How Long Do Hard Boiled Eggs Last?

Within the pantheon of snacks, hard boiled eggs are undoubtedly some of the oldest, and most popular – with countless people enjoying them all around the world for their great taste, high protein content, and general ease for cooking. 

But how long can hard boiled eggs last once they are cooked, and what are the best ways to store them for a longer life span?

How Long Do Hard Boiled Eggs Last

How Long Do They Last?

Generally speaking, the length of time that hard boiled eggs can last following cooking depends entirely on how they are stored, your environment, and how old the eggs were to start with. 

Storage Method

When left in the fridge in a sealed container, hard boiled eggs can be stored for approximately 3-4 days – providing they were within date when you boiled them. 

When they have been boiled, it is also important not to leave them out on the countertop for longer than one hour – especially if you live in a warmer environment.

If you plan to save the eggs for another time to eat, then you should allow them to cool naturally, and then store them in the fridge as soon as possible. 

If you are looking to keep them in the freezer – a more common occurrence than you might think – then you should not store them for longer than 3 months.

While they can effectively be kept forever, depending on the efficacy of the freezer, the condition of the eggs declines significantly after the 3 month period has elapsed. 

Hotter Climates

In hotter climates, it is advisable to keep your eggs out in the air as little as possible – instead using either cold water to cool them down, or allowing them to air cool, and then storing them in the appropriate manner. 

Shell On Vs Shell Off

If the shell is still on the hard boiled eggs, then you can follow the above mentioned storage instructions. However, if the shell has been peeled off, then you need to ensure that refrigerated eggs last no longer than 48 hours. 

After this point, they should be disposed of, even if they have been sealed correctly during this time. 

What Happens If You Eat Them After This Time?

As you might imagine, eggs can be a tricky one when they have gone bad, and as such there are certain consequences for eating them after their natural lifespan has passed. 

While you will probably be okay straying a day or so either side of the lifespan, any longer than that and you will be dicing with various unpleasant symptoms. 

This will generally consist of stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and even worse cases of food poisoning in some instances.  

While most of the mild symptoms will pass naturally, you would be better off consulting medical advice if they persist for longer than two days. 

The Best Ways To Store Hard Boiled Eggs

When it comes to storing hard boiled eggs, there are certain ways that are better than others. 

Out In The Open

When you have boiled the eggs, and you are allowing them to cool down on the counter, you should make sure you don’t do this for longer than one hour. 

During this time, you should also ensure that the bowl of eggs are away from heat sources, and are not in direct sunlight. 

In The Fridge

When storing eggs in the refrigerator, you should always opt for a sealed, airtight container, as this is the best way to ensure that bacteria cannot reach them while being stored. 

You should also opt for keeping them with the shell on too, as this is another layer of defense against germs. While this is not always feasible, it is a better option for keeping them fresh and protected. 

In The Freezer

When you are storing hard boiled eggs in the freezer, you once again need to ensure you are using a freezer safe, sealed container – preferably something that can withstand the temperature changes without splitting or breaking. 

You should also leave them with the shell on once again, as this can be another layer of protection. To ensure no food or germs make contact, you could also keep the container in a sandwich bag for added protection. 

Things To Avoid

There are also a couple of obvious points that are best being avoided. Many of these have been discussed throughout the article in various degrees of detail, but are best to be reiterated for safety reasons. 

The things to avoid include: 

  • Leaving the eggs out
  • Leaving the eggs uncovered in the fridge
  • Leaving the eggs uncovered in the freezer
  • Eating them beyond the recommended date
  • Cross-contaminating produce
  • Mixing raw and cooked eggs

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about hard boiled eggs, and how long they will last once they have been boiled. 

It is true that boiled eggs are a popular treat for many – with countless people all around the world enjoying them as a tasty treat, and a viable source of protein.

However, without the proper understanding and knowhow, these dream snacks can soon turn into a nightmare. 

So if you have some hard boiled eggs, be sure to store them properly. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we know a little more about hard boiled eggs, and how long they can be stored once they are cooked, it is now time to answer some frequently asked questions that you might be interested in.

Are Hard Boiled Eggs Healthy?

Hard boiled eggs are considered a great source of protein, and a healthy addition to any balanced and nutritious diet.

Can you Boil Bad Eggs?

It is not recommended that you hard boil (or otherwise cook) any egg that has gone bad – or gone beyond its recommended use by date.

Mark Williams
Latest posts by Mark Williams (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *