Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Go Bad How Long Does It Last
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If you like eating hard boil eggs for breakfast, you probably prepare dozens of them at once and consume them when needed. In that case, you probably wonder how long do hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge and do hard-boiled eggs go bad over time.

One thing is for sure. You should follow recommendation about eggs shelf life since the cooking process compromises the shell’s protective coating and make it easier for bacteria to contaminate them.

Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Go Bad?

Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Go Bad
Image: Lucky Belly

Unfortunately, hard-boiled eggs last shorter than raw ones, and they will go bad within a week. There are two primary reasons for that:

  • Obligatory washing the egg’s shell before they go on sale
  • Removing the protective outer shell layer during boiling

As a result, the shell becomes porous and vulnerable to bacteria and environmental pollution. Unfortunately, you can’t influence any of these reasons.

The USDA requires that egg producers wash all Grade A eggs with soap and hot water and sanitize them with chlorine or enzymes. As a result, the shells become squeaky clean but porous.

On the other hand, destroying the protective surface layer during boiling is the natural process of decalcification, and you can do nothing against chemistry.

How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last?

If you store unpeeled hard-boiled eggs appropriately, they can stay tasty for about a week at a temperature of 40 F (4.5 C). On the other hand, you shouldn’t eat refrigerated peeled eggs after four days since you have put them inside.

To keep these eggs edible as long as possible, you should place them deep inside the refrigerator to stay cool. One option is to place peeled eggs in a container with cold water and a damp towel on the top.

How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last (Chart)

Hard-boiled eggs

Fridge
Peeled hard-boiled eggs

2 to 4 days

Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs

One week

The only thing matters is to keep hard-boiled eggs at a stable temperature. Keep in mind that insufficient boiling, storing eggs in the fridge door, and improper packaging will shorten this food’s shelf life.

In the end, never let hard-boiled eggs stay at room temperature for more than two hours and avoid freezing them. That way, you will consume this beneficial food without any concern regarding your health conditions.

4 Tips to Tell if Hard-Boiled Eggs Have Gone Bad

4 Tips to Tell if Hard-Boiled Eggs Have Gone Bad
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Eggs are a healthy food full of essential nutrients. To stay beneficial, you need to store them properly. I will list you a few ways to check whether hard-boiled eggs in your fridge are still edible.

Expiration date

First of all, look for a pack date printed on the carton. It includes three connected digit numbers that will show you the exact day of washing, grading, and packing the eggs.

For instance, you will know that these eggs’ pack date is January 27 when you see the number 027 on the carton container. Some producers can also include an expiration date, but it is not obligatory. That date can’t be longer than 30 days after packing.

Color

Although many people are suspicious of the green ring around hard-boiled egg yolks, there is no reason for worry. It is a result of a chemical reaction that occurs when you overcook eggs.

In some cases, that unusual greyish-green color is the result of high iron content in the water. This less appealing look is not connected with the eggs’ freshness, and you can consume them.

Smell

As usual, the smell test is the best indicator of spoiling. When eggs have awful sulfur or rotten odor, don’t hesitate a second and throw them away. In rare cases, you can smell it before cracking eggs open. Remember that hard-boiled eggs won’t smell that way unless they were spoiled before preparation.

Texture

When you overcook eggs, their texture will change and become a bit tough. Hard-boiled eggs that are stored too long will become dry over time. If there are no signs of contamination or rottenness, you can eat them without worry, even though their taste won’t be pleasant as usual.

How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs

Even though peeling boiled eggs right after cooking is the easiest solution, they will last much shorter than unpeeled hard-cooked eggs under the same circumstances. Let’s see the best storing option you have at your disposal.

How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs In Fridge

How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs In Fridge
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It is crucial to refrigerate boiled eggs at 40 F (4.5 C) as soon as they cool out, or within two hours after boiling. Remember that this process destroys the shell’s protective layer, making the eggs susceptible to harmful bacteria. In most cases, you can use them for 2 to 7 days, depending on whether they are peeled or not.

Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs

The shell will slow down eggs deteriorating, but you should store them in the best possible way to extend their shelf life.

  • Carton or air-tight container – Avoid placing eggs on the shelf without proper packaging to prevent their breaking and consequential spoiling.
  • Inside the fridge shelf – Always place boiled eggs on an inside shelf. When putting them in the fridge door that you open frequently, you will speed up their spoiling because of the temperature fluctuation. Also, keep peeled eggs away from foods with a pungent smell like cheese and garlic since they quickly absorb aromas and change in flavor.

Don’t worry if you notice a gassy odor after refrigerating eggs. It is an entirely typical smell of hydrogen sulfide formed during boiling, and it will disappear within a few hours.

Peeled hard-boiled eggs

The best option is to wait with peeling hard-boiled eggs if you plan to get the best quality. If you have a few of them left after a meal, you should store them appropriately and consume them as soon as possible.

  • Air-tight container – The best option is to put eggs in an air-tight container and place a moist paper towel over them to prevent their surface from drying out.
  • Coldwater – You can fill a bowl with cold water and add peeled hard-boiled eggs to it. That way, eggs won’t dry out. Don’t forget to change the water daily to prevent possible contamination.

How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs In Freezer

How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs In Freezer
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As I have already mentioned, storing hard-boiled eggs in a freezer is not recommended since the egg white becomes tasteless after thawing. Plus, they will change color during the thawing process.

When you haven’t another solution, you can freeze only the hard-boiled eggs’ yolks. The best option is to place yolks in a freezer bag or sealed container, but remember that they are not edible after three months.

Another method is freezing scrambled eggs or salad that contain cut or sliced hard-boiled eggs. Keep in mind that you can’t store unpeeled hard-boiled eggs this way.

Storing with Pickling Method

Pickling
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It is the way of storing hard-boiling eggs in prepared brine. Place all ingredients in a jar, pour the brine over them, and use this food for about four months. After that period, eggs will become a bit rubbery.

The Risk of Consuming Expired Hard-Boiled Eggs

The Risk of Consuming Expired Hard-Boiled Eggs
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You have probably heard about severe consequences that appear after eating spoiled eggs. In most cases, it is about Salmonella infection followed by symptoms, such as fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The hardships typically appear within a day or two and usually last about a week. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), most people recover without medical intervention.

Fortunately, there is no danger when you consume hard-boiled eggs because boiling at a temperature above 140 F (60 C) destroys Salmonella. In rare cases, eating recalled hard-boiled eggs may cause a Listeria infection, so be careful.

Can you freeze Hard-Boiled Eggs?

Can you freeze Hard-Boiled Eggs
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Don’t freeze whole hard-boiled eggs if possible. The freezing process always changes the egg whites’ texture, and they become rubbery after thawing. There are a few exceptions, but you shouldn’t use them either if you have any other option at your disposal.

Salad with hard-boiled eggs

You probably chop or slice boiled eggs before adding them into various salads. It is possible to freeze these salads packed in a freezing bag or tightly sealed container.

Keep in mind that it is not wise to freeze a salad with mayonnaise because it is not quite tasty after thawing. The best option is to add it with spices before consuming the salad.

Hard-boiled eggs’ yolks

Never freeze egg whites since they change the texture at low temperatures and become awful after thawing. However, you can put appropriately packed hard-boiled eggs’ yolks in the freezer when necessary.

Your best shot is to put yolks in a freezer bag or tightly sealed container and use them within three months. They won’t be delicious after taking them out, but you can sprinkle them over the meal like garnishes or make toppings for salads.

Summary

Hard-boiled eggs are a highly nutritious food, but they can last only a few days in the fridge. Therefore, you should be careful, boil only as many eggs as you need. If you want to store them, do it appropriately and use them as soon as possible.

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