The One Thing You Should Be Doing To Make The Best Egg Salad

Egg salad has been one of America's favorite sandwich options for more than a century, although its exact origins are unknown. However, egg salad isn't an exclusively American treat. Many travelers sing the praises of a $3 egg salad sandwich which can be widely found in Japan at a convenience store called Lawson, a 7-Eleven competitor on almost every street corner (via Buzzfeed). The late, great Anthony Bourdain called Lawson's iteration off an egg salad sandwich unnatural, yet inexplicably delicious (via Twitter).

Varieties to the standard concoction of hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and mustard can include the addition of green olives (via All Recipes), or pickles (via All Recipes), or dozens of other mix-ins. There are lots of things which are added to an egg salad to spice it up, but it's not very often that you see a different way to actually prepare the eggs for the salad, which are typically hard boiled in most every recipe. That is, until now.

Get those eggs on the grill

Chef Steven Raichlen, a grill master who has written the Barbecue Bible, suggests grilling your eggs as a method of cooking them before making your egg salad (via The Kitchn). In an interview, Raichlen details how you just toss the raw eggs (in their shells!) on the grill at a relatively low heat. Turn your eggs with tongs, so they cook for three to four minutes per side. The eggs will be cooked all the way through at that point, and once cooled, can create a delicious base for an inventive new take on egg salad. "It's sort of like hard-boiling, but without the water," Raichlen explained in HuffPost.

What are the benefits of using this method? Since there's no water used in grilling, it can be assumed that the flavor of the egg isn't diluted, resulting in a simply stronger-tasting salad if you're using a gas grill. If you're using a charcoal grill, especially if you're using some kind of wood chips for smoking, the eggs will have a wonderful smoky edge, imparting a deeper, earthier, smokehouse taste to your salad for a whole new flavor profile.

More tips for the best egg salad

Now that you've got the best eggs for the job, you want the best technique, right? Making delicious egg salad means paying attention to other variables, too. For one thing, you want your eggs to maintain some texture. Nobody wants a smooth egg salad puree. "We like to be playful and get messy," Sarah Schneider, founder of Egg Shop in New York City told HuffPost. "Crushing the eggs with your hands can bring a sense of childlike wonder, and who doesn't want to feel like that...?"

But even once you've got the egg texture right, you might feel like your egg salad is still a little runny. There's another egg salad no-no. In the case of a runny mix, Oregon Live says to mix in a tablespoon  or so of very fine bread crumbs. Not only will this soak up some of the moisture, it also won't take away from the flavor of the dish.  

How to spice up an egg salad

If a grilled egg salad isn't something you are ready to tackle, there are other options you can take to spice up a lunch classic without firing up the grill. Some people suggest the addition of potatoes to make the egg salad a bit heartier. But perhaps the most intriguing alternative to the garden variety egg salad is an egg salad made with deviled eggs (via Simply Recipes). 

If the de-yolking and refilling of hard-boiled eggs seem too tedious, chopping up all of the ingredients, sprinkling on trademark deviled egg spices, and throwing them together in a salad allows you to enjoy the flavors of the classic dish without all of the work. Just like a regular deviled egg, the salad can be adapted or added to in any way you like. Some popular add-ins are celery or bacon, or perhaps Dungeness crab if you're feeling fancy.

A faster egg salad

If you're looking to speed up your salad making process, there are a few things that can help whittle down the number of minutes that it takes to produce the finished product. The first place to start in this arena is with a quicker way of peeling the eggs. Both the addition of baking soda to the boiling water as well as chilling the eggs after cooking them will make the egg peeling process slightly less horrible (via Tip Hero). 

There are also a number of egg peeling "hacks" on YouTube, but as they say, your mileage may vary. Once your egg is peeled, you can easily turn it into pieces small enough for egg salad with a couple of kitchen staples. By balancing a cooling rack on top of a bowl as a sort of sieve and using a plate to push the eggs through, you can "cut" the egg into salad-sized pieces without even getting a knife out of the drawer (via Tip Hero).