Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Egg Separator Hack - Better than the water bottle!

You may have seen the video that shows how to separate egg yolks using an empty plastic bottle. If not, here's one version:

Okay that looks genius, but I never have empty plastic bottles around.

Oh, I suppose I could buy a bottle of water just for this purpose. But then I'd be hand-washing a plastic water bottle and letting it dry, and storing it somewhere. That's not convenient.

Then I saw THIS:

Same concept, but the item is smaller (thus easier to store) and I think it's dishwasher safe. For people who loooove gadgets, or for those who don't want to separate egg yolks with their hands (that's usually what I do) it might be a good buy. But when I posted this on Facebook, the general comment was that it's too expensive for what it does.

Well, okay then. But something about the shape of that separator stuck in my mind, and I had the "aha" moment.

What if you could separate eggs with this method using a kitchen device that you PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE???? And if you don't have one, it's CHEAP. And washable in the dishwasher?

Yes, I'm shouting. This is very very very cool. 


You know what it is? Maybe this will help:

Got it yet?
Another look:

Yup, it's the bulb from a standard turkey baster. Just separate the two pieces and use the bulb to suck the yolk out of the whites. 

And here's the the thing. Not only is this less messy than using your hands, you're less likely to break the yolk than if you're using the shell  - the sharp edges of the shell always thwart me, which is why I use my hands - but the soft rubber of the baster bulb is pretty safe.

The thing that has me totally convinced about using this method instead of using my hands (besides the need for hand-washing) is that the yolk that came out of that baster bulb was the cleanest yolk I've seen. If there's a little bit of egg white in your yolk when you're baking a cake, it's not that much of a big deal. But when I'm making custard for ice cream, I want those yolks as clean as possible - it's the whites that tend to leave bits in the custard that need to be strained out.

And this method gave me very clean yolks.

A cheap turkey baster like the one I used sells for about two dollars. And for that price you get a turkey baster AND an egg separator.

Or just rummage through your junk drawer and see if you happen to have a turkey baster rolling around in there.