There are tons of great salads out there that make a great meal. Tuna salad, potato salad, and egg salad are all easy, convenient, and filling recipes that can be a staple in any diet.
However, today we're diving into a common question regarding egg salad. One of the most common questions that egg salad lovers have is this: “How long does egg salad last?”
It is essential to know when to keep egg salad and when to toss it. Though the answer may seem simple, it actually depends on a variety of factors, including weather, preservation conditions, and even the ingredients used to prepare the egg salad.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some interesting ways to preserve your egg salad and understand what is the maximum time they can retain their quality.
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How Do I Know if My Egg Salad Is Spoiled?
Most people assume the easiest way to figure out if egg salad has gone bad is to smell it to figure out if it's spoiled or not. Unfortunately, the smell does not help all the time when it comes to egg salad.
A boiled egg can give an "off" smell even when fresh. A better assessment would be any visible indications of mold or change in the flavor or color of your egg salad.
What is the Reason behind Spoiled Egg Salad?
One major reason behind egg salad going bad is the ingredients with which you make the egg salad.
A classic egg salad recipe often includes ingredients in addition to a hardboiled egg. Bacteria can easily contaminate mayonnaise, potato, cucumber, green onion, or other commonly included ingredients, speeding up the spoiling process.
This contamination process becomes even faster if you keep your egg salad out for long at room temperature. If you have used the above ingredients to make your egg salad and want it to last for a couple of days, it is best to seal it properly and store it in the refrigerator.
Though egg salad can spoil fast, there are ways to preserve your eggs longer than the norm! Check out our blog post on how you can preserve fresh yolks and whites from a few days up to six months.
Which Ingredients Play the Major Role?
The main ingredient in egg salads is a hardboiled egg, normally followed by mayonnaise. Unfortunately, both of these ingredients are susceptible to bacterial contamination if kept at room temperature for a long time.
Another common inclusion, onions, can last a bit longer, but the problem is they can turn pungent with time. The use of potatoes and cucumber in your salad, no matter how safely you have preserved them in the fridge, will cause additional moisture that speeds up the spoiling process.
What Else Can You Add to Your Egg Salad?
Don't let the sped-up spoil time deter you! It's worth it to get creative with your egg salad recipes depending on your taste and preference. You may consider adding the following to spice up your recipe:
- Celery or carrots for texture
- Proteins like diced and cooked shrimp or small chunks of ham or chicken
- Diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- Pickle juice, diced pickles, or relish
Eggs are a versatile ingredient, easily paired with a variety of things. Want to give it a try? Try our recipe for a quick and tasty Greek omelet or our simple yet delicious vegetable egg fried rice recipe .
How Long Can Egg Salad Stay Outside the Refrigerator?
Leaving your egg salad at room temperature is like creating a war zone between your egg salad and bacteria.
Remember, bacteria tend to contaminate faster in warm temperatures. This is the reason why prepared food doesn't last long unless they are placed in the refrigerator in an insulated box. To preserve the taste, we always recommend refrigerating it.
Unfortunately, access to refrigeration is not possible everywhere. When you are planning to take an egg salad for a picnic or to have it for your office lunch, how can you ensure that it does not get spoiled or there’s no change in taste?
To address this, keep your egg salad in a container or an airtight bag. There are plenty of insulated lunch boxes available on the market. The inclusion of cool gel or ice packs can help to keep egg salad fresh. In general, it is best to eat your egg salad no longer than 5 to 6 hours while unrefrigerated.
How Long Can Your Egg Salad Stay Inside the Refrigerator?
You can preserve your egg salad for a long time in cooler temperatures. Your egg salad will last for around 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, provided you have properly sealed and stored it.
If you place egg salad directly in the refrigerator without any cover, the contamination process will start working faster and unfortunately, your salad may not even last for a day.
It is recommended to cover your leftover salad with a lid, preferably an insulated one if you want to keep it safe to consume.
Can You Freeze an Egg Salad?
No, you cannot freeze an egg salad. The thawing process will make it more susceptible to bacteria contamination. The ideal temperature to store your egg salad is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips for Preserving Your Egg Salad
Making too much egg salad can cause the anxiety of trying to store it. According to the USDA, you may have a little more time than you think to finish your leftover egg salad.
The five-day rule applies to the salads that are properly sealed and stored. Additionally, following these tips may prevent you from eating stale or harmful egg salad:
Having too much leftover egg salad can be the result of poor planning. Making the right quantity of egg salad will prevent any issues with storage and leftovers while leaving you to consume fresh foods.
When prepping egg salad, follow the rule of boiling one egg per person. You can use this strategy for your daily routine cooking, especially if preparing sandwiches for the family.
You may consider preparing a little extra when hosting a party or having guests coming over. If there are any leftovers, make sure to seal them properly and store in the refrigerator.
Planning is the key to save you from this trouble of storing egg salad whilst ensuring that it is safe to consume.
Add Lemon Juice
One of the proven ways of ensuring a longer shelf life of your egg salad is by adding in a bit of lemon juice. This will reduce bacterial growth and prevent it from contaminating your salad at least for some time.
Make sure to not overuse the lemon juice as it can ruin the flavor of your egg salad. You can also consider using vinegar as an alternative to lemon juice.
Store Your Salad Below 40 Degrees F
Bacteria start growing within a temperature range of 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F. It is best to keep your salad at a temperature lower than 40 F.
Placing it in the refrigerator will give the required temperature control, which will, in turn, preserve your egg salad for a longer period. H3:
Store With Insulated Lunch Boxes or Aluminum Foil
If you don’t have the option of refrigeration, you may consider placing your egg salad in an aluminum foil or an insulated lunch box. This will keep your food safe for around 5 hours outside the fridge.
Be sure to eat your salad during this time to avoid getting it spoiled. The time frame will be longer if you keep your egg salad covered with an insulated box or aluminum foil in the refrigerator.
Delicious Egg Salad Recipes to Try
Classic Egg Salad
Planning to start a healthy diet? Classic egg salad is all you need for your breakfast.
Egg Salad Sandwich
These egg salad sandwiches are the go-to option for picnics or office lunches and are easy to make if you're in a rush.
Spicy Egg Salad
The spicy egg salad recipe is one of the crowd-pleaser dishes to try for your next dinner party. Add more than the recommended quantity of pepper to spice up your evening.
Storing egg salad can be anxiety-inducing, but don't fear! Try your best to prepare your food in a quantity that is sufficient for your family so that you’re saved from the hassle of storing your leftover egg salad.
In the case where you have extra, you can seal it properly in an insulated box or an aluminum foil before placing it in the refrigerator. Remember to consume it within five days. Following these tips will allow you to enjoy a meal without throwing any food away.