A bubbling pot of water on the stovetop filled with a half dozen eggs is common sight in my kitchen. Stocking a supply of hard cooked eggs makes it easy to add a protein boost to everyday meals. I pop them into lunch boxes, slice them into dinner salads, make speedy deviled eggs for afternoon snacks, and hand them off for breakfast as my kids head out the door. If you’ve not been on the hard boiled egg bandwagon, here are a few tips to get you started.

1. To cook them just right, check out this tutorial from the folks at CookingLight.com. They’ve perfected a method that results in a firm white and bright yellow yolk every time.

2. Since hard boiled eggs look no different than raw ones it’s easy to mix them up, with potentially messy results. If you’re wondering how to tell an egg is hard boiled, set it on the counter and give a quick spin. Once it’s moving, tap your finger on it to stop the spinning. Eggs that are cooked will spin easily and rapidly and stop quickly. Raw eggs take a bit of momentum to get going and don’t stop so quickly with the touch of your finger.

3. To avoid the raw versus cooked connundrum, identify eggs that have been hard boiled with a permanent marker before storing them in the fridge.

4. Know that the fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel. Keep eggs in the fridge for seven to 10 days before boiling and the job of peeling will go that much easier. Peeling is easiest once eggs have cooled.

5. Unpeeled, hard boiled eggs will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.