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Making food ahead of time helps save time, but it can make you wonder if it’s safe or even a good idea. When you’re making deviled eggs, there are a few simple guidelines to follow for confident cooking and safe eating.
Deviled eggs can be made a day ahead of when you plan to eat them, as long as they are refrigerated at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When stored correctly, deviled eggs can stay fresh and safe to eat for up to 2 days after cooking.
Following this simple and easy guideline will help you better prepare for the simple and easy recipe that at least half of the population of America loves to serve for gatherings of family or friends.
What are Deviled Eggs?
Deviled eggs are basically a fancy spin on the hard-boiled egg. They are an easy side dish that’s often served at parties and other large gatherings. You have probably run into these delicacies at an Easter or Thanksgiving dinner, if nowhere else. They are a relatively simple dish and are quite easy to make. Below is a simple step-by-step process of how they are made:
- Eggs are hard-boiled and then rinsed under cold water.
- Once cooled, or running under cold water, the shells are peeled off of the now-firm white of the eggs.
- The eggs are then cut in half.
- The yolks are removed and mixed together with a combination of mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and other seasonings.
- The resulting creamy filling is then added back to the egg whites with a finishing dash of paprika or other toppings if you so desire.
Below are some links to popular and easy deviled egg recipes:
- Classic Deviled Eggs-Mel’s Kitchen Café
- (Easy) Classic Deviled Eggs Recipe-NYT Cooking
These are other spinoffs of deviled egg recipes from Simply Recipes…
- Deviled Eggs with Horseradish and Dill-Recipe
- Kimchi Deviled Eggs-Recipe
- Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs-Recipe
- Green Goddess Deviled Eggs-Recipe
- Sour Cream and Bacon Deviled Eggs-Recipe
If you want to successfully prepare deviled eggs the day before you plan on eating them, you need to know how to correctly store them. Deviled eggs are made with perishable ingredients like eggs and mayonnaise, so it is crucial to the health of whoever you will be serving to – even if that’s just yourself – to know and be assured that your wonderful deviled eggs have been stored properly right up until it is time to eat.
This means that the boiled eggs should be placed in a sealed container or covered with plastic wrap after cooking. Be sure to keep them at a safe temperature before you eat them. There is a certain area of temperature the USDA defines as the “Danger Zone” for food. This range is anywhere between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (source).
This Danger Zone receives its name very deservedly because this is the ideal temperature for bacteria to grow, spread, and give people food poisoning. Eating spoiled food is not a very fun experience for any individual to go through. Common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, cramping, and diarrhea, which are all things you do not want to be associated with your cooking. So anywhere below 40 degrees, Fahrenheit would be the ideal temperature for food to be safely stored prior to mealtime.
Eggs are also capable of harboring Salmonella even while they continue to appear and smell normal, so it is especially important to keep your deviled eggs at or below a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit!
The best way to do this and to know for certain that your food is stored safely is to check the temperature setting on your fridge and make sure you are not leaving your deviled eggs out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. The same advice applies to any other perishable foods such as dairy products, meat, and cooked leftovers.
Be sure to throw away any leftover deviled eggs 2 days after preparing them. Any deviled eggs older than 2 days are likely to have gone bad, which may pose the threat of food poisoning or, at the very least, leave an unpleasant taste on your tongue.
With normal eggs that have been bought from the store and immediately brought home, you can store those in the coldest part of the fridge without worrying. The coldest areas of the refrigerator are usually up against the back wall, not on the door shelves. It’s easy to forget about them when they’re this far back though, so don’t ignore them or you will end up smelling something rotten and have to clean up a terrible mess later.
The uncooked eggs will last for three to five weeks in these conditions, and if you hard-boiled eggs but have not “unshelled” them, they can last for a week in the fridge.
Serving Sizes/Tips and Tricks
The average serving size for deviled eggs is 2 prepared egg halves, or one whole egg, per person. For normal hard-boiled eggs or just scrambled eggs, the average daily intake is one egg, but it’s completely safe to have up to three eggs per day. If you are cooking deviled eggs for larger groups, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, you may want to leave some room for changes in case you’re serving a group that particularly loves or hates eggs.
The key to making deviled eggs ahead of time-at least ones that still taste fresh-is to wait to add the egg yolk filling into the egg whites until the day you will be serving them. Store the egg whites and the filling separately, and then once you are ready to serve, make sure you give yourself time beforehand to fill the egg whites before actually serving and eating them.
The most efficient way to fill the eggs without getting yourself or your eggs completely messy is to put the filling into a piping bag, and then squeeze the desired amount of filling into each egg white. If you don’t have piping bags on hand, you can make your own by cutting the corner off of a Ziploc bag and pushing the filling out of the opening.
If you want to be creative with the swirling of the filling, grab some icing tips, poke them through the end of the hole, and they will look so good and so professional!
You might wonder if you are cooking deviled eggs correctly. When you hard-boil eggs, you’re going to have to find the right way to do it because if you overcook them, they leave a sulfur smell. This is due to the reaction of sulfur and iron in the yolk of the egg and the white of the egg.
You can also tell if you’ve overcooked them if you see a green or grey outline in the yolk. This is easy to spot because it tends to make the egg yolks look somewhat unappealing.
So, if you don’t want to have super-stinky hard-boiled eggs (although they still might have that faint smell when you add everything else into the deviled egg filling), make sure when you boil the eggs there’s just a single layer of eggs on the bottom of the pan. No double layers, because that will affect the pressure of the water on the eggs at the bottom and could produce some messy results.
Next, cover the eggs with cool water, then set them on the stove and wait for the water to boil.
At that point, it’s up to you how long you want to boil it. You can leave the eggs in the pot or pan boiling for four to ten minutes, depending on whether you want the yolk to be fully cooked or gooey. Once your eggs have reached the desired amount of time, remove the pan from the heat, and turn off the stove.
Carefully drain the water while also running cold water over the eggs so the cooking process stops and the water doesn’t continue to cook the eggs. This practice also protects the sink pipes from the scalding water. You could also drain the water and then let the eggs sit in cold water for a few minutes (around 5-15 minutes) before removing them and un-peeling them.
On a nutritional note, compared to scrambled eggs, boiled eggs have a lot more protein in them, and less fat compared to scrambled eggs. You can have your daily three eggs and basically get every vitamin and mineral from the eggs—they are just so rich in nutrients! They also help with your heart and your eyes. They contain helpful vitamins that help prevent diseases and eye problems.
Eggs can increase certain hormones that keep you satisfied longer after eating, so you don’t end up snacking all day. This makes them helpful components for weight management. It is also a source of choline, which helps cell membrane functions (science!) and brain functions. Because of this, as well as their high protein content, it is a highly recommended food for pregnant women to ensure that their child’s brain develops as they grow.
Salmonella and Food Poisoning
Salmonella is a sickness that can be carried by eggs and other types of contaminated food or water. The severity of this illness depends on the person and their body. Some people get diarrhea, others get cramps, and many people suffer from dehydration as a side effect.
The sickness itself can last between two and seven days, and even after that, with diarrhea, it takes a longer time for the bowels to return to normal. The effects of salmonella can last for months, so you shouldn’t mess around with this.
Those who are at most risk and could get really hurt by this infection are infants, seniors, and people with naturally weak immune systems, so these groups should exercise caution when dealing with foods that may have raw ingredients.
Salmonella is most commonly caused by eating foods that haven’t been cooked entirely through, like beef, fish, and eggs. Other symptoms that are a result of salmonella besides diarrhea and cramps can include:
Some of the symptoms are worse, like blood in your stool. There are other medical factors that could increase the risk of salmonella. These are mainly diseases of family genetics, like sickle cell disease or malaria. Their systems are already not so great, and having a food-related disease on top of this can make them weaker, or even deathly ill.
Another way to be safe is to make sure you’re careful when you’re eating substances that have raw eggs in them. Some examples of foods with raw eggs include:
- Cookie dough
- Brownie batter
- Banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread
The best way to consume the raw elements of these substances is if they have been pasteurized, meaning they’ve been exposed to a small amount of heat. Companies use that tactic to extend the shelf life of their products.
This doesn’t mean that everybody is going to take this advice, and many people will eat the cookie dough anyway. But these risks are still worth keeping in mind so that you can avoid vulnerable situations that could compromise your health.
Food poisoning is a term that covers a variety of different food-borne illnesses, salmonella included. The contamination of food includes viruses, bacteria, toxins, and other parasites. Other illnesses have more intense symptoms than others, but salmonella is one of the most common forms of food poisoning.
The simplest way to prevent getting salmonella, or getting sick in general, is to wash your hands and your food-prepping tools. If you need to chop up vegetables, wash the cutting board after using it for meat. Raw bacteria can easily be transferred from the meat or eggs to your hands if you do not wash your hands and tools quickly.