Sure it sounds easy, but there might be one thing you're forgetting when you're boiling Easter eggs.

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The Secret to Boiling Eggs for Easter
Credit: Jens Mortensen

Boiling Easter eggs couldn’t be easier. In fact, it’s as easy as, well, hard-boiling an egg. It’s not that you don’t know how to boil eggs for Easter, it’s just that somewhere along the way we tried to make Easter egg-making and decorating harder that it has to be.

Some moms (that is, my mom) made my sisters and me think that the only way to prepare eggs for Easter was to (I’m not kidding) poke tiny holes in the top and bottom with a pin, stand over the sink, and blow the contents from one end, out the other. Not the most efficient, per se, but a great way to keep three girls occupied for a decent amount of time (and, actually, a good way to prepare the eggs for saving if you want to keep them in the basement with the other old art projects).

But, it turns out the best way to prepare Easter eggs is to simply learn how to hard boil Easter eggs. Not only is it easier than standing over the sink trying to undo nature, but hard-boiled Easter eggs are easier to work with, easier to hide (say, inside the cookie jar) and less delicate for tiny hands to handle. Here’s how to boil Easter eggs:

What You'll Need

A big pot, water, strainer or spider, a dozen eggs, timer, large bowl, and ice water.

Boiling Easter Eggs

Step 1: Boil water.

Fill a big pot about ⅔ of the way with water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 2: Place in eggs.

Once the water is boiling, gently lower your eggs in, a few at a time—a small strainer or spider is ideal for the job. Lower the eggs all the way to the bottom of the pot so they roll quietly off the strainer (otherwise they could crack when they hit the floor).

Step 3: Lower to a simmer.

Immediately set a timer for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat slightly so the water is simmering vigorously but not boiling like crazy—that can cause the eggs to bump into one another causing fissures and cracks.

Step 4: Transfer to ice bath.

While the eggs are boiling, fill a large bowl with ice water. When the timer goes off, use your spider or strainer to lift the eggs out of the boiling water and immediately transfer to the ice bath. Let cool until easy to handle and dye or decorate as you like.

This classic hard-boiled egg preparation yields a sturdy egg perfect for dying various shades of spring pastels (and egg salad, come Monday).

Now that you know how to do it, I think you're ready to hear the secret to the most beautiful Easter eggs. You should probably sit down for this. Ready? You don't need to use white eggs. Boiling brown eggs for Easter actually produces richer more vibrant colors. Try boiling white and brown eggs this Easter and see what you prefer. And after the Easter egg hunt, try one of these nifty Deviled Egg ideas. Just don't forget to look inside the cookie jar.

This Story Originally Appeared On Real Simple