The Trick To Making Egg Salad With Zero Peeling

While the exact origins of egg salad are unknown, it's undeniable that this customizable, savory combination of boiled eggs and mayonnaise is a beloved dish around the world. From the fluffy, umami-rich egg sandwiches sold in Japanese vending machines, to the Ukrainian mix of egg and cheese known as belochka, egg salad is international, and its versatile and convenient nature has cemented it in the annals of culinary history. Unfortunately, not everything about egg salad is sunshine and roses. Anyone who's made a batch knows that preparing the most important ingredient — the boiled eggs — can be a painstaking task. Peeling the eggs and ensuring that every miniscule piece of shell has been removed is annoying at worst, and neigh impossible at best. Luckily, there's a simple technique to take peeling out of the equation using kitchenware you probably already own.


Basically, the goal is to cook all the eggs in bulk. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease up a flat bottomed cake or loaf pan, then crack a few eggs into it until there's a layer about ½ inch thick. Place the whole pan into a larger vessel that can comfortably hold it, and fill the outer pan with water until it's about even with the eggs. Pop the whole apparatus into the oven, and after 25 minutes, you should have a slab of cooked, boiled eggs that you can easily chop up — no peeling necessary.

Boiling eggs in bulk

Depending on the make and model of your oven, you may have to make a few test batches before you figure out how long the eggs need to cook so they can achieve the perfect hard boil for egg salad. Once you pull the eggs from the oven, use a rubber spatula to transfer them to a plate or cutting board as soon as possible, or else the residual heat from the pan may cause them to turn gray and overdone. One downside to this hack is that the edges of the eggs may get especially crispy, but any hard bits can be easily cut away.


There's a slight tweak to this cooking method that will help you keep an eye on the eggs and stop them from becoming overdone. Instead of using two square pans, grab the largest pot you have and a flat cake pan that will fit in it. Add eggs to the greased pan, and add an inch or so of water to the large pot and set it to simmer on the stove. Place the egg pan into the simmering water and cover. Keep the water to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until you can cleanly pierce the center of the eggs with a knife.

An egg-cellent salad

Whether you use the stovetop or oven method, the mechanics behind this style of cooking is the same. The heat from the simmering water, along with the heat from the oven or burner, cooks the eggs while the resulting steam stops them from becoming too dry. If you prefer to cook your eggs in the oven, you should also cover the pan with aluminum foil to trap in extra moisture. According to food scientist Dr. Ken Ng via The Guardian, the ideal way to cook boiled eggs is actually via "residual warmth," so your makeshift cross between a steamer and a boiling pot may indeed lead to a fluffier, more delectable egg salad.


Along with cutting out the brain-numbing task of peeling egg after egg by hand, this cooking method makes prepping food for a crowd a breeze. And with all the extra time you have, you'll be able to focus on making the rest of your recipe perfect. As long as you're striving for the ultimate egg salad, you may as well try out one of the many ways to upgrade your egg salad recipe. Add in extras like avocados, lemon juice, and bacon, or swap out the mayo for indulgent cream cheese.