Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient, nutritious, and tasty source of food when you need a quick snack. Most people know that hard-boiled eggs should be refrigerated. But how long will they last?
How long do hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge? If stored in a fridge, hard-boiled eggs can last up to one week, peeled or unpeeled. Ensure the eggs are kept covered in a sealed container and your fridge is a proper 40° F (4° C).
If you really want to be safe, write on each egg the date you boiled them, so you will know if they are already more than a week old.
To check if the egg is edible, check if they have an off-putting smell. If they give off a sulfur-like, rotten smell, discard them as they are not safe to eat.
Read on to learn more about how long hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge and tips for storage and handling.
How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last in the Fridge?
Hard-boiled eggs can still be eaten up to one week, if they are correctly stored in a refrigerator. To know exactly when the seventh day will be, write on each egg the date you have hard-boiled them.
A peeled hard-boiled egg is best if eaten right after peeling; however, it could last up to a week in the fridge. An unpeeled hard-boiled egg might be able to last longer than a week in the fridge; however, a week at most is best.
It is not advisable to freeze hard-boiled eggs, whether they are peeled or unpeeled. In the shell, they can last for a week. But for safety reasons, you should eat it once you have cracked its shell.
It is not enough to put hard-boiled eggs inside your fridge. You’d want to make sure that they are appropriately stored in the refrigerator with a temperature of 40°F.
Put unpeeled eggs in their original carton, or any safe container. Next, place them inside the refrigerator away from strong-smelling food. The back section of your fridge is the best place to store them.
Additionally, you should always remember that eggs are sold with expiry dates. Stores that sell eggs are required to sell them using the “sell-by date” criteria rather than the “use-by date” standard. Consider these dates when hard-boiling your eggs.
How to Properly Store Hard-Boiled Eggs
You have to refrigerate hard-boiled eggs if you want to eat them several days after cooking. It would be better to place hard-boiled eggs in a tightly closed container before putting them inside the fridge to keep moisture and harmful germs out.
2. Don’t Freeze
It is not advisable to freeze hard-boiled eggs because freezing will destroy their cellular structure, leading to reduced shelf life. Also, it is not good to freeze fresh eggs because their whites will turn slimy with a rubbery consistency. They also tend to discolor when they are thawed after being frozen.
3. Don’t Store Them Near the Refrigerator Door
Don’t put hard-boiled eggs at the refrigerator door because it’s the worst place to store them. The door of the fridge is the part that is most subjected to temperature changes. Each time you open the door, this part of the refrigerator experiences a change in temperature.
4. Use a Container to Store the Eggs
Put the eggs in their original container or similar container to secure them from other stuff in the fridge. Place the container on the middle shelf, preferably at the back instead of the front. The temperature at the back of the fridge is kept at the same temperature. This constant temperature will help extend the shelf life of the eggs.
Moreover, proper storage of hard-boiled eggs has added benefits. These benefits include minimizing food costs, eating healthier, and reducing environmental waste. The United States Department of Agriculture also recommends egg refrigeration.
Here is a table that compares the ideal length of time different types of eggs can be safely eaten if they are refrigerated.
|Type of Egg||Refrigerator Temp. from 35°F to 45°F|
|Hard-boiled Eggs (in shell)||Up to 1 week|
|Hard-boiled Eggs (peeled)||Use or eat the same day for the best quality|
|Raw Whole Eggs (in shell)||3 weeks after purchase or 4-5 weeks after the pack date|
|Raw Whole Eggs (beaten slightly)||Up to 2 days|
|Raw Egg Yolks||Up to 2 days|
|Raw Egg Whites||Up to 4 days|
How Long Will Hard-Boiled Eggs Last in Room Temperature?
Don’t forget your hard-boiled eggs and leave them out in the open. If you do, they will only last up to two hours before they spoil. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, perishable foods, including hard-boiled eggs, will only last around two hours if they are not refrigerated.
After two hours, perishable foods should be chilled (if they are still edible) or thrown away. If it is more than 90°F in the place where these foods are being served, such as in summer picnics or backyard barbecues, perishable foods should be discarded after about an hour.
How Can You Tell If Hard-Boiled Eggs Are Already Spoiled?
When you hard-boil an egg, you shorten its shelf life. The reason is that eggshells are porous, and bacteria in the air and surroundings can penetrate the egg. Fresh eggs have natural protective coatings provided by the hen when she is laying her eggs. This coating seals and protects the egg from contaminants.
However, government regulations mandate egg producers to wash and sanitize their eggs before selling them to consumers. This process inadvertently removes the natural protective coating of the eggs.
To compensate for the loss of their protective coating, egg producers spray their eggs with odorless, natural mineral oil. This process “reseals” the eggs, protects them from the elements, and extends their shelf life.
You can remove this protective coating once you put the eggs in hot water. The shells of the eggs again become porous and vulnerable to bacteria and other harmful pathogens. That is why hard-boiled eggs do not last long in the open air.
Try smelling hard-boiled eggs to check if they’re still edible. If they give off a rotten or sulfur-like smell, they are not safe to eat. You need to throw them out. To prevent this problem, after cooking your eggs, write their boiling dates on their shells before storing them in your fridge.
How Do You Make Hard-Boiled Eggs?
It takes about 10 minutes to hard-boil fresh eggs. The most commonly used eggs for hard boiling are chicken eggs. They are the popular choice because of their low price, protein content, portability, and versatility.
When chicken eggs are boiled and stored correctly, they can have a shelf life of one week. They are great for quick snacks. You don’t need to prepare anything–just peel the shell, and you are good to go.
The secret to making perfect hard-boiled eggs is the way they are steamed. You can make good hard-boiled eggs if you follow the steps below.
Here are the secret steps in steaming fresh eggs:
- Get a steaming basket and put your eggs inside it. A dozen eggs at a time would be fine.
- Put the steaming basket with the eggs inside a saucepan.
- Fill the saucepan with water enough to reach the bottom of the basket.
- Cover the saucepan and put it on top of a cooking stove.
- Bring the water to boil and set the timer: 20 minutes for small eggs and 25 minutes for big eggs.
- After the boiling time, pour out the hot water and replace it with cold water.
- Repeat. But this time, add lots of ice to the cold water to “shock” the eggs.
- Once the eggs have cooled down, you can now peel their shells. If you want to retain the original shape of the egg, crack the shells gently. Once an opening breaks, start peeling the shells through that opening. Another way is to roll the eggs on a hard surface. This method will break their shells into smaller sections. Place the eggs under cold running water and start to peel their shattered shells.
- You can also store hard-boiled eggs in the fridge with their shells intact. Peel their shells only when you’re ready to eat them. Remember, they will only last for a week.
If you follow the above tips, the eggs will be perfectly hard-boiled and you can put them in a sealed or covered container in your fridge. Ensure the eggs are cooled down before putting them in your fridge so that they last longer.
What Nutrition Can You Get from Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Eggs have been around since the very beginning of time. If they are not good for food, they would have gone out of date many centuries ago. But do they really make us healthy and strong? To answer that question, I’ll share with you the nutritional information of eggs below.
You can get the following nutrients in one large egg:
- Calcium – 2% Recommended Daily Amount
- Vitamin A – 5% RDA
- Iron – 3% RDA
- Protein – 7 g
- Sodium – 63 mg (2% RDA)
- Fats – 5 g (7% RDA)
- Potassium – 63 mg (1% RDA)
- Cholesterol – 187 mg (62% RDA)
Aside from the above nutrients, eggs can also provide you with the following nutritional elements:
- Carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin)
- Vitamin D
How long are hard-boiled eggs good for in the fridge before their nutrition drops? As long as you have kept your eggs fresh in the fridge, within seven days, then you will benefit from their nutrition.
Surprising Facts About Hard-Boiled Eggs
We’ve answered the question: how long do boiled eggs last in the fridge? Next, let’s look at some facts about hard-boiled eggs that you might find surprising. Here are some of them:
- The term “hard-boiled eggs” is somewhat a misnomer. A more accurate description is “hard-cooked eggs.” When hard-boiling eggs, the eggs are actually cooked to a soft, gentle boil and do not undergo a hard, rigorous boil.
- Boiling removes the eggshell’s protective coating. That is why hard-boiled eggs spoil faster than fresh eggs.
- Salmonella, a pathogen commonly found in eggs, is eradicated by heat during the boiling process, once the egg yolk and white become firm.
- It will be easier to peel the shell of a hard-boiled egg if you rinse it in cold water and roll it over a flat surface using gentle pressure.
Different Ways of Using Hard-Boiled Eggs
There are many ways you can use hard-boiled eggs. You can eat them by themselves as a nutritious snack, or use them in the following ways:
- Mix them with fruits, nuts, veggies, or cheese to make a balanced lunch or heavy snack.
- Put sliced hard-boiled egg on a multigrain slice of toast with an avocado slice to make a balanced breakfast in the morning.
- If you don’t have the time to cook eggs early in the morning, you can cook them the evening before and eat them the next morning for a quick but nutritious breakfast.
How Long Will Hard-Boiled Eggs Last If Mixed in a Dish?
How long do hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge in the eggs are mixed in a dish? The length of time will depend on other food items present in the recipe. A safe answer to this question is that hard-boiled eggs can last for as long as the fastest expiring ingredient included in the dish.
For example, how long does butter last? If a dish with hard-boiled eggs contains spoiled butter, it will not be safe to eat–even if the hard-boiled egg is still good to consume.
Conclusion – How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last in the Fridge?
So, to recap, how long do hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge? If you store hard-boiled eggs in the fridge, they can last up to one week, peeled or unpeeled. You don’t need to worry about eating a hard-boiled egg within seven days if stored correctly in the fridge.
However, it’s important to note that they are still considered perishable food. If you really want to be safe, write the boiling date on each egg to know if it is still safe to eat.
It is also wise to keep your hard-boiled eggs unpeeled and placed in a covered container or bag. This will help them last longer and stay fresher in the fridge.