Eggs have been a part of human diet since, well, there were humans. We have been eating eggs for so long because of its availability and nutritional values.
One of the most common and versatile ways of preparing it is by making hard boiled eggs- you can eat it just like that or incorporate it in salads, make egg sandwiches, put it inside pies or turn it into deviled eggs. But what if you made more that you need? How long are hard boiled eggs good for?
Like any other questions regarding foods, the answer to that is IT DEPENDS!
The Importance of Knowing the Answer
Knowing how long eggs are going to stay good is very important. Cooking eggs can kill salmonella but if the shells are cracked, then the eggs get exposed and you really would not want to eat those eggs as illness from salmonella can be serious.
I know many people would think that they can just sniff the food in question out to know whether it’s still safe to eat, but we’re modern people! There are scientific studies all over the world so we can do without the sniffing out of our food or performing other myths about eggs!
You might be asking, what’s the worst thing that could happen to me if I eat spoiled hard boiled eggs? Well, knowing the answer to how long the eggs you have hard boiled are safe for eating can save you from trips to the bathroom or maybe even a trip to the hospital!
- Remember: Raw Eggs will Keep Longer than Hard Boiled Eggs
That’s right, in terms of the time your hard boiled eggs will stay okay, you can safely answer ‘definitely shorter that raw eggs.’ You must be shaking your head at me now. Didn’t I just say that cooking eggs will kill the salmonella- the germ that raw eggs carry?
Well, the belief that hard boiled eggs should last longer that uncooked eggs is wrong. Yes, you are killing the salmonella when you cook the eggs, but the cooking process actually damages the protective layer on the shell, making them more susceptible to contamination.
You see, hens, when laying eggs, put a protective coating outside the shell. That protective coating shields the egg against contamination. The eggs lose that coating during the sanitation process but are then replaced by an artificial one and that’s the one destroyed by the cooking process.
That’s one thing to consider in answering the question we currently have in our hands.
When Left Unrefrigerated
The practical thing to do, of course, if you intend to use the hard boiled eggs later or if you have any leftover hard boiled eggs is to keep it in the refrigerator. But who are we kidding? It’s not always possible to do that! There will always be that time when we can’t put it in the refrigerator.
Maybe you forgot, maybe there’s no refrigerator available, but this is an important question to answer. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hard boiled eggs are included in perishable goods to which we should apply the two-hour guideline.
The two-hour guideline states that you should put perishable goods away in the refrigerator within two hours, otherwise you have to throw it away to avoid food poisoning. So the longest time those hard boiled eggs you have sitting on your table will be safe for human consumption is two hours.
When You Store Then in Your Refrigerator
Putting the hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator will give you the best answer for keeping your left-over hard boiled eggs safe to eat because refrigerating the hard boiled eggs will make them last the longest. Refrigerated hard boiled eggs, if cooked properly, can last for a week.
Just to make you sure that you can keep track of how long those hard boiled eggs you are keeping inside the refrigerator will still keep and how long they have been there already, it will be helpful to label the eggs with the date you cooked them. Don’t forget to use markers that are safe for food.
As I have said earlier, the protective coating on an egg gets destroyed during the cooking process, the shell may be intact but it becomes slightly porous. That means things outside may penetrate the shell, that’s why if you are going to use markers, make sure that it’s safe for food. If you don’t have a food-safe marker, you can just put the label on a container and then put the hard boiled eggs in there or you can get it here.
One They Are Peeled
If the hard boiled eggs are peeled, you can keep just as long as the unpeeled ones. Just be sure to keep them in a clean, dry and tightly sealed container to avoid contamination. So to answer the question of how long hard boiled eggs are going to be good for if they are unpeeled, they can stay the same as the unpeeled ones.
Another thing is that if you are going to put the peeled hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator, they will not go bad for a week but it will still be best to consume them on the same day.
When You Use the Hard Boiled Eggs as an Ingredient in another Dish
How about dishes made with hard boiled eggs? They should be treated the same as plain hard boiled eggs. If you’re serving it, try to make sure that the eggs remain cold during service and remember to put the leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours or throw them away if they sat there longer.
Keeping Them in the Freezer
This one is the easiest one to answer- it is most definitely NOT recommended put hard boiled eggs in the freezer. Whether the eggs are put in a dish, unpeeled, or peeled. Actually if you put peeled hard boiled eggs in the freezer the whites will become tough and watery.
So the answer to “How long are hard boiled eggs good for?” depends on how you’re planning on keeping it. It can last from two hours up to a whole week if cooked, handled and kept properly.
Sure, spoiled hard boiled eggs probably won’t kill you, but it’s definitely assuring at least one way to know how to avoid multiple trips to the toilet! It’s always better not to take chances when it comes to food- that includes remembering to look for this.
If you have any questions or clarifications, please feel free to express them in the comments section!