How To Make Egg Salad Without Having to Peel Your Eggs, According to School Cafeteria Ladies

Make egg salad in half the time.

<p>Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek</p>

Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

If you’ve ever made egg salad for a crowd, you’ve probably tried a few tricks for peeling all those eggs, like using older eggs, running water, ice baths, and special shell-cracking techniques. What if you could skip the whole process of peeling the boiled eggs altogether?

Yes, you can make a big batch of egg salad without peeling any eggs!

Many years ago, I worked as a baker in a middle school cafeteria. The “lunch ladies” actually made food from scratch in those days, and created their recipe hacks before they were called that. Tricks like mixing melted butter with peanut butter to make it spread easily, and assembling lasagna with uncooked noodles the day before baking. The one I honestly didn’t take seriously at the time was the eggs.

When it was time to make a batch of egg salad, they’d use the big kettle cooker to bring water to a simmer. They would crack lots of eggs into large, deep pans or bowls, then they would carefully float the pan or bowl in the hot water and close the lid to cook.

The big chunks of cooked egg were tossed into a massive grater attachment affixed to the stand mixer to make egg salad for 400 students. This is genius for egg salad since you are going to chop the eggs anyway.

More recently, I started seeing this method being done in the Instant Pot and decided to revisit the brilliance of the cafeteria cooks.

<p>Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph</p>

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph

How To Make Egg Salad With Zero Peeling

To start, set up your Dutch Oven or a 10 to 12-inch-wide soup pot, and make sure there is room for steam to rise around your eight or nine-inch cake pan. The trick is using a cake pan or finding a flat-bottomed bowl so the eggs will be in an even layer and therefore cook evenly. Put an inch and a half of water in the pot, bring it to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and cover.


Eight to 10 eggs will cook nicely in an eight-inch cake pan, while 12 to 14 work well in a nine-inch pan. If you want to cook more, just make sure they fit in the pan and give them extra time to cook.

Oil the cake pan or bowl and crack the eggs into it. Carefully lower the pan into the simmering water—if your pot is deep, use oven mitts. It will float. If it tilts to one side, use a spoon to press on the other side for a moment until the eggs are in an even layer. Cover the pot.

Once the water comes to a boil again, lower the heat to low. Monitor the heat so it is not boiling, just gently simmering. Cook for 15 minutes.

To check for doneness, insert a paring knife in the center of the eggs—they should be set. Take out immediately using oven mitts (be careful not to get any water in the pan) and invert onto a cutting board or into a storage container. Let cool, chop, then chill.

<p>Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph</p>

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph

Use any recipe for egg salad that works for the number of eggs you cook. I’m partial to making a Mediterranean-inspired one with a lemon vinaigrette, celery, capers, grape tomatoes, and olives. The lunch ladies used mayo and mustard, and it was always a hit.

This trick works great when preparing these egg salad recipes and more:

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.