Whether dished up as a healthy snack, grab-and-go breakfast or hearty salad topping, having a couple of hard-boiled eggs to hand is never a bad idea. Of course, nobody wants to eat a bad egg. Check out our guide for how to store hard-boiled eggs and you’ll never give this protein-packed ingredient the side-eye again.
How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs
To keep your hard-boiled eggs fresh for up to seven days, you’ll need to cool them promptly and store them in the fridge. Fortunately, the process couldn’t be easier so feel free to boil them like you buy ‘em—by the dozen.
1. First, prepare an ice bath. It’s a hard and fast rule of food safety: Never send piping hot food straight to the fridge. To make one, simply fill a large bowl with equal parts ice and cold water.
2. As soon as your eggs have finished boiling, use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer them directly to the prepared ice bath. (Why the gentle touch? While there’s no tragic mess when a cooked egg cracks, it’s still better to keep the shell intact as a barrier against bacteria.) Let the eggs chill out in the ice bath for three to five minutes, or until completely cool.
3. Next, dry the eggs to get rid of excess humidity (another no-no for storing cooked food). Pluck those babies from the ice bath and use a paper towel to dry the shells prior to storing.
4. Once the hard-boiled eggs are cool and dry, place them in a plastic Tupperware container and store in the fridge where they’ll keep for up to a week, according to the FDA. (Note: Hard-sided storage containers are ideal because they offer maximum protection but plastic bags will work in a pinch provided you place them out of harm’s way in the fridge.)
How to Store Peeled Hard-Boiled Eggs
It’s best to store this protein-packed ingredient unpeeled since the shell seals in moisture and prevents the egg from picking up any other flavors and odors from the fridge. Another reason to keep your eggs intact? Hard-boiled eggs are actually much easier to peel once they’ve spent some time in the fridge. But according to our friends at the American Egg Board (yep, it’s a thing), you can absolutely peel hard-boiled eggs prior to storing. So if you’re eager to get a leg up on prep work, simply follow steps one through three above and then peel away. Once the shells have been removed, place peeled eggs in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them completely. Store the bowl, uncovered, in the fridge and freshen the water every day. Consume within two days of being peeled.
How to Tell If Hard-Boiled Eggs Are Still Fresh
It can be hard to assess hard-boiled eggs for freshness based on the usual clues. In fact, the American Egg Board wants you to know that “the nose knows” does not apply to this healthy snack; if you smell something strong, rest assured—it’s just the gasses that cooked eggs naturally release. Actually, you don’t have to rely on your five senses much at all here, because the guidelines for keeping hard-boiled eggs fresh are fairly straightforward. When it comes to boiled eggs, the food safety checklist is short. If you can answer ‘yes’ to these three questions, your eggs are sure to be both safe and satisfying:
- Did you boil and store the eggs less than seven days ago?
- Did you soak the cooked eggs in cold water after boiling and before refrigerating?
- Did you refrigerate the hard-boiled eggs within two hours of cooking and cooling them?
Eggs-ellent. Avocado deviled eggs, anyone?