3 Ways to Separate an Egg

3 Ways to Separate an Egg

Separating eggs is common but cumbersome. Here are 3 easier ways to do it.

By: Camille Simmons

For such a basic ingredient — one used in hundreds of recipes — the mystery of how to best separate eggs is definitely tricky to crack! Here are three easy ways get a perfect separation every time.

Prep: Keep Them Cool
An egg that’s warm or room temperature will be much harder to separate because when the yolk is warm, the protein structure breaks down easily. At a colder temperature, the yolk is firmer and more resistant to bursting. If you’re planning to separate egg whites from yolks, keep your eggs in the refrigerator until you’re ready to begin.

Tip: If the recipe calls for eggs at room temperature, let them come to room temperature after separation.

1. The Classic Shell Method
Using the egg’s shell is the default way to separate egg whites. The eggshell needs to be cracked as evenly as possible to avoid breaking the yolk.



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  1. Crack your egg on the edge of a counter or a bowl for a clean break
  2. Tip the egg back and forth between the two shell halves, letting the egg whites fall through the cracks
  3. Cold egg whites will feel thick and drop heavily from the shell, making separation more manageable

Tip: If you’re afraid of breaking the yolk with a jagged eggshell, you can use your hands in the same fashion.

2. Funnel or Strainer
If you want a little help from a tool, try repurposing common gadgets you already own like a strainer or funnel. When they’re closer to room temperature, egg whites will easily pass through the net of a strainer or the tip of a funnel, leaving the yolks behind. These techniques work especially well if you’re dealing with lots of eggs, and you won’t have to spend an extra dime.

3. Specific Egg Separation Gadgets
If you’re a fan of cool gadgets, then pick up an egg separation tool. There are a lot of gadgets designed for this task available at home and cooking supply stores. It’s best to check reviews online or via word of mouth before investing in a new kitchen tool.

Storage Solution: What to Do With Extra Egg Yolks or Whites
Whenever you have a recipe that calls for just the egg yolks or whites, there’s always the mystery of what to do with the unneeded part.

  • Egg whites are best whipped after aging. So if you just need the yolks, save the egg whites in a bowl and place them in the fridge, uncovered. Use them to make Angel Food Cake, Macarons or sweet homemade marshmallows.
  • For extra egg yolks, simply put them in the freezer. Save them and use when called for in custard, curd, ice cream or cake recipes. You’ll never waste another egg white or yolk again!

Camille is a Bay Area-based planning and decorating expert. She is the creator of Planning Pretty, a lifestyle site dedicated to sharing easy, affordable and pretty ideas for everyday living.

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