Wednesday, July 20, 2011

METHOD - The Sound of One Hand Egg Cracking

Egg legerdemain
If you've ever watched a cooking show or a chef guest spot on a talk or news you've seen it.  That trick of cracking eggs with one hand.
Have you tried it yet?  Well I have.  And after several miserable attempts I actually got the hang of it!

Then after a while I did it so often it became commonplace. I had to raise the bar. I had to keep it fresh so proceeded to teach myself how one hand crack an egg in each hand. Then how to do both at the same time.  That was during a time when there wasn't really a lot else going on for me, so I learned origami and honed some cooking skills. 

There are some tricks to it, at least my version of doing it at any rate. You need a fair amount of dexterity in your fingers, especially the two middle know, the ones Spock uses in his special greeting.  I'll try to explain, and let the pictures tell the tale as well.

But first a bit of a disclaimer.  I don't claim that my method is the "professional" or right way. Nor do I claim you'll never get egg shells in your eggs.  To the contrary!  Most likely for the first several attempts you'll have 'em all over your fingers, in the bowl and where ever else they want to go. Fear not!  This too shall pass.

While you're practicing, make sure you're not just wasting eggs....plan on making something with them, and the sooner the better!  Eggs can go bad quicker when they're no longer in their shells. goes. 
Lightly tap the egg against the bowl
Grasp your egg firmly between your thumb and forefinger.  Tap the egg lightly against the edge of the bowl.  You just want to crack the egg, not have its contents spill out prematurely.

Position egg over center of bowl
Next, lift the egg away from the side of the bowl so it is positioned over the middle of the bowl.  If you look at this next picture you can see how I'm pulling the egg apart primarily  with my ring finger, index (or bad) finger, pointer and thumb.

Guiding egg to split apart
Here's a much  closer shot of the process, showing the little finger and ring finger pulling the egg shell in one direction while the unseen index and pointing finger pull it in the other.  The thumb and palm act as holders. You want to maintain a steady grip. Just be careful!  Don't go using a death grip! Squeeze too hard and you'll end up with egg all over the place.

Egg coming out of shell

In this photo (using my right hand) you can see how I'm pulling the egg shell apart and allowing the innards to spill out.  Yes, my hand gets sticky.  The egg kind of slides past my two middle fingers sometimes, that's hard to avoid.  No matter.  Once you've gotten to this stage, you've done it!  Congratulations!The index and little fingers are doing their part, too; guiding their part of the shell to make the opening wider.

The birth of the egg....or is it re-birth?
Don't worry if you don't get the hang of it right away.  You will with a little practice, then you'll be wowing them in the aisles!  Or at least in the kitchen.  Good luck!


  1. So why would anybody want to do that, unless they just wanted to show off?

  2. Dear Anonymous-
    While showing off can be fun, there are some practical reasons for learning how to crack an egg with one hand.
    Suppose your other hand is busy, or injured....or, like me, you just need to master some dexterous skill as part of your sanity program.
    I'll admit it's not the most critical kitchen skill to learn, but it can be useful...or at least fun.
    Give it a try if you want. Let me know how it goes.