Will Overcooked Hard Boiled Eggs Hurt You? It’s NOT Safe!

Chrissy Teigen once said: “I can cook really complicated recipes, but it takes real talent to do the perfect egg.” sic.

Overcooked hard-boiled eggs don’t fall in the category of perfect, but how? Do they hurt you? Let’s jump straight to it.

30-second Summary

  • Overcooked eggs contain ferrous sulfide, which is toxic. While there are no immediate effects, it could lead to food poisoning.
  • It’s best to avoid overcooked eggs. Boil your eggs for about 9-12 minutes to cook them properly.
  • Overcooked eggs usually have a green ring around the perimeter of the egg yolk.
  • Hydrogen sulfide causes eggs to have an awful smell if overcooked.
  • It’s best to cook your eggs properly and avoid raw, cracked, or dirty eggs. They may contain Salmonella.
  • Your left-over boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

What Are Hard Boiled Eggs?

Generally, hard-boiled eggs are usually chicken eggs with unbroken shells. Cook your eggs by immersing them in water and leave to boil. You do this so that both the egg white and yolk harden.

Other bird eggs can also be hard-boiled but chicken eggs are more popular.

hard boiled-egg

After cooking, transfer the eggs into a bowl with cold water for about 10minutes. Moving to cold water will calm the eggs and stop the cooking process.

You can hard boil your eggs by steaming or coddling, depending on your preference. Additionally, you can use an egg timer to determine the duration it takes to hard boil your egg.

Now that we know what hard-boiled eggs are let’s talk about overcooking them.

What Does It Mean to Overcook Hard-boiled Eggs

You should boil your egg for about nine minutes. To get an egg with a firm yolk, you can cook for twelve minutes. Any time longer than this, your egg would be overcooked.

Eggs contain protein links. These links keep forming cross-links if you boil your egg for hours. This action gives the over-cooked egg a firm and rubbery texture.

What if you did not boil the egg yourself? How do you know if you overcooked hard boiled eggs?

What Does an Overcooked Egg Look Like?

Overcooked eggs usually have a green ring surrounding their yolk. Sometimes if you have cooked it for way too long, the entire yolk turns grey or green.

overcooked hard-boiled eggs

This knowledge brings us to the next question, what happens if you overcook an egg?

What Happens If You Overcook Hard-boiled Eggs

As we mentioned, overcooked boiled eggs have a green color. This color shows a chemical reaction. This reaction occurs due to high temperatures or prolonged cooking.

Eggs contain sulfur, and yolks contain iron. When there is a reaction between sulfur and iron, it forms a compound called ferrous sulfide [1]. This causes discoloration around the perimeter of the yolk, where both elements interact.

overcooked hard-boiled eggs 2

So how do you know if you have overcooked your boiled eggs? You would see the discoloration around the yolk.

Since overcooked eggs lead to the production of ferrous sulfide. Can you eat overcooked boiled eggs?

Can You Eat Overcooked Boiled Eggs?

So, is it safe to eat overcooked hard-boiled eggs?

A study [2] carried out shows that it is best not to eat overcooked boiled eggs because of the iron rings noticed on them.

Although the iron rings show the presence of ferrous sulfide, you can eat your egg. But you can’t eat too many overcooked eggs at once. Eating too many could cause food poisoning.

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How Long Are Hard-boiled Eggs Safe To Eat?

If you had a party or a family event and you had leftover hard-boiled eggs, you can still eat the leftovers.

When appropriately stored, your leftover hard-boiled eggs can last for a week.

Ensure you keep your eggs in the fridge; this would preserve them.

A key indicator of overcooked eggs is their smell. Sometimes they have a characteristic odor that can be pretty unpleasant. Let’s discuss why eggs smell bad.

Why Do Hard Boiled Eggs Smell?

Sulfur has a characteristic rotten smell. This reason causes the scent you perceive when over-boiling your eggs. What you perceive that smells bad is from the hydrogen sulfide.

Now that we know what overcooked hard-boiled eggs are and their characteristics. Let’s answer a few questions you might ask.

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More FAQs About Overcooked Hard-Boiled Eggs

Can I get sick from eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs?

You can get sick from eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs. After all, hydrogen sulfide is toxic. Although there are no cases of such happening, it’s best to avoid overcooked eggs.

Can I reboil my eggs?

Yes, you can. But note that you can reboil an egg you keep in the fridge, so it is still good to eat. Reboiling an egg would affect the texture and quality of the egg, so do it with caution.

Would I destroy the proteins in the egg if I overcook it?

The proteins in the egg form more links as the temperature increases. Thus, making your egg texture rubbery. But, overcooking can destroy nutrients in the yolk.

Will hard-boiled eggs expire?

Yes. The general shelf life for hard-boiled eggs is one week, and you must store them in a refrigerator. Do not leave your hard-boiled eggs lying around at room temperature.

Can I eat raw eggs?

Raw eggs can contain Salmonella. Some people eat raw eggs, but it might be unsafe. It is necessary to avoid raw, cracked, or dirty eggs.

Accidentally boiled eggs for an hour, what to do?

Eating one or two hard-boiled eggs per day is not a big problem. However, you’d better not eat too many each time.

Final Words

Eggs are versatile foods; you can use them in any way in the kitchen, including cleaning.

Be mindful of how you store your egg or cook them; you would enjoy this delicate food better.

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