For many of us, dyeing eggs is an Easter tradition that goes back for generations. It’s timeless fun. And you never know what designs and color combos the kids will come up with each year.
But what do you do with the eggs after they’re dyed?
Display them on the table? Hide them for an egg hunt? Make them into a tasty egg salad? You know your great-grandma wouldn’t let those eggs go to waste, and neither should you!
Here are some quick tips on dyeing eggs that are still safe to eat.
Before you get to the dyeing process, make sure the eggs you’re boiling will be safe to eat.
- Buy eggs from refrigerated cases
- Check for cracks in the shells
- Make sure the “use by” date hasn’t passed
- Place the eggs in a single layer in a pot, cover them with cold water, and heat them on high just until the water boils. Then remove the pot from the burner, cover it, and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 12 minutes.
- Once you drain the hot water, run the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking process and to prepare them for dyeing.
- If a shell cracks in the boiling process, don’t worry, it will still be safe to dye and eat.
The colorings that you find in most egg-dyeing sets are perfectly safe to eat, as are common food colorings that you might use for icing or other baking.
Even if some of the dye leaks through to the egg, it’s still safe to eat.
Keep in mind that the boiling process opens up the pores of the egg shell, allowing easier access for bacteria and other substances. With that in mind, here’s what you want to avoid when dyeing eggs.
- Shaving Cream: This method is fun for kids and results in some awesome designs, but you shouldn’t eat eggs that have had shaving cream on their shells for any amount of time.
- Egg Hunts: Eggs can pick up dirt and bacteria if they’re sitting outside. And if you’ve hidden them too well, they will be unrefrigerated for a long time. Go with plastic eggs that you can fill with kids’ favorite candy. Plus, you can reuse them year after year.
- Display: Colored eggs look great in an Easter centerpiece, but even if you have the eggs unrefrigerated for a couple hours, they may be unsafe to eat.
Eating Dyed Eggs
Refrigerate eggs shortly after they’ve been dyed. Make sure to let the kids admire their art work, but then cool them down so they stay safe.
Anything more than two hours adds some risk of contamination. And once you peel the eggs, you’ll want to eat them or add them to a prepared dish within an hour.
Like all hard-boiled eggs, the dyed eggs will stay fresh for eating for about one week.