How to Avoid a Green Ring Around Hard-Boiled Egg Yolks

avoiding a green ring around hard boiled egg yolks


Author: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator

Perhaps you've hard-cooked an egg only to discover a green ring around the yolk when you crack it open. Here's what happened and what you can do to avoid it, according to Mary Torell, Public Information Officer,Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Poultry & Egg Division:

"A greenish-gray ring may appear around a hard-cooked egg yolk. It's unsightly, but harmless. The ring is caused by a chemical reaction involving sulfur (from the egg white) and iron (from the egg yolk), which naturally react to form ferrous sulfide at the surface of the yolk. The reaction is usually caused by overcooking, but can also be caused by a high amount of iron in the cooking water.

"Eliminate the ring by avoiding overcooking and by cooling the eggs quickly after cooking. Run cold water over the just-cooked eggs or place them in ice water (not standing in water) until they have completely cooled. Then refrigerate the eggs in their shells until you're ready to use them. Hard-cooked eggs in the shell can be refrigerated up to one week."

Get more information on times and temperatures on making hard-cooked eggs from the American Egg Board.