Can You Eat Over Cooked Hard Boiled Eggs? Will It Hurt You? (FULL ANALYSIS)

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Has this ever happened to you? You’re making hard-boiled eggs and lost track of time. Now you are left with overcooked hard-boiled eggs and the question: will overcooked hard boiled eggs hurt you? can you still eat?

Short Answer:

Although they smell strong and the texture will not be pleasant, overcooked hard-boiled eggs won’t hurt you in any way.

Eating bad eggs can cause some significant digestive distress, so it’s very important to know whether or not eating them will be safe.

Generally, with eggs, you want to either cook them hot and quickly, like with a boiled egg, or low and slow for a slow-cooked egg. Deviating from this can affect the texture and flavor of the egg.

In this article, we are going to look at what a well-cooked hard boiled egg looks like and investigate whether eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs will harm you. 

Let’s get into it

What is a Well Cooked Hard-Boiled Egg Like?

So, before we look at the risks of eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs, we need to know what to look for in a well-cooked hard-boiled egg. 

These are the top three ways to tell if you have a well-cooked hard-boiled egg:

1. Subtle Egg Scent

We all know that eggs smell, whether they are fresh or not, but there is a difference between a typical egg smell and an overcooked egg smell.

Freshly cooked boiled eggs will smell slightly eggy but still fresh and not too intense.

2. Soft but Firm Egg White

The second thing to look out for is the texture.

Hard-boiled eggs shouldn’t be very hard. They should be firm but give way easily to a spoon or your fingers.

3. Bright Yellow Yolk

If you have cooked your egg perfectly, the yolk will not discolor. It should be bright yellow throughout.

image of Signs of an Overcooked Boiled Egg

How To Tell If Your Hard Boiled Eggs Are Over Cooked?

So now that we know what a good hard-boiled egg is like, what is an overcooked hard-boiled egg like?

Overcooked boiled eggs will be:

1. Rubbery and Bouncy Egg White

The more you cook the egg, the firmer the texture of the white will be.

Overcooked egg whites are very rubbery and bouncy and have a very unpleasant mouth feel.

2. Strong Egg Scent

When you cook an egg for too long, it releases hydrogen sulfide, which makes them smell so bad.

The longer you cook the egg, the more intense the smell will be, which is a clear sign you have gone too far.

3. Pale Yellow and Grey Yolk

You may notice that the egg yolk will not be as bright in color.

There may also be a grey discoloration around the edges of the yolk, which is also caused by hydrogen sulfide.

Do Overcooked Hard-Boiled Eggs Taste Different?

When you overcook hard-boiled eggs they will release hydrogen sulfide. This can make the egg taste eggier.

It will not be too unpleasant and it is still completely edible.

Boiled eggs, even well-cooked ones, will always taste stronger than fried or scrambled eggs because they are cooked for longer.

Will Overcooked Hard Boiled Eggs Hurt You?

While the smell and yolk appearance may be offputting, eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs will not harm you in any way.

This is a common misconception because of the smell and unusual grey color present on the egg yolk when the egg has been boiled for too long.

Both these issues are caused by hydrogen sulfide that is released during cooking.

However, eating too many hard-boiled eggs can cause digestive distress like stomach aches, gas, and constipation.

As long as you control yourself, overcooked hard-boiled eggs shouldn’t harm you.

What To Do with Overcooked Hard Boiled Eggs?

In our opinion, the best way to use overcooked hard-boiled eggs is to make egg salad sandwiches.

Breaking up the egg and mixing it with mayonnaise will improve the texture and detract from the powdery feeling of the yolk.

There is no need for any eggs to go to waste, even if you lost track of time!

Learn more: How Long Can Mayo Sit Out?

The Best Way to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

So now that we know all that let’s look at how to boil a hard-boiled egg properly.

1. Place the eggs in room temperature water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil. 

The water should completely cover the eggs. It is important to start with room temperature water to prevent the eggs from cracking and becoming waterlogged.

2. Boil for 5-10 minutes. 

Set the timer once the water is boiling and keep an eye on them. This cooking time can change depending on the size of the egg but don’t exceed 10 minutes. (*)

3. Transfer the eggs to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

This will stop them from overcooking and make them easier to peel. Only peel them when they have completely cooled.

4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

The airtight container is essential to stop the eggs from stinking out your whole fridge.

Get it here:


How can you tell if an egg has salmonella?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell whether your eggs have salmonella from looking at them.[*]

Most often, salmonella is present on the shell of the egg and will be killed off during cooking. 

The best way to avoid getting salmonella from eggs is to wash your hands before and after handling the eggs thoroughly.

What is the green-grey color on the outside of the yolk?

When you overcook your boiled eggs, you may notice a grey-green color on the yolk.
This is caused by hydrogen sulfide that is released when you have overcooked the egg. It is not dangerous to consume.

How can I tell if my eggs have gone bad?

There are two main ways to tell when your eggs have gone bad.
Bad smell: When eggs have gone bad, they let you know about it! You will be able to smell a sulfurous smell through the shell that is very strong. If this happens, they should be discarded immediately.

The Float Test: The next way to tell if they have gone bad is to try the float test.
Fill a tall glass with water and place your egg inside. If it is fresh, it will sink; if it has gone bad, it will float.

Learn more: Do Eggs Expire?


So, after all this egg talk, what did we learn today?

  • Eating overcooked boiled eggs is not harmful. It will not hurt you in anyway.
  • Boiling your eggs for 5-10 minutes will give you a perfect boiled egg.

We hope you are leaving here today with some useful new tools to help you boil the perfect hard-boiled egg next time.

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Up Next: Why Do Eggs Stick to the Pan? Tips and Tricks to Avoid It 

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