you one or you inherited one.  How could one possibly live without a deviled egg dish?!

Here is a classic southern recipe that you can find anywhere and it is how my family made it.  I have never seen a written recipe for this in my family but I do remember helping make it.  Mom always wanted help peeling the eggs.  I don’t blame her because eggs can be a pain to peel.  I think the “harder” the egg is cooked the easier it is to peel.

Boiled Eggs. It is amazing that boiling an egg could be done so many different ways but it is.  This is how I do it.  I put the eggs in a pot and cover them with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil gently, it is best not to do this on high heat, but medium high is good.  When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a gentle boil or simmer for 1 minute and then turn the heat off.  Let the eggs stay in the water for 12 minutes for large sized eggs.  Smaller eggs a minute or two less and larger eggs a minute or two more.  If you want them more well done then add a minute or two to the time.  Cool them slowly by pouring off the boiling water and replacing it with room temperature tap water for 5 minutes or so.  Now add ice and start cooling them down until they are cold which will take at least 30 more minutes or so for them to be completely cool.  Remove them from the water and refrigerate or peel if you are using them in a recipe.  I rarely have a cracked egg with this method.  Only if I rush the process does that happen.

I have no trick to peeling eggs. Some eggs are easy and some are not.  If anyone has suggestions on this please share with us how you do this in the comments section.  I would love to know the easiest way possible to peel an egg instead of the tiny piece by piece that sometimes happens!

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Deviled Eggs

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4.5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Laura Davis
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 12 1x


Below are two versions of Deviled Eggs, one classic southern recipe from my childhood and one that I make today. I hope you enjoy them both as much as I do.




  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise or light mayonnaise (homemade mayo is a nice touch)
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet pickle relish (or dill pickle relish like my family did)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard powder
  • 1 drop of hot sauce such as Tabasco
  • Pinch of salt
  • A couple of grinds of fresh pepper
  • Paprika for sprinkling over the top

DEVILED EGGS with dill

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise or light mayonnaise (homemade mayo is a nice touch)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill, chopped (1 teaspoon of dried dill can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 drop of hot sauce such as Tabasco
  • Pinch of salt
  • A couple of grinds of fresh pepper
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons of smoked salmon chopped and added after the egg mixture is combined or a small piece for the top of each egg.
  • Extra dill for garnish or chopped capers (very delicious)


  1. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolk by turning it over a bowl, with a little gentle nudging it should come right out.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and smash together until fairly smooth.
  3. Add salmon or save to top eggs with small pieces if you choose to.
  4. Take a sandwich bag or piping bag and put the filling it it. Cut the bottom corner tip and squeeze or pipe the egg yolk filling into the egg white half.
  5. For the classic recipe: Sprinkle with paprika and place on serving dish.
  6. For the Dill recipe: Decorate with small sprigs of dill and place on a serving dish.


The basis for deviled eggs are the yolks and the mayo. Here are some other variations that I have enjoyed in the past or you can get creative and come up with your own version.

-1 or 2 Anchovies smashed or chopped capers, a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

-1 to 2 tablespoons of Blue cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of mustard and 1 tablespoon of chopped chives

-1/2 teaspoon of curry powder and 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion or chives

Remember to add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins

One last thing – if you are interested in making egg salad for sandwiches it is as easy as chopping the eggs and adding one of the set of ingredients above.  Add some chopped celery for crunch and your egg salad is ready for some toasted whole grain bread and lettuce or spinach.

Have a Happy Easter!

View Comments (18)
  • Your deviled egg recipe is perfect, just like we make them in Texas. Love the rooster dish too.

    As for peeling–that step used to bedevil me too, until I read or heard a trick, can’t remember where or when but it really seems to help. First, yes, the harder boiled the egg is, the easier to peel, but one or two extra minutes can produce that telltale gray-green ring and sulphurous taste, and we don’t want that. Your boiling method is almost exactly the same as mine, down to the minute. But here’s my trick: After the eggs are drained but before the cold water is added, r I shake the pan fairly vigorously, letting the eggs collide into each other, giving each egg a series of uniform cracks. Cover with the cold water and add ice if you want. The cold water seems to seep in between the eggs and their shells and ease separation when time to peel them.

    • I like this idea and I am going to try this sometime. I am guessing that as the the egg cools down and contracts, that a little water gets in between the shell and egg which helps the separation of them. Makes sense. Thank you for your input on egg shell removal!

  • This may not be a peeling method that you want to share with everyone, but it works wonders.

    After the ice bath break a small hole in the large end (there’s usually an air pocket there) and blow vigorously into it. The air pressure separates the membrane from the shell and it lifts off cleanly. If you have the lung capacity, you can break a hole in both ends, blow into the small end and the egg will shoot out the large end, leaving the hollow shell intact.

    • I would love to share this with everyone. It sounds like too much fun not to try. And if it works, then all the better. And if anyone is concerned with germs then rinse them off when you are done! I say definitely make this a group effort and have a little fun!

  • The best way to get perfect boiled eggs is to put them in cold water, bring them to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. No yucky dark circle around yoke!

    Daniel’s peeling method is a good one as is cracking them and rolling them on a counter to loosen the shell and skin.

    I have to admit that Keith’s method sounds like fun for immediate family provided no one is ill. My grandkids will love to try that trick! LOL

    • Trudy, this basically how I have been doing it, but I do wait until the eggs are completely cold. It still seems to be hit or miss. One thing I have noticed, that fresher eggs may be more difficult that older eggs! I agree with you on Keith’s methods, it does sound like fun and someone will probably make a mess!

  • I have had success by pouring vinegar in the water with the eggs when boiling them. About 1/2 cup. Makes for easier peeling.

  • I have never had trouble peeling an egg, and it has never taken me more than 8 seconds! Hold the cooled, cooked egg in your hand and crack the shell all around it by whacking it gently with the back of a spoon. Pick off a piece or two of shell to make a little hole. Then turn the spoon over (so that the curve of the spoon, well, SPOONS the egg), and slip the spoon between the shell and the egg. The shell will come off in one or two pieces. Easy peasy.

  • My mother always showed me to peel an egg the best way to do it is lightly tap on hard surface such as counter or cutting board untill the eggs shell cracks then use the side of your thumb to slowly peel away the shell! If you use the tips of your fingers sometimes your nails will puncture the egg. Also what I like to do is after you get the first crack in the egg after its done is roll it on the counter with your hand with slight pressure which allows the shell to crack in more places without making a mess either and its so much easier to peel at that point.

  • Fresh eggs do not peel well. The membrane separates as they age, and pulls away from the white and makes them easier to peel. I buy them a few days before and let them sit for as long as a week if I am making anything that requires that they be peeled. It works…every time.

  • and no, they will not go bad in a week. I have used eggs that were weeks old. I have a hunting/fishing camp without electricity and always have eggs. You can put them in water glass,(sodium silicate} or just coat them in oil or grease,Vaseline works well, and they will keep for several weeks, unrefrigerated. The shell is porous and as long as you keep the air from entering, eggs will stay good for a very long time.

  • The best remedy for hard-to-peel eggs is to use older eggs. Buy your eggs two weeks before you need to make them and they will peel beautifully. The FDA suggests that eggs be used within 30 days of the sell-by date so letting them sit for 2 weeks, if properly refrigerated, should be safe.

  • Blake is CORRECT!!!! Peeling eggs easily has nothing to do with how you cook them or a cold water bath! It’s simply life taking over what it does best. As the egg gets “older”, the membrane between what would have been a chicken and the inner egg shell breaks down. That’s how chicks can get through the shell to be born. But these are unfertilized eggs so just buy your eggs 2 weeks in advance (they’ll last 2 months or more) and after a couple of weeks, the shell will almost fall off after a soft or hard boil. Doesn’t matter. Basic biology, friends. :)

  • I owned a restaurant for 3 years and one of our sides was deviled eggs. we boiled 7-12 dozen eggs every morning. The only way to guarantee any egg will peel easily (fresh or old)was to peel them as hot as possible after they came off the stove. we left them in the hot water, used tongs to get them out 3 or 4 at a time, ran quickly under cold water so the shell wouldn’t be too hot to handle, and then cracked and peeled them before the membrane shrank back to the size of the egg white.
    in a restaurant…you can’t have something that works one day on one kind of egg and work differently the next day.

  • I have a trick to easy to peel eggs! I saw it on Dr. Oz and it works! Sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda in with the boiling eggs. Works like a dream and doesn’t affect the taste of the egg.

  • If you let the eggs sit on the counter for an hour or so (until they are room temperature). Then let the water boil for 8 mins then add the eggs with tong.Wait until the water boils again and time them again for 8 mins if cooled completely the shell will come off with no problems at all. Also if you set the carton on its side while waiting to achieve room temperature the yolk will be in the center of the egg 90% of the time. I hate it when you get all egg with no yolk. TRY IT OUT YOU WILL BE AMAZED

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