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How to Crack an Egg

I know how to crack an egg, being somebody who’s constantly developing and testing recipes. Yet, even three years into writing this blog, I hadn’t yet figured out the right way to crack eggs.

Adding eggs to batter
When I first wrote this post in 2010, I calculated how many eggs I’d cracked:

Approximate years of blogging3
* Number of weeks per year52
= Approximate number of weeks of blogging156
Approximate cupcake recipes baked per week1
* Average number of eggs per cupcake recipe2
= Approximate number of eggs used per week2
Approximate number of cupcakes used for weekly blogging (approximate number of eggs used per week * number of weeks blogging)312
Number of weddings for which I have baked cupcakes3
* Average number of eggs used per wedding50
= Approximate number of eggs used for all weddings150
Approximate number of eggs used for cupcakes on this blog (approximate number of eggs used for weekly blogging + approximate number of eggs used for weddings)462

I’d been cracking eggs incorrectly that whole time, all 462 of them. I regularly ended up with bits of eggshell in my eggs because my technique was wrong.

Myles cracking an egg on the edge of a bowl

Myles demonstrates how to crack an egg incorrectly.

My egg skills weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

How to Crack An Egg Properly

I received a review copy of Cooking for Geeks, where I learned the right way to crack eggs. (The book also covers the difference between baking powder and baking soda, sugar caramelization, and many other baking-related topics.)

So what’s the trick to achieving a perfectly cracked egg? Directly from Cooking For Geeks, the method is pretty simple:

Tap [the egg] on the counter, not the edge of a bowl. The shell of an egg cracked on a flat surface will have larger pieces that aren’t pushed into the egg. Eggs cracked on a sharp lip are much more likely to have little shards of shell poked into them that then end up in the bowl and have to be fetched out.

I had to try this out for myself.

Cracking an egg against the edge of a bowl

Here’s how I have always cracked eggs – against the edge of a bowl.

Close-up photo of an egg cracked against the edge of a bowl with many pieces of broken eggshell

An egg cracked against the edge of a bowl will have many little pieces of eggshell broken off.

An egg being cracked on flat surface

Cracking an egg against a hard, flat surface will yield a different result.

Close-up of an eggshell cracked against a flat surface showing very few small cracks and many larger ones

An egg cracked this way has a few large eggshell pieces and very few small ones to break off as you separate the eggshell.

I couldn’t believe what a huge difference the counter method made; I never went back to using a bowl once I learned how to crack an egg.

Other Useful Egg Cracking Tips

How to Remove Bits of Eggshell from Cracked Eggs


While I was working on this post and talking about fishing around for the little bits of cracked eggs, my photographer/husband told me that he always uses a big piece of cracked egg shell to scoop out any little pieces of egg shell that fall into the bowl. The little pieces stick to the big piece and come right out. Try it next time you have pieces of eggshell floating about in your bowl.

Always Crack Eggs Individually Into a Separate Bowl

Always crack eggs individually and into a small bowl before adding them to your recipe. If you do end up with a bit of eggshell in your cracked egg, you can more easily remove the eggshell from a single cracked egg than you could from a larger bowl with many eggs.

Adding eggs to chocolate cupcake batter

Using a separate bowl is also useful when a recipe requires eggs to be separated, like I do in my recipe for marshmallow frosting and in my recipe for chocolate cupcakes. If you break the yolk, you only have to discard (or save for later) the one egg rather than the whole amount needed.

Other Tips

If you have other egg-related tips, please leave them in the comments and share with others! I’ll gladly add them to this post.

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