When it comes to the simple hard-boiled egg, it seems nothing is simple. Some people will swear by steaming them in an egg cooker or Instant Pot. Others have taken to using a sous vide. And those things are great — if you have them. But all you really need to make a great egg is a pot and some water.

This method is great for making anything from one large egg to a couple dozen at once.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

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Place the eggs in the bottom of a pot; add enough cold water to cover by at least one inch. Add a splash of white vinegar to make the shells easier to peel, if you like. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil.

Keep an eye on it. Once the water starts to boil rapidly, take it off the heat, cover it with a lid and let the whole thing stand for 18 minutes.

Now, dump out the water and fill the pot with cold water. When it gets warm, dump it out and fill it again. Keep doing this until the water stays cold, and your eggs are done.

Hint: Very fresh eggs are harder to peel. The reason? As eggs age, a pocket of air starts to form between the shell and the white, which makes it easier for you to get between the two and start getting the shell off.

You’ll know that your eggs are starting to get a little long in the tooth if you peel them and there’s a big dent where the white should be. But as long as they were stored properly and you cook them before the “best buy” date on the carton, they should be fine to eat.