Sometimes in conversations about food, people will tell me they don’t cook. When I hear that, my first thoughts are, “Oh you poor thing,” and “…What do you eat?” Then I want to help them any way I can, so when I write about food, I think of this population and try to give some basics.
One basic task that’s brought me lots of frustration is separating egg yolks from whites. I was taught to pour the yolk back and forth in the halves of the shell while the white dropped into the bowl. But that method gave me a lot of broken yolks. Egg separator gadgets can do the job, but I would never remember to use mine, and I don’t need another gadget cluttering up the utensil drawer. When I finally tried just letting the egg slide into my hand and the white drain through my fingers, I had much more consistent success.
What can you do with leftover yolks or whites? Intact yolks can be covered with water and stored for a few days for use in scrambled eggs, lemon curd, pound cake, tiramisu, or hollandaise sauce. Whites can be placed in a small container and frozen for use in scrambled eggs, angel food cake, coconut macaroons, or meringues.
Here’s a tutorial.
First, wash hands well with soap and hot water, since you’ll be directly handling the eggs. ↓
Next, Crack the egg. If you rap the egg in on the flat counter (rather than on the rim of a bowl), you’re less likely to get shells in the egg. Make a dent in the shell. ↓
Gently open the shell at the dented spot with your fingers, and allow the egg and yolk to slide into your hand. ↓
Let the white drain through your fingers into the bowl. This may take a few seconds. ↓
Done! Place the yolk in a separate container. ↓
Troubleshooting. If a bit of shell falls into the container, carefully scoop it out with a larger piece of shell. If you accidentally drop the yolk into the container, gently scoop it out with your fingertips. ↓