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Lesley C

Separating Eggs

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Lesley C   

I've been watching people separating eggs on the Food Network and I'm going nuts!

So many of them use their hands, a practice I've always considered unprofessional and verging on disgusting. I only noticed the always great Jacques Pepin saying to use the shells, never your hands, and I think the America's Test Kitchen people were saying the same.

So fess up, do you use your hands or the egg shells to separate eggs?

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shugga   

I have a little yellow tupperware egg separator in the junk drawer somewhere, but usually I just use the shells, the way my mother taught me to.


Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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Shells - 'cause that's the way my Momma done taught me.

By the way, how many people do the one-handed crack and break thing vs. the one hand crack, two handed break-open? And as long as we're here - do you crack on the edge of the bowl or on the counter/table top?

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Years ago one-handed crack and break, with two eggs simultanous in the right hand and two in the left hand. Two cases of eggs (720) in 20 minutes for scrambling.

And separating, always used hands. It's not any different using hands on food as butchers when cutting meat or pizza makers kneading dough.


Peter

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torakris   

I crack my eggs with one hand on the corner of the sink, open them with 2 hands and separate using the shells.


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stefanyb   
do you crack on the edge of the bowl or on the counter/table top?

My whole cooking life I cracked eggs on the side of the bowl but at the suggestion of someone on these boards (I forget who) I have recently started just tapping them on the counter and then separating the two halves with my thumbnail. It is so much better and so much less likely to result in eggshells in the mix.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, if perchance a stray shell piece should get in the bowl, the only way to retrieve it is by scooping it out with the empty half eggshell.

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rozrapp   
I have a little yellow tupperware egg separator in the junk drawer somewhere, but usually I just use the shells, the way my mother taught me to.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who has one of these little suckers. But mine's white, it's in my utensil drawer, and I always use it when separating eggs. Works great! :smile:

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I use my hands, which had never occurred to me, until I read it as a tip somewhere. Broken shell has sharp edges that can break your yolk; fingers don't. Now I find it works very well. I wash my hands carefully before and after breaking the eggs. Lesley, why does it seem disgusting? I haven't seen anyone doing this on TV, but I assume they are washing their hands. I admit that the raw egg feels a little ooky.


Hungry Monkey May 2009

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Lesley C   

One of my big issues about separating eggs with your hands is when people crack a bowlful, then lift them out one by one. As soon as one yolk bursts, all the whites are ruined. No big deal for cooks (they usually pitch the whites), but tragic for pastry chefs who always need clean whites and plenty of them.

Also Peter Wolf, pizza dough and meat are cooked. I've seen a chef use his hands on yolks destined for a mayonnaise and crème anglaise -- not good.

Laurie A-B, Raw egg yolks are a breeding ground for bacteria. Don't ever assume that chefs always have impeccably clean hands. Also, the sharp egg shell is what makes separating with shells so quick; it slices the white from the yolk in about two transfers and allows you to cut the chalazae into the whites.

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Ever seen a pastry chef forming rose petals from Marzipan: Thumb, palm of hand and forefinger, moistened with a bit eggwhite.

This whole thing cracks me up, "look Ma, no hands".

Better with cooks having there hands in the dough, than cashiers theirs in the till. :blink:


Peter

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Lesley C   

When it comes to bacteria, the yolks are a bigger problem than the whites . Also, I've always used pasteurized whites for sticking marzipan.

So there :raz:

When I was a cooking teacher, I'd watch some people go out for a bathroom or cigarette break, come back to the kitchen, rinse their hands, wipe them in a dirty apron and start pulling the yolks out of a bowl of whites. It was really disgusting. And these people had all followed a strict hygiene course. :blink:

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Jinmyo   

St. Jacques Pepin says, "Nevah nevah crack ze eggs on a sharp sur-face. You drive ze bits of shell in-to ze eggs, hein? Always crack zem on a flat sur-face."

Please don't make Jacques Pepin cry.

As for me, under a dozen, shells. Four dozen, gloved hands. In between, I pray to St. Jacques and see what happens.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

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Nick   
You drive ze bits of shell in-to ze eggs, hein?

You drive ze bits of shell into ze eggs, use ze eggshell to pick zem out. Zey like each other.

You already knew this.

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Aurora   

Shells. It worked for Grandma, and it works for me. I crack the egg on the sharpest edge I can find (usually the counter), and I use two hands. Nothin' but net.

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I have a little yellow tupperware egg separator in the junk drawer somewhere, but usually I just use the shells, the way my mother taught me to.

Ditto. But I use it when I remember to, otherwise use shells. Also, always use the extra cup to avoid messing up a big batch of whites.

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Dana   

Crack egg on counter, then use shells to separate. Only use one-handed method if showing off for non-cooking guests. It's a hard trick for someone with small hands and short fingers.


Stop Family Violence

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