Hard-Boiled Eggs Last Longer In The Fridge Than You Might Think

There are days when work is a slog, and all you want to do is settle that rumbling in your stomach and relax. Even the thought of gathering all the equipment and ingredients together for a unique edible concoction makes you cringe. In these times, you need something convenient, and hard-boiled eggs are a great option for an easy protein-filled snack. 

And you don't even have to make them at the moment you want (or need) them because hard-boiled eggs keep well in the refrigerator after being cooked. As long as they have been prepared and cooled correctly, hard-boiled eggs should be just fine in the fridge for up to a week. Avoid washing eggs after purchase, and remember not to leave cooked eggs at room temperature for more than two hours. After boiling, rapidly cool hard-boiled eggs in an ice bath for a few minutes before refrigerating.

Egg storage best practices

Hard-boiled eggs will have the same shelf life of seven days in the refrigerator, whether peeled or unpeeled. However, whether they are shelled or peeled will determine how you want to store them in the fridge. If you peel your hard-boiled eggs beforehand, they should be stored in an airtight container, like a plastic sandwich bag. Leaving them exposed to the open air can dry them out. It's also a good idea to put a damp paper towel in the container with the eggs to keep them from losing moisture. Hard-boiled eggs left in their shell can simply be placed in a bowl in the fridge for storage. Always give a cooked egg a quick inspection before you consume it, checking for any slimy texture or strong odor that could be a sign of spoilage.

You may have noticed on occasion that once you open them, your hard-boiled eggs have a small, green ring around the yolk. That doesn't have anything to do with how you stored your hard-boiled eggs, it is actually an indicator that the egg was overcooked. Next time you boil your eggs, take this into account and reduce the cooking time a bit if you have noticed those green rings after previous cooks. The one storage method you should avoid is freezing, which will give the egg whites a tough, rubbery texture after thawing. You can store egg yolks in the freezer, but they should be separated from the whites beforehand.

Hard-boiled eggs make the perfect grab-and-go snack

Because you have up to a week to use refrigerated hard-boiled eggs, they make a perfect ingredient for meal prep or just an available goodie to have on hand. You can cook a dozen at a time and store them in the fridge for a handy grab-and-go treat anytime, day or night. Making a few Cobb salads with your eggs will allow you to get a substantial meal without doing anything but pulling it out of the fridge and grabbing a fork when you're hungry.

You could also whip up a delicious egg salad for an easily accessible lunch option, but it only lasts for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, depending on the ingredients it contains. Egg salad that contains mayonnaise should be consumed within a couple of days. There are plenty of other cooked egg dishes you can prepare for easy eats during the week, like deviled eggs or pickled eggs, but keep in mind that once prepared these ways, the optimal storage time is generally less than a plain hard-boiled egg. 

Don't be under the impression that you have to do anything special with your hard-boiled eggs. They make a great snack on their own with a sprinkle of salt and some freshly cracked black pepper. Having plain, hard-boiled eggs on hand throughout the week is a convenient way to get a healthy burst of nutrients anytime you like.