We’ve all done it: put food on the stove and then forgotten about it. Almost everyone who has ever cooked boiled eggs has also overcooked hard-boiled eggs. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of “there’s no such thing as too long” while hard boiling eggs.
It’s possible that you put eggs on to boil for too long. You’re now wondering if they’re still safe to eat and edible after you accidentally boiled eggs for 30 minutes or longer? Depending on the size of the egg, boiling an egg for a soft-boiled egg takes about 3 minutes. You usually boil an egg for 5-10 minutes if you want it hard-boiled.
In our guide, we’ll explain why overcooking your eggs causes the yolks to take a strange green tint or gray color and whether it’s safe to eat overcooked boiled eggs. By the end, you’ll know there’s nothing wrong with eating over cooked eggs, even if they are a bit rubbery. You’ll also see your eggs will be fine if you forget, and they can be eaten without making you sick. (Learn How Long Do Deviled Eggs Last)
What Happens If You Boil An Egg For Too Long?
Coiled-up protein molecules make up the majority of an egg’s structure. When heat is applied to these proteins, they uncoil and come together to form a latticework. This transforms a runny egg into a cooked, firm egg.
Sulfur is naturally present in eggs, and in some combinations, sulfur can form minute amounts of H2S, resulting in the greenish ring seen in overcooked eggs.
The longer an egg is boiled, the more iron sulfide is formed, and the yolk becomes greener. As a result, the egg white may take a pale beige tint as glucose in the egg caramelizes.
When you boil an egg for too long, the moisture in the white proteins together is pushed out, causing it to release moisture.
The moisture release, combined with the heat stress and movement against the saucepan, may cause the shell to crack open if the eggs were left in the boiling water for too long.
How Do You Know If An Egg Is Bad After Boiling?
The best way to tell if a hard-boiled egg is bad is to do the float test.
The egg is ruined if the spongy yolk is brown and the slimy shell is crimson.
A rotten egg’s smell, in addition to its appearance, is a clear indicator of its badness; if it smells bad, it’s spoiled.
Can You Still Eat Burnt Hard Boiled Eggs?
Now that you know what happens when eggs are overcooked, you’ll want to know if they’re safe to eat.
They’re safe because you won’t get sick from eating them, although the taste may differ if you let them sit too long in hot water.
Bacterial contamination is avoided thanks to the boiling water and sealed shell. Also, because the green yolk isn’t “off,” it’s safe to eat.
However, the egg may be more rubbery, and rather than eating it
with toast, it’s better to mash them and make an egg salad sandwich.
Here’s the timings to get perfect boiled eggs.
Turn off the heat and cover the pot as soon as it begins to boil. Allow the eggs to sit for the following amount of time in the pot of boiling water:
- If the eggs are medium, it will take 12 minutes.
- If the eggs are large, 15 minutes.
- If the eggs are huge, cook for an additional 18 minutes.
Fill the pot halfway with cold water and drain the eggs. This stops the green ring around the yolk from forming.
If you don’t plan on using the fully cooked eggs right away, you may keep them in the fridge for up to a week. (Learn How Many Oz In A Slice Of Turkey)
Can You Re-boil Hard-Boiled Eggs That Aren’t Done?
Returning an under-boiled egg to boiling water is the best way to save it. You may either re-boil the eggs directly on the burner or place them in a large bowl to hold boiling water and pour hot water over them.
Note: Do not use the microwave for cooking boiled or partially boiled eggs; they will explode.
Are Overcooked Boiled Eggs Safe?
Overcooked boiled eggs are safe to eat, as long as they were cooked with fresh eggs. No harmful chemicals or reactions are going on.
Unless you are allergic to eggs, you should find boiled eggs completely safe to eat. There are no records of anyone being made ill by an overcooked boiled egg.
Boiled eggs are appetizing for a bit of breakfast or food for lunch, and they may also make deviled eggs or a variety of other food snacks offering that eggy taste.
However, because a raw egg and a boiled egg seem identical, it’s impossible to tell when an egg has finished cooking and if you have a rubbery egg or a runny yolk.
If you’re hesitant, you may learn a few basic techniques to ensure that you cook them correctly every time, as well as how to quickly tell the difference between a raw and cooked egg.
Boiling Eggs Properly
Cold water should be used to cover raw eggs. Place as many raw eggs as you’d like to boil in a heavy-bottomed pan.
- Half fill the saucepan with cold water, careful not to disturb the eggshells.
- Use roughly an inch of water to cover the eggs.
- Bring the pot to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat on the stove.
- Boiling water should never be used to cook eggs. Boiling the water first leads to the most inconsistency in the cooking process, such as cracked shells, leaking eggs, and greenish yolks.
- When the water boils, turn off the heat and cover with a lid. You can remove the egg at different points depending on how you want your eggs cooked.
The surest way to cook eggs is to remove the pot from the heat immediately after it comes to a boil and keeps the eggs in the water covered with a lid until the water cools.
You can be sure the eggs are hard-boiled and firm when boiled this way.
Keep an eye on the clock for more specific yolks and egg texture. You can remove the eggs from the simmering water after a variable length of time has passed.
If you want a softer texture boiled egg or to eat them faster and don’t want to wait, either is fine, and it won’t hurt the taste, just the texture.
If you do this, once the water has reached a boil, reduce the heat to roughly medium and start watching the clock.
- Remove the soft-boiled eggs after 2 minutes. The whites should be well cooked and hard, but the egg yolk should still be liquid.
- They’ll quickly become over-done if you don’t immediately rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Remove after 4 1/2 minutes for medium-boiled eggs. The egg yolk of medium-boiled eggs should be almost firm yet wet, similar to a custard rather than a hard-cooked egg.
- Remove the hard-boiled eggs after 8 minutes. Hard-boiled egg yolks are crumbly and bright yellow, solid, and free of the grayish-green ring around the yolk from overcooking.
Toss a pinch of salt or a splash of vinegar into the water. It’s a frequent fallacy that adding salt to water will raise the boiling point and result in a more uniform boil or that it will make peeling the egg simpler. (Learn How To Cut Mozzarella Cheese)
However, adding salt to the water will season it, affecting the taste of your hard-boiled eggs.
Adding around a teaspoon of vinegar, on the other hand, will assist keep the white intact if the shell cracks during the boiling process without noticeably affecting the flavor.
The green-gray color comes from the egg yolk’s iron reacting with the white’s sulfur, which only happens at high temperatures.
If you gradually raise the temperature of the eggs and remove them from the heat in a timely time, you will never reach that high temperature.