Eggs are healthy again. That is good news for us looking to lose weight and become fit. Eggs are a perfect protein, providing us all of the amino acids we could make possible need to survive. Not only are they healthy, but an egg can also be cooked in a variety of ways to make them more palatable and extend their shelf life. To the average person, eggs are a breakfast food. To the health fanatic, eggs are a diet staple. But the million dollar question is, How Long Can Eggs Last Unrefrigerated?
How long can eggs last unrefrigerated?
Eggs can be boring. I know that as well as any broke and desperate college student. The problem with an egg is you can’t just leave them out for long. An egg can be left out, but for how long? When not cooked and not ever refrigerated, an egg left out can last for nearly an indefinite amount of time. Rather than go bad, an egg will dry up.
Farmers do not store eggs in the refrigerator. Can you leave eggs unrefrigerated? You should, but only if the eggs were never in the fridge in the first place. The problem is once you refrigerate an egg, the clock starts ticking. Once you put an egg in the refrigerator, they will spoil. The fear is no longer drying out, as they can go bad.
How long do eggs last unrefrigerated? Five weeks from the day they are packaged and put into refrigeration. This is usually about three weeks after the expiration date on the carton. They will dry out a bit after the expiration date, but they are not bad for a few weeks after the suggested eat by date. For cooking, this means you will slowly lose options. An egg does not bake as well, for example, once it begins to dry out.
How to Cook to Make Eggs Last
Lucky for us, you can extend the shelf life of eggs when you cook them. The problem with raw eggs is that they do not taste good. Ever drink a glass of raw eggs like Rocky? I have, you shouldn’t. Not only do you risk salmonella, but you also need to choke down the strange texture of raw yolk. This is where I let you in on a secret if you cook your eggs they can last unrefrigerated longer.
How long are eggs good for if left out depends on how you prepare them. Hard boiled eggs last a week in the fridge once cooked and last several hours out of the refrigerator. You can put them into a lunch box, and they will last unrefrigerated for an entire day easily. Eggs not hard boiled will last less long and most likely require refrigeration.
The general rule is the runnier the yolk, the quicker it must be in the fridge after cooking. How long can eggs just sit out? Uncooked and never refrigerated, five weeks. Cooked to a hard boil, at least one day. Anywhere in between? A few hours. That means you should cook your eggs accordingly to make them last.
Cooking Tips to make Eggs Last
When you need your eggs to last as long as possible once cooked, you want to boil them hard and leave them in the shell. As long as they are kept cool, you will get several days out of them. In the fridge, you will get a week. Once shelled, you only have a day in the refrigerator.
Hard boiled eggs all day is quite boring. So then we get to more practical ways to make them last. Reheating eggs is not the best idea. Just like letting eggs sit past the recommended best by date, eggs get dry and are not easily rehydrated. This means when you plan to reheat eggs you want them cooked as little as possible with added moisture. When reheated within a day, they will just cook more and not become chalk.
To get the most out of your eggs, cook them over easy before bringing them with you to eat later in the day. Heated alone, they will become over medium after a few second in the microwave and be luke warm. Cooking them longer will remove moisture and make your eating experience unpleasant.
Think Outside the Box
This trick can be applied to scrambled eggs or an omelet as well. Cook until just barely done and you can reheat later to be cooked thoroughly. You are still left with the risk of drying the eggs out. Now I have my ultimate trick for great eggs.
Only add some milk. Not butter, not oil, and not fat. A table spoon of milk to scrambled eggs or an omelet will retain moisture with minimal extra calories. After you eventually reheat your eggs, they will end up being relatively close to what you expect without the added milk. This trick adds only a few calories but will make eggs palatable reheated.
How long do unrefrigerated eggs last?
As long as you need an egg to last. The longer you cook an egg, the longer it will stay edible at room temperature. At the same time, to just have a longer shelf life on an egg, it is better to have never refrigerated than refrigerating at all.
How Long Can Eggs Last Unrefrigerated is a complicated question. A few more general rules of thumb to follow includes that once you remove the shell, the clock speeds up. An egg can survive a surprisingly long amount of time. The only golden rule of preserving eggs is never to freeze. Freezing will keep an egg but as soon as it thaws you need to cook and eat it. Even hard boiled eggs spoil quickly if they were frozen.
Find all the resources used in this article and the scientific basis of all our article at The Science Behind Fitness.