Find out when to keep and when to toss those eggs.

By Lisa Cericola
March 14, 2021

If you have extra hard-cooked eggs leftover from a batch of deviled eggs or egg salad, you don't have to eat them on the spot a la Cool Hand Luke or feed them to the dog. You can store them in the refrigerator—and maybe even a bit longer than you might think.

How to Safely Store Hard-Boiled Eggs

According to the Food and Drug Administration, you can keep hard-cooked eggs in the refrigerator for up to seven days after they have been cooked. (Here's the best way to make them.) And it doesn't matter whether the eggs are already peeled or still in the shell. Either way, they will last for a week. The best way to store peeled eggs is in a ziplock plastic bag or airtight container. Unpeeled hard-cooked eggs can be stored, uncovered, in a bowl or in an airtight container.

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Credit: Antonis Achilleos

Our Favorite Ways to Use Hard-Boiled Eggs

There are many delicious ways to use hard-boiled eggs in recipes. Chop them up and add them to salads and sandwiches (they taste great in tuna salad). Grate them with a box grater over a pile of steamed asparagus or Caesar salad. Or pickle them!

What About Easter Eggs?

There is one big exception that you should know about—the seven-day rule does not apply to Easter eggs if the eggs have been outside for more than two hours—or less if it's a hot day. You should never eat cooked eggs that have been left outside of a refrigerator for more than two hours, or one hour if the temperature is 90˚F or higher. As the old saying goes: When in doubt, toss it out.

If you plan on eating Easter eggs, hide them indoors shortly before the egg hunt, then refrigerate them soon after. Or make a separate batch of hard-cooked eggs just for eating—you'll have plenty of time to enjoy them!