Picture this: You’ve woken up late for work, so you pop two eggs into a pot of boiling water and rush off to shower. You’re just finishing your makeup when you realize you’ve forgotten about the eggs on the stove. These boiled eggs are very well done, and the yolk has an almost bluish tinge to it (and a strong sulfur smell).
You may be wondering if these overcooked hard-boiled eggs can hurt you.
Overcooked hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat (in moderation) as they release a minimal amount of iron sulfide, which would be dangerous if consumed in excess. If an egg is overcooked, it’ll develop a bluish-green tint around the yolk, but as long as it is fresh, it can be eaten safely.
If you love overcooked hard-boiled eggs but are worried about the safety of eating them, this guide will provide you with all the information you need.
Is It Safe to Eat Overcooked Hard-Boiled Eggs?
It is safe to eat overcooked hard-boiled eggs as long as they are fresh and haven’t gone off.
If you’re concerned about the green tinge on the egg yolk, this results from the release of sulfur gas and iron within the egg reacting to the yolk’s surface when it’s been overcooked.
The minimal amount of sulfur gas that’s released into the egg is safe for humans to consume, as long as you don’t overeat hard-boiled eggs that have been overcooked.
Here’s a quick look at some of the benefits of eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs:
- Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of lean protein, which is very good for developing strong muscles and losing weight.
- Eating boiled whites of the egg is an excellent low-cholesterol snack.
- The protein and vitamin D found in hard-boiled eggs assist with prenatal development during pregnancy.
- Eating hard-boiled eggs is an excellent source of choline (an essential nutrient), which is essential for cellular growth and metabolic maintenance.
- Hard-boiled eggs are also rich in vitamin A, which improves your eyesight.
Fun Fact: A fun way to peel a hard-boiled egg is by making a hole in both ends of the egg, rolling it slightly on a hard surface, and blowing the egg right out of its shell (this isn’t the easiest method, but it is a neat trick to show the kids.)
Risks of Eating Overcooked Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eating anything in excess is never a good idea, and eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs is no exception. Let’s take a closer look at some of the risks involved when eating overcooked hard-boiled eggs:
- Eating too many hard-boiled eggs can cause bloating and excessive gas. This can be very uncomfortable and painful.
- Consuming more than four eggs daily can cause insulin resistance and heart disease.
- Hard-boiled eggs contain progesterone (a hormone) and albumin (a protein), which has a negative effect on the lymphatic system. This leads to boils and acne break-outs, mainly concentrated around the chin, cheeks, and nostril area.
- Eating too many hard-boiled eggs can also cause your cholesterol levels to rise, which isn’t good for your health.
- If you have an egg allergy, then eating eggs is very risky as the symptoms include difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, and stomach upset.
- Overcooked hard-boiled eggs can give off a strong sulfur smell, which can be embarrassing when eating eggs in public (#SmellsLikeFarts).
- Ingesting too much iron sulfide can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and a rash.
Did You Know: Raw or undercooked eggs contain salmonella, which, if consumed, can make you very ill. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and chills.
How to Know When Your Hard-Boiled Egg Is Overcooked
Depending on how you like your eggs done, a boiled egg should ideally cook for between 9 to 12 minutes (if you want a hard-boiled egg) to avoid overcooking it.
Here’s a look at some signs that’ll indicate you’ve overcooked your hard-boiled egg:
- The first (and most obvious) sign that you’ve overcooked your hard-boiled egg is when you cut the egg open. The yolk will have a grayish/white or bluish/green tinge to it. It’ll also be crumbly and fall apart.
- The second sign is the strong (and unpleasant) sulfur smell that comes from the eggs.
- Your egg will be very rubbery and pretty tasteless.
- The yolk becomes quite chalky and difficult to swallow as it sticks to your throat.
Did You Know: Overcooked hard-boiled eggs release a mineral called iron sulfide, which is also found in rocks.
Is It Okay to Eat Overcooked Hard-Boiled Eggs?
While eating an overcooked hard-boiled egg every now and again won’t cause you any harm, the taste and texture aren’t satisfying or appealing.
What Happens if You Boil Eggs for 20 Minutes?
If you boil between 9 and 12 eggs together for 20 minutes, they’ll cook through and be quite firm. However, if you cook one egg in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes, the increased time will cause the moisture in the egg to expel.
The egg white will clump together tightly, and the yolk will develop a greenish film over a chalky center. As a result, you’ll have a bouncy and tasteless hard-boiled egg. You should ideally only boil a single egg for about 9 to 12 minutes for the perfect hard-boiled egg.
Top Tip: Once you’ve removed your eggs from the boiling water, immediately place them into a bowl of ice water. A hard-boiled egg will continue to cook in its shell, which can lead to overcooking your egg unintentionally.
Giving the eggs an ice bath also makes it easier to peel off the eggshells and stops the cooking process, which ensures your eggs don’t overcook.
My Last Foodie Thoughts
When it comes to hard-boiled eggs, everyone enjoys having them cooked a certain way. Some people enjoy a soft-boiled egg where they chase the egg yolk around their plates, while others prefer a bouncy overcooked, hard-boiled egg.
It’s all about your personal preference. The same applies to fried and scrambled eggs.
While an overcooked hard-boiled egg won’t make you sick (unless you eat more than four at a sitting), the taste and texture will leave you with much to be desired.