Cooking Tips

How to Crack and Separate Eggs (Without the Pesky Bits of Shell)

Get a clean break every time.

Published July 17, 2021.

Eggs may be a common ingredient, but they’re also challenging to prep and cook properly. Take separating an egg, for example. It all depends on a clean break—the jagged edges of the shell can snag and tear the yolk. And when your recipe relies on fully whipped whites, even a speck of yolk can spell disaster.

In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, America’s Test Kitchen TV test cook Elle Simone shows you how to crack and separate eggs efficiently. Even for those who consider themselves egg experts, this video is filled with tips that make this common kitchen task foolproof. Here are some of our findings:

  • Start with cold eggs: The yolks are less likely to break when they’re cold.
  • Crack the egg against a flat surface: This will give you the cleanest break.
  • Use a three-bowl separating method: Separating the eggs over one bowl, then transferring the whites to another bowl and the yolks to a third bowl means you won’t compromise the bowl of whites if you get a speck of yolk in them.
  • Use the shell to remove accidental yolk: An egg shell’s membrane is coated in a protein that is attracted to the protein in the yolks. So it’s a shell of lot easier than using a spoon, which repels the yolk.

Watch the Video

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