Whether you want to dye them for Easter or devour them in egg salad, hard boiled eggs are a culinary and cultural staple. But getting a hard-boiled egg just right can be tricky and sometimes frustrating. Here are some tips and tricks for how to make a batch of perfect hard-boiled eggs:

Cooking the eggs
Place the eggs into a pot or sauce pan after you remove them from the refrigerator. Add cold water until it is an inch or two above the eggs. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the saucepan right away and turn off the burner. The length of time it takes for the eggs to cook depends on the size and quantity of the eggs and the amount of water in the pot. According to SimplyRecipes.com, eggs are usually done after 10 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon or drain the pot. Place the eggs in ice water and let them cool.

The process differs slightly if you want to put your eggs directly into boiling water. In this case, use eggs that have reached room temperature. According to Home-Ec101.com, you leave the eggs on the counter for an hour before you start, or place them in a bowl of warm water for five minutes. The pressure from putting a cold egg directly into hot water will cause the shell to crack.

Once the water has come to a boil, carefully add the eggs. Use a spoon to help guide them into the water so you don’t burn yourself and so they don’t crack. Reduce the heat, but keep the burner hot enough so that the water simmers. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes with or without covering the sauce pan. Add cold water to the pan, or transfer the eggs into cold water so they do not continue cooking. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes and then drain.

Peeling the eggs

Everyone seems to have his or her own perfect egg peeling theory. One option is the crack the eggs while they are still under water. Another involves tapping both ends of the egg against the counter and then rolling it. You can also tap the large side of the egg, where there is an air pocket, and use that as a peeling starting point. Peel the egg under running, cold water or place it under the faucet after it has been peeled to get rid of any lingering shell pieces.

Eggs will be easier to peel if it has been three to five days since you purchased them.

Storing the eggs
Place non-peeled eggs in the refrigerator, and eat them within the next five days. If you have already peeled all of your eggs, you can store them in water in the refrigerator and change the water daily. Another option would be to put the eggs in a covered container and cover them with a damp paper towel. Eggs should remain refrigerated and not left out at room temperature whether they are still in their shells or have already been peeled.