Like with many different kinds of pickled foods, pickled eggs were created to make eggs last longer.
The earliest known history of pickled eggs is in England in the 1930s, when the public house titled “Pickled Egg” was a popular pub to grab a drink.
Now, pickled eggs are a popular food in the US and can even be found in gas stations in the south.
Pickled eggs are a great addition to a salad or make a good snack just on their own, but they have significant health benefits too.
They contain various types of gut flora that help you with digestion and are packed with protein, giving you lots of energy to tackle your day.
But to store your eggs properly, you usually need to refrigerate them.
Pickled eggs, when properly stored in the refrigerator, can remain safe to consume for 3-4 months. However, for optimal taste and texture, it is recommended to consume them within the first month of pickling. The preservation period depends on the acidity of the pickling solution and the eggs’ exposure to contaminants. It’s essential to always use clean utensils when handling pickled eggs to prevent spoilage and to check for off odors or colors, which are signs of spoilage, before consumption.
Keep reading for more details on refrigerating pickled eggs.
Do Pickled Eggs Need to be Refrigerated After Opening
Once you have opened your container of pickled eggs, they must be refrigerated.
There is no way around this. Whether your pickled eggs are homemade or store-bought, they have to go in your fridge.
Pickled eggs must be stored at or below 39° F in the fridge.
The risk of bacterial infection is much higher if pickled eggs are stored in temperatures 40° F or above.
Keep them in a glass jar in their brine and never have them outside the fridge for longer than two hours.
Do Hannah’s Pickled Eggs Need to be Refrigerated
Hannah’s pickled eggs are a popular brand made in Memphis, TN, that you can find in stores like Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club and online from sellers like Amazon.
Like other store-bought varieties, Hannah’s pickled eggs need to be refrigerated after they are opened.
You can breathe easy if you want to buy these eggs ahead of time but don’t have room to store them in your fridge.
As long as Hannah’s pickled eggs are unopened, you can store them in your pantry for three to four months.
Do Store-Bought Pickled Eggs Need to be Refrigerated
While some people enjoy pickling their eggs at home, there are benefits to buying store-bought eggs.
For example, store-bought pickled eggs only need to be refrigerated after they are opened.
Most store-bought pickled eggs have added preservatives, so they will stay good for longer than homemade pickled eggs.
However, if you buy pickled eggs from a local grocer or a farmer’s market, ask them if the pickled eggs need to be refrigerated.
These pickled eggs may not have the same additives to increase their shelf life as mass-produced ones, so you need to double-check at what temperature is appropriate to store them.
According to the USDA, any store-bought pickled eggs need to be eaten within seven days of opening.
Do Homemade Pickled Eggs Need to be Refrigerated
Even if a pickled eggs recipe tells you that you don’t have to refrigerate them, that recipe is wrong. All homemade pickled eggs must be refrigerated at or below
The National Center for Home Food Preservation says when you store pickled eggs at room temperature, they can be a carrier for botulism.
While botulism is rare, it’s food poisoning that’s caused by toxins in improperly prepared food. It can cause difficulty swallowing or speaking, facial swelling, and paralysis.
Botulism can be fatal. If anyone in your family is showing these symptoms, take them to the hospital immediately.
I cannot stress enough that you must always refrigerate your pickled eggs because if you leave them at room temperature, you risk serious illness or death for anyone in your family.
Do Canned Pickled Eggs Need to be Refrigerated
If you have a home-pressuring canning system, you will find recipes that say you don’t have to put your pickled eggs in the fridge. This is wrong!
Just like any other type of homemade pickled eggs, canned pickled eggs have to be refrigerated.
But with eggs, any type of home pressure canner will not be able to kill any harmful bacteria reliably.
To stress again, if you leave canned pickled eggs out of the fridge, you risk botulism.
|Type of Pickled Egg
|Do They Need to be Refrigerated?
|Pickled eggs after opening
|Hannah’s pickled eggs
|No if they are unopened, yes if they are opened
|Unopened store-bought pickled eggs
|Opened store-bought pickled eggs
|Canned pickled eggs
How Long Do Pickled Eggs Last in the Refrigerator
PIckled eggs are a great treat to make for yourself because when properly stored in the refrigerator, they last for up to four months.
This means if you have lots of fridge space, you can make a big batch every four months and have delicious pickled eggs to last you year-round.
And you don’t have to have a home-canning system to make eggs that last for a long time in the fridge. Try out these easy-to-make refrigerator pickled eggs.
To make refrigerator pickled eggs, you need two cups of white vinegar, two cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, kosher salt, your favorite pickling spices, dill, 12 hard-boiled eggs, and a few sprigs of fresh dill.
Layer the eggs in a large jar and bring all your pickling ingredients to a boil, then simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the bay leaves to the eggs, then pour the brine over it.
Once your eggs are done, store them in the fridge for one to two weeks for the best taste. Then, they’re ready to eat!
It’s important to note that even though your home pickled eggs can last for a few months, once they are open, they only last for seven days in the fridge.
How Long Can You Keep Pickled Eggs at Room Temperature
Only take pickled eggs out of the fridge once you’re ready to eat them because you can only keep them at room temperature for two hours.
And with all food safety rules, if it is over 90° F outside then you can only keep them outside the fridge for one hour.
Because it’s so easy for pickled eggs to be contaminated, you really need to be careful when you are serving them at a dinner party.
When I’m serving any kind of pickled eggs to anyone, I set the alarm on my phone for an hour and a half after I take them out of the fridge (or for 45 minutes if it’s during the summer).
This way, I don’t risk any of my guests getting sick because I get distracted in the middle of the fun of a party and lose track of time.
How Long Do Sealed Pickled Eggs Last
If the sealed pickled eggs are store-bought, they can last for five to six months on your shelf.
It’s important to check the expiration date on the container, but they still may be good even a little past the expiration date.
Home-made pickled eggs have a shorter shelf-life at three to four months in the fridge. With both types of pickled eggs, you should consume them within seven days after opening.
And if you’re unsure if your pickled eggs are good or not right around the three-month mark, check for the following signs that your pickled eggs have gone bad.
- If your eggs smell bad, throw them away immediately. That is the easiest sign to see if they have gone bad.
- While bubbles throughout the jar are normal during the pickling process, if there are a lot of bubbles at the top of the solution, your pickled eggs have gone bad.
- Once the lid starts to bulge that means there’s too much acid in your pickling solution and the pickled eggs are no longer safe to eat.
- Color changes are a sign that fungus has started to grow in your pickled eggs. Since so many types of fungus are unsafe to eat, just throw them away.
Pickled eggs that have gone bad can carry botulism, which is food poisoning that’s caused by toxins in improperly prepared food. It can cause difficulty swallowing or speaking, facial swelling, and paralysis.
How Long Do Pickled Eggs Last Once They’re Opened
After you have opened a jar of pickled eggs, you should eat them within seven days.
Some people say that you can eat them for as long as three months after opening, but follow those guidelines at your own risk.
The USDA, a reputable source, says that both store-bought and homemade pickled eggs must be consumed within seven days of opening.
How Do You Pickle Eggs For Long-Term Storage
Because of the risk of botulism, there’s no safe way to pickle eggs for long-term storage.
Some prepper sites will tell you it’s safe to store your eggs for six months in the pantry if you use a pickling solution that’s vinegar heavy.
Even if you use lots of vinegar, if the acidity of your mix is wrong, you risk not killing all of the harmful bacteria, and you can get botulism.
Are Refrigerated Pickles Better For You?
In general, pickles that need to be refrigerated right after you buy them are better for you.
Store-bought pickles that don’t need to be refrigerated right away are full of preservatives and sodium, two things that are not good for you in large quantities.
But store-bought pickles that you have to refrigerate right away are better for you because they have probiotics that can be good for gut health.
A good way to tell the difference is what section of the grocery store the pickles are in. If the pickles are in the refrigerated section, that means they are fresher and better for you.
Stay away from pickles that are just on a room-temperature shelf if you have high blood pressure because those ones will be full of salt.
But if high blood pressure is an issue for you, check the salt content of any pickle to ensure it’s not too much for your diet.
Pickled eggs are a delicious treat that’s perfect for any barbeque or family gathering (and go great with sloppy joes), but you have to be careful how you store them.
Homemade pickled eggs should be stored in the fridge at all times. They should only be taken out right before serving and for no longer than two hours.
Store-bought pickled eggs are okay to leave out of the fridge as long as they are unopened.
As soon as you open them, you need to put them in the fridge and consume them within seven days.
It’s tempting to curb the strict rules around refrigerating pickled eggs. But if you do that, you risk your friends and family becoming seriously ill.
Stick to these rules to keep all your loved ones happy and healthy!
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