We Tested Whether TikTok's Egg Separating Hack Actually Works

Easter is still a ways away, but eggs are out in full force on TikTok, being cracked, smacked, whacked, and hacked in all manner of ways. As with most TikTok cooking tips or general life improvement hacks, your results may vary. A recent viral video on the best way to crack an egg surprisingly turned out to be very effective – although actually, it wasn't all that much of a shock once you realize that the TikToker was simply re-inventing a wheel that had long ago been crafted by master (egg) cracksman Jacques Pepin.

Mashed had earlier asked Jocelyn Drexinger, owner of Mint and Mallow and baker at Nellie's Free Range, to help us test the egg crack hack, which she did with great success. She was also quite happy to help us check out a new egg separating tip that some seem to find life-changing while others still aren't sold on.

The hack wasn't as easy as it looked

The original TikTok video starts off with the narrator saying to crack eggs into a bowl (the actual cracking takes place off-camera, so it's unknown whether he used any of the official TikTok-endorsed egg cracking methods), and then goes on to show him rubbing his fingers on a piece of brown bread and then using them to pinch the egg and pick it right up off the white.

When Mashed asked Drexinger to try out this egg-separating method, she  said that she initially had high hopes for its success since "the original video made this hack look so simple that I was optimistic it would work." Unfortunately, things didn't turn out quite as she'd expected. "In reality," she admitted, "it was not easy at all," although she did say it was fun to try. Still, in the end, results speak for themselves. "After trying my hand at separating over a dozen eggs using the bread method," she told us, "I could not pick up the yolk to cleanly separate it." She even went so far as to experiment "using both white and wheat breads" but said it made no difference. She still could not get this hack to work.

Why the hack didn't work

So what went wrong? Drexinger explained that the fault most likely lays in the eggs themselves but that it was really no "fault at all, quite the opposite." Even the highest quality egg yolks are surprisingly delicate," she told us, going on to say that "because of that, they have several layers of whites protecting them." When she took a closer look at the eggs used in the TikTok video, she said she noticed that the yolks seemed to be almost floating on top of the whites rather than being embedded in them. She says that this is a sign of older, less fresh eggs since egg whites tend to thin out over time. The egg yolks sitting on top like that allowed them to be more easily grabbed by their coating membrane, with the bread serving to dry off the fingers.

With the fresh, free-range eggs she was using, she said, the "sturdy, slippery" whites got in the way, which had the result of blocking access to the yolks. In order to get hold of them, she said she needed to use "a more forceful grab," something that resulted in puncturing the yolks more often than not. While it may, in fact, be possible to perform this TikTok trick if you do have old eggs in the fridge, Drexinger did not go so far as to try this out as she had plenty of the fresh kind on hand.

How you should be separating your eggs instead

Drexinger says that this egg separating hack, even if it had proven to be more effective, is actually unnecessary as "there are much simpler methods that don't require any bread or fancy tools." She says that all you really need is your hands or, if you don't like the idea of touching raw eggs, you could use a slotted spoon instead.

Drexinger's preferred technique involves using her hands. She says she likes to slide her fingers under the yolk and use them to gently lift it up and out of the white. Once the yolk is up, she separates her fingers a bit, still cupping the yolk but allowing any excess white to drip back into the bowl. "This more gentle method," she told us, "prevents you from puncturing the yolk, and quickly yields a nice clean yolk for me every time!" One additional tip: if you really want to make sure your yolks and whites have perfectly parted ways, try this three-bowl trick. That way your whites will stay as pure and pristine as can be, and that's no yolk! (Sorry, but having avoided the temptation to slip any egg puns in earlier, we couldn't resist one parting groaner.)