Thursday, August 23, 2012


The Egg-Yolk Trick

What is this magic! Ah! For all your meringue/aioli/mayonnaise/creme brulee/marshmallow/angel food cake needs?! [via]

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Hot Doom

I feel the need to go buy chickens and do this to all of their eggs.


@LolaLaBalc Ha! I am doing this next time I use an egg, regardless of whether it needs to be separated.

Hot Doom

@OhMarie Me too. And it's REVERSIBLE, with no consequences. No more sex or booze for me, only this. But it will only work if you have Pachebel's Canon playing in the background.




That looks potentially error-prone to me.


Isn't it simpler just to do it in the shell, by switching it between the halves so the white falls away? I've never had any problems doing that, but I guess if you screw it up this can be your fallback to grab the yolk out.


@Sundae I like the shell method too. It's kind of inescapably meditative. But I guess you save an extra 5 seconds this way?


@Sundae I just dump it through my fingers. but this looks like a more infomercial-ly way.


@harebell But you also dirty an extra bowl, which is way more incentive for me to just go shell-style.


@Sundae To be fair, you don't have to put the yolk in the other bowl if you're not going to use it.

Marquise de Morville

@NeenerNeener If you do more than one egg, you'd have still put the yolk somewhere. Or throw out the bottle. I really want to try this though.

I can't get myself to throw out part of eggs, so I tend to avoid recipes where the number of yolks and egg whites does not add up to whole eggs. Any recommendations what to do with leftovers?


@Marquise de Morville
If I have leftover yolks, I put them in a plastic container and just add one yolk to one whole egg to make scrambled eggs the next day.

Carrie Ann

@Sundae The shell method seems simpler, but I also generally screw up at least one egg that way (or by passing the yolk hand to hand). If this is fool-proof, I would gladly do it this way just to know I'm not going to mess up my whites.

fondue with cheddar

@Sundae I use the shell method too, but sometimes I end up accidentally breaking the yolks. I love this method, and I can't wait for the chance to use it! It appeals to my OCD sensibilities.

Also, how dorky is it that I was all excited that she breaks her eggs exactly the same way I do? Three taps, dig thumbnails into the crack, pull shell open. I guess it's because my ex told me I was doing it wrong, and my current boyfriend does it a different way so I really thought my way was wrong! One person on youtube is enough to convince me that my way is right, or at least no less right than anyone else's.

H.E. Ladypants

@Marquise de Morville I usually make custard (vanilla or chocolate) out of extra yolks. Or mayonnaise. Extra whites can go in omlettes or french toast.


This is about making a sunny side up egg where the yolk is PERFECTLY in the middle! MUAHHAHAHA


@Sundae You can freeze egg whites: add 5mL sugar to the whites, stir to combine, and freeze in an air-tight bag or container. They will work perfectly once defrosted.


@jen325 Don't do the shell method. Or this one, as fun as it looks. Fingers. That's what we have fingers for. Crack the egg in your hand, the white drains through your fingers, the yolk stays. Faster, easier, less likely to crack the yolk. Not as cool as this, obviously, but the best way.

fondue with cheddar

@thebestjasmine Yeah, but the finger method requires so much more cleanup. I still think the bottle method shall be my new method because it's neat and it looks like magic.


@jen325 See, I love the finger method because there is so much LESS cleanup. I would much rather just have to wash my hands than have to wash another bowl.

fondue with cheddar

@thebestjasmine There's no reason you have to drop the yolk into a bowl and then transfer it from that bowl into your mixing bowl. You could just drop it right into the mixing bowl.


@jen325 Oh, I was comparing it to this bottle test, but I guess the same thing is true there. But hand is just the superior way: no chance of broken shell, which happens more with the shell way, and takes about 2 seconds, where the shell thing takes far longer, and is much more likely to end up with a broken yolk. I'm okay with having to wash my hands, but then I do that a lot while baking anyway!

fondue with cheddar

@thebestjasmine I do too! I wash my hands so much that it makes baking take way longer than it should. I'm kind of a mess (metaphorically speaking).



Making hollandaise just got easier, which is only ever a good thing.

Lily Rowan

That is INCREDIBLE. Am totally trying it ASAP. If I have the right kind of plastic bottle around.

Edith Zimmerman



@Edith Zimmerman
EDITH. IT WORKS. I tried it over the weekend and have concluded that there is no greater joy than watching an egg yolk slorp up the neck of a water bottle.

Lily Rowan

@Dancercise OH YAY! I didn't do it because I didn't have a plastic bottle. And forgot to get one all weekend.


I was going to say this looks like more work than just using the shell, but it's much too cool not to try. Now, who needs keylime pie?


oh you people saying "just use the shell method" as though i can manage to break an egg cleanly without lots of little shell sections getting all over the place.

this magic bottle method is for those of us clumsy in the kitchen. (not that i actually use the kitchen much. i'm not supposed to use sharp or hot objects, because i keep injuring myself. the chunk i cut out of my thumb and then burned the heck out of the next week has never quite returned to normal...)


@keristars But wouldn't you get shell in the bowl then? I'm not sure that this solves shell fragment issues! :(


@keristars Yes, but you can pick out bits of shell- the problem is that the back-and-forth method doesn't work if you are incapable of cracking the egg nicely in half. Also, this is magical.


@keristars The bottle method is also cleaner. As I understand it, a shell is the only place an egg can be dirty, so this minimizes bacterial contact.
The culture difference may be due to Eastern dishes including more raw eggs than Western dishes, so Eastern people are more careful about bacteria?


@keristars I know! The shell to shell method has failed me many times (or I have failed it).


@mlle.gateau Or if you puncture the yolk with the jagged shell. :(


@Sundae Yeah, but you can pick the shell bits out! Meanwhile, your yolk isn't getting in the way and possibly getting punctured while you try to separate it.

I'm actually not too bad at cracking the egg without getting shell into the bowl, but that doesn't mean I did it well enough to use the shell-halves method for separating the yolk! I usually end up with three pieces, or only one too-small section broken apart.

Ah...now I'm remembering the days when my little sister learned how to make hollow Easter eggs at Girl Scouts and tried to teach me. I was...less than successful.


@Bloodrocuted I totally don't understand the bacteria angle - you're only switching it between the insides of the eggshell, which it was already chilling out in until you cracked it haha, but I accept all the other arguments for the bottle method. It is super cool, but I was mainly just curious because I'd never really found it an issue!


@Sundae The egg white could drip down the outside of the shell, I suppose? I have always done the bottle method (or scooped the egg yolk up with two spoons), but I think I would drip egg white on everything if I tried the shell method. However, I am very clumsy and that might not be the standard!

fondue with cheddar

@Bloodrocuted Don't they make slotted spoons for egg separation? I don't know, I've always used the shell method with varying success. Clearly, the bottle method is the one for me.

Message from your cervix

@keristars I took a cooking class once, and they always told us to not hit the egg against anything sharp to crack it, do it against a flat surface. The reason that they gave is that the inside of the shell, including the egg inside, is totally clean and bacteria free, but think about where the outside of the shell has been. It was pushed through a chicken at some point, and also in some pretty gross chicken-keeping conditions.

Point being, as soon as the egg comes in contact with the outside of the shell at all, that's when the contamination occurs, and why we thing eating raw eggs is bad. You could actually eat a ton of raw eggs and not get sick, it would be licking the one eggshell out of 10,000 that has salmonella that does you in.

Charismatic Megafauna

I'm with you - all this loyalty to the shell-swapping method? What's with that? I make a lot of custards, pastry cremes, and mayonnaise, and I think the shell-swapping method is the easiest way to break the yolk and make a mess. No matter how good a person is at cracking an egg, the edges are still ragged and sharp. I have been using the "fingers" method for years, but I am definitely going to try the plastic bottle. It would actually save me a bowl, since I never break an egg over my egg whites - one mistake, and you've wrecked the whole batch - so I'm using three bowls now.



Wookiee Hole

@HeyThatsMyBike She's a witch! Burn 'em!


@Wookiee Hole "She turned me into a newt." "A newt?" "I got better."

fondue with cheddar

@HeyThatsMyBike "This isn't my real nose."


I would like to use this space as a platform for my egg cracking PSA, which is: break your eggs on a flat surface (like your counter), not on the rim of a bowl! This is how the pros do it, because you are less likely to drive bits of shell into the interior of the egg, minimizing potential bacterial contamination as well as the odds of getting bits of shell in the final product or breaking the yolk.

That is all.


@SarahDances This is how I do it too! I'm pretty sure I learned it from America's Test Kitchen or something.


@SarahDances Yes! Stop cracking your eggs on rims, people!

Marquise de Morville

@SarahDances I read about this, tried it, and made a mess. How do you separate the egg in halves after you crack it on a surface?


@Marquise de Morville Don't hit it so hard. You're not looking to actually smash it open on the counter. Just make enough of a break in the shell that you can then kind of hinge the egg open, if that makes sense? As for separating them, I just prefer to use my fingers.

Marquise de Morville

@SarahDances I tried that, but then I end up making a mess trying to pry the halves apart, the inner skin did not break last time. Hitting an edge seems to introduce the crack in a more productive manner for me. I can give it another try though. I am pretty good at separating the egg using the shells. I find it easier if they are not fridge cold, since the egg white is less viscous.

Carrie Ann

@Marquise de Morville I gently hit the shell on the surface once, take a look to see if it was enough (almost never), and then do it again in the same spot. You're right that you don't want to have to pry the halves apart, but you shouldn't have to once you get the hang of it.

Sara E Anderson@facebook

@SarahDances I heard this on TV and started doing it, only to for the first time ever start getting eggshell bits in my eggs. I wonder what I am doing wrong. I switched back to the edge of a bowl or other sharp corner, and things got better.

fondue with cheddar

I'm officially Bad At Eggs. I just pick out the shells if I get any (which isn't often). I understand that there may be contamination from the shell, but I figure if I'm cooking the eggs it doesn't matter. And besides, I drank homemade eggnog made from raw eggs for years and never got salmonella. Not that I'm condoning that (I don't do it anymore).

sudden but inevitable betrayal

Is this the appropriate place to admit one of my life goals is to learn to crack an egg with one hand and not just crush the whole thing in my palm like a monster?

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@sudden but inevitable betrayal SERIOUSLY HOW DO PEOPLE DO THAT


@sudden but inevitable betrayal Practice? I don't know, I was scrambling eggs for a bunch of family when we were camping a few weeks ago, so I was cracking two at a time (one in each hand, smack, hinge open, drop two eggs) into a bowl and one of my cousins was looking at me like I was some sort of witch. But I used to be a short order breakfast cook! So yeah, work your way through high school as a short order breakfast cook and you'll be good with this for life.


@sudden but inevitable betrayal One time I was making pancakes for he-man and his roommates when we were still in school and he was living in sort of a hell of an apartment and starving. I was cracking eggs and he-man picked up an egg and CRACKED IT ON HIS FRIEND'S FOREHEAD and then handed it to me. He didn't even get any on the guy's face. HOW. THE. HELL.


@sudden but inevitable betrayal take a part time job at a place that does all-day breakfast and you will pick it up within weeks, I swear. Also, they usually have a thing behind the grill where you can throw the shells and they just get funnelled into the trash. You get this motion of 'crack-open-throw' that makes you feel like a kitchen badass.



Also, one of my most triumphant kitchen moments was when I opened an egg with one hand. This, and successfully flipping eggs/anything in a pan with the little flip-it-in-the-air-trick will guaranteed make me dance around my kitchen.


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I shouldn't recommend surprise-trying this on your friends, but, Surprise-Try This On Your Friends! That is certainly one way to learn, and probably my favorite way to tell you to try.


And my takeaway is how hilariously unnecessary all of the never-ending running commentary and on-screen text was.


Can anyone explain the physics of why this works? I'd be very interested to know!

Message from your cervix

@wee_ramekin Well as far as I can tell, the person was squeezing on the bottle prior to the yolk getting sucked in. So when they unsqueeze the bottle, the yolk is over the entire opening so the pressure is lesser on the inside of the bottle than the outside, so the yolk gets sucked in instead of air to compensate for the pressure difference.

There is also a cool trick where you take an empty milk bottle, drop a burning match and a little paper into it, and put a shelled hard boiled egg over the opening. It'll actually suck the egg right into the bottle whole. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCV-daOu3Q4


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