How To Separate Eggs

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Learn how to separate eggs 6 ways in this baking post! I’ll show you the best way to separate the egg whites from the egg yolks to use in all your baking recipes.

person separating eggs in a small bowl


 

I think when it comes to separating eggs I’ve tried all the methods and have had great successes and also great failures. I want to share with you the best way of how to separate raw eggs today so you can have nothing but success!

When it comes to baking, there are many recipes that call for adding in an extra egg yolk, like this chocolate chip cookie cake or just egg yolks only like my old fashioned sour cream donuts.

Or a recipe calls for only egg whites, like making an angel food cake or a homemade white cake. So it’s important skill as a beginner baker to learn how to separate eggs! So let’s dive in shall we?

See Also:

whole angel food cake on a cake platter

Separate egg whites from egg yolks

When it comes to making a recipe that calls for egg whites only, you need to separate the whites out and leave no egg yolk behind.

When whipping egg whites to soft or stiff peaks, any trace of yolk can prevent the egg whites from whipping up to its full volume. So it’s important to carefully separate the whites from the yolks.

To separate egg whites and yolks I always use two small separate bowls. I do not separate my eggs into my main mixing bowl with my other ingredient.

It’s important that you separate egg whites in a separate bowl, in case you get a broken yolk. If you get a broken yolk, you’ve only ruined one egg white and not the whole batch.

I separate one egg at a time in a small bowl, and then add the white to my mixing bowl and transfer the yolk to a second bowl.

a small bowl with egg whites, and another small bowl with an egg yolk in it

How to separate eggs using your hands

Separating eggs in my hands is my favorite way to separate eggs. I find this method gives me the best results and the fewest broken yolks. And that’s what we want right?

I find that using separating eggs using my hands is gentler than the other methods mentioned in the post and gives me better control.

To separate eggs using your hands you want to:

  1. Crack the raw egg open and remove half the shell. You can crack the egg open on a flat surface or on the edge of a bowl, whichever you feel most comfortable with.
  2. Pour the raw egg into one cupped hand that is placed over a small bowl.
  3. Toss the yolk back and forth between your fingers, letting the white run between your fingers into the small bowl.
hands tossing yolk back and forth over bowl

How to separate eggs using shell halves

The most common way people will separate egg yolks from the whites is to use the egg shell itself to separate the white from the egg yolk.

I have had varying success with this separating eggs method. Although it keeps your hands clean I find that sometimes the shell can break the yolk when tossing it back and forth.

To separate eggs using the shell:

  1. Crack the egg open into two halves over a small bowl.
  2. Use the shell half with the egg yolk in it and toss the yolk into the other shell half, allowing the white to drip into the bowl below.
  3. Keep tossing the yolk back and forth between the two halves.
hands tossing yolk back and forth with egg shell over a small bowl

How to separate eggs with an egg separator

Another popular method of separating eggs is to use an egg separator, a small hand held tool that allows the egg white to drip through the separator leaving the yolk behind.

I do own and have used them in my baking, however I am still not totally sold on them. I find that every few eggs, the yolk and white doesn’t separate the egg cleanly and sometimes the egg yolk breaks ruining the white.

However, it’s a quick and clean way to separate eggs which is handy when you have a lot of eggs to separate eggs.

How to separate eggs use an egg separator:

  1. Place your egg separator over a small bowl.
  2. Crack the egg into the separator.
  3. Lift the separator up and gently shake the separator to allow the white to drip into the bowl below.
egg separator with yolk in it and the white dripping into bowl below it.

Separate eggs by scooping out the yolk

You can also separate egg whites from the egg yolk by scooping out the yolk from the egg white once it’s in the bowl.

I usually only use this hand method when the egg falls into the bowl before I can separate it with my hands It’s a great method to separate the egg still cleanly.

To scoop out the yolk:

  1. Crack the egg into a small empty bowl.
  2. Use your hands, simply scoop the yolk out with your fingers and lift it out from the egg white. Shake the egg yolk gently to allow any egg white to fall back into the bowl.
hand scooping out yolk from a bowl

Separate eggs using a slotted spoon

If you want to keep your hands clean and don’t own an egg separator yet then using the slotted spoon method is a great option for you!

You want to just make sure to pick a slotted spoon that doesn’t have slots big enough for the yolk to fall through, just the white.

  1. Rest the slotted spoon into a small bowl.
  2. Crack the egg into the spoon.
  3. Pick up the spoon and let the white drip through the spoon into the bowl below, leaving the yolk behind in the spoon.

Use a water bottle to separate the egg yolk

I saw this nifty trick on Instagram and couldn’t believe it was true, but you can separate yolks from the white by using an empty water bottle. The water bottle will create suction and suck the yolk up, leaving the white behind. This is a fun, easy way to separate eggs with your kids!

  1. Crack an egg into a small, clean bowl.
  2. Position the water bottle over the yolk.
  3. Squeeze the water bottle and then release the suction, allowing the yolk to be sucked up into the bottle.
  4. Transfer yolk to a separate bowl by squeezing the bottle over it.

Is it better to separate eggs warm or cold?

Chilled eggs will separate easier than room temperature eggs. I always take my eggs out of the fridge and will separate them right away.

Then I will let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to come to room temperature to use in my baking.

person separating an egg

How to remove an egg shell from a raw egg

This is probably one of my favorite tricks to show my Home Ec students! No matter how good you are cracking eggs, sometimes an egg shell will get into the raw egg.

You can remove the egg shell two ways:

  1. Use the egg shell itself. Scoop out the egg shell with one of the shell halves. The piece of shell will be attracted to the egg shell half like a magnet.
  2. Use a wet finger. Dip your finger into water and fish out the egg shell piece. If your finger is dry, you will simply chase the piece around the bowl and you will get frustrated quickly!

Storing leftover egg whites or egg yolks

If you are separating eggs for a recipe that calls for only egg whites or only yolks then don’t throw out the leftovers! You can also store egg whites and yolks in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. I like to save them and use them in my scrambled eggs in the morning – one of my favorite ways to use them up.

You can also freeze egg whites and egg yolks, according to the Kitchn but it’s all in how you treat them and thaw them in order to use them after freezing.

Recipes that use only egg whites

Here are some wonderful baking recipes that use only the white:

coconut macaroons on parchment paper

Recipes that use only egg yolks

Here are some delicious recipes that use only the yolk!

slice of key lime pie on a plate with a fork

Let’s Bake Together!

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More Recipes and Tutorials To Try



 

18 Comments

  1. David Sevin says:

    I like to keep my egg whites separate from any possible oils or proteins. It makes for much better merange, I only use glass bowls and never touch the inside. My merange comes out perfect. Touching the egg whites is a no-no for me.
    Dave

    1. Hi David, I usually like to yes wipe my bowls down first to rid of any oils, but have never had any issues separating with my hands. But if that works for you then keep doing it!

  2. Thank you for all these tips! I have never done the water bottlew method until I read this.

    1. it’s fun to give it a try 🙂 enjoy!

  3. I recently just discovered this method and omg it has been such a game changer for me. It makes life so much easier!

  4. What great ideas for how to separate eggs. I’ve tried all of them and still prefer using the shell. Thanks for the tips.

    1. You must be better at separating using the shell than me Linda haha…I always break at least one yolk this way!

  5. These helpful tips and tricks to separate eggs are just in time for the holiday baking season.

  6. Such a useful post! Separating egg whites from the yolks always scares me haha. I’m usually fine at it but sometimes a little bit of the yolk escapes into the whites, especially when I don’t crack the egg right. Thanks for the tips!

  7. What a great tutorial! My preferred method is always the hands. No sharp edges means I don’t struggle as much with broken yolks.

    1. Thanks!! And same..I’m with you…the sharp egg shell edges always means broken yolks!

  8. My favorite way is my clean hands. My second one, with the egg shells. I also have a yolk separator. Nice post.

    1. thank you glad you liked the post!

  9. Thanks for sharing your tips on how to separate eggs properly! This was super helpful for when I made a homemade custard that I only needed egg yolks.

  10. Hmmm I always use the shell (theoretically so my hands don’t get dirty. However, my hands ALWAYS get dirty. To be honest, I should just use my darn hands lol. I will try this method next time.

    1. haha yes no matter how hard I try – same as well so I just wash before and after separating and save my eggs this way!

  11. Well, I’ve got to admit this is one of the most important skills to master. And one of the first ones to learn really!

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