Eggs have posed some of the hardest questions, like the infamous one, “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” While this question troubled us for years, we may have finally come up with an answer. Luckily, there are so many other questions about eggs that we can answer easily.
We’ll go through one of those questions, and it’s probably the most asked question about eggs: How long do they last? The answer depends on different factors, like whether you mean raw eggs, hard boiled eggs, etc.
Today, we’ll focus on hard boiled eggs. There’s a reason why hard boiled eggs are a favorite, especially amongst health-conscious people and gym enthusiasts. It’s because they’re full of protein. They’re also quite tasty and versatile. Once you figure out how to cook perfect hard boiled eggs, you’ll be putting them in a lot of meals.
If you eat hard boiled eggs every day, it would be so convenient if you could make a bunch at a time and just eat it for a few days, or a week. But, how long do hard boiled eggs last? Does the way you store them to play a significant role? And how to tell if hard boiled eggs have gone bad? We’ll answer all of your questions in this article, so if you’re curious to find out more, stay with us until the end!
How To Store Hard Boiled Eggs
There are a couple of ways you can store hard boiled eggs, and the best one is definitely in the fridge, and here’s why.
1. The Refrigerator
The way you store hard boiled eggs plays a crucial role in how long they will last. The ultimate way to store them is in the fridge. Once you boil the egg, its protective layer that coats the shell is removed, making it more susceptible to harmful bacteria. So putting hard boiled eggs in the fridge, at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, will slow down the growth of dangerous microorganisms.
Before you put them in the fridge, you should place them in a carton, or even better, an air-tight container because the less air enters, the slower the process of deterioration is. One helpful tip is never to put eggs in the fridge door, as it is the part of the fridge with the most unstable temperature, and each time you open the fridge, it’s affecting the eggs. Keep them anywhere besides the door, so they are stored at a constant temperature.
When it comes to peeled hard boiled eggs, it’s also best to keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge. However, it’s highly recommended to wait until you want to eat the egg and then peel it, rather than storing them peeled.
2. Room Temperature
Unpeeled hard boiled eggs can stay at room temperature for a day tops, but only if your place is not too hot. If we’re talking about a hot summer day, it’s better to play it safe and put them in the fridge right away, but if it’s a pleasant temperature, they’re okay for a day out of the fridge. After that, you should definitely store them away.
The best example of keeping hard boiled eggs at room temperature is Easter. Decorating eggs is a part of many people’s Easter traditions, and they often like to put them on display for a day or so. This is just fine, but after a whole day, they’re better in the fridge. Better safe than sorry, right? Especially considering you can get seriously sick from eating rotten eggs.
3. The Freezer
You’re maybe wondering if it’s okay to freeze hard boiled eggs. In short, the answer is no. Freezing hard boiled eggs is not a good idea because the yolk and the egg white will become tough and watery, and they will taste bad. If you don’t know what to do with leftover hard boiled eggs, you could always make a delicious egg salad.
How Long Do Hard Boiled Eggs Last
There’s a clear window of time in which you can safely eat hard boiled eggs. It all depends on how you store them, so let’s see how long hard boiled eggs last in the fridge, and what happens if you keep them at room temperature.
Stored In The Fridge
Whether you store them peeled or unpeeled, hard boiled eggs should be eaten within a week after cooking. That is if you store them in the fridge. Unpeeled eggs can be stored longer than peeled because they will retain their taste, while peeled eggs won’t. They’re still likely to be good to eat after five or six days, but they won’t taste nearly as good as they would if you kept them unpeeled. This is why we recommend that you peel hard boiled eggs right before you plan to eat them.
Stored At Room Temperature
If you don’t want to put them in the fridge right away, like during Easter, or you simply forgot to store them away, keep in mind that hard boiled eggs shouldn’t sit out of the fridge for more than a day. Ideally, they shouldn’t be left out for more than two hours, but this is mostly in case your house is extremely hot, and high temperatures create favorable conditions for bacteria growth.
When it comes to eggs, you should never eat them past their prime. Foodborne illnesses that come from eating spoiled eggs are not a joke and they can seriously harm your health. Luckily, it’s highly unlikely you’ll eat rotten eggs and expose yourself to high risk because it’s very easy to tell when hard boiled eggs have gone bad.
How To Tell If Hard Boiled Eggs Have Gone Bad
Last, but certainly not least, let’s go through some advice and tips on how to tell whether hard boiled eggs have gone bad.
It’s not a spoiler for you that eggs go bad – we’ve all smelled rotten eggs at some point in our lives, and it doesn’t exactly smell like roses. Most definitely, the first and biggest sign hard boiled eggs have gone bad is the smell. If the smell is sulfur-like and off-putting, throw them away immediately.
One thing that alarms many people is when the yolk of a hard boiled egg has a greenish-gray color. This may look like a spoiled egg, but that’s not the case. Cooking time and cooking temperature can affect the yolk, and when you overcook an egg, the iron from the yolk reacts with the hydrogen sulfide from the egg white resulting in the change of color. The color of the yolk will fade and eventually turn green-gray. This only affects the texture, making it a bit drier, but it’s completely safe to eat (if there aren’t any signs it’s gone bad).
Besides the smell, you can also check the shell of a hard boiled egg to see if it’s gone bad. If it has a slimy or chalky appearance, it’s definitely no longer safe to consume and you should throw it away.
Hard boiled eggs are not only healthy and packed with beneficial things like proteins, but they’re also delicious and versatile. You can make so many mouth-watering meals with hard boiled eggs, and the good news is that you can keep them in the fridge for up to a week. This is especially useful if you like to meal prep for an entire week, and you can be sure your egg-infused dishes will remain safe to eat.
However, you have to be very careful when it comes to hard boiled eggs or any eggs for that matter. Once they go bad, ingesting them can cause serious health issues like food poisoning and Salmonella. So it’s crucial that you pay extra attention to your hard boiled eggs and always make sure they’re 100% safe to eat. Luckily, it won’t be hard to tell when hard boiled eggs have gone bad. The sulfur smell of rotten eggs is very distinctive, and if you can sniff it, throw away the eggs immediately.
There you have it, the answer to the much asked question “How long do hard boiled eggs last?” The answer varies on some factors, like the way you store them, but in general, you have about a week to eat your hard boiled eggs before they go bad (if you keep them in the fridge).
We hope our article has been helpful to you and that now you can apply all this advice and always eat perfect, fresh hard boiled eggs. Bon Appétit!