How to Separate Eggs (4 Easy Methods)
Did you know there are multiple ways to separate egg yolks from their whites? You could simply use nothing but your hands if you wanted. But there are a few tricks to make the process go smoothly, and a few other options that may matter if you’re cracking large volumes of eggs.
Read on to learn how to crack an egg and separate the yolks from the whites cleanly for all your egg recipes!
How to crack an egg cleanly
Before you even separate the egg yolks from the whites, you need to crack the egg. The best way to crack an egg is on an even and flat surface. I know it might seem more natural to use the edge of the bowl, but refrain from doing this because it can give you small shells in your bowl once you crack the eggs.
Take the egg and tap it onto the counter surface until you hear a crack. Sometimes you may need to tap it more than once to get an appropriate break on the shell. Once the shell begins to crack or you feel the egg whites seeping out, move it over the bowls and use the following methods to separate the yolks from the whites.
Separating eggs using the eggshell
Separating egg yolks from the whites might seem a little daunting for those who don’t cook too much, but it’s easier than you think even without an egg separator. This old-school method uses the shells to separate the yolks from the whites. I personally think this is the best way to crack an egg and separate the yolk from the whites because it’s fairly fast once you get the hang of it.
Step 1 – Set up two bowls next to each other.
Step 2 – Take the egg and tap it on the counter (NOT the edge of the bowl). Move it over one bowl and crack the egg in the middle without breaking the yolk, so there’s half an eggshell in each of your hands.
Step 3 – Try to keep the egg yolk in one shell while the egg whites seep into the bowl. Optional: you can transfer the egg yolk to the other egg to remove more of the white. When all the egg whites are removed from the eggshells, pour the egg yolk into a separate bowl.
Tip: if you have any small pieces of shell that fall into the bowl, use another eggshell and fish out the fallen shell from the bowl. Shell particles tend to cling to each other so it will be easier to remove than using your fingers.
Separating eggs using your hands
The simplest way to separate egg yolks and egg whites is as simple as using your hands. We’ve all been there, you just crack the whole egg in a bowl and forget to separate them beforehand. If the egg yolk is still whole, you can still separate them by using your hands!
Step 1 – Place a bowl next to the bowl with the eggs. Using a clean hand, gently scoop the entire yolk onto your fingers and lift about 3 inches above the bowl. Allow the egg whites to seep through your fingers–if you need to spread your fingers slightly, this is okay but try not to have the yolk fall through.
Step 2 – When all the egg white has seeped through and separated from the yolk, transfer the yolk into a separate bowl.
Note: Unfortunately if your egg yolk is cracked in the bowl with the egg whites, there is no real way to separate them completely. If you’re trying to separate a lot of eggs and don’t want to risk contaminating a batch of egg whites, use an additional bowl as a sort of staging area. Once you get all the whites without yolk into it, you can transfer it to the larger bowl of egg whites. If you happen to break a yolk and get it in this staging bowl, you can discard it without ruining your large bowl of egg whites.
Separating eggs using a water bottle / suction
I get it, not everyone wants to get their hands dirty trying to separate egg white and egg yolks–so here’s another mess-free way! All you need is an empty and clean water bottle, preferably one you won’t be using again or don’t mind getting eggs in.
Step 1 – Clean your water bottle thoroughly with soap. Place two bowls next to each other.
Step 2 – Tap the egg on the counter until you can see cracks appear, then carefully empty it into the bowl. Try not to crack the egg yolk.
Step 3 – Turn the bottle upside down with the opening facing the eggs. Squeeze the bottle to push the air out, then hover over the egg yolk until you touch it slightly. Use the bottle to suction the egg yolk into the bottle by slowly releasing pressure between your fingers on the bottle.
Step 4 – When you’ve successfully separated the egg yolk from the whites and the yolk is in the bottle, move the bottle over the other bowl and squeeze the bottle to release the egg yolk.
Separating eggs using a special separating tool
If you want to use a special tool for separating yolks and whites, you can try an egg separator. There are a myriad of different brands and tools that work in a similar way without getting your hands too dirty. Some options are sold by Oxo tools or Williams Sonoma. These varieties are designed to clip onto your bowl too.
Step 1 – Take two bowls and place them side by side. Clip your egg separator tool on the edge of one of the bowls.
Step 2 – Tap the egg on the counter and move it above the tool. Carefully crack the egg over the tool and watch the tool separate the whites and egg yolks. The tool should hold onto the yolk while the whites fall through the holes and into the bowl.
Step 3 – Unclip the tool and transfer the yolk to the other bowl.
What to do with extra egg whites
What to do with extra egg yolks
How to separate eggs (4 easy methods)
- Two bowls
- clean water bottle / suction
- egg separator tool
- 1 egg
Separating eggs using the egg shell
- Place two bowls side by side.
- Take the egg with your dominant hand and tap it onto a flat surface until you hear a crack. There should be a line or crack in the egg shell.
- Hover the egg over one bowl and use both hands to gently separate the egg into two separate shells while simultaneously keeping the egg yolk whole and on one shell.
- Allow the egg white to seep through the shells. Transfer the egg yolk to the other half of the shell so that the rest of the egg whites seep through to the bowl underneath.
- Pour the whole egg yolk into the second bowl. TIP: if you have small pieces of shell fall into the bowl, use one egg shell to guide it towards the edge and lift it with your finger.
Separating eggs with your hands
- Place two bowl next to each other.
- Hold the egg with your dominant hand and tap it onto a flat surface until it begins to crack. Hover it over one bowl and use both hands to break the egg as cleanly as possible and lower the whole egg into the bowl trying not to break the yolk.
- Take one hand and gently scoop the entire yolk with your fingers. Hover your hand above the bowl about 3 inches and slightly spread your fingers so that any egg whites clinging to the egg yolk seeps through. You can wiggle your hand a bit to remove the excess egg whites too.
- When the egg yolk is free of egg whites, transfer the separated yolk into the new bowl.
- Note: you can only use this method when the egg yolks are still whole and did not break when you cracked it into the bowl. To prevent mixing broken egg yolks into your egg whites, you can transfer the separated egg whites into a new bowl and use the first bowl to only crack the whole eggs.
Separating eggs using a bottle / suction
- Clean your water bottle thoroughly with soap.
- Place two bowl next to each other.
- Use your dominant hand to hold the egg and tap it onto a flat surface until it begins to crack. Hover the egg over one bowl and use both hands to separate the egg into two shells. Gently lower the yolk and whites into the bowl.
- Turn your water bottle upside down and squeeze the air out. Hover the opening of the water bottle above the egg yolk so that it's touching the yolk. Slowly release the pressure on the water bottle. This will cause a suction effect where the egg yolk will move into the bottle and separate from the whites.
- Move the bottle to the new bowl and gently squeeze the bottle again and release the egg yolk.
Separating eggs using a special separating tool
- Take two bowls and place them side by side.
- Clip your egg separated tool on the edge of one bowl.
- Use your dominant hand to tap the egg on a flat surface until it begins to crack. However the egg over the separator tool and use both hands to release the egg into the tool.
- The tool should catch the egg yolk and release the egg whites into the bowl. Once it's finished separating, lift the tool and move the yolk into a new bowl.