How Long Are Hard-Boiled Eggs Good For?
It all depends on how you store them.
With lofty meal prep goals, you boiled a dozen eggs, but it’s been a few days and have only put two to good use. This has you wondering: How long is a hard-boiled egg actually good for? Read on to find out how long these eggs can sit in your fridge for.
How to Safely Store Your Hard-Boiled Eggs
Now that your eggs are cooked, it comes down to storage. We asked egg expert Deana R Jones, PhD, a research food technologist at the U.S. National Poultry Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit to share her expertise.
How Long Are Hard-Boiled Eggs Good for?
Hard-cooked eggs, which have been quickly cooled and placed in the refrigerator in their shells should be consumed within seven days. Peeled hard-cooked eggs stored in the refrigerator should be consumed within 48 hours due to the moist egg white surface being exposed and the potential of microorganism growth.
What Is the Best Way to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Hard-cooked eggs (in their shells) should be quickly cooled and subsequently placed in the refrigerator for storage. Cooling eggs quickly after hard-cooking serves both food safety and product quality (more in subsequent question response) purposes. By cooling the eggs quickly in an ice slurry for 20 to 40 minutes (depending on the number of eggs to be cooled) after hard-cooking before placing in the refrigerator, the potential of elevating the temperature of other foods in the refrigerator is diminished.
Is There a Specific Place In the Refrigerator to Store Hard-Cooked Eggs?
The most consistent temperatures in the refrigerator are achieved deeper on the shelves or within the drawers/compartments. When the refrigerator door is opened, items on the door and at the edges of shelves/drawers/compartments are exposed to the warmer ambient temperature of the room. It is best to store hard-cooked eggs in their shells within a clean, sealed container/bag.
What Kind of Container Should You Use?
A clean sealable container or bag can be utilized to store hard-cooked eggs, still in their shell, in the refrigerator. Place a date on the outside of the container or bag to indicate when eggs were hard-cooked. Do not blend batches of hard-cooked eggs. If you hard-cook eggs on Sunday and realize you need more and hard-cook additional eggs on Tuesday, keep Sunday and Tuesday eggs in separate, labeled containers to ensure the oldest eggs are eaten first. Keep raw and hard-cooked eggs separate and clearly labeled. Visually they look the same. Cross-contamination from raw eggs could occur when in contact with hard-cooked eggs.
How to Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs
For hard-boiled perfection we like the good, old-fashioned boiling method. The American Egg Board and Food Network Kitchen recommend starting with cold water like in this reliable recipe. Once water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit (covered) for eight to 12 minutes depending on the desired level of doneness. Once the eggs are boiled they head for a dunk in an ice bath. An ice baths cools the eggs quickly which helps keep them safe. A clean container, ice and fresh water should be utilized to prevent cross-contamination. Once eggs have cooled, pat dry with a clean dish towel or paper towel and place in a clean, sealed container in the refrigerator. This method of quick cooling prevents the formation of a green coloration on the cooked yolk. This coloration is actually a chemical reaction of the iron in the yolk when they are heated for long periods of time and does not negatively impact the quality, safety or flavor of the egg.
How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs Easier to Peel
If you have trouble peeling those hard-boiled eggs, you aren’t alone. Turns out, the fresher the egg is, the harder it can be to peel once cooked. This is thanks to the lower pH of fresher eggs, which causes the egg white to hold on extra-tight to the inside membrane of the shell.
How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs In an Instant Pot
If hard-to-peel eggs are your nemesis, try making them in your Instant Pot. Pressure cooking preps large batches and this method helps detach the eggs tricky inner member that can sometime adhere to the shell, making peeling more difficult – this recipe breaks it down. And since they aren’t really being boiled, these eggs are technically “hard-cooked.”
How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs In an Air Fryer
If boiling isn't for you and you don't own an Instant Pot, an air fryer is another useful tool for making hard-boiled eggs. This recipe breaks down a simple way to do it.