5 Pro Tips For Deviled Eggs That Look Their Best Every Time

Deviled eggs are the darling of appetizer spreads. Whether they're the standard, filled egg white boats or an elegant version all dressed up with garnishes, people gravitate to the bite-sized pop of protein. Because they draw so much attention, you want your stuffed eggs to be as dazzlingly attractive as they are delicious. Kitchen pros know that presentation is key, and they have a few standard techniques for perfect deviled eggs every time that go beyond the simple (but important) tips for peeling the eggs.

Of course, we also recommend using a solid recipe; the flavor of your creation is equally important. There's a long list of ingredients to upgrade your deviled egg recipe if you want to go beyond the basics; just don't forget the importance of looks. Whether you use colorful pickled or soy-marinated eggs or even buy the convenient, precooked variety, your next platter can be a showstopper if you follow these basic tips.

Use a clean, sharp knife, taking care with each cut

When slicing eggs, the yolk can cling to your knife. If you don't wipe the knife clean, the bits of yellow will cling to the pristine, hard-cooked white of the next egg, making a messy edge and more work for you when it's time to assemble the stuffed eggs. This is a presentation tip that isn't only for eggs. Cleaning your knife between cuts can help make your cakes and other foods that rely on a tidy edge look much nicer because the knife won't transfer food particles from one slice to the next.

To cut hard-boiled eggs, be sure to use a sharp knife. Rather than press straight down into the egg, which can damage the delicate white, start your cut with the knife at the 12 o'clock position in front of you and draw the knife through the egg, moving to the 6 o'clock position. The egg won't stick to the knife and has the best chance of not cracking apart. Keep a damp paper towel on your work surface and wipe the knife clean between each cut.

Use a sieve to mash the yolks so they are as smooth as possible

The key to the smoothest possible yolk filling is to mash the yolks very finely. Pressing them with a fork might work for a batch of stuffed eggs with other chunky ingredients included, like tuna-stuffed eggs, but the sign of a well-made deviled egg is a smooth, homogeneous filling. Borrow a tip from the professional kitchen, and press your yolks through a fine sieve so they're fluffy and granular. The sieved yolks will combine easily with your other ingredients into a perfectly manageable mixture.

Sieving an ingredient is easier and less time-consuming than it might sound. Simply plop your cooked egg yolks into the sieve and use the rounded back side of a spoon to swipe over them, scraping them through the fine mesh into a mixing bowl. For the best results, the yolks should be fully cooked and not slightly jammy. Be sure to completely cool the yolks before mashing them. Scrape the underside of the sieve to get all the yolk off, then soak it in soapy water for easy cleanup.

Use a piping bag instead of a spoon to fill the eggs

One of the easiest ways to fill the waiting egg whites is simply spooning in the egg yolk mixture, but it definitely produces the least impressive finished result. A spoon makes an imprecise mound of filling that is all too likely to land on the cut surface of the white, making for a sloppy presentation. Using any form of piping bag is a better idea –- it's also faster to do a large batch by piping.

If you have a star or round piping tip, you can slip it into a piping bag or even the corner of a plastic baggie to pipe out beautiful portions of yolk into each white. If you want to make deviled eggs in advance, a zip-top plastic bag can store your yolk mixture until you're ready to fill and serve them, which also comes in handy. Just snip one corner of the bag to use it as your impromptu piping bag.

Consider cutting the top off the eggs for a vertical presentation

The usual presentation for deviled eggs is based on cutting hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and then filling the circular depression left after scooping out the cooked yolk -– but it's not the only way! For a fun twist, consider cutting the narrow top of the egg off instead and creating a standing, stuffed egg. Make a cut about a quarter of the distance from the top, just deep enough to see the yolk, and then use a small spoon to scoop it out carefully.

Once your standing eggs are hollowed out, you'll want to use the piping bag method to fill them completely. Push the tip of the bag into the opening of the egg and then squeeze it full of your flavored yolk mixture. You can create a pretty swirl on top of the opening to finish off the presentation, or use the little egg white piece as a cap.

Always add a garnish

No good cook neglects to use appropriate garnishes to complete their creation, and the sunny white and yellow of a deviled egg is a blank slate just waiting for design. Deviled eggs are commonly garnished with a dusting of bright red paprika for color, which leaves lots of room for innovation. Crisp green herbs are another often-seen finish, whether minced or used as a pretty whole leaf atop the yolk. Think out of the box a bit to make your garnish stand apart from the crowd by adding a contrasting taste or texture instead.

Crispy bacon is a natural salty addition –- bacon and eggs being partners at the table. Take the idea one step further with maple-cinnamon candied bacon or prosciutto chips. The bright flavor of capers or green olives are other great additions. You can fry the capers for additional crunch. A sliver of pickled red or green jalapeño would punch up the spice, too. With a colorful, mouth-pop of final garnish, your deviled eggs will be the best looking plate on the table.