Prepare hard-cooked eggs for Easter and Passover celebrations with care

Carefully choosing, cooking and storing eggs for those special spring celebrationsto prevent food borne illness.

Eggs play an important role in spring traditions. They can be fun to find during an annual Easter egg hunt or they can take on a more serious role when they have their place on the Seder plate during Passover celebrations. Regardless of how you use hard-cooked eggs, take care to do so safely and avoid foodborne illness for your family and friends.

Older eggs work best when making hard-boiled eggs. To determine if an egg is fresh:

  • Place the egg in a clear glass of cold water.
  • If the egg lies flat on the bottom of the glass, it is quite fresh.
  • If it stays at the bottom but is more vertical (it stands on end) then it is not as fresh but still perfectly safe to use.
  • If the egg floats don’t use it, it is past its prime.

The best way to prepare hard-cooked eggs is a simple seven step process. This method, from the American Egg Board, should produce eggs that have fully-cooked yolks. Eggs prepared this way also often have less of a green tinge, which is associated with overcooking, have fewer cracks and are easier to peel.

  1. Place cold eggs in a single layer in a saucepan.
  2. Add enough cold tap water to come at least one inch over the eggs.
  3. Cover and quickly bring to a hard boil.
  4. Turn off the heat and keep eggs covered.
  5. Let the eggs stand, covered, in the hot water 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium, 18 minutes for extra-large).
  6. Immediately run cold water over the eggs or plunge them in ice water until cooled.
  7. Refrigerate the eggs in a clean, dry container.

If you find yourself with leftover hard-cooked eggs use them to make deviled eggs. Michigan State University Extension suggests they be part of nutritious meals. Eggs are high in protein and inexpensive, so they are good at helping you stretch your food dollars.

If hard boiled eggs sit out at room temperature for more than two hours, they should not be eaten. This is the rule for both the eggs that are usually served to each person as part of the special dinner during Passover and those pretty Easter eggs. Keep hard-cooked eggs in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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