Separating eggs made simple–3 easy ways to keep your egg whites and yolks in perfect harmony for your next recipe.
Tips before you start
Here are a few simple tips to remember before separating egg whites and egg yolks:
- Use fresh eggs - Fresh eggs are easier to separate than older eggs, as the whites are firmer and the yolks are less likely to break. Try to use eggs that are no more than a week old.
- Work with clean kitchen tools - Make sure your hands, bowls, and utensils are clean and free of any grease or residue, as even a small amount of fat can prevent the egg whites from properly whipping.
- Be gentle - When separating the egg whites and yolks, be gentle and avoid breaking the yolks or getting any shells into the bowl. Use a light touch and take your time, especially if you're new to separating eggs.
- Use 3 separate bowls - It's best to use separate bowls for the egg whites and yolks so that if you accidentally break a yolk, you won't ruin all the egg whites you've already separated.
- Use cold eggs - Chill them in the fridge for 4 hours, best overnight. Cold eggs are the easiest to separate as the yolk is firmer and won't break easily.
Here are 3 Simple Ways to Separate Eggs
And here's how to separate egg whites and egg yolks:
1. Prepare 3 bowls before you start
Before you start, prepare 3 clean bowls–the first bowl is for cracking the eggs, the second bowl is for the egg yolks, and the third bowl is for the egg white.
The bowl for the egg white should be free of grease or residue especially if you're going to use it for making meringue, chiffon cake (try my Tres Leches recipe), or angel food cake and egg white frosting.
2. Separate egg whites and egg yolks using any of these methods
The Shell Method
Crack the egg into a flat surface like your kitchen counter. Gently separate the two eggshells with your hands. Using the two halves of the eggshell, carefully pass the yolk back and forth between the shells, allowing the whites to fall into the bowl below. Be gentle to avoid breaking the yolk.
The Hand Method
Crack the egg into a small bowl, then using clean hands, gently scoop the yolk out of the whites and transfer it to a separate bowl. Be careful not to break the yolk as you do this.
Using Kitchen Tools
There are several kitchen tools or gadgets you can use to separate egg whites and egg yolks. They are:
- Egg separator - can be made with plastic, ceramic or stainless steel.
- A Funnel
- Slotted Spoon
- Pasta Spoon
To separate the egg whites and yolks using a gadget
Crack the egg into the pasta spoon or slotted spoon then slowly lift it. The yolk stays in the spoon while the white drips into the bowl.
If using a funnel, use a cup instead of a bowl. The white will pass through the narrow end of the funnel while the yolk will remain in the wide part.
3. After separating each of the eggs
Carefully transfer the yolk and egg whites into their separate bowls after separating the eggs.
No matter which method you choose, it's always a good idea to crack each egg into a small bowl first, to avoid getting any pieces of shell or a bad egg into your recipe. And remember, practice makes perfect - separating eggs can be tricky at first, but with a little practice, you'll get the hang of it in no time!