How To Separate Egg Whites From Yolks

Below are instructions for how to separate egg whites from yolks both in the low tech way, using the egg shell to separate the parts, and also with an egg separator.

how to separate egg whites
Photo by Chispita_666
There are recipes where you need to use just an egg white, or just the yolk. I actually just made one of those recipes recently, which is what made me think of this topic in the first place.

I made white cake, and of course to keep it white I needed to use only egg whites. Well, it had been a while since I did it, and I had to refresh myself on how to separate egg whites from the yolks, so I thought you might need the same refresher course.

Basically, the low tech way to do it, which is the way my grandma taught me how, many many years ago, is to break the egg in half and move the yolk from the left side of the broken shell to the right side, and vice versa, letting the egg white fall into a bowl underneath.

With this technique you have to be careful and gentle so you don't puncture the egg yolk, and then get yolk in your whites. That means being careful both while cracking and while moving the yolk back and forth.

So, with that refresher course in mind I did it! It was actually much easier than I was anticipating, and it seems like the egg yolk just wants to slip right out of that egg. I will confess though that I did get a little yolk in the first one, but just scooped that out. :)

The reason I messed up the first one a bit is that I didn't crack the egg well, and so it also broke the yolk just a little during the transfer back and forth. I found the key to separating the yolk and white, at least for me, is to break the egg quickly so that you can open it up into halves, instead of kind of crushing the side of the shell and making it hard to open up.

Since there was a little technique involved after I was done I found this quick little video giving pointers on this method for how to separate egg whites and yolks, which gave me some good pointers for next time.

How To Separate Egg Whites With An Egg Separator

egg white separator
Photo by Joelk75
The first technique I described is the old-fashioned method for separating egg whites and yolks, but of course they make a kitchen gadget which will do this too. (They seem to make a kitchen gadget for everything nowadays, don't they?)

Basically, these devices are made to simplify the process further, and make it less likely that you will break the yolk during the process of separating the egg, which is easy to do when transferring the yolk back and forth in the shell.

For an egg separator you either prop it over a cup or bowl, or it comes with its own container for holding the yolks and whites, but you just crack the egg into it and then let the whites just kind of ooze out while it holds the yolk out of the bowl.

Various Egg Separators Available

cute egg separator
I would only suggest getting an egg separator if you plan to make lots of recipes with only egg whites or yolks, or if you just can't get the hang of the low-tech method of how to separate egg whites from yolks.

However, if you are interested in getting one of these kitchen gadgets, there are a lot of various types available, which also range widely in price. I personally think the one on the right is really cute, and it is also pretty cheap.

Here are some additional versions available:

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