Should I hard boil ALL these eggs?
September 11, 2019 7:34 AM   Subscribe

I have about 12-18 eggs that are dated today. Should I hard boil them in order to keep them edible for longer? How long will the hard boiled eggs last? WTF do I do with that many hard boiled eggs -- or eggs in general -- anyway?
posted by rue72 to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
(Note! My answer is USist, with our egg processing that's very different from most of the rest of the world.) The "best by" date on eggs is a ridiculously conservative date, one I regularly blow past by weeks. They start to lose a bit of moisture at this point, so a couple weeks from now they might be a bit more viscous when cracked.

Refrigerated and uncooked, they will last longer than boiled and refrigerated, as boiled seem to only really be viable for 5-7 days. Boiling violates the shell integrity, so it doesn't really matter if you peel or not, they're still quickly on their way out.

You can freeze (the contents of) eggs, either intact or separated into whites and yolks, for future baking, scrambling, meringue etc.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:40 AM on September 11, 2019 [20 favorites]

Eggs in the US are generally good for weeks after the sell-by date or expiration date on the carton. They will likely last longer uncooked than as hard-boiled. You can do the water test in the link to see if they're bad before you crack 'em. Unless there's something off about them, I'd slowly use them until October.
posted by eschatfische at 7:40 AM on September 11, 2019 [13 favorites]

I think eggs can last much long than the best-by date. Maybe you can boil half of them? As for how to eat boiled eggs- you can eat them same way you'd eat eggs made another way. You can also eat them alone- very portable for snacks. Can also slice on a sandwhich.
posted by bearette at 7:41 AM on September 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you'll eat scrambles or quiches down the line, eggs freeze really well both cooked and uncooked. Just shell, scramble, add mix-ins and pop in the freezer.
posted by DSime at 7:41 AM on September 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you're looking for things to do that use up a bunch of eggs:

* Your average quiche uses about 3 or 4 eggs, and a quiche keeps in the fridge for a few days.
* Souffles are easier to make than you think, and tend to use one or two eggs per souffle.
* Frittatas are like crustless quiches and tend to be even easier, and they use up about 3-4 eggs at a go.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on September 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Personally, I'd separate and freeze, unless I was planning to make a big batch of meringues and/or custard.
posted by pipeski at 7:44 AM on September 11, 2019

The date is BS. Use the float test.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:44 AM on September 11, 2019 [11 favorites]

What about make ahead breakfast sandwiches? Use them all in one go, then get 2 weeks of handy breakfasts!
posted by LKWorking at 7:45 AM on September 11, 2019 [6 favorites]

Soy marinated eggs are super delicious, and I feel like the salt probably helps them last longer?
posted by LadyNibbler at 7:57 AM on September 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Deviled eggs are a great way to consume lots of egg in short order.
posted by Grither at 8:07 AM on September 11, 2019 [10 favorites]

When I was recently in this situation I made two quiches and froze them, and have been pulling slices out for random meals ever since. I also hard boiled a few but I like egg salad.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:12 AM on September 11, 2019 [6 favorites]

Nthing that the date isn't that important, especially if they've been refrigerated. And that they'll last longer this way than cooked.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:55 AM on September 11, 2019

Fyi, do not store eggs on the fridge door, store them on the bottom shelf; it's colder. I keep pickles, condiments, and beverages in the door shelves. And I would just make an effort to use the eggs in the next week or so.
posted by theora55 at 9:25 AM on September 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

A *cough* friend of mine has regularly used eggs months past their expiration date with no issues whatsoever. Those dates are total BS.
posted by zug at 9:33 AM on September 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

Nthing "the expiration date is BS". I routinely use eggs that are a month or more past the date. As long as they are refrigerated (US) they seem to stay good for a long time. Older eggs are actually best for hard-boiling, as they are easier to peel.

Egg salad is a good way to use up a lot of eggs at a go. Chop up the eggs and add mayo, mustard, celery, (and pickle relish if you like it that way.) I also really enjoy hard-boiled eggs chopped up in tuna salad or chicken salad. Egg-mustard style potato salad is another option.

I knew someone who said her mother made something called "creamed eggs" which I imagined might be sort of like creamed chipped beef, but with eggs instead of beef, and probably served over toast for breakfast. I don't have a recipe but I imagine the Google does.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:49 AM on September 11, 2019

I don't like old eggs. But something I make if I have a box of eggs nearing the end of sales date is Spanish tortilla. You use a lot of eggs and it's good for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, hot and cold, and it keeps well. Don't make them too big, I struggle with the size of this otherwise excellent recipe, and would rather make two tortillas out of the same amount of eggs because the turning part is difficult with too big a pan.
I'd also make dessert: a vanilla parfait is 6 egg yolks and 1/2 liter of cream + a bit of sugar and vanilla. You can use the same basic formula for all sorts of parfaits, one of my favourites being nougat. The egg-whites can become meringues or macaroons, to serve on the side. When I do this, I always regret that I don't do it more often. Both parfait and macaroons are really easy to make.
posted by mumimor at 10:20 AM on September 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

mix up everything you like in an omelet (cheese, onion, sausage, bacon, veggies, sweet potatoes) and then pour into muffin pans.
bake (maybe 350? 20 minutes?), cool then put in a big ziplock in your freezer.
you now have a freezer-full of egg muffins to toss in the microwave with a paper towel and then run out the door in the morning.
posted by noloveforned at 11:32 AM on September 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

(please cook the sausage, bacon and sweet potatoes all the way through first. toss the onions and some garlic in the pan too! here's a more proper recipe than mine)
posted by noloveforned at 11:38 AM on September 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

For all intents and purposes, I don't even consider eggs to have an expiry date. So much so that when I find any marked 'reduced to clear' with heavy discount I will grab 2-6 cartons and use them as normal (eggs being a regular part of my diet; ymmv).
Years of experience and I have never had cause to revise this opinion.
posted by myotahapea at 1:35 PM on September 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

You can pickle them after hard boiling!

I prefer Chinese style sweet black vinegar (with lots of chunks of ginger), but I remember jars of pickled eggs at all kinds of American bars.
posted by porpoise at 4:24 PM on September 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Flip your egg box upside down. Eggs normally do not go bad until the yolk settles down and touches the shell. If you flip your eggs regularly they last longer. Mother birds do this to ensure the fertilized eggs don't go bad instead of developing. Failing that, dip your eggs into vegetable oil or liquid wax to seal the pores as they will last longer. if you do this some of them will actually still be usable a year later. If you want to keep eggs at the camp and have no cooler they will keep nicely a couple of weeks unrefrigerated with a layer of oil and a daily flip.

Nthing the float test. Just make sure they sink in water before you open them. I was taught to never open an egg into a container holding something else, so for a cake that required two eggs, the first one went into an empty measuring cup and then into the batter, then the second one went into the previously empty cup before followed the first into the batter. This way if you are cracking six eggs and the first five are good and the sixth one is not you don't ruin the first five.

Being lazy, instead of the float test with really old eggs, I just step out onto the balcony to open them, so that if they are bad the smell isn't in the kitchen. You will know - trust me, you will know if the eggs are bad when you open them. You're not going to eat a gone egg.
posted by Jane the Brown at 6:44 PM on September 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Curried Eggs are a great way to use boiled eggs served over steamed rice. This was a childhood favourite and the depth of flavour develops overnight so don't overdo the curry powder if you want to enjoy it the next day (learn from my mistakes).

Lentil, mushroom and boiled egg curry or this version Lentil and egg curry

Some sweet options if you don't want to boil them all:

Angel food cake (needs 12 egg whites and the yolks can be turned into a curd to dress the cake with!)
posted by latch24 at 6:52 PM on September 11, 2019

Food science writers back up the assertion that refrigerated eggs just don't go bad for months and months past expiry. You're good.
posted by xammerboy at 9:34 PM on September 11, 2019

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