Why did my hard boiled eggs turn brown?

Why did my hard boiled eggs turn brown

If you’ve ever found yourself with brown hard boiled eggs, you’re probably wondering what went wrong. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question. It could be due to the type of eggs you used, the cooking method, or even the water quality. However, we can give you some tips on how to avoid this issue in the future.


Eggs are a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in many different ways. Hard-boiled eggs are a popular choice for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack. They are easy to make and can be flavored in endless ways.

Unfortunately, sometimes hard-boiled eggs can turn brown. This can be due to the cooking method, the type of egg, or even the age of the egg. If you notice your hard-boiled eggs are browning, there are a few things you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.

What Causes Browning in Hard Boiled Eggs?

Reaction with the Shell

There are three main causes of browning in hard boiled eggs: reaction with the shell, reaction with the iron in the pan, and oxidation.

The most common cause of browning is a reaction between the egg and the calcium carbonate in the shell. This reaction is usually harmless, and it doesn’t affect the egg’s flavor or nutrition. If you notice that your eggs are browning more on one side than the other, it’s probably because that side was in contact with the pan for a longer period of time.

Another cause of browning is a reaction between the iron in the pan and the egg. This reaction is also harmless, but it can cause the egg to taste metallic. If you’re concerned about this, you can use an aluminum or non-stick pan.

The third cause of browning is oxidation. This happens when the egg comes into contact with oxygen, and it can make the egg taste stale. To prevent oxidation, you can store your eggs in an airtight container or keep them submerged in water.

Reaction with Air

When an egg is cooked, the iron in the yolk reacts with oxygen in the air to cause browning. This reaction is called oxidation. Oxidation is responsible for browning in many other foods as well, such as apples and potatoes.

The iron in the egg yolk isn’t the only thing that can cause browning. If you add salt to your water when you cook your eggs, it can also cause them to turn brown. This is because salt helps to speed up the oxidation process.

Prevention of Browning

Browning of hard boiled eggs is due to a chemical reaction that happens when the iron in the egg yolk reacts with the sulfur in the egg white. The browning is harmless, but it can affect the appearance of the eggs. There are a few things you can do to prevent the browning from happening.

Use Vinegar

Prevent browning by using vinegar:

Just add a teaspoon of vinegar for each cup (250ml) of water used to boil the eggs. This acidifies the water, which then prevents the formation of sulphur compounds.

Use Salt

Adding salt to the water may help prevent browning by creating a more challenging environment for the iron to oxidize in.

Use Baking Soda

One way to prevent browning is to use a food grade baking soda solution. Baking soda is a mild alkali, and when used in a 4-6% solution, it will help to raise the pH of the apple slices, making them less susceptible to enzymatic browning.

To make the baking soda solution, mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water. Soak the apple slices in the solution for 2-3 minutes, then remove and rinse with cold water.


After investigating the causes of brown hard boiled eggs, we have come to the conclusion that there are multiple reasons why this can happen. The most common cause seems to be overcooking the eggs, which causes the reaction between the iron in the egg yolks and the sulfur in the egg whites. This reaction produces a brown compound called ferrous sulfide. However, this is not the only reason why hard boiled eggs can turn brown. Other possible causes include using older eggs, storing cooked eggs in a fridge that is not set to the correct temperature, or cooking eggs in water that contains too much iron.

James Lewis

James Lewis is a food and cooking blogger who loves to share his delicious recipes with the world. He has a passion for good food, and he enjoys trying new dishes and flavors. James is also a big fan of traditional comfort foods, and he likes to cook up nostalgic meals for his friends and family.

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