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making potato salad the night before?

We're going to be having a little family get together at our place. We have an old home, so just a couple window units, no central air. If possible, I'd like to make the potato salad the night before (less heat with the boiling). Would there be any problems with making the salad the night before? Or should/could I boil the potatoes and eggs and mix the salad together the day of?

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  1. I think potato salad is one of those things that is BETTER the next day.

    Its definitely fine to mix it the night before as far as food safety guidelines go, as a matter of fact I think its fine to go as far as 72 hours with it if you really need to.

    1. I agree with twyst - make ahead and let the flavors meld.
      However...
      You say things like "couple window units, no central air" and "boil the potatoes and eggs and mix the salad together the day of"
      I'm wondering if you wanna make the salad the day before and let it sit on the counter?
      Or are you saying if you boil stuff during the night, it won't be so uncomfortable?
      Not quite sure of your meaning, but I think you can easily make the salad 1-2 days ahead - just mix the ingredients when they are cold (potatoes & eggs& mayo & rest of ingredients) and keep in fridge until ready to go.
      PS: add some cayenne for kick and/or some Old Bay for interest and/or some pickle juice just because you can.

      4 Replies
      1. re: porker

        "PS: add some cayenne for kick"

        Most definitely. I actually like to boil my potatoes with some louisiana crawfish/crab boil seasoning every now and then to really kick it up a notch!

        The absolute BEST potato salad I ever had was made with leftover potatoes from a crawfish boil, along with the boiled onions and garlic from the boil. Getting hungry just thinking about it!

        1. re: porker

          I love my own potato salad, but on a whim just bought some made at Whole Foods that incorporated a bit of chipotle. A nice change, especially for a BBQ.

          1. re: porker

            Gosh, sorry I was unclear. Definitely no counter sitting! I was thinking if it wouldn't work to mix with the dressing the day before, I'd at least be able to get the potatoes and eggs boiled, and then in the fridge to cut for the salad the day of. The air conditioner comment really was just about trying to keep the house more comfortable.

            "I think you can easily make the salad 1-2 days ahead - just mix the ingredients when they are cold (potatoes & eggs& mayo & rest of ingredients) and keep in fridge until ready to go."
            This is perfect! Thanks!

            1. re: cookingofjoy

              I just made cole slaw for dinner tonight and am annoyed I didn't get to it earlier. Ditto potato and macaroni salad. They really need to sit and absorb the brine, preferably eight hours or more.

          2. It will be fine in the refrigerator for at least a week so feel free to pick the coolest day to make the salad. Keep in mind that the general consensus is that it is best to sprinkle the vinegar onto the potatoes while they are still hot and will absorb it. Wait for them to cool before adding mayo, egg, etc. This allows the potato to be flavored with the dressing rather than just bathed in it.

            1. I ALWAYS make potato salad the night before. Like twyst, I think it's better after a night in the fridge.

              1. Thank you for all the replies and tips! It'll definitely be made today (at 84) and not tomorrow (in the nineties and storming). I'll have to try the sprinkling vinegar first - I've not tried that before,but it makes sense. And the cayenne or Old Bay sounds like a really good idea, too, along with the boiling in the seasoning. These potatoes will get special treatment :)

                6 Replies
                1. re: cookingofjoy

                  I was taught to sprinkle with olive oil while still a little warm, but that's my Italian MIL talking. (Wish she could still talk to me about food!) Now I do a little oil and a little vinegar, it definitely intensifies the results.

                  1. re: cookingofjoy

                    Congrats & happy birthday! I hope I'm still making potato salad at eighty-four!

                    1. re: porker

                      pretty sure she meant it was 84 degrees unless she has a time machine that will put her into her 90's tommorow :p

                      1. re: twyst

                        {;-/)
                        Just imagine what that time machine can do for her potater salad!

                        1. re: porker

                          That was very kind, though, porker - It was my kids' birthday party, so I'll take the wishes for them :)

                          Again, thanks for the tips! I've only made potato salad maybe twice before, so not much experience, but I love the vinegar and I tried the cayenne this time, which I really liked. And the texture today was much better with the rest than last night. I could see the difference between 'flavored' and 'bathed'.

                          And the weather was great! Instead of storming in the nineties, by party time it was clear and eighties - perfect!

                          1. re: cookingofjoy

                            You said up-thread: "Gosh, sorry I was unclear......" so I was just funnin and trying to expound on the theme...