How do YOU crack eggs?

plllog

I have small hands and no tricks. I'm concerned about cross contamination. Before I start cracking eggs, I pull the garbage pail over and uncover it. Then I hold an egg in one hand, rap it on a sharpish edge, usually the rim of the bowl, then use two hands, thumbs to the crack line, to open it. I do occasionally get a drip down the bowl, or get my thumb into the egg badly enough to wash before the next egg, but most of the time it works fine. I separate old style, moving the yolk back and forth between shell halves, and letting the white run off. If the shells are too thin, or I have dozens to do, I use an spoon style egg separater. I never gave it detailed thought before I saw this on Pinterest. Methinks Rube Goldberg was involved...


  1. Get the eggs ready and take out the egg opener.
  2. Put the eggs into the product and hold the eggs firmly.
  3. Hold the handle tightly, automatically open the egg and separate it.
  4. Sow and shake gently to drain the egg.
  5. Take out the shell.

https://kingemarket.com/product/egg-opener

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Comments (37)
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aziline

I smack it on a flat surface. I'd get little pieces if I hit it on the edge. A long time ago I was watching a Jacques Pepin and he also used a flat surface to help avoid cross contamination.

As for separating them I use my hand which I want to say also came from Jacques.

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amylou321

I smack it on the counter or other flat surface and separate the halves with my thumbs. I read somewhere that salmonella was more likely to be pushed into the egg if you break it on the edge of the bowl, but that's not why I smack it on a flat surface. It cracks it better IMO.

I separate eggs with my hands. They are clean! It's easier and if I try to do it with the shells I always get a piece of shell in it. If its a bunch of eggs, I crack em all in a bowl and reach in and scoop the yolks out with my hands, daintily.

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foodonastump

Sometimes on the edge mostly flat. I switched to flat because it supposedly has less chance of broken shells, but in practice I haven’t noticed a difference. “It happens” once in a while.

As for germies, I laugh at myself because I’ll wash my hands and disinfect the counter or whatever touched raw egg, but have no issue tasting to see if I’ve seasoned/spiced it correctly. Happened as recently as this morning, checking to see if I added enough sugar and cinnamon for French toast casserole. Or drinking egg nog.


ETA - That gadget is amusing. Almost cheap enough to buy just for the heck of it. Almost.

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Olychick

I also switched to cracking on a flat surface and found it more effective than a sharp edge. Seems counter intuitive but it seems to work for me. Not worried about cross contamination at all.

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nancyjane_gardener

Bowl edge or flat surface. Doesn't matter to me. I rarely get shell in with the egg. It looks to me that that contraption is about to break the yolk, and there is already yolk in the bowl!

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colleenoz

Amylou, we must be twins separated at birth 😁. I also crack on a flat surface to avoid creating tiny fragments that might get into the egg, and separate by pour the whole egg into my freshly washed left hand and letting the white slip out through my slightly opened fingers. Any white left clinging onto the yolk can be gently brushed off with my right hand fingers, then I close my left fingertips together to hold the yolk in, and release the yolk into wherever it’s going.

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dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

I am probably the only one.

I use a vegetable knife, give the center of the egg a quick hit. Not too strong, just about 1/3 through. Split the egg open with my figures and empty the egg into a bowl. Then I scoop out those remaining few drops of egg white with my figures.

The empty 1/2 shells can be stacked into each other. They take a lot less room into the small kitchen scrap bucket for composting.

Yes, I do showoff my skill to impress my friends, crack and open an egg with one hand. :-)


dcarch


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bragu_DSM 5

hmmm ... when I had my stroke in 2017, it affected my right side ... there was about six weeks where I couldn't even crack an egg ... hmmm

I usually don't break it on the side of a bowl because shell pieces can sneak in

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annie1992

I must have watched the same Jacques Pepin video that aziline did, because I distinctly remember Jacque telling me not to crack on the edge of the bowl, to crack on a flat surface to avoid pushing contaminants into the egg. As a result, that's what I do, I crack on the top of my butcher block counter, because I am certainly not going to defy Mr. Pepin, LOL.

I separate using my fingers sometimes, but mostly I use the two halves of the shell. All shells get put into the compost with other stuff like coffee grounds, right now I have a mushroom "habitat" that I'm trying to encourage and so it goes there.

If I bought such a gadget as shown above, I'd never be able to find it anyway, stuck in my drawer full of single use gadgets that seldom get even that single use. And, because I like my eggs over easy I'd not be happy if the thing broke the yolks, as it appears it is doing.

Annie


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plllog

The word for the gadget is "overengineered". :) By the time you load it and exert enough force to operate it, and clean it, how have you saved any time or effort?

Interesting how many of you crack it on the flat. I used to do that, but it doesn't work with the eggs I get nowadays. The shells are thinner and don't like to crack, and I'm probably not skilled enough. There's no medium between solid and smushed. But they're also washed and I'm going to cook the eggs, so I don't worry about contaminants on the outside. I do occasionally use a knife, when there isn't a bowl involved. :)

FOAS, I'm the same way about the insides. I'm concerned about cross-contamination because fingers and spoons get everywhere. I don't want a little colony growing somewhere unexpected. OTOH, only one in 20,000 eggs is contaminated to begin with, and the eggs I buy are far less likely to be. I have no qualms about tasting fresh raw egg, though nowadays I hesitate to allow the children to do so.

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CA Kate z9

I too crack eggs on a flat surface, no reason... experience, I guess. I learned to use the other half of the egg shell to seperate yolk from white, but I do have a little, spoon-sort of thing that does a really good job too. I'll have to try the hand-thing next time I seperate eggs.


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Islay Corbel

I do like Plllog. Not something I've ever given any thought to. I suppose i do it that way because my Mum did.

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Lars

I crack mine on the edge of a measuring cup very gently and I never get shells mixed in with the eggs. I am not the least impressed with those who crack eggs with one hand - my niece does that, and she still gets small bits of egg on the flat surface. This is one of the reasons that I do not crack eggs on flat surfaces - some of the egg always drips out, but when I crack it on the edge of a measuring cup, I can control the contents of the egg better. I've also never had cross contamination - that could only occur if I used dirty measuring cups, I suppose. Anyway, I find cracking eggs on flat surfaces to be messier, and so I avoid doing that.

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lindac92

I mostly crack on the edge of the bowl, but if i am cracking an egg into a sizzling fry pan I will do the flat smash.
I hear ya on the thin shells....sometimes. I now and then get "farm eggs" and the shells are noticibly thicker.
As for cross contamination, th salmonella is inside the egg. Endemic may be the word. So it it's salmonella that worries you don't smash it...or eat a runny yolk. BUT check to see the instance of salmonella in commercial chicken eggs...it's very very small....and likely lots less with "farm eggs".
And I separate from shell half to the other half....which is impossible if you have smashed the egg on the counter!

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foodonastump

Of course I was curious about dc’s method so I had to try it. First egg, two of the smallest ever pieces of shell got into it. Harder to get out than normal. Next two were fine. But all of them resulted in egg white on the counter, despite them being relatively fresh.

As for space in the compost bin, I don’t do that but if I did and it became an issue, I’d just crush them.

If I’m using the whole egg I generally crack one-handed. I do the back and forth thing for separated so that’s two. I’ve used slotted spoons and even egg separators in the past but don’t find them worth reaching for.

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plllog

I think I get out the egg separator (which was a freebie) when I have more than half a dozen eggs to separate. :)

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nekotish

I crack on a flat surface, separate the shell with my thumbs and separate whites from yolks with my hands. I find the shell to shell separating method more likely to puncture the yolk. We buy farm eggs from neighbours, the shells are incredibly thick.

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annie1992

I think part of the appeal of the "gadget" is that people don't have to get egg white on their hands if they use it. My grandson is just freaked out if he cracks an egg and gets any of the "slimy white part" on his fingers, LOL.

I wash eggs before I use them, and my girls lay eggs with nice thick shells, but I don't smash them flat on the counter, I just tap them hard enough to create a break in the shell and then use my thumbs to pull the shell halves apart.

Elery can break an egg one handed and he can also flip the egg in the pan without using a spatula. I can't do either, but I've cleaned a couple of dozen eggs off the floor and counter while trying, LOL.

Annie

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fawnridge (Ricky)

I've been using a small sledge hammer for around 40 years. The hammer doesn't show any shell damage, so I'll keep using it until it wears out.

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plllog

Annie, at least it's not the ceiling!

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donna_loomis

If there is more than one egg to crack, I hit one egg against the other. 100% of the time only one cracks and I've no idea why they both don't. I pull the cracked open with my thumbs and drop the contents into a bowl. Then I pick up the next egg and repeat. As for separating eggs, I have a couple of separators, but I just use the halves of the shells to do that job.

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bbstx

One more flat-surface cracker here. And I use my hand to separate the white from the yolk. And I have no idea why I do it that way or who I learned it from. Mom and my sister crack the egg on the side of the bowl and separate it by passing it back and forth between the shell halves.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I do it a number of different ways, and I do agree with Lars that the white tends to drip out on the counter surface when I crack an egg flatways. Maybe I'm hitting it too hard.

So I've done countertop, edge of bowl, or using a back of a fork/spoon to whack the shell as well. Lately I'm preferring the edge of the bowl.

Somewhere, sometime long ago I learned to use 1 of the empty shell halves to fish out any pieces of shell that wind up in the raw egg.

I've seen Jacques Pepin give that tip about the pro way to crack raw eggs more than once, for sure.

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foodonastump

“Somewhere, sometime long ago I learned to use 1 of the empty shell halves to fish out any pieces of shell that wind up in the raw egg.”


I’ll second that one; works well.

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lindac92

Always use the shell to fish out a pieces of broken shell....learned that as a small girl making cookies Rachael says "shell attracts shell" and she is right.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I think it's because the sharp edge of the broken shell cuts through the viscous egg white, while a spoon or your finger doesn't.

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wednesday morning

Wow! Who knew that cracking an egg could have so many responses?

Weighing in here as one who cracks on the side of the bowl and uses one hand to do so if the whole egg is being used.

For separating I will use both hands and pour off the white with the yolk in one half of the shell.

If you get a bit of shell in the bowl the best way to fish it out is with the empty half shell.

What matters with cross contamination when I am going to go ahead and cook or bake whatever it is?

I have been cooking and cracking eggs for over half a century and, to the best of my understanding, have never suffered cross contamination or any ill effects.

I do, however, take the most ordinary precautions and use the most basic of common sense with raw animal products.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Egg discussions in some form hit the title thread once or twice a year. Cracking methods are often mentioned. Jacque Pepin is such a good teacher, easily talking throughout his prep while chopping/saute etc. He often will explain why. A flat tap will rarely break the shell membrane that holds the shell bits together. A bowl edge will more often break that and more likely to get a shell bit. Yes, the empty shell will retrieve the shell bit like a magnet.

When I had 3 dozen mid 2020 I almost started an 'all about the egg' thread.

I can do one handed but no need to. I have two hands so I use them. One handed skills are nice to know in case of injury.

A kitchen tool designer, professor, reviewer and consultant, teaches to use your non dominant hand, and rub your hands with veg oil when testing before going to the expensive production line. Oil covers the lack of grip. Common in arthritis. Using the opposite hand is for testing the less skilled like children....and arthritis.

I've cracked 95% of the time on a flat surface, and into a small bowl, since junior high HomeEc. Only once in all these years did I crack an egg that had a funny yolk. Memorable since we had house guests and DH was prepping to make omelets. Adding to a bowl one at a time, one in the small bowl had a cloudy white and a discolored yolk that had split runny. I slid it to middle of the island and we unanimously determined it unfit. May have funked up the 6 or so eggs already in the big bowl for beating. May have been that one in 22,000.





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Jasdip

I have better luck using the side of the bowl than the counter. My shells always crack cleanly on the bowl, but are more difficult to pull apart neatly when using the counter.

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graywings123

I crack eggs with a knife from the silverware drawer.

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dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

For me, I don't crack eggs without a pair of tweezers around.

That's the only way I can get that very tiny bit of shell out from the bottom without wasting a lot of egg white or getting my fingers coated.

dcarch

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Elizabeth

I crack my eggs on the edge of the bowl I am putting them into. The edge is just as clean as the rest of the bowl. And they are going to be cooked to a safe temperature.

I separate using the half shell to half shell method. I can't remember the last time I ended up with shell shrapnel in the bowl.

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foodonastump

“That's the only way I can get that very tiny bit of shell out from the bottom...”


Better to prevent the problem than fix it. Lose the knife! 😀 I’ve never, ever had such tiny shards of shell as when I tried that!


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annie1992

Elizabeth, it's not the contaminates on the bowl, it's on the shell of the egg and if the shell gets inside the egg, so do the contaminates. I know in Europe eggs are not refrigerated like they are here, and so they remain unwashed, to retain the "bloom" that is the protective layer that keeps eggs fresh longer.

I'm assuming that's why Mr. Pepin cracks his eggs the way he does, because he grew up using eggs which are handled differently than they are here.

I still do it, though.

Annie

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foodonastump

Annie - I‘m unclear, even after googling the other day, if salmonella is more prevalent on the inside or outside of commercially packaged eggs. Would seem to me concerns on the outside would be handled by the cleaning at the plant, and if outside were still the major source we’d be told to wash egg before using. So I’m thinking it’s mostly from the inside?

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Salmonella is most often directly around the yolk. And could be anywhere shell, whites, but less often. An infected chicken can appear healthy. Once salmonella is detected, it is chic-by-chic testing via blood draws. To get certification via farm and chick selling, all farm animals need to be tested. And seasonally depending on state regulations.

A pasture raised at home is just equally susceptible as a crap caged, but maybe minority less. The life-time egg production is determined at birth. Microscopic embryos for the life of the chick. Big Ag producers want the best layers....

A healthy layer, even pasture raised, can get bacteria. So rare, decide what chances you want to take.

Our closest friends, one teaches at the CIA, (culinary institute HydePark) previously the FrenchInstitute NYC, suffered horribly from a local egg supplier. Fortunately they did not share those runny eggs with their young son just at the toddler age of solid foods.

So they got the rare one. I've had this in Guatemala. Ugly digestive trauma.

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annie1992

FOAS, it's usually inside the egg but not always, and salmonella isn't the only thing that can contaminate the outside of an egg. Since eggs are unrefrigerated in Europe, where Jacques Pepin is from, I'm assuming he's being careful with the outside shell of an unwashed egg although I don't know if eggs are washed before selling them in France. Here, of course, eggs are washed and refrigerated, so his concerns may not be valid but I'm thinking that's why he said that.

Annie



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