5 Tips for Egg-Separating Success

published May 7, 2015
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Eggs are small marvels, and it’s amazing that just by separating the eggs from the yolks, you can make lofty meringues or luxurious lemon curd. Getting them separated cleanly is important if you want the recipe to turn out properly, but this is not a difficult task. Here are a few tips to ensure separating success!

1. Cold eggs separate more easily than room temperature eggs.

I’ve always found that cold eggs separate more easily because the whites and yolks are still firm from the cold. If they’ve been sitting at room temperature for awhile, they tend to be more liquid-y and harder to separate. When you have a recipe that calls for separated eggs, separate the eggs first and then continue with measuring out the other ingredients and proceeding with the recipe.

2. Crack eggs against the counter, not on the edge of a bowl.

When cracking eggs, you get the cleanest break and the least chance of a shard of shell getting into the egg and breaking the yolk if you crack against a flat, solid surface like the counter. Skip cracking against the edge of the counter or the edge of a bowl, especially since the bowl might not be particularly stable.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

3. Separate eggs with your hands.

You don’t need a fancy gadget just to separate eggs; your hands are the only tools you’ll ever need. There are two ways to do it: the first is to drop the cracked egg into a bowl and then scoop the yolk out with a hand. The second way is to crack the egg into one hand and then gently pull the whites through your fingers with the other.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

4. Use three bowls when separating a lot of eggs.

When you’re cracking a lot of eggs, like eight for a meringue, the last thing you want is to cleanly separate seven of the eggs only to have egg number eight’s yolk break into the egg white bowl. To avoid wasting your time and all those eggs, grab three bowls: one for the whites, one for the yolks, and the third one that you actually crack each egg over when separating. That way, the extra bowl can help keep any mistakes from ending up where they shouldn’t.

(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

5. For a fun party trick, use a water bottle to separate eggs!

Want to have a little bit of fun when separating eggs? Grab an empty water bottle and, with a little finesse, you can suck up the egg yolk away from the white! It’s probably not the quickest or easiest way, but it’s definitely the most impressive.