Do Egg Whites Need To Be At Room Temperature Before Whipping?

Whether it's tackling a delicate sponge cake or mixing up your first batch of meringue kisses, every baker will eventually have to master the art of whipping up egg whites. It's a positively ancient baking technique, utilized by pastry chefs to create meringue desserts since the early 17th century. As whipping egg whites has been around for so long, it reasons there would be a number of hacks to make this arduous task easier. From tips on what bowl to use to recommendations for what whisk to wield, there's plenty of wisdom out there. 

Still, not all of these egg-white rules are necessary or even helpful. Take the long lauded tip to "age" your egg whites at room temperature. Legend held that to reach full whipping potential, egg whites need to be at room temperature. There is truth to this, in a way. Room-temperature egg whites are less stiff in their consistency, making them easier to whip up. But keep in mind that this tip was developed for manual egg whipping and less powerful hand mixers. It isn't really taking into account the ridiculously high-powered mixers modern bakers have access to, which will whip up your egg whites no matter the temperature. 

Myth busting an egg hack

In fact, room-temperature egg whites can actually be harmful to your egg-whipping ventures. Those who let their eggs come to room temperature before separating the whites from the yolks are in for a rough ride. The egg whites loosen so much that they can seem like water, making yolk transference a likely fate. Which wouldn't be ideal, since any bit of fatty egg yolk can destroy your whipped egg whites. 

Sure, you can sidestep this problem by separating the eggs when still cold and allowing just the egg whites to come to room temperature, but this is extra forethought that you don't need to worry about. Long story short, your supersonic stand mixer doesn't care what temperature your egg whites are and will still get the job done. Baking is hard enough without wasting time on negligible hacks. So instead of focusing on bringing your egg whites to room temperature, consider practicing on the stuff that's actually important to master, like folding in your egg whites.