Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cracking Eggs…with one hand tied behind our backs!

Here’s the clip I mentioned in yesterday’s post regarding making culinary history. Like I said, if you can learn this trick from watching one of my video recipe clips, I am confident that I can teach you anything.

Even though I did several loops of the key moments in the procedure, as well as some slow-mo, this is a clip you will probably have to watch a few times to get down. As you’ll soon see, the golf ball trick should save you a few dozen eggs as you get the hand movements down. A very light grip is the most important key, with just a slight pressure on the middle finger, as I will explain. Of course, all this will make a lot more sense as you watch the clip.

Another thing I mentioned yesterday that is very true, it only takes one successful one-handed crack and you’ll be able to do it forever. For the home cook this is just a way to show-off at the next brunch party, but for the professional cook this is a huge time saving technique that will literally halve the time it takes you to crack a case of eggs, as you’ll be using both hands and doing 2 eggs at a time! Trust me, your Chef will be impressed, especially of he or she can’t do this!)

Once you move on from golf balls to real eggs, you still may crush a few (you will be holding them too firmly). Don’t worry, just strain the cracked eggs through a sieve and make some perfect scrambled eggs. I put a direct link to that recipe video in case you haven’t seen it yet. Good luck. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

very cool! LOL... "hold it like an egg"

Anonymous said...

Okay, this looks like fun - it could even be turned it into a party game! How about at a Bridal shower or a baby shower? Name the game!

BTW- post a survey/vote: see how many tried this; how many succeeded; how many had scrambled eggs for dinner after watching this clip?

logicalmind said...

I have a question for you Chef John. I've been told not to crack eggs on the side of a bowl, for three reasons. One, the egg breaks into smaller shards and you are more likely to get shells in your eggs. Two, because salmonella is most likely hiding on the outside of the egg and pushing the shell shards into the egg itself could cause cross contamination. And three, the edge on which you are cracking the egg could puncture the yolk.

I've been taught to crack an egg on a flat surface like a counter top and then pull it apart. What do you think?

Chef John said...

Yes, those are valid points to be sure. I usually do use the flat surface to crack. That was more for the demo that I used the side. It will also make a more defined crack.

But, it will definately still work no matter how you crack it to begin.

the 3 reasons you mentioned:

1. yes you could get more shell this way, but we always strain the eggs before cooking the the pro kitchen. But this is the main reason to use a flat surface for the home cook.
2. That is also true, but extremely rare (alton brown say 1 in 10,000) and would only be a problem if you were eating raw. Yo Rocky!
3. Unless you really smash it hard, the edge of the bowl shouldn't break the yolk. And again, remember, this is a pro-cook technique to crack lots of eggs fast, to be used for scrambled, ommelette, quiches, etc., so usually I wouldn't care if the yolk was broken.

But, if I need a perfect yolk, shell-free, and zero chance of salmonella, then I'm using 2 hands!

Thanks for the post.

Chef John said...

Hey, freddie...
I'm always up for a new drinking game, but forget the poll. I'm assuming that this will work for 100% of my viewers and dont care to be informed otherwise! Besides I have friends in Florida... you can never really be sure about the accuracy of a vote. So, I'm going with 100% success rate.

Anonymous said...

Nice demo Chef John. I often crack with one hand but I'm not ambidextrous so the left hand egg usually ends up kind of broken (I'm a righty)

My 3 year old picked up on this one handed method while watching me...Oooh boy...He kind of just whacks them as hard as he can on the counter...you can guess the results...but its all good.

Looking forward to the cooking school! For my wife....

Anonymous said...

Yeah I learned this years ago, I'm still amzed today that people are amazed when they see me do it, they're just like 'WOW' and 'that's so cool'
I was the Sous Chef at a golf club for a while which meant I was stuck with Sunday brunch egg/omlette station most of the time. We did our scrambled/omlets to order so it was crack/mix etc, and people were just amazed at the one-handed egg crack.. and yes I can do it with both hands as well!!

Beans said...

ooo.. that is soo cool! eggs and i always don't get along but can't wait to give this a go. Scrambled eggs here I come!

Anonymous said...

I'd tried to teach myself this at some point, 'cuz it looked cool:D I had some but not consistent success.

After watching your video, I've accomplished this with my dominant hand. (I'll wait and try the non-dominant one later)

Not that it matters, but where I was having problems was with the way I was holding the egg. Its kind of hard to describe what I was doing, but I ended up with a bigger section of crushed shell rather than a crack that would separate nicely. Holding the egg the way you show - consistent success


Anonymous said...

Cool! Thank you for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Very cool video. I've been cracking one-handed since I was about chin-high to the kitchen counter and was very impressed by my father's nifty egg cracking. It's been difficult to explain to people how it's done simply because it's such an ingrained type of movement. It's almost like trying to explain how to tie your shoes; it's an odd explanation, but once you get it, you've got it.

food makes me happy said...

wow I think it's one of the most useful kitchen skill 101 video I've ever seen!

mikie said...

amazing! I was cooking for a new friend I met the other day, she saw me preparing the eggs and was so impressed, as I casually cracked egg after egg.. little did she know I had learnt only a few days ago.. I think I've pulled... god bless ya!

Anonymous said...

Hah, fantastico!
Will try soon, thanks chef!

Anonymous said...

yo john,

very good description..

I work at a breakfast restaurant and usually crack 120 dozen a day. Are you aware of any egg cracking records because I am very fast. I was able to crack a tray of 30 eggs in 19.5 seconds..

once again, love the video

thanks alot,

Chef John said...

OMG, you are the man.

PLEASE, have a friend video tape that and youtube it!!!

Anonymous said...

hahah ill try to do that.

i cant get enough of this site. i love to cook and i was thinking of how cool it would be to have a site like this and I found foodwishes and cant get off of it


Anonymous said...

hey! this vid showed up on Dr. Mercola's website: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/08/Crack-an-Egg-with-One-Hand.aspx

thought you might be interested.