Hard boiled eggs have a shelf life of one week if stored in the refrigerator or two hours if left out at room temperature. The protective waxy coating on the eggshell is stripped away in the hard boiling process, leaving it susceptible to bacterial contamination.
Removing or keeping the shell on a hard boiled egg does not influence its shelf life. Hard boiled eggs should be stored either in water, refreshed daily, or an airtight container in the refrigerator. Freezing changes the cellular structure of the eggs and the texture is rubberized when thawed to room temperature. Meals using hard boiled eggs should be consumed within two hours of preparation or chilled using a cooler or frozen gel packs.