This Is How to Properly Crack an Egg

updated Dec 15, 2022
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If you cook or bake with any regularity, there’s a good chance you’ve cracked a few eggs. I know I have. It’s such a simple, straightforward task that I don’t really think about it while I do it. Depending on what I’m making, I’ll crack the egg on the lip of a bowl, ramekin, or occasionally a frying pan. It’s the way I grew up cracking eggs, and the method I’ve been using for years.

And while this method isn’t necessarily wrong, I recently learned that there’s a much better (and safer) way to properly crack eggs.

Spoiler alert: It does not involve any fancy one-handed techniques, but it does involve a flat surface.

The Best Method to Crack an Egg

The goal of cracking eggs is that with a single, firm tap the egg will crack, easily split open, and the yolk and white will slide out, all while avoiding the shell shattering into a million pieces, getting bits of shell in the egg, breaking the yolk, or introducing any bacteria from the outside of the shell to the yolk or white.

While cracking an egg on the lip of a bowl may work okay most of the time, a better method is to give the egg a confident tap on a flat surface, like the counter. The flat-surface method is far less likely to result in broken yolks, or eggshell ending up in the bowl or pan.

Next, holding the egg over the bowl or pan, press your thumbs lightly into the crack, until you break the membrane. Then pull gently apart to let the egg slide out. After you try it once or twice, believe it or not, this method actually feels easier than the rim method.

Here’s a handy video from the Kitchn Cooking School to show you.

The Problem with Cracking Eggs on the Lip of a Bowl

The issue with cracking eggs on the lip of the bowl is two-fold. For starters, this method pushes the shell back into the egg. The shell is also more likely to break into multiple pieces, which ups the chances of getting eggshell in the bowl. (Raise your hand if that’s happened to you.)

There’s also the issue of food safety. Yes, pushing the shell back into the egg increases the risk of breaking the yolk, but the bigger concern is that any bacteria on the exterior of the shell can contaminate the white and/or yolk. This is especially an issue if you’re making undercooked eggs — a soft scramble, or eggs with runny yolks.

So the next time you go to to crack an egg, before you aim for the rim of a bowl or the lip of your pan, try giving it a confident tap on the counter instead. You may find you become a convert.

What’s your go-to method for cracking eggs? Tell us in the comments below!