Sometimes you might come across a recipe that requires eggs plus additional yolks or whites. It also isn’t uncommon to find a recipe that requires only yolks or whites, so separating eggs is a good, basic kitchen technique to master.
Egg yolks are often used in rich recipes like custards, ice creams, puddings, and curds, whereas whites are usually used recipes that you want to be made fluffy by the addition of whipped egg whites, or recipes that are deliberately made lighter by omitting the higher fat yolks.
A little egg white left behind, clinging to the outside of the yolk won’t impact your recipe. But, when using only the whites, it is essential that you don’t mistakenly leave any of the yolk behind.
Yolk mixed in with the white alter your recipe negatively due to the fat content of the yolk – the egg whites won’t whisk up properly if your recipe is calling for soft or stiff peaks, for example.
How to Separate Eggs
There are a few different ways to separate eggs, but I think that the easiest and least messy method for separating eggs is the one that involves transferring the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell.
First, place two clean bowls in front of your workspace.
Next, crack the egg, just like you normally would. Whether you crack it on the counter or on the edge of the bowl is up to you. Do whatever feels most comfortable.
When you crack the egg, let the whites fall into one of the bowls you’ve laid out. You want to slowly, and carefully open the cracked egg so that the yolk stays inside and the whites come out.
Pass the egg yolk back and forth from one half of the shell to the other, while allowing any remaining yolk seep out and into your bowl.
After you’ve gotten all of the white out of the shell, you can place the yolk into the other empty bowl.
Repeat this process until you’ve separated the number of eggs that your recipe calls for.
Now that you know how to separate eggs, you might need some recipe inspiration to practice your new skill.
Or, in the even that this isn’t a new skill for you and you already have some separated egg whites and yolks laying around in the fridge, perhaps leftover from some other culinary deliciousness, here are some recipes ideas for you:
Recipes Using Egg Whites
I never would have thought to add extra egg whites to enchiladas, but this Healthy Chicken Enchilada "brinner" recipe looks amazing!
These Pumpkin Protein Bars look amazing and like a perfect, healthy snack to have on hand for munching when the late afternoon energy slumps strike.
Homemade marshmallows, like these Raspberry Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, are a fun way to use egg whites. They’re not as hard to make as you might imagine, and they make a great addition to some homemade hot cocoa.
Recipes Using Egg Yolks
Citrus Curd is a delicious accompaniment slathered on top of scones or layered in a trifle. You can make all different types: lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit. You can even make it in the microwave.
I love homemade pudding and this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Pudding looks amazing. It’s the perfect way to use up a couple of egg yolks.
As if Crème Brûlée wasn’t decadent and amazing enough on its own…you could try this Red Velvet version.