9 Egg Salad Myths Debunked By A Pro

egg salad sandwich triangles
egg salad sandwich triangles - Azurita/Getty Images

Egg salad is a classic sandwich spread or side dish, but there is a lot of misinformation about it floating around out there. Some say, for instance, that it is more prone to give you food poisoning than other dishes, or that it's always bland. But these are myths. To help us get the facts straight, we spoke with an eggs-pert: Nelson Serrano-Bahri, chef and director of Innovation at the American Egg Board.

Tapping into his in-depth knowledge of eggs and how to cook with them, he helps us to not only clear up the rumors, but also to make the tastiest egg salad possible. It's all about fresh ingredients, proper egg boiling, and thoughtful preparation, all of which serve to make egg salad a delicious -- and yes, actually nutritious -- dish. Whether you've always been dubious about egg salad or you just want to learn more, let's dig into some of the false facts and find the truth about egg salad.

Read more: 14 Liquids To Add To Scrambled Eggs (And What They Do)

False Fact: Boiling Time Doesn't Matter

hard-boiled egg on spoon
hard-boiled egg on spoon - Charlie4mav/Getty Images

Making the perfect hard-boiled egg can be tricky for any dish, but people tend to believe that egg salad is more forgiving. You can just rely on the mayonnaise and other ingredients to cover up a sub-par boiling job, can't you?

While it is true that the other ingredients do give you a bit more leeway than if you were just eating hard-boiled eggs on their own, it is not true that you can't taste (or feel) the difference between a properly boiled egg and a poorly boiled one. If an egg is not cooked long enough, it develops a mushy consistency that will bring down your egg salad. If it is overcooked, it can become dry, crumbly, and even take on an unpleasant green color. So, then, what is the ideal amount of time to boil your eggs?

"For the best egg salad, eggs should be boiled anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes to ensure the yolks are fully cooked, but still creamy," says Serrano-Bahri. "Immediately after boiling, put the eggs into an ice bath to let them become fully cool, making them easier to peel and prevent overcooking."

False Fact: Egg Salad Is Never Healthy

egg salad sandwich with vegetables
egg salad sandwich with vegetables - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

A common criticism of egg salad is that it's unhealthy. It is full of mayonnaise, for one thing, and everyone knows eggs have cholesterol, which automatically makes them bad news. Or, at least, that's what people say.

For one thing, the cholesterol present in eggs does not raise your cholesterol levels the same way that some other foods do because they are lower in trans and saturated fats. Also, mayonnaise is not your only option for the dressing. To make a lighter egg salad, Serrano-Bahri recommends using Greek yogurt, mashed avocado, cottage cheese, or a homemade vinaigrette. You can also keep it simple with lemon juice or vinegar, which will "brighten up the flavor," he adds.

To create an even more nutrient-rich dish, you can also add in vegetables. Carrots, for instance, are high in vitamin A, which helps fight illnesses and promotes healthy teeth, bones, and skin. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and folate.

False Fact: Egg Salad Is Always Mushy

egg salad with green onions
egg salad with green onions - Irina Taskova/Getty Images

Egg salad tends to be a divisive dish. There are people all around the world who love egg salad, but there are some who absolutely hate it. The latter crowd tends to be made up of people who just don't like the consistency of it which, admittedly, can be pretty mushy at times. But, as we are learning, not all egg salads have to be the same.

Chef Serrano-Bahri's advice for getting the best egg salad texture is to focus on boiling the eggs just right. "Having perfectly boiled eggs and fresh ingredients is my number one tip. Make sure your eggs are boiled to the right consistency with a yolk that is fully set but still moist and creamy and use fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables to enhance the flavor and texture."

If you want an egg salad with more to chew, you can also chop the eggs into bigger chunks. You can do this with a classic chef's knife, or you can use an egg slicer. A potato masher can work here too, as long as you don't get too carried away. Or you could use the two tools that you always have ready: your hands.

One last way to keep your egg salad from being mushy is to add a crunchy ingredient. Diced raw onions, celery, pickles, or capers can help to create a more varied consistency. Your egg salad is limited only by your imagination.

False Fact: One Type Of Egg Is Better Than Another For Egg Salad

cartons of brown eggs
cartons of brown eggs - Julia Ahanova/Shutterstock

For those who aren't confident cooks just yet, it can be easy to overthink things. You might worry that one small mistake like using white eggs instead of brown ones or large ones instead of small ones might screw up your whole egg salad. You might even worry that organic eggs might taste better in a dish where eggs are such a big star, but luckily none of these things are necessarily true. It all comes down to personal preference.

When it comes to choosing an egg for egg salad, size doesn't matter, and neither does color, type, or how the chicken was raised. "Use whatever eggs you like best," says Serrano-Bahri. "Generally, any size or type of egg can be used for egg salad. From conventional eggs to organic pasture-raised eggs, consumers have an array of options in the supermarket to choose from and you can make it your own by selecting the eggs you like."

False Fact: Your Choice Of Sandwich Bread Doesn't Matter

egg salad on bagel
egg salad on bagel - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

When it comes to choosing a bread for your egg salad sandwich, don't feel like you have to stick with sliced white bread just because that is the most traditional option. Try experimenting with various kinds of whole grain bread, for example, which are higher in protein and fiber than white and have more of their own hearty, sometimes sweet flavor, which pairs well with egg salad.

You can also give rye a try. Thanks to the caraway it contains, rye bread often has a sharp, bittersweet, almost citrus-esque flavor with hints of anise and pepper. This flavor can work just as well when you have a milder egg salad as when you have one with an intense flavor.

Another great way to enjoy egg salad is on a brioche or a bagel. The former can bring a bit of sweetness to your lunch (or breakfast!), and the latter is sturdy enough to support a thick spread like egg salad.

False Fact: Egg Salad Is Bland

egg salad on fried bread
egg salad on fried bread - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Another popular criticism of egg salad is that it is bland, and if you think about it, this kind of makes sense. Eggs tend to have a somewhat neutral flavor, and your average mayonnaise does as well. Put them together and you get, well, two mild flavors that go great together, but don't always bring much of a "wow factor" to the table.

If you want more kick in terms of spice or flavor, consider adding an unexpected ingredient to your egg salad, like sun dried tomatoes or anchovies. If you really want to take things to another level, you can even add horseradish or hot sauce to the mix. "Seasoning with a bit of acidity from lemon juice or vinegar can brighten the overall taste," adds Chef Serrano-Bahri.

"You can dress egg salad however you want to change the flavor profile," he says. There is no one set recipe for egg salad, so feel free to make it your own and cater to your own tastes.

False Fact: You Can Make A Sweeter Egg Salad With Sugar

bowls of sugar on table
bowls of sugar on table - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Thanks to additions like mustard, vinegar, or lemon juice, egg salad often has a tangy flavor. Many enthusiasts also like to add a bit of sweetness to the mix, but some have the mistaken idea that adding granulated sugar is the way to go about this.

Adding granulated sugar to egg salad does not work for several reasons. First, egg salad is usually made when the eggs are cold (or at least room temperature) and mayonnaise usually comes out of the refrigerator. Any sugar that is added to this mix will not dissolve properly, and you will be able to feel the gritty little grains of it as you eat, which is very off-putting. It can also make your egg salad overly sweet, which is not ideal for something you typically eat at lunch or dinner.

A better way to bring sweetness to your egg salad is to add in something like sweet pickle juice. Thanks to its vinegar-based brine, the pickle juice brings both sweet and tangy flavors to the egg salad, so it can work as your main dressing. If you prefer to stick with mayonnaise or other dressings, you can add chopped sweet onions or roasted red bell peppers to get that hit of sweetness you want.

False Fact: Egg Salad Is Just For Lunch

egg salad avocado boats
egg salad avocado boats - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

When most of us think of egg salad, we think of eating it on a sandwich on our lunch break. While this is an egg-cellent time to eat it, this tasty dish is not limited to lunch. You can also eat egg salad as a side dish at dinner time or during a family cook-out, or on crackers as an appetizer.

A less obvious (but still egg-straordinary) time to eat egg salad, however, is breakfast time. Before you skim past this part, cringing at the thought of eating something so tangy and onion-y for breakfast, hear us out. Eggs are a popular option for a savory breakfast, so it makes sense that egg salad can be adapted to eat at this time too. If the tanginess of lemon juice or pickle juice is a turn-off for your early morning belly, stick with mayonnaise, avocado, or olive oil for a more neutral flavor. You can also add in crumbled bacon or sausage and serve your egg salad on toast or a bread roll for an alternative to your usual bacon and egg biscuit.

False Fact: Egg Salad Spoils Fast

bowl of egg salad
bowl of egg salad - Liudmyla Chuhunova/Shutterstock

Some people criticize egg salad for its taste or texture, but some of the most pervasive rumors about it come from those who are worried about it from a health standpoint. There is a myth going around that egg salad spoils quicker than other dishes because it is commonly made with mayonnaise, which is not exactly known for its shelf life.

To clear this up, we consulted with our expert to find out the truth. "Some people think egg salad doesn't keep well and has to be eaten immediately," admits Serrano-Bahri. "While it's true that egg salad should be consumed within a few days, proper storage in an airtight container in the refrigerator can keep it fresh for up to five days."

In other words, things are not as dire as they may seem when it comes to preserving egg salad. As long as you store it correctly and don't leave it out of the refrigerator, you can enjoy it for several days without worry. As if that weren't reassuring enough, the chef provided us with another tip to make egg salad last even longer. "Adding a bit of lemon juice or vinegar can also help extend its shelf life," he says.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal