How Long Can Scrambled Eggs (Or Other Egg Dish) Sit Out?

One of the easiest breakfasts to make is a scrambled egg. It is warm and filling and also an excellent source of protein.

It only takes a few minutes to make a scrambled egg, so you can have a good breakfast even if you are in a hurry.

Of course, scrambled eggs are also great for dinner, or lunch, or anytime you are hungry.

scrambled eggs, just like any other egg dish should not be left outside for more than 2 hours. If the outside temperature is 90 degrees, the eggs should not stay out for more than 1 hour. You can keep scrambled eggs in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before discarding them.

Other dishes made with cooked eggs like casseroles, frittatas, and omelets should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Eggs and egg dishes freeze well and will keep for 3-6 months when properly wrapped for the freezer. 

Raw scrambled eggs will not keep at room temperature and should be refrigerated until you are ready to use them. These beaten but not yet cooked eggs will be good in the fridge for 2-3 days and are freezable for up to a year.

Continue reading for details on serving and storing scrambled eggs, other hot dishes made with eggs, storing different kinds of cooked eggs, and storing fresh eggs.

Keeping Cooked Scrambled Eggs At Room Temperature

Scrambled eggs only take a few minutes to prepare and taste the best when they are fresh and hot from the pan.

After scrambled eggs cool to room temperature, they tend to become rubbery and unappealing.

However, scrambled eggs are good to eat for up to 2 hours after cooking when left out at room temperature. If you leave scrambled eggs out for longer than 2 hours, you should throw them away. 

If you are serving a buffet with scrambled eggs, you can keep them warm in a chafing dish or a double boiler above 145 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent potentially harmful bacterial growth in the dish.

You can keep a portion of eggs or an egg-based dish warm for 2-3 hours. However, the eggs may become overcooked, dry, and rubbery if they are exposed to heat for a long time.

Instead of risking poor food quality, for food service or catering, the FDA recommends creating small serving portions to reheat so that each serving can be heated and eaten safely. All the other portions should be kept refrigerated.

Scrambled Eggs

The two-hour rule for eggs at room temperature also applies to omelets, frittatas, migas, and other scrambled egg-type meals.

The Food Safety Danger Zone

The FDA explains that perishable food items must be cooked to a certain temperature in order for them to be safe to eat. 

Eggs are particularly susceptible to growing salmonella bacteria which can cause severe illness if you eat it.

Cooked eggs should not be left in the 40-140 degree range for more than 2 hours.

Refrigerating Scrambled Eggs

Cover leftover cooked scrambled eggs or save them in an airtight container in the refrigerator to help preserve the moisture in the eggs.

Even refrigerated scrambled eggs can lose moisture, and the texture may become unpleasant. Eat any refrigerated scrambled eggs within 3-4 days.

Freezing Scrambled Eggs

If you have a large quantity of cooked scrambled eggs leftover or want to create some easy-to-heat breakfasts, you can freeze them.

For the best results, freeze them in portion sizes so you can reheat only the amount you plan to eat. Place each portion in a zip-top freezer bag and squeeze out the excess air.

These frozen scrambled eggs will be safe to eat for up to a year. However, the best flavor and texture will degrade after 3-6 months.

How to Make Light and Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Sometimes scrambled eggs come out dry and rubbery. You can make light and fluffy scrambled eggs in a few easy steps.

First, make sure that you whisk the eggs until the yolks and whites are well combined. Using a whisk adds air into the eggs, increasing the fluffiness.

Next, add in a few tablespoons of heavy whipping cream or half and half to the eggs. You can also add salt and pepper to taste at this point. Continue whisking until everything is well combined. 

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts, pour in the egg mixture and let it simmer without stirring.

If you like cheese in your eggs, sprinkle shredded cheese over the mixture while it simmers.

When it starts to cook, use a rubber spatula to gently fold the cooked eggs over and move the uncooked eggs to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the eggs are just done and remove from the heat. 

Serving and Storing Scrambled Egg Based Dishes

Breakfast Casserole

You can prepare a simple and delicious breakfast casserole from eggs, ground sausage, cheese, and veggies.

It only takes a few minutes to prepare this casserole, and then you can store it in the refrigerator or freeze it unbaked until you are ready to cook it.

Alternatively, you can cook it and freeze separate portions for an easy breakfast on the go. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown 2 pounds of ground sausage and break it into small pieces.

Remove from the pan and saute ½ a chopped onion and 1 chopped bell pepper (red or green). In a large bowl, beat 12 eggs until well combined.

Add 1 cup of sour cream, ¼ cup of milk, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 cups of shredded cheese. 

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and spread the sausage and vegetables evenly across the bottom. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. 

You can store the cooked casserole in portion sizes tightly wrapped in the freezer for 3-6 months.

Alternatively, you can cover the whole uncooked casserole, pan and all, with plastic wrap, then foil and freeze it to cook later.

Freezing the uncooked casserole is a great way to plan ahead for a holiday breakfast or a family visit. 

Frittata Muffins

Another easily customizable and servable scrambled egg dish is a frittata muffin.

You can make a frittata in an oven-safe skillet for one large dish to serve the whole family, or you can make individual servings in muffin tins for easy serving at a buffet or your breakfast on the go.

These delicious egg muffins are endlessly customizable. You can add any of your favorite egg toppings to the muffins.

Try cherry tomatoes, spinach, and crumbled feta for a delicious and healthy morning muffin.

On the other hand, you might like ham and cheese, all-veggie filling, or hash browns and bacon. Go wild with your favorites!

Prepare your muffin tins by spraying them with oil or by lining them with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk 12 eggs until they are well combined. For extra creaminess, add ¼ cup of heavy cream and continue whisking.

Mix in up to 3 cups of your favorite meats, cheeses, or vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until it is firm and golden. 

If you want to add hash browns to the muffins, put them in the muffin cups first, then pour the egg mixture over them. 

Serve warm or store the muffins in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can freeze the muffins in individual wrappings for 3-6 months. 

Storing and Serving Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs, like scrambled eggs, can stay at room temperature for two hours before they need to be refrigerated.

Since you can serve boiled eggs cold, keep them on ice to preserve them longer. Hard-boiled eggs will be good for 1 week in the refrigerator with or without the shell. 

If you are transporting boiled eggs or a dish with boiled eggs in it like egg salad or tuna salad, be sure to pack it in ice to maintain a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Boiled Eggs

Remember that eggs are an ideal host for bacteria that can lead to food-borne illness when stored between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storing Fresh Eggs

There is much debate about the best way to store fresh eggs. In the U.S., if you have purchased commercially farmed eggs, keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

On the other hand, if you raise your own chickens and collect the eggs, they are probably fine to keep unwashed at room temperature for a week or so. If you haven’t eaten them by then, you should refrigerate the eggs. 

If you have already cracked and beaten the eggs, you should keep them in the refrigerator if you are not actively using them. They can be refrigerated in a covered container for 2-3 days.

Storing Fresh Eggs

You can freeze raw eggs if you find yourself with an abundance of them. However, you should not freeze them in the shell.

Crack the eggs and beat them well to combine the whites and yolks. Then freeze them into the portions you anticipate using.

You can also separate the white from the yolk and freeze only the egg whites. Use frozen eggs within one year.

Concluding Thoughts

Remember that any perishable foods can grow harmful bacteria between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to food-borne illness.

Therefore, scrambled eggs and dishes made with scrambled eggs should not be left at room temperature longer than two hours.

You can serve eggs in a chafing dish or double boiler if you host a party or a buffet that will last longer than 2 hours.

Alternatively, make only small servings to heat and serve at any one time to reduce the chance of spoiled and wasted food. 

If you have leftover scrambled eggs or egg dishes, they will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. However, eggs freeze well and keep 3-6 months when wrapped tightly and saved in an airtight container. 

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