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For me, egg salad evokes peak springtime, in all probability as a result of most of my egg salad reminiscences exist post-Easter. But egg salad is greater than only a answer to an abundance of boiled eggs. It’s the good anytime snack you may make out of simply two primary substances: eggs and mayo.
Of course, most egg salad recipes take issues up a notch by incorporating one thing crunchy, or pickle-y, or recent, like herbs. Some name for steaming the eggs, whereas others name for boiling — and there’s definitely no scarcity of how to mash them or sandwich them.
While I don’t actually imagine there’s a improper technique to make egg salad, I gained’t deny that some style higher than others. In an try to seek out out which mixture of substances and strategies is the most eggcellent, I pitted 4 well-liked recipes towards each other. Would crunch win over no-crunch? Would avocado be the true hero?
Ultimately, I discovered there are a lot of methods to prepare dinner and chop an egg, and all of them are pretty straightforward and very satisfying. And whereas these recipes are filled with sensible tips, what it actually got here all the way down to for me was taste and crave-ability. The winner was the one I reached for the most — and I have a sense it would eggcite you, too. Let’s get cracking!
To hold the enjoying subject truthful, I eradicated any recipes that put an excessive amount of give attention to the sandwich and not sufficient on the egg salad itself. And whereas the egg-cooking methodology is definitely vital, it wasn’t my main focus. (If you’re searching for the greatest technique to boil an egg, check out this Skills showdown.) Ultimately, I was searching for 4 well-liked recipes that every had a definite perspective.
Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe options home made pickled celery, which was a mix-in I’d by no means seen earlier than. I was additionally excited that Deb requires an egg slicer, as a result of I not often get to place mine to make use of.
Carla Hall’s recipe requires from-scratch chive mayonnaise, and so in fact I needed to know: Is home made mayonnaise the key to higher egg salad? The remainder of her recipe is fairly easy, and requires chopping the eggs into 1/2-inch items with a knife.
Martha Stewart makes use of 10 egg whites and solely 2 egg yolks in her twist on egg salad. Her recipe, which additionally requires mild mayonnaise and a whole avocado, is the reverse of crunchy. She makes use of a pastry blender to cut up her cooked eggs.
Serious Eats requires steaming the eggs, and then asks you to squeeze them into items along with your fingers. It additionally calls for plenty of recent mix-ins, together with sliced scallions, recent parsley, and lemon zest and juice.
How I Tested the Egg Salad Recipes
I tasted these salads over the course of three days to see how the flavors and textures advanced. I tasted each alone and on toast, and used the identical sort of bread for every check. I initially wished to make use of a Pullman loaf, however after three procuring fails, I went with Martin’s sliced potato bread. I additionally used the identical model of egg throughout all checks.
For all the recipes made with store-bought mayo, I used Hellman’s canola mayonnaise. Martha’s recipe referred to as for mild mayonnaise, so I used Hellman’s mild mayonnaise. In order to maintain this showdown largely about the salad itself, I saved any advisable accoutrements, similar to lettuce or radishes, out of the equation.
1. The Most Underwhelming: Martha Stewart’s Egg Salad
This recipe is titled “Martha’s favorite egg salad sandwich,” and Martha not often misses, so I figured it might be considered one of my favorites, too. But out of all the recipes I examined, that is the one I in all probability wouldn’t make once more.
The largest miss right here is that Martha removes most of the egg yolks and replaces them with avocado. She additionally makes use of mild mayonnaise. After tasting all 4 of those egg salads facet by facet, I now imagine that the texture and mouthfeel of egg yolks mixed with full-fat mayo is an enormous a part of what makes egg salad so scrumptious, and sadly Martha’s had none of that. I additionally didn’t like that the recipe was so wasteful: Eight egg yolks went into the trash.
I will give her factors for her egg-chopping methodology, although. She makes use of a pastry blender to smash the eggs, which is a superb technique to put this often-overlooked device to make use of.
2. The Best Egg-Cooking Technique: Serious Eats’ Egg Salad
I totally loved all of the prime three recipes, and there may be lower than one level separating them. This model stood out for its strategy of steaming the eggs, which was simply as straightforward as boiling and made them the best to peel. This egg salad additionally had good crunch, due to finely diced celery, though I would have most popular it to be pickled, like in Smitten Kitchen’s.
My largest grievance about this recipe is that it took awhile for the flavors to meld. I love the method the scallions seasoned the dish, however I may solely recognize these flavors a number of days in. If you’re searching for an ideal egg salad to eat instantly, this isn’t it.
3. The Flavor Queen: Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad
Smitten Kitchen is the only one who quick-pickled her celery, which added tons of crunch and flavor to her egg salad. And then she adds even more flavor with coarse mustard and minced shallots. Because of all of this, this egg salad didn’t need to be served on bread — in fact, I preferred it straight from the mixing bowl. Unlike Serious Eats’ recipe, this one is best right after you make it, and actually loses a bit of its pizzazz as it sits.
I also liked that this recipe calls for an egg slicer. It makes quick and easy work of slicing hard-boiled eggs, and it’s fun to use, too. If Carla’s egg salad hadn’t been so dang delicious, I would have happily crowned this egg salad the winner.
4. My New Go-To: Carla Hall’s Egg Salad
Yes, Carla Hall’s egg salad is the winner of this showdown, but it’s really her homemade chive mayo that deserves the crown. It’s a cinch to make, thanks to her brilliant food processor technique, and it helps carry flavor to every part of the salad. Time and time again my palate chose this version. It’s rich but still tastes fresh, and it’s even better on toast: The chive-infused creaminess soaks into the bread in the most perfect way. The only thing missing for me was a little crunch, so next time I’ll throw in some chopped celery. Or maybe I’ll steam my eggs (a la Serious Eats), make some pickled celery (like Smitten Kitchen), and then bring it all together with Carla’s awesome mayo for a truly eggceptional sandwich. (Sorry. I’ll see myself out.)
Now it’s your turn to tell us: Do you have a favorite egg salad recipe? Let us know in the comments!