When it comes to healthy protein-filled snacks, there's a reason why hard-boiled eggs are so popular: these tasty bites are not only packed with protein, they're also incredibly versatile. You can chop them up into a fresh spring salad, make them into delicious deviled eggs, or maybe even incorporate them into an avocado toast if you're feeling especially adventurous. And don't even get us started on all the creative possibilities come Easter! Of course, once you've (finally) figured out how to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs, you might be wondering: How long do hard-boiled eggs last, and how exactly should I be storing them?
The bad news is that hard-boiled eggs last for a shorter period of time than fresh eggs, which makes sense. But when it comes to eggs that are hard-boiled, you should know that how long they last really depends on how exactly you're storing them (hint: refrigerating them is always the best bet). Whether you're making some extra eggs to munch on as a snack later or you're preparing a batch for an Easter egg-dyeing project, here's what to know about the shelf life of hard-boiled eggs.
How long do hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge?
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), eggs should always be refrigerated at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below to ensure the best quality and safety. Whether they're peeled or still in the shell, hard-boiled eggs that are stored properly in the fridge should be consumed within one week after cooking. Some sites like The Incredible Egg, however, recommend that hard-boiled eggs that have been peeled be used the same day for the best quality.
How long do hard-boiled eggs last unrefrigerated?
Of course, sometimes you might have to leave hard-boiled eggs out for some time, such as when you're decorating Easter eggs (or maybe you just accidentally forgot to stick your leftovers in the fridge — we've all been there!). If you're wondering if it's safe to eat those eggs that's been left out at room temperature, you should know that hard-boiled eggs outside of the refrigerator won't last for more than two hours, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And if they've been left at a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter, you should toss them after just one hour.
How can you tell if a hard-boiled egg is still good?
Spoiled eggs are at increased risk for bacteria such as salmonella, which is why it's so important to know if they've gone bad. Just like with fresh eggs, you should check to see if your hard-boiled eggs have any foul odors; if they smell like sulfur or give off any other rotten smells, you should definitely discard them right away. And of course, if you're ever not sure, play it safe and throw them out.
How should I store hard-boiled eggs?
As mentioned before, hard-boiled eggs should be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. (Note: It's also not recommended to freeze hard-boiled eggs.) When it comes to storage methods, Glad also recommends storing hard-boiled eggs in a covered food container in the refrigerator — and if you're planning on transporting them (to a picnic, for example), you should try to keep them cold in an insulated cooler or with frozen gel packs. For maximum freshness, you should also leave them unpeeled in their shells until you are ready to eat or prepare them.
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