It’s one of those tasks that feels weird the first time you do it, but proves to be almost effortless with a little practice. 

By David McCann
July 15, 2020
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At some point in everyone’s life, we all have to at least crack, if not separate, eggs. I’m not suggesting that you start making meringues and souffles every day. (But who knows, this staying home thing is making people cook LOTS of things they never thought they would.) And I think, even when you’re just scrambling eggs on a given morning, you can use this as an opportunity to practice separating them. So that when the moment comes, you’ll be ready to separate your eggs like a pro.Trust me, it’ll be fun.

First rule of thumb, crack your eggs on a flat surface, not the edge of a bowl. Using the edge of the bowl can oftentimes drive jagged shell pieces back into the egg—breaking the yolk, and introducing bacteria from the shell into the egg itself.  Not a great idea. Instead, rap the shell firmly on the counter, place both thumbnails in the crack, and gently separate the shell halves. It’ll take a few tries to get used to, but I think it will become your go to method.

And now the fun part. Have perfectly clean hands. Get three very clean  bowls. (My reasons will become clear.) The whole point of separating eggs is to keep the yolks and whites apart. Why? Because if your aim is billowy, fluffy beaten whites, no fat from either the yolks or a not-exactly-clean bowl can come in contact with the white, or the whites will not aerate as well. So, crack an egg, using the method above. Holding your hand above one of the bowls, hold the yolk and white gently, and allow the white to flow through your fingers. Place the yolk into the second bowl. Once separated take a look and make sure that no yolk slipped into the white, and then pour the white into the 3rd bowl. Go back to the 1st bowl and repeat. This may seem like a lot of bother, but, should one of the yolks break, you’ll only lose that one egg, not all of the eggs you’ve previously separated. 

This method is a lot simpler than it may sound. And once you get used to doing it this way, you’ll never lose a whole bowl of whites again. In fact, it may just be time to start considering souffles and meringues after all.