The Hands-On Way Ina Garten Separates Eggs

Celebrity chef Ina Garten wants to help home chefs around the world step up their kitchen game. Whether it is offering tips on which recipes to cook at home or the best way to entertain guests, the expert hostess never misses when it comes to helping out the aspiring chefs among us. When we noticed she has a specific way of separating eggs while preparing tiramisu, we made sure to pay attention.

Yolks can add richness and complexity to dishes like creamy custards, but egg whites have their own appeal by helping to bring light, delicate airiness into recipes. You may wonder if it is absolutely necessary to separate yolks and egg whites if a recipe calls for it, but if it is texture you're after, it's best to follow instructions. 

Egg whites act as a natural leavening agent, and many recipes instruct for them to be whipped and folded into batter independently from the yolks. The result? A fluffy, bouncy texture that is difficult to replicate when yolks are involved. So, what's the best way to ensure a clean separation of these eggy parts?

Permission to play with food

From strainers and separators to using the egg shell itself or fishing the yolks out of a bowl with utensils, there are plenty of options for home cooks to separate the yolks and whites for cooking projects. But what do the professionals use?

As Garten demonstrates on Food Network, leave the fancy egg-separating gadgets off to the side and simply use your hands. After cracking each egg, cup the yolks gently in your palms before placing them into a separate bowl. The whites will fall through your fingers, and you'll be able to crack eggs quickly with ease. 

Using your hands to separate eggs is an easy, accessible, and fun approach once you get beyond the "ick" factor. Consider this your permission to play with food — give Garten's hands-on approach a try, and you may be convinced to use this technique more often in your kitchen.