When you separate eggs, start with eggs straight from the refrigerator because cool eggs are easier to separate without breaking the yolk than room temperature eggs.
Use our 4-bowl method for the most foolproof way to separate eggs:
Crack the egg in a flat surface, and break it in half. Hold your hand over bowl 1 (your practice bowl).
Pour the egg into your hand; let the white run through your fingers into the bowl. Place the egg yolk in bowl 2 (the yolk bowl).
If it was a clean break, transfer the egg white from bowl 1 to bowl 3 (the egg white bowl). If a small amount of yolk got into the white, use a cotton-tipped swab to absorb it before placing the egg white in bowl 3. Even the presence of a small amount of fat, which is found in egg yolks, prevents you from getting light and airy beaten eggs whites.
If the yolk is broken and can’t be cleaned up, transfer the broken yolk and white to bowl 4 (the mistake bowl). You can cover and refrigerate this bowl and use the yolk and white for another recipe that calls for whole eggs.