Can I store egg tarts at room temperature?

Egg tarts are a delicious pastry that are popular in many Asian cultures. They have a crisp, flaky crust and a rich, creamy egg custard filling. While freshly baked egg tarts taste best when eaten right away, leftovers often need to be stored for later. This raises the question – can egg tarts be safely stored at room temperature?

Quick Answer

Egg tarts should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. The custard filling contains dairy and eggs, which can spoil quickly in warm environments. Storing egg tarts at room temperature for too long allows bacteria to multiply rapidly and pose a food safety risk.

Explaining Why Egg Tarts Should Not Be Left at Room Temperature

There are a few important reasons why egg tarts should be refrigerated and not be left out at room temperature for extended periods:

  • Growth of harmful bacteria – Egg tarts contain custard filling made from eggs and milk/cream. These ingredients provide the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli to multiply rapidly in warm environments above 40°F (4°C).
  • Foodborne illness – If contaminated egg tarts are consumed, they can cause foodborne illness with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, and headache. Food poisoning from egg tarts can be life-threatening in certain individuals.
  • Dairy curdles – The dairy in the custard can curdle and separate if egg tarts are kept at room temperature too long. The texture becomes unappealing.
  • Eggs spoil – Raw or undercooked eggs in the filling will spoil more quickly at room temperature.
  • Quality deteriorates – The crisp crust will lose its texture and become soggy at room temperature. The custard will also weep liquid and become thin.

To prevent food safety issues and maintain quality, egg tarts are best stored chilled in the refrigerator if they are not being consumed within 2 hours of baking. The chilled environment helps slow bacteria growth and preserve the texture.

How Long Can Egg Tarts Safely Sit Out?

Egg tarts should not sit at room temperature beyond 2 hours. According to food safety guidelines, dairy and egg-based baked goods can be left out for up to 2 hours in temperatures under 90°F (32°C).

In weather over 90°F (32°C), the safe window is only 1 hour. In very hot conditions, bacteria multiply very rapidly. Consuming egg tarts left out too long could mean ingesting large amounts of harmful bacteria.

Some signs that egg tarts have been left out too long and could be unsafe to eat:

  • The filling looks watery and thin
  • The custard has curdled and separated
  • The crust is soggy
  • There is a foul odor

Discard egg tarts left at room temperature for over 2 hours. Do not rely on tasting or smell to determine if they are safe.

Proper Storage Methods for Egg Tarts

To safely store leftovers, here are some tips for egg tart storage:


Refrigerating egg tarts is the best storage method for leftovers. This slows the growth of bacteria.

  • Place egg tarts in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap. This prevents drying out,Odors from absorbing, and contamination.
  • Refrigerate within 2 hours of baking. The sooner egg tarts are refrigerated, the better.
  • Store in the main refrigerator compartment, not the door. The temperature is most consistent here.
  • Only keep refrigerated for 3-4 days maximum. Discard if mold grows.
  • Let refrigerated egg tarts come to room temperature before eating for best texture and flavor.


Freezing can extend the shelf life of egg tarts for 2-3 months.

  • Allow egg tarts to cool completely before freezing.
  • Wrap each egg tart tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight freezer bag.
  • Freeze egg tarts in a single layer on a baking sheet first, then transfer to a freezer bag to save space.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. Label bags with the date.
  • Thaw frozen egg tarts overnight in the fridge before serving.

Can Egg Tarts Be Left at Room Temperature Overnight?

It is unsafe to leave egg tarts sitting out overnight at room temperature. Overnight refers to around 8-12 hours.

Room temperature provides the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Leaving egg tarts overnight gives bacteria many hours to grow to dangerous levels.

Egg tarts left out overnight should be discarded in the morning. The risk of food poisoning is very high after that duration at room temperature.

Do not attempt to reheat or re-serve egg tarts that have sat at room temperature for multiple hours, let alone overnight. Play it safe and throw egg tarts away if they were not stored properly chilled.

Does Refrigeration Change Egg Tarts?

Refrigerating egg tarts does lead to some changes in texture, but it does not make them unsafe:

  • Crispness – The flaky pastry crust will soften and lose its signature crisp, buttery texture. It will not be as flaky after chilled storage.
  • Custard – The egg custard filling can weep liquid and become thinner in consistency after being refrigerated.
  • Flavor – Subtle changes to the flavor are possible after chilling. Some notes like vanilla may taste muted.

Despite these changes, refrigeration is still the recommended storage method. Proper food safety is the priority.

Allow refrigerated egg tarts to come to room temperature before serving to improve the texture and flavor.

Can I Store Egg Tarts in the Freezer?

Yes, egg tarts can be frozen successfully for long-term storage.

Freezing prevents bacteria growth and keeps egg tarts safe for consumption for 2-3 months when stored properly in an airtight container or freezer bag.

The custard may separate slightly after thawing, but the egg tarts are still edible. Allow frozen egg tarts to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

What Is the Best Way to Thaw Frozen Egg Tarts?

The safest method to thaw frozen egg tarts is overnight in the refrigerator. There are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Place frozen egg tarts in the fridge overnight, for about 8 to 12 hours. Do not thaw at room temperature.
  • Leave egg tarts wrapped while thawing. This helps prevent drying out.
  • Set thawing egg tarts on a plate or baking sheet to catch condensation and weeping custard.
  • The custard may be a bit watery after thawing. Let it sit for a few minutes to re-set before serving.
  • Do not refreeze egg tarts after thawing.

Microwave thawing is not recommended, as this can create hot spots that allow bacteria growth. For food safety, thaw frozen egg tarts slowly in the refrigerator.

Can I Reheat Leftover Egg Tarts?

Previously refrigerated egg tarts can be carefully reheated using the oven or microwave, up to 3-4 days after initial baking.

Here are some tips for properly reheating egg tarts:

  • Oven – Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Place egg tarts on a baking sheet and warm for 5-10 minutes.
  • Microwave – Microwave 1 egg tart at a time for 15-30 seconds at 50% power. Check often to prevent overheating.
  • Avoid boiling temperatures – This can curdle the custard.
  • Eat immediately once reheated for food safety.
  • Do not reheat more than once.

Discard egg tarts if they smell odd or show signs of spoilage after reheating. Only reheat egg tarts that have been stored properly under 41°F (5°C).

Summary of Egg Tart Storage Tips

Here is a quick summary of egg tart storage recommendations:

  • Do not leave egg tarts at room temperature more than 2 hours. Refrigerate within this time frame.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days maximum.
  • Freeze egg tarts for longer storage of 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Avoid leaving egg tarts out overnight. Discard if left for over 8 hours.
  • Reheat refrigerated egg tarts carefully within 3-4 days.

Following proper storage methods allows you to safely enjoy leftover egg tarts while maintaining quality and taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I store egg tarts on the counter or table?

No, do not store egg tarts on the counter or table. Room temperature promotes rapid bacteria growth in the egg and dairy filling. Refrigerate instead.

How do I know if an egg tart has gone bad?

Signs of spoiled egg tarts include a soggy crust, watery custard, curdled filling, off smell, mold, or foul taste. When in doubt, throw it out.

Can egg tarts be frozen after they have been refrigerated?

Yes, egg tarts can go straight from the fridge into the freezer within their safe 3-4 day storage window. Allow to thaw overnight before serving frozen egg tarts.

Should I thaw egg tarts before reheating?

Yes, always thaw frozen egg tarts in the refrigerator first before reheating. Do not attempt to reheat egg tarts directly from frozen using the oven or microwave.

Can I store egg tarts at room temperature if I’m going to eat them within a few hours?

No. Egg tarts should be refrigerated within 2 hours of baking regardless. Do not take risks by leaving them out at room temperature if planning to eat soon.

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