Do Pickled Eggs Need to Be Refrigerated? (How Long Will It Last?)

colors pickled eggs

Pickled eggs are typically hard-boiled eggs that have been brined or vinegar-cured. Curing eggs was originally done to preserve them for a longer period of time, but we no longer need to do this because we have some other ways to store food.

Pickled eggs are still a highly popular delicacy since we like them simply for their taste. However, because they were created to extend the life of the eggs, you may be wondering:

Do pickled eggs need to be refrigerated? Should you discard pickled eggs that have been in the fridge for too long? If you do want to store your pickled eggs in the fridge, how long can pickled eggs last?

Yes. Pickled eggs must be kept refrigerated, though they can be kept at room temperature, but not for a long time. However, putting your pickled eggs in the fridge for long-term storage is recommended. Using this method, they may be edible for up to a year in some conditions!

So there you have it! But, as you’re presumably aware, this is only a summary; there’s a lot more to say about storing pickled eggs in the refrigerator.

So, what are we going to do now? Please, let’s get the ball rolling.

How Long Do Pickled Eggs Last?

boiled eggs marinated in a-japanese-sauce containing soy and mirin

This depends on how they are stored and how fresh they are when they are pickled.

Pickled eggs can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for 3-4 months at or below 40 °F. Note that this time frame is only for the best quality. The eggs may last a bit longer. 

Pickled eggs should always be stored in an airtight container and kept refrigerated. Once the eggs have been pickled, they should be kept refrigerated to maintain their freshness for as long as possible.

Can Pickled Eggs Go Bad?

Yes, pickled eggs can go bad. The acidic vinegar solution in which they’re preserved makes them shelf-stable for weeks or even months. Pickled eggs can last for months in the fridge, but there are signs you can look for to know when they’ve gone bad.

How do you know if the pickled eggs went bad?

Once they spoil, the eggs will release a nauseating sulfur smell and taste. If you have any doubts about whether your pickled eggs are safe to eat, throw them out!  You should also discard pickled eggs that have been in the fridge for too long. This advice aligns with guidelines from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

If the eggs are discoloured, have a slimy texture, or smell bad, they should not be consumed.

It’s also important not to eat pickled eggs that have been stored at room temperature or outside the fridge for a few days. It increases the risk of food poisoning.

Do Pickled Eggs Have to Be Refrigerated? 

Back in the day, when refrigeration was scarce or non-existent, canning or pickling was the only way to preserve foods and goods for later use. Many people would preserve fruits, vegetables, and even meats like sausage and chicken as a method of food preservation. Using this traditional method, they may stockpile for the long winter months.

Pickled eggs must be kept refrigerated and should not be left in the pantry. Ideally, they should be kept in the fridge all the time for the best results.

But why do we have to keep pickled eggs refrigerated? Simply put, to help them last longer. Pickled eggs can be kept in the fridge for up to four months before going bad.

Yes, they have been preserved with vinegar to prevent them from going bad for a long time. But pickled eggs do not last a long time on their own.

Can I make pickled eggs that don't require refrigeration?

What Happens When You Don’t Refrigerate Pickled Eggs After Opening?

Every can of pickled eggs should be kept in the refrigerator, as we just said in the previous paragraphs. This is especially true for cans that have already been opened.

When you don’t refrigerate pickled eggs after they’ve been opened, they swiftly go rancid and become unusable in just a week or two. They, on the other hand, can be kept in the fridge for months!

Read: Can You Eat Boiled Eggs That Float?

Pickled Eggs and Botulism

Pickled eggs are a popular food item, but they can also be dangerous. In fact, pickled eggs are one of the most common sources of botulism.

Botulism is a serious illness. It can cause paralysis and death. This risk is noted in discussions of food preservation for items like pickled eggs.  Clostridium botulinum bacteria can thrive in low-oxygen environments, like pickles. It is what causes botulism. It’s important to take precautions when eating pickled eggs to avoid getting sick.

To avoid the risk of botulism, it is essential to follow safe canning procedures when pickling eggs, as below:

  • Step 1. Place the eggs in a canning jar, leaving one inch of headspace. If there is not enough space, seal the jar with a lid or band and tap it lightly to ensure that the eggs are completely submerged in the pickling liquid.
  • Step 2. Heat the pickling liquid in a large, non-reactive saucepan to a simmer, and for some recipes, you may need to bring to a boil. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  • Step 3. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes, or until the desired firmness is reached. Transfer the eggs to a bowl and let them cool to room temperature.
  • Step 4. Cover the eggs and store them in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Before serving, return the pickled eggs to room temperature.
  • Step 5. Serve with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of mustard or any other condiment.

Do Pickled Eggs Have to Be Refrigerated to Season Them?

After the eggs have been pickled, they should be kept in the fridge for a few days. This lets the flavors of the pickling brine soak into the eggs and season them. 

The size of the eggs and the particular pickled egg recipe are what determine how long it takes to season them. If small eggs are used in pickling, they must be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Big eggs need 3–4 weeks to absorb the flavors. 

How Long Do Pickled Eggs Last at Room Temperature, Unrefrigerated?

The National Center for Home Food Preservation advises against keeping pickled eggs at room temperature. Unless you intend to serve them. Once removed from the refrigerator, pickled eggs can be left at room temperature for approximately two hours.

Pickled eggs that are left out in the open for more than 2 hours should be discarded. This is because bacteria reproduce faster between 40 °F and 140 °F. So, the pickled eggs are more likely to get germs if left out for over 2 hours. 

Pickled eggs, as we mentioned in the last response, can last months, even up to a year in the fridge. But how long do they last if they’re not refrigerated?

Pickled eggs left out at room temperature will keep for a few days, but for optimal food preservation, they should be stored in the refrigerator.However, they must be kept in a cool, dark place. It’s best to store them in the fridge to keep quality, as advised for food preservation. They will go bad in about a week.

Do Pickled Eggs in Vinegar Need to Be Refrigerated?

Pickled eggs in vinegar do not necessarily need to be refrigerated, as the high acidity of the vinegar acts as a natural preservative. In fact, pickled eggs have been traditionally stored at room temperature for extended periods of time. 

However, refrigerating pickled eggs can help keep them fresh and safe to eat for longer. It prevents bacteria, as all food preservation does. It is recommended to store pickled eggs in the refrigerator if they have not been consumed within a few days.

For those who prefer a firmer texture or better flavor, store pickled eggs in the fridge. It can help achieve these qualities. The cool environment helps the flavors meld together over time, resulting in a more intense and well-rounded taste. 

Also, keeping pickled eggs chilled can prevent spoilage or contamination. These issues can happen if the eggs are left at room temperature for too long. Ultimately, you may not need to refrigerate pickled eggs in vinegar. But, doing so can offer benefits that improve the eating experience. 

In Conclusion

Pickled eggs are a popular food that originated as a way to keep eggs fresh for longer. However, this is no longer the case since we now have other options for storing food, such as putting it in the refrigerator.

You must keep your pickled eggs refrigerated to keep them fresh. You only need to refrigerate the pickled eggs once they’ve been opened if you bought them at the store. Homemade pickled eggs, on the other hand, must be kept refrigerated at all times.

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