America’s Test Kitchen shares advice for making easy-peel hard-cooked eggs, using eggs of any age.

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The best deviled eggs start with the best hard-cooked eggs. Conventional wisdom insists that older eggs peel more easily than fresh eggs but we wanted to be able to start with eggs of any age and still end up with flawlessly smooth peeled results.

Instead of a cold-water start, we used our recipe for Easy-Peel Hard-Cooked Eggs, which calls for placing cold eggs directly into hot steam. This denatures the outermost egg white proteins, causing them to shrink away from the shell membrane and making it easy to slip off the eggshells after cooking.

Fresh herbs, cider vinegar, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne elevated the flavor of the filling, and we also created two variations: one with aromatic curry powder and another with crisp bacon and fresh chives. This recipe can be doubled. If you prefer, use a pastry bag fitted with a large plain or star tip to fill the egg halves.

Classic Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 egg halves

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Start to finish: 35 minutes

6 large eggs

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus 12 small whole parsley leaves for garnishing

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Pinch cayenne pepper

1. Bring 1 inch water to rolling boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Place eggs in steamer basket. Transfer basket to saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook eggs for 13 minutes.

2. When eggs are almost finished cooking, combine 2 cups ice cubes and 2 cups cold water in medium bowl. Using tongs or spoon, transfer eggs to ice bath; let sit for 15 minutes. Peel before using.

3. Halve eggs lengthwise with paring knife. Transfer yolks to bowl; arrange whites on serving platter. Mash yolks with fork until no large lumps remain. Add mayonnaise and use rubber spatula to smear mixture against side of bowl until thick, smooth paste forms, 1 to 2 minutes. Add minced parsley, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, and cayenne and mix until fully incorporated.

4. Transfer yolk mixture to small heavy-duty plastic bag. Press mixture into 1 corner and twist top of bag. Using scissors, snip ½ inch off filled corner. Squeezing bag, pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves. Garnish with parsley leaves before serving.

— Nutrition information per serving: 126 calories; 94 calories from fat; 10 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 189 mg cholesterol; 129 mg sodium; 1 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 6 g protein.