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Cooking Tips

How the Heck Do You Measure Half an Egg?

It's a required skill for scaling down recipes.

We’ve all been there. You’ve scaled down a recipe and it suddenly occurs to you: How the heck do you add half an egg?

A little bit like nailing jelly to a tree, chopping through your yolk and whites won’t quite work. Unfortunately, this frustrating conundrum often occurs while you’re trying to cook a recipe for just yourself. Luckily, our cookbook, Cooking for One, has the answer.

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Unlike splitting the atom, splitting an egg is surprisingly simple. All you need to do is crack the egg into a bowl and whisk until the yolk becomes fully combined with the whites. Then, simply measure out half of the resulting liquid.

A standard large eggshell contains about four tablespoons of egg, so doling out two tablespoons (or a little shy of one ounce) of the whisked product will be your half measurement. 

You can refrigerate the unused portion of the egg in an airtight container for up to two days and use later for scrambled eggs or for another baked treat requiring a half-serving of egg.

The same concept applies should you ever need to use half a yolk or egg white: Separate the egg, whisk each component into a more easily scoopable consistency, and measure out a half portion. Each half portion of yolk or white should be roughly a tablespoon.

And remember, as with whole eggs, a “half egg” is not standardized across cartons. If you end up with slightly more or less than two tablespoons of whisked egg mixture, you shouldn’t worry too much. Some variation of egg size is normal.

So the next time you have a hankering for some cookies but don’t want to make more than you need, feel free to cut the recipe in half: egg and all.

Photo credit: Getty/Takashi Sakata