With Easter Sunday just under one week away, families are getting ready to revisit the fun holiday tradition of coloring and decorating Easter eggs as they prepare for their celebrations.

Egg decorating can be a highlight of the holiday preparations, especially for kids, as they get to play with colors, stickers and other elements from kits that let them be creative. However, for parents, this task can prove to be a little more difficult than expected, solely because of the process that comes prior to the decorating—properly hard boiling the eggs without getting a single crack in the shells.

Boiling eggs without cracking them can be surprisingly more tricky than one might think, but those willing to make the process work are in luck. Check out these tips for making perfect boiled eggs that will be completely ready for any dye party.

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 from heat works wonders. To keep the process working and those shells intact, place them under cool running water to stop the cooking.

However, Stewart’s method isn’t a universal one, with others believing that there are different ways which work better. Chefs Nick Korbee and Jason Hua told Food 52 that the best methods actually involve gently lowering eggs into water that’s already at a boil over bringing the eggs and cold water to a boil together.

“I have noticed the egg white sticks to the shell when I start from cold [water],” Hua said.

Meanwhile, Fine Cooking suggests following a method like Stewart’s but cautions that it’s best to let the water reach a brisk simmer—and to let the water only stay at a simmer.

Of course, while successfully getting the eggs cooked without cracking the shell is a challenge, the headache doesn’t always end there for parents. While dyeing eggs is fun for kids, parents are often worried about the stains that can come from it, as well as whether or not the color will properly stick to the eggs.

McCormick, known for their colored dyes that are often used for the process, suggests that the perfect way to dye eggs involves boiling ½ cup of water and mixing with 1 teaspoon vinegar and 10-20 drops of food color in a cup to get the desired colors. Keep the eggs dipped in the color for 5 minutes before removing, and voila! You should have beautiful, colorful eggs that are free of cracks.

Easter Egg Tips
Follow these tips for perfect Easter Eggs. Couleur/Pixabay