The Aging Trick That Makes Peeling A Breeze When Making Egg Salad

Egg salad might well be everybody's least-favorite week-after-Easter sandwich filling since you can get pretty sick of the stuff when you've got dozens of hard-boiled eggs to use up, but at any other time of year, it makes for a budget-friendly alternative to meatier sandwich fillings and can be a nice change of pace from peanut butter. While making the salad itself couldn't be any easier — it entails mashing up boiled eggs with mayonnaise and a few flavorings — peeling the eggs could turn into a tedious chore if you have to chip the shells off piece by piece.

Mashed developer Laura Sampson, who shares with us her recipe for a simple, basic egg salad, has a tip that may help if the eggs you're using come from backyard chickens (as hers do) or if you've purchased them fresh from a farm stand. "If we're using fresh eggs," she tells us, "I like to let them age a week or two since really fresh eggs don't peel easily." Of course, if you're sourcing your eggs from the supermarket, there's probably no need to worry about that since with all of the time it takes for them to move through the supply chain, they may already be up to two months old by the time you buy them.

These other tips will also help facilitate the egg-peeling process

If you purchased your eggs from the supermarket and they've been in the fridge for a few weeks already, you're off to a good start. Still, you might want to take a few more precautions to make sure that they're as easy to peel as possible. One oft-repeated idea is to chill the eggs in ice water for a couple of minutes. Not only will this cool them down to the point where they won't hurt to pick up in your hands (an important prerequisite for peeling), but it will also make sure that they won't continue to cook from the residual heat inside their shells. You could also try adding some vinegar to the water before you start cooking because the acid should make the hard-boiled eggs easier to peel by dissolving a thin layer of their shells.

Sampson, too, has one more tip that may help should you find your eggs to be particularly stubborn. "If the eggs are proving hard to peel," she says, "sometimes peeling them under running water makes the job easier." Still, even if you botch the job and your peeled eggs come out with a few divots, it doesn't matter when you're making egg salad. Unlike deviled eggs, where it might be considered a mistake to have egg whites that don't look pristinely pretty, egg salad's mishmash covers a multitude of cosmetic flaws.