How long would eggs last out of the refrigerator and out of the shell?

This may be a strange question, but I'm planning on baking them afterwards. And I'll leave them out only around 6 hours at room temperature.

The thought makes me shiver; but would you reckon this to be fine?

  • 4
    Is there a reason why you can't leave them in their shells or in the refrigerator?
    – Mien
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 7:01
  • 1
    Well, to be honest I was planning on jury rigging some kind of machine together to bake me an omelet in the morning... but the egg-breaking part seems to be the hardest. ^^
    – wen
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 21:45
  • 1
    Maybe it's just me, but I find the egg-breaking to be the easiest part of omelet-making...
    – daisy_ann
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 22:48
  • @daisy_ann: I'm talking robots, that's why. But I guess I'll have to let this one rest for a little while longer. :)
    – wen
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 1:18
  • 1
    perhaps you could rig up an insulated container to keep the eggs in overnight and surround the eggs with ice?
    – Jonathan
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 21:15

5 Answers 5


Eggs in their shell, uncracked

One day on the counter at room temperature is approximately equivalent to a week in the refrigerator. When I used eggs at a rapid rate, baking every day, I always kept them on the counter, since they would not have to be brought to room temperature to beat easily to the ribbon or whatever.

They should be good in the refrigerator for several weeks past their sell by date, or on the counter for several days.

6 hours is fine, (but thats in shell, not cracked)

Eggs OUT of their shell

Out of the shell, eggs are highly perishable--what the health codes call a "potentially hazardous" food. Don't hold them for any length of time at room temperature. I would say no more than 30 minutes to an hour, less if you can.

Lots of egg facts, but they do insist that the eggs are refrigerated.

  • Thanks, but do you have any idea for the case where they're out of their shells, i.e. cracked?
    – wen
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 2:26
  • 6
    Sorry I missed that on first read--see edit. Bad idea to hold raw eggs out of the shell at room temperature. Very bad.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 2:29
  • 6 hours is fine. (All of the above is assuming they are in their shells, uncracked....) The OP said AND out of the shell. So.. I nearly thought 6 hrs is fine, but apparently not then?
    – redfox05
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 20:14
  • Do you have a link for the 30 mins out of shell? Cant see it on that link. Old post, so I dont expect a reply though :(
    – redfox05
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 20:20
  • I don't see any evidence for the claim that eggs outside of the shell are highly perishable or hazardous.
    – Behacad
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 3:07

Fresh, healthy eggs are protected by natural antibacterial enzymes and will stay good for at least three weeks without refrigeration. Chickens are brooded for about three weeks before they hatch and it should be obvious, that it would be at least inconvenient if the egg goes stale before the chicken is out.

In Germany, eggs are not refrigerated in the supermarket. The recommended shelf life (best before date) is 28 days if kept refrigerated after 18 days, since the natural protection starts to deteriorate after appr. 21 days.

  • 3
    OP is asking about eggs outside the shell - very different and very much more dangerous than in the shell. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 18:39
  • Also, you cant compare to other countries. For example in Canada they have all eggs refrigerated, even in the shops. In the UK they are just at room temp in the shops. I heard this is because in canada they wash the outside of the egg, which removes some kind of protective coating, thus they have to go in the fridge. But dont quote me on it.
    – redfox05
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 20:10
  • 1
    @redfox05 exactly in US and Canada the eggs are cleaned (and even pasteurized) and that removes the protective coat from the egg shell. Also, refrigerating eggs makes the shell more permeable and prone to get odours from other food.
    – roetnig
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 11:07

Fresh eggs will last several weeks on the counter. A month in oatmeal. if not washed. This is farm fresh eggs. Eggs have a wax on them. It seals them. Oatmeal also keeps them from getting broke. A fridge is a dehydrator. Less time there. Baked eggs set out. 2 hours in the tropics. Like baked in a egg bowl for breakfast. A fresh cracked egg. A short time. before cooked. Maybe 2 hours. They sell for 1 Piso 2 cents U.S. each at the market to move them fast. You take a chance on a cracked egg.


Eggs are good for at least a week out of the shell, refrigerated. I crack a dozen at a time, mic 3 per day for breakfast; kept them many times for over a week. I wanted to know so I might crack closer to 2 dozen so I will have enough for a week. I use to just drink them down, but I learned in the case of eggs they lose a lot of their nutrition when eaten raw. I'll try to post again after I try cracking and eating two dozen, see if they last more then a week. Keep in mind stores would not sell cracked or broken eggs if they went bad that fast, I use to buy trays (2 1/2 dozen) of cracks, and stores now sell litre or quart containers of egg whites or yolks or both. After I will add a little of the powdered shells to my meal. Don't waste any of that egg, a free calcium supplement, birds love egg shells and so does any garden.


I eat eggs only raw and never refrigerate them (organic, local, grass fed). I have done it for many years it is extremely safe and healthy. In Europe (not just Germany) they are not refrigerated in the stores and people do not usually refrigerate them. American are bacteria phobic. When not cooled the eggs are more pre-digested and easier to assimilate.

But, when already out of the shell, I do not know how long they last on the counter. No one answered that main question. Guessing is nice but I would say if you want to know, you leave some on the counter and check their smell and colors every half hour and publish your conclusion.

  • I'd heard that they wax coat eggs in Europe? That'd make a difference. Or is it washing in the US? We do something different that effects safety zones. Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 0:08

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