Expert Tests Whether TikTok's Egg Crack Challenge Is Real

TikTok is a never-ending font of food hacks ranging from those that are actually useful to those that are merely entertaining to those that are done specifically for the purpose of pissing off Gordon Ramsay (always a good time for all, including Gordon). While you may very well want to try boiling potatoes in chicken stock, you should probably stay away from cutting your corn in a potentially dangerous way, and you really should avoid cooking steak in a toaster.

One new hack-slash-challenge that's been making the rounds involves a supposedly new and improved way to crack an egg. While it appears from the comments that this particular "hack" is no real improvement over any of the old tried-and-true ways of separating the inside of an egg from its outside (except, perhaps, for being less "boring," according to the person who posted the original TikTok video), just for fun Mashed decided to consult a bonafide eggs-pert, Jocelyn Drexinger, owner of Mint and Mallow and baker at Nellie's Free Range. Drexinger, good sport that she is, agreed to go along with our totally eggs-ellent idea of having her perform the challenge on video, and she also gave us her thoughts on how it went.

Why our expert agreed to do this challenge

Apart from good sportsmanship, why would Drexinger, someone who cooks for a living, want to play along with this "challenge?" "As a professional baker," she told us, "I've cracked a lot of eggs, so it was fun to try something different and [spoiler alert] to see that the hack actually worked!" She revealed that she always cracks her eggs on the side, using a flat surface instead of the more typical edge of a bowl or a countertop. The reason behind her chosen technique is, as she said, "I find you get a cleaner crack and less eggshell shards that way." This method is nothing new – in fact, it's the one endorsed by all-time egg master (or maître des oeufs) Jacques Pepin.

Drexinger tried this new egg-cracking technique, as seen in this video posted to the Nellie's TikTok channel. The video, she tells us, was shot by Rochelle Mangold, founder of Five Marigolds and brand ambassador/partner of Nellie's Free Range. The technique felt pretty familiar to her since she said it seemed to imitate her established procedure, "just with a bit more flair!"

How the hack panned out

As previously revealed, this eggs-periment was a success. Drexinger described it as being "just as easy as it looks," saying she "simply held the egg up high above the pan, then dropped it straight down and received a perfectly cracked egg!" She did say, though, that since the egg she used (one from Nellie's, of course) had what she called an "extra-sturdy shell," she found she had to hold it a foot or more above the height of the pan in order to get it to crack cleanly. It's unknown how high you do or do not have to hold a regular old supermarket egg for it to do the same thing, as the perspective from which the original TikTok video was shot doesn't make that clear.

What surprised Drexinger was the fact that the cracked egg really did come out intact and uncontaminated. "No matter how many times I tried it, the result...really was a cleanly cracked egg, without a broken yolk or any eggshell shards." She called this egg drop method "a great trick for keeping the shell from shattering into your eggs." She did suggest one tweak to the technique, though, claiming that it works best if you drop the egg on its side rather than by the end. "If you hold it up vertically," she explained, "you often won't get as clean of a crack, although I did have it work a few times even with a vertical orientation."

Why the hack worked

After proving that cracking an egg the TikTok way is something that actually works, and works well, Drexinger provided us a little egg-stra background info as to why it was such a success. "All eggs," she told us, "have a thin protein membrane that exists between the egg and its outer shell." (These are probably most noticeable when you have to peel them off your hard-boiled eggs.) When you drop your egg on a pan or other flat surface, this allows that membrane to remain intact. Cracking an egg on a sharp edge, however, will tear the membrane apart. An intact membrane will allow the shell fragments to stick together rather than falling into the egg, something that will allow you to remove the cracked shell in just two pieces rather than a whole bunch of tiny little broken bits.

If you try this crack hack and your results come out whack, though, don't blame Drexinger. She did warn us that she didn't have as much success using non-Nellie's eggs. She says that their free-range hens feed on grass that not only make the shells sturdier but also beef up the yolks a bit, too. This allows them to survive the drop without breaking, something eggs from less well-fed hens may be prone to do.