Egg

How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last?

We’ve got the hard-boiled data on longegg-vity, and how peeled versus unpeeled, refrigerated versus not (hint: don’t do that) affects shelf life.

by:
February 27, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

So, you took the time to hard-boil some eggs for a weekend Easter egg-dyeing project (or, you know, tomorrow's desk salad). But when it comes to boiling eggs—how long in advance is too long in advance? Should they be stored peeled or unpeeled? And should you not have—gasp—left them on the counter overnight? We’ve got the answers below.

How long do hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge?

Whether peeled or unpeeled, hard-boiled eggs will stay A-OK for up to a week in the fridge.

Should they be stored peeled or unpeeled?

Keeping the eggs in-shell will protect them from drying out, as the shell acts as a moisture barrier. Keep the eggs corralled in a bowl or empty egg carton—but make sure to label them as cooked, so as to not confuse them with your similar-looking raw, in-shell eggs.

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If you’re very committed to storing the eggs unpeeled, make sure to tuck a lightly dampened cloth in with the babies, in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can store peeled eggs submerged in cold water, in an airtight container. Just be sure to refresh that water daily.

...unrefrigerated?

As with all cooked foods left out at room temperature (aka the Danger Zone), hard-boiled eggs are no longer deemed safe after two hours. Instead, drop the eggs post-boil in a bowl of ice water, and transfer the cooled eggs to the fridge for longer shelf-life.


Some egg-citing uses for those (safe!) eggs:

What’s your favorite way to cook an egg? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Coral Lee is an Associate Editor at Food52. Before this, she cooked food solely for photos. Before that, she cooked food solely for customers. And before that, she shot lasers at frescoes in Herculaneum and taught yoga. When she's not writing about or making food, she's thinking about it. Her Heritage Radio Network show, "Meant to be Eaten," explores cross-cultural exchange as afforded by food. You can follow her on Instagram @meanttobeeaten.

6 Comments

Judy March 5, 2020
My eggs go into my steamer rack over simmering water in a pan with the lid on. The time is about the same with 13 minutes for hard. They are the easiest peeling eggs after the ice bath I have ever made. Perfect for making deviled or pickled eggs.
 
Pete M. March 3, 2020
You I can keep hardboiled eggs significantly longer if you pickle them in vinegar. If you pickle them with beets (and onion), the outside of the egg turns a lovely purple color.
 
Parrotmom February 29, 2020
I'm puzzled. A raw egg at room temperature will remain good for days. Why is an unshelled boiled egg only good for 2 hours? What has changed to affect "keepability"
 
Magdalena R. March 1, 2020
Not sure if you're talking about standard supermarket eggs, or farmer market eggs (or European eggs, for that matter), but standard supermarket eggs are rinsed in a bleach wash before going to market, for sanitisation, thus removing eggs' natural protective coating. Eggs in Europe do not undergo this process.
That being, I've left hardboiled standard supermarket eggs out for 24 hours in a 65-70F room and had no problems when I ate them.
 
Melissa C. February 27, 2020
don't remember where i learned this, but if you've mixed up your boiled/raw eggs, you can spin them, stop them briefly, and let go. if they keep spinning, it is raw!
 
Marty L. February 28, 2020
Actually it is the hard boiled egg that will keep spinning. If it is raw, it will not spin because the center is liquid