Some cooking tips are so potentially mind-blowing, they cross language barriers. Such is the case with a video from China we shared a couple years ago, which showed a woman using an empty plastic water bottle to separate an egg cleanly and quickly. No English translation needed. This trick looked awesome.
But does it actually work? In my continued quest to put the web's most intriguing tips to the test, I had to try out this trick for myself.
The Original Tip
We originally shared the video demonstrating this tip in 2012:
You can now find many English-language videos demonstrating the same trick, so I watched a couple in preparation for testing this tip.
The method is simple: you crack an egg into a bowl, squeeze an empty plastic water bottle slightly, and place the bottle opening over the yolk. When you release your grip, the yolk is sucked inside, separating itself from the white. Squeeze the yolk into another bowl and you're done.
The Testing Method
I bought fresh eggs and used a standard 500-mL plastic water bottle for testing.
I tried the trick twice. The first time, the yolk was sucked up quickly and easily, but a lot of egg white also got sucked into the bottle. As I tried to modulate my grip so that some of the white would go back into the bowl, the yolk squeezed back out and broke, as you can see in the photo above.
The second time, I decided not to worry about the white, but once I had the yolk in the bottle, I had trouble squeezing just firmly enough to keep the yolk in the bottle so I could transfer it. I'd let go of the bottle enough to suck up the yolk, but then my grip would be just a little too loose and the yolk would pop back out again. This happened about five times before I got it just right — tilting the bottle a bit after grabbing the yolk helped — and I successfully moved the yolk into the second bowl. (Luckily, it never broke even after all those trips in and out of the bottle.)
The result was a very cleanly separated egg with little mess. Although my first attempt resulted in a broken yolk, this is definitely a trick that relies on muscle memory, so I have no doubt that with a little practice, I could become an egg-separating master and impress all my friends at parties.
Verdict: This is a mind-blowing tip.
While it is undeniably cool to see the yolk get sucked up into the water bottle — whoosh! — in all honesty, this probably isn't going to become my new go-to method for separating eggs. I'm a fan of just using clean hands to separate eggs; it's fast, it's foolproof and you have the equipment with you at all times. But if you find yourself in possession of an egg, an empty water bottle and a little free time, this trick is definitely worth a try at least once!