Easter Sunday is just a few days away, and families are getting ready to celebrate some of the more traditional elements of the holiday. Thankfully one way to celebrate that can still be safe and utilize social distancing is coloring and decorating Easter eggs.

Egg decorating can be a highlight when it comes to celebrations and prep, and is especially fun for children, as they have a chance to express their creativity with colors, stickers and other elements from kits. Of course, parents may feel a little differently about the process—because before their kids can have fun, they need to properly hard boil the eggs without getting a single crack in the shells.

Boiling eggs without cracking them can be a surprisingly tricky task, but those who are patient and willing to make it work are in luck. Check out these tips to making the perfect eggs ready for every dye session.

According to Martha Stewart, the best recipe for hard-boiled eggs is a classic one. By putting room temperature eggs into cool water and bringing them to a boil, then letting them sit for 12 minutes after removing them from heat works wonders. To keep the process working and the shells intact, she recommends placing them under cool running water to stop the cooking process.

Of course, Stewart’s method is universal, and other methods are often suggested as well. According to Simply Recipes, a method similar to Stewart’s is best, but they also suggest adding ½ teaspoon of salt to the water to not only help prevent cracking but also make the eggs easier to peel.

Once the eggs are successfully cooked and not cracked, comes the additional challenge of making sure eggs are properly colored. However, McCormick, which makes their own colorful food dyes, suggests mixing ½ cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 10-20 drops of food color into cups to achieve the desired shade. The eggs should then be dipped in the dye for about five minutes before being removed and allowed to dry.

Easter Eggs
A basket of Easter Eggs is pictured.  Silviarita/Pixabay