One major aftermath of the holidays is the pickle it creates of what to do with all the extra food.
Figuring out the usability and storage requirement of uneaten food is vital to preventing waste. However, whether it’s half a turkey after Thanksgiving or a pile of leftover hard-boiled eggs from Easter Sunday, working out the right steps to take can be tough.
Hard-boiled eggs especially are something you want to keep around. These eggs are a healthy and delicious food that packs multiple nutrients in a small ready-to-eat package. Furthermore, hard-boiled eggs can be eaten standalone or pairs with several dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
However, storing perishable goods like eggs is a delicate game. No one wants to spend the subsequent days after a celebration yowling in discomfort from food poisoning.
Hence, this article answers the questions: Do hard-boiled eggs go bad? How do you store hard-boiled eggs? How long can you save the for?
Do Hard Boiled Eggs go Bad?
Yes. Like raw eggs, hard-boiled eggs are perishable foods that will spoil after several days. However, the storage method and the condition of the eggs go a long way in determining its average shelf life.
Shelled eggs will last longer than peeled ones and refrigerated eggs will last significantly longer than others left at room temperature.
Refrigerated Hard-Boiled Eggs
Like with many other foods, refrigeration presents the best way to store and preserve the condition of hard-boiled eggs. When refrigerating hard-boiled eggs, it is best to keep them in an inside shelf, away from odorous foods, and at a temperature of around 40°F.
In the shell, properly stored hard-boiled eggs will last for up to 7 days. However, once the eggs are peeled, their shelf life drops drastically. Peeled eggs can last for a maximum of 2 days in the fridge, and for optimal condition, they should be consumed on the same day.
To avoid eating rotten eggs, you should keep a written record of when your eggs were refrigerated.
Hard-Boiled Eggs at Room Temperature
Keeping hard-boiled eggs at room temperature significantly reduces their shelf life, especially with peeled eggs.
According to the CDC, perishable goods like hard-boiled eggs are best when consumed within two hours once removed from the refrigerator. Once the eggs sit out for longer than this time frame, you should consider throwing them out or returning them to refrigeration.
Eggs with shells can often last for slightly longer, while shelled eggs may not even make the 2-hour mark.
However, the temperature of the environment can be another cardinal deciding factor. If the area is at 90°F or higher, like at a summer picnic or near a home barbecue, you could only have an hour or less of leeway.
How to Tell if Your Hard-Boiled Eggs have Gone Bad
One of the best ways to tell if a hard-boiled egg is spoiled is by paying attention to any odors. If the eggs exude a sulphuric or rotten smell, the chances are that they are no longer fit for consumption. For eggs still in the shell, you may have to shell them to unearth the odor.
Furthermore, any discoloration or change in texture, especially in the egg white can be an early sign of spoilage. The same applies to extremely dried out eggs. However, in these cases, you may need a taste test to confirm the condition of the egg.
It is a common misconception; however, that greenish or grayish yolk is a sign of spoilage. However, this coloration is caused by overcooking the egg or not cooling it correctly. Hence, while the overcooked egg may be a little less palatable, it is still entirely safe for consumption.
Can You Freeze Hard-Boiled Eggs
Made information repositories do not recommend freezing whole eggs. This is because, the shallow temperature affects the structure of egg whites, changing their texture and leaving them with a rubbery feel.
The same rule applies to hard-boiled eggs.
Nevertheless, chopped or grated hard-boiled eggs store well in the freezer and can often last for up to one month. However, you must freeze the eggs separately without any other food or salad ingredients.
Egg Storage before Hard Boiling
Raw eggs are perishable items too that require delicate handling and proper storage to extend their shelf life. The best way to preserve the condition of these eggs is to keep them refrigerated.
Raw eggs for long term storage should be kept in the refrigerator at all times. The optimal temperature for refrigerating eggs is between 35°F and 40°F. Store the eggs in their original carton or an airtight container.
Refrigerated raw whole eggs can often last for up to 4 to 5 weeks beyond the pack date or about three weeks after purchase.
Freezer storage of whole eggs is not recommended.