As foodies we come across various interesting questions. One of them being how long does egg salad actually last? As hilarious as the question sounds, it is actually quite important to know this. Salads are part of our everyday meal most of the time and it is pretty normal to have leftovers. Wasting food is not a good practice and so is eating stale food. Hence, it is imperative to know until how long your egg salad will retain its quality. The answer however is not that simple. A lot depends on the weather, preserving conditions and the ingredients used for the egg salad.
Ideally a normal egg salad should remain safe to eat for 3 to 5 days on an average. Again, there are other conditions to be considered as well. Today we will be talking about some of the useful ways to preserve egg salad and what is the maximum time they can retain the quality.
Which ingredients play the major role?
With egg salads, the key ingredient is egg of course! And the next key ingredient is usually Mayonnaise. Both of them are actually something where bacteria can easily attack. Therefore, the food gets unsafe for consumption if kept outside the fridge. With egg salads, cheese or butter are sometimes used as a substitute to mayonnaise. But unfortunately, those ingredients are also susceptible to bacterial contamination if kept outside for a long time.
Potato, onions and cucumber are also some of the popular ingredients used in an egg salad. Onions can last longer but they become more pungent with time. Potatoes and cucumber tend to get moist even after keeping them in the fridge. Therefore, even if the salad is safe to eat, the taste does not remain the same as before. But yes, the salad stays intact for more time with potato, onion, cucumber and egg without the use of mayo.
How long will it sustain inside the fridge?
Preserving below room temperature usually keeps the egg salad edible for a considerable amount of period. What we usually tend to do is, smell the salad and make a guess if we can eat it or not. We strongly suggest not following this policy. Even if the salad doesn’t smell ‘bad’, it does not necessarily imply that the food is still edible. Tell you what, when you have leftovers of salad, after 5 days of keeping inside the fridge, you should stop relying on smell and throw the salad away.
Important thing to notice here is that your salad will not be contaminated only if it is stored in a proper way. The span of 3 to 5 days is only true for salads that are sealed or covered properly in the fridge. If you do not keep them covered, the contamination will work faster and unfortunately it won’t last for even a day! Hence, while storing you should cover the salad with a lid; preferably an insulated one.
How long will it stay outside the fridge?
Outside the fridge, honestly it’s a war zone between the egg salad and bacteria. In warm temperature, the bacteria can contaminate faster. Kind of like how chemicals can react at an accelerated speed in hot temperature. Needless to say, during summer time your meal won’t last long unless you put them in an insulated lunch box. In winter, you might take chances of keeping them outside for over some hours or more. In that case, we can only guarantee the food intake safety and not the taste of the egg salad. A word of caution, if the salad doesn’t smell good anymore after keeping it open for long, it is wise to put them away.
When you are planning to enjoy some homemade egg salad in your office lunch or going away for picnic with egg salad sandwich, refrigeration is always not an option, right? During these situations, you should always keep the egg salad in an airtight bag or container. You will find plenty of insulated lunch boxes online. Although makers claim that the insulated lunch boxes keep food intact for 24 hours, we tell you that you should not wait more than 5 to 6 hours before eating your egg salad. Long story short, keep the egg salad in an insulated container and eat it within 5 to 6 hours of making.
What food preservation tips you should follow?
Worst case scenario, your egg salad will not last more than 2 to 3 days and best case scenario, the salad will sustain for a maximum of 5 days. We have compiled some tips for you so that you don’t have to encounter eating stale or harmful salad.
The first and foremost tip to follow here is to plan wisely! Yes, you won’t have leftovers in the first place if you make the right quantity of egg salad. The rule of thumb is that you use one egg per person. Use this strategy for regular food making. Now when you are arranging a party or have guests coming over, we understand that you need to prepare a little extra. During that time, make sure you keep the leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container.
Use lemon juice
Squeezing in a bit of lemon juice is always good for increasing the shelf life of the egg salad. This prevents the bacteria from contaminating your salad at least for some time. The bacterial growth will also be slowed down with the help of lemon juice. Don’t use it too much though otherwise it will ruin the flavor of your egg salad. You can also use Vinegar instead of lemon juice.
Keep below 40 degrees F
Usually the bacteria growth is the strongest within the temperature range of 40F to 140F. Hence, it is better to keep the temperature lower than 40 F. Of course, if you keep it inside the fridge, this temperature will be maintained anyway. One important advice, do not freeze the egg salad! This will ruin the taste of the salad and bacteria can infect easily as soon as you put it out of the freezer.
Use aluminum foil or insulated lunch box
To store the egg salad, it is better that you cover them in aluminum foil. This is the ideal method for storing leftover salads. You can also put them inside an airtight lunch box. The lunch box will keep the food safe on an average of 5 hours outside the fridge. Inside the fridge, the time frame is longer of course.
We know wasting food is bad but it does not mean that you will eat something unhealthy solely so that the food is not wasted. A common query we found among the readers is that what’s the worst that could happen with eating stale food? Well, we tell you that you run the risk of suffering the discomfort of food poisoning at the very least. Therefore, we recommend that you always be extra careful while eating leftover food, be it salad or something else.
Delicious and long lasting egg salad recipes
As foodie, we won’t let you go without sharing some of our favorite egg salad recipes with you. Since we are already on the topic of egg salad, might as well discuss the recipes for your convenience.
Classic egg salad
The classic egg salad is best for breakfast and those who are on their route to starting a healthy diet. An egg in the morning will give you enough energy to sustain the entire day. Enjoy your morning with this classic egg salad recipe served with some garlic bread. You can use this recipe for making fillings for a delicious sandwich as well. Add small chunks of tuna or meat and you will have a delicious sandwich prepared for lunch time.
Egg salad sandwich
For picnics and lunches on Mondays, egg salad sandwiches are wonderful. In fact, this is one of the healthy options for the kids’ tiffin that they actually prefer. Working moms and dads can try this easy egg salad sandwich recipe for their kids’ tiffin. In fact, preparing them in bulk will cover for your lunch as well.
Spicy egg salad
During dinner or parties, you would think egg salad might be boring. Well, you are wrong. Spicy egg salads are a crowd favorite when it comes to dinner parties. A pro tip from us, always add few pinches of pepper more than the recommended quantity in the recipe! Egg and spice is indeed a match made in heaven. You can try this spicy egg salad recipe to begin with.
To summarize, keep a few pointers in mind always. If you store the leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge, the egg salad will remain intact for 5 days. The optimum time for keeping salad outside the fridge is around 2 hours. The shelf life can be increased to 5 hours if the salad is wrapped with aluminum foil or kept in an insulated lunch box.