How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last in the Fridge?

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You'll probably devour these protein-packed snacks long before the eggs go bad. Just in case, though, how long do hard-boiled eggs last?

Dietitians often hail whole eggs as one of the most perfect foods on the planet because they contain all nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. It’s no surprise that you’d want to keep healthy hard-boiled eggs on hand for snacks, quick sandwiches and even salad toppers!

But how long do hard-boiled eggs last? It’s as easy to boil up a whole carton as it is to boil a couple eggs, so this is the question home cooks face while being mindful of the fine line between being prepared and being wasteful.

How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last in the Fridge?

Hard-boiled eggs have a surprisingly long shelf life, making it easy to batch cook without too much worry that they’ll go bad before you eat them. The Bella Egg Cooker lets you hard boil seven eggs at once, in about 12 minutes.

“Hard-boiled eggs will last for about three to four days in the fridge,” says Herve Malivert, director of culinary affairs at the Institute of Culinary Education. “After four or five days, I would toss them.” The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s guidelines offer more leeway, saying that hard-boiled eggs should be used within a week of cooking.

One caveat to keep in mind is how fresh your eggs are to begin with, as using older eggs will shorten their shelf life. Here’s a pro tip: When you bring home a fresh carton, turn all your eggs upside-down to keep them fresher even longer.

To peel or not to peel—that’s the next question. Cyril Kabaoglu, lead instructor of culinary arts at the Institute of Culinary Education, says hard-boiled eggs should be stored peeled, because it will only get harder to peel them over time. If you’re going to keep the eggs in the fridge for more than a couple days, however, Malivert says to store them with the shells on to help protect the eggs from drying out. If you need to quickly and easily peel hard-boiled eggs, the clever Negg boiled egg peeler cleanly removes shell with a shake.

Do you know how to peel a hard-boiled egg?

How to Tell if Hard-Boiled Eggs Have Gone Bad

Boiled Eggstravellinglight/Getty Images

Always start with a sniff test when determining if your hard-boiled eggs are past their prime. “Toss them when your nose tells you to,” urges Kabaoglu. If you’re still debating, take a look at their appearance. “You’ll notice a slimy, sticky texture and they’ll turn slightly gray in color,” says Malivert.

Consult this handy guide for how long food is good in the refrigerator for any other ingredients you’re questioning.

How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs

Much like storing uncooked eggs requires refrigeration, so does storing cooked eggs. After you’ve peeled them, pop them in a container with a tight-fitting lid and place them in the fridge. Adding a damp towel may help them stay fresher longer.

Can You Freeze Hard-Boiled Eggs?

While you can freeze cooked eggs (think: scrambled), we don’t recommend freezing hard-boiled eggs. They will become tough and rubbery, and generally not tasty.

How to Use Hard-Boiled Eggs

There are at least five different ways to make perfect hard-boiled eggs, and once that step is complete, the sky’s the limit. Slice them with a handy OXO Good Grips egg slicer and prepare an old-fashioned egg salad, a curried egg salad, scrumptious Scotch eggs, creamy deviled eggs, a rustic nicoise salad or potato salad.

Of course, you can always sprinkle on a little salt and pepper and pop them into your mouth for immediate satisfaction!

What to Do with Hard-Boiled Eggs
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Jill Schildhouse
As an editor at large for Taste of Home, Jill Schildhouse is an expert in health and wellness, beauty, consumer products and product reviews, travel, and personal finance. She has spent the last 20 years as an award-winning lifestyle writer and editor for a variety of national print and digital publications.