The Right Way to Crack an Egg

By Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos

Many years ago, when I was the chef at a well known hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, I made it a habit to sometimes go to work very early to see how things are going with breakfast. One morning, I arrived really early and the morning crew had just started their prep work. 

As I walked over to the prep kitchen, I saw two breakfast cooks throw whole eggs, in shell, into a large mixer. I could not believe my eyes and went over to see what they were planning to do. They explained that they were short of cooks and didn’t have the time to properly crack the eggs and decided to throw the whole egg into the mixer, mix it up for scrambled eggs and strain out the shells after they mixed them.  Sounds crazy right, but unfortunately things like this happen. Needless to say I was in shock and enlightened them on food safety and made them do it over again the right way. 



So what’s the best and safest way to crack an egg?


Here are some tips:


  • Always have two bowls: one small one and the one where you have other ingredients to mix in or just a large number of eggs for use. 
  • Crack the egg on the cutting board, not on the edge of the bowl because it can crack uneven and shells will splinter
  • Crack the egg in the first small bowl and check for problems like eggshells, spoilage or blood, THEN  transfer into the bigger bowl.
  • Use an egg separator to separate an egg.
  • If using hands, wear gloves to prevent cross contamination.
  • Don’t use the two eggshells method, meaning to shift the egg yolk back and forth to let the egg white float out. Shell fragments can fall off and and the outside of the shells can cause cross contamination.


  • Let the whole egg drop in your hand and let the egg white drop into a bowl and then place the yolk into another.


  • Always remember to keep cross contamination – meaning contact with potential contaminated surfaces –  to a minimum.


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