Must refrigerate hardboiled eggs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Packing paleo provisions for a trip... I thought I had heard somewhere that hardboiled eggs can do ok without refrigeration for a few days. Any experience with this?

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on February 28, 2012
at 05:47 PM

My gut response: why take a chance? Upon further reflection, the question stands. I sure wouldn't. Food poisoning is a poor weight loss method. :)

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9 Answers



on February 28, 2012
at 05:22 PM

When I was a kid, we'd leave our coloured easter eggs (hard-boiled) out for display, and eat them over the course of the next couple days. None of them ever went bad as far as I know. These were probably run-of-the-mill generi grocery store eggs.

I used to boil seven eggs every other evening. The following morning I'd take three or four to work to eat that day, and the others I'd just leave out and take to work the following day. Again, none of them ever went bad. FWIW, these were eggs from pastured chickens.

I've also taken hard-boiled eggs on road trips, where they weren't necessarily in a cooler, and they lasted a couple days before being eaten. Again, no problems with spoilage. In all these cases, the eggs were never exposed to very high temperatures, so maybe that has something to do with it.


on February 28, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Hard-boiled eggs last MUCH longer if you leave the shells on. If you shell them they last less than a day but with the shell on they can last a couple or three days especially in cooler weather or in an a/c room or car

PS. I live in central america where it is HOT and I don't ever see a/c I have had eggs go bad in 8 hours with out the shell but last fine overnight with the shell


on February 28, 2012
at 04:48 PM

I have also had them go bad. It was such a horrible experience that I would be hard pressed to eat a hard boiled egg that had been sitting out for more than 12 hours or so. I think it's probably safe for 24 hours.

I would look into jerky and other options that are definitely safe for a longer period of time without refrigeration.


on February 28, 2012
at 04:45 PM

I have had hard-boiled eggs go bad, and it was a disgusting experience. If you can possibly pack them in a cooler with long lasting ice packs or even dry ice, that would be much better than room temp. for more than a day. Fresh raw eggs are actually less prone to spoil after a few days at room temperature. I have a small flock of laying hens, and once, we discovered that they had been laying some of their eggs under a bale of straw, and there were probably two weeks worth of eggs there in warm temperatures. We did a float test to see which were still edible, and all but one was fine! Here's a link to an egg float test explanation, for those who may be interested: http://www.helpwithcooking.com/egg-guide/fresh-egg-test.html



on February 28, 2012
at 03:07 PM

I wouldn't let them sit for more than 36 Hours. If they start out cold there isn't any reason for them to go bad. Fresh eggs can be left for longer though usually. I'd be sure to smell them before eating.

Pack them cold in a very cold container (ideally with insulation).

Make some pemmican, it lasts much longer and is amazing!


on August 12, 2013
at 03:51 PM

Spiral rack of eggs in a bar? Well for one many people get poisoned and can't trace a source or simply never go back, there tends to be a period of hours before people get symptoms, so its hard to say what did it, and its not like every egg goes bad or every patron has the same susceptibility, so just because in the past they played Russian roulette with more rounds in the chamber doesn't mean it was actually safe.

I'd refrigerate them asap, otherwise you take your chances. Whether the chance is worth it to you is a personal judgment call when you are feeding yourself. If you are feeding other people, then you dont' really have the right to take the chance for them.


on June 30, 2013
at 11:26 AM

I'm Curious about why peeled soft boiled eggs quickly begin to freeze when placed into the refrigerator. Ice forms on the outside aand after carefully examining the egg it also appears to be freezing internally from the outside in. The storage temperature never falls below 38 degrees F.

Anyone know why this is happening? It seems counterintuitive.



on May 07, 2013
at 01:17 PM

I remember growing up in the 50's-60's and my dad was a bartender and they had a spiral rack of hard boiled eggs sitting on the bar and they were there for days at a time, until they sold. What changed in the years past? These racks were sold to taverns specifically to hold the eggs, so it must have been a common thing. Easter eggs too, we ate them over the course of a week after the hunt, never refrigerated.

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