Egg Separators

Published April 1, 2012. From Cook's Country.

Do you really need a gadget for something you can do faster with your hands?

Overview:

First, we’ll level with you: The idea of a gadget for separating eggs was not a hit with most of the cooks in the test kitchen. (Using half of the broken shell, or even your fingers, works just fine.) But separating many eggs for a recipe like Lemon Snow with Custard Sauce is time-consuming and messy, so we thought that a device that let white and yolk make a quick, clean break just might find a spot in our pantry.

Egg separators run the gamut from simple slotted spoons to more complex contraptions that also help you measure and store whites. We bought six, priced from $1.99 to a whopping $19.98, and got cracking. Shockingly, most separators simply failed to work, with slats that were not large enough to allow thick egg whites to drop efficiently. We grew impatient waiting for the viscous blob of egg white to surrender to gravity. One model, a five-part system for separating and storing whites and yolks, charmed us with its hinged strainer cup that let us flip the yolk into a cute yellow canister after separating. But as the… read more

First, we’ll level with you: The idea of a gadget for separating eggs was not a hit with most of the cooks in the test kitchen. (Using half of the broken shell, or even your fingers, works just fine.) But separating many eggs for a recipe like Lemon Snow with Custard Sauce is time-consuming and messy, so we thought that a device that let white and yolk make a quick, clean break just might find a spot in our pantry.

Egg separators run the gamut from simple slotted spoons to more complex contraptions that also help you measure and store whites. We bought six, priced from $1.99 to a whopping $19.98, and got cracking. Shockingly, most separators simply failed to work, with slats that were not large enough to allow thick egg whites to drop efficiently. We grew impatient waiting for the viscous blob of egg white to surrender to gravity. One model, a five-part system for separating and storing whites and yolks, charmed us with its hinged strainer cup that let us flip the yolk into a cute yellow canister after separating. But as the white remained suspended from the yolk catcher, we had to resort to jiggling and jostling the hinge. Cleaning and keeping track of all five parts held no allure, either.

The best performer comprised two simple parts: a wide, slotted cup for the yolk (with a crisp raised edge all around for easy cracking—even for lefties) and a clear plastic base marked with measurements, which held up to 10 whites. It didn’t allow us to separate eggs any faster than we can manage with our bare hands. (When we timed a tester, her hands separated 10 eggs well over a minute faster than the tool did.) But it captured each egg without spilling, and while it sometimes took a few shakes to get the white to release, we never had to touch the eggs—leaving our hands clean and free for other tasks. We’re still not entirely sold on the need for egg separators, but our winner cleans up easily, and won’t break the bank.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Wilton Egg Separator

    This two-part plastic separator looks like a measuring cup without a handle, with marks for cup fractions and milliliters. We cracked eggs on the raised edges of the lid and found the catch basin conveniently large. The white sometimes paused before releasing into the cup bottom—it depended on the white’s thickness. And we had to figure out where to put the separated yolk. But in the meantime, it rested safely in the slotted catch basin.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Separating Ability ★★

    $6.99

  • Recommended with Reservations

    Kuhn Rikon Egg Separator

    This five-part system for separating, measuring, and storing egg whites and yolks uses a hinged strainer that let us flip the yolk from one side to the other (after the white separated). It had other ingenious touches, like the sharp top of the hinge for cracking the egg. The flaw was in the basic function: separation. The problem? The bowl of the strainer was so deep that it allowed the white to puddle suspended atop the yolk, forcing us to rattle the hinge or tug at the white with our fingers. (And we’re not looking forward to keeping track of five separate pieces.)

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Separating Ability ★★

    $14.95

  • Not Recommended

    Yolky Egg Separator by MSC International

    This thin plastic clip affixes to the side of a bowl or liquid measuring cup, but its opening did not accommodate bowls with flared edges, and on straight-sided bowls its hold was loose, making it feel flimsy. Since it was designed to do only one thing (catch the yolk and filter out the white), it should have done it flawlessly. But thanks to narrow slats, it held on to both white and yolk more often than not, and since we couldn’t use it to crack the egg, we often got dribbles from cracking on our countertop or cutting board.

    • Ease of Use
    • Separating Ability ★★

    $1.99

  • Not Recommended

    Paderno Egg Separator

    This sleek, stainless steel separator is designed to span the bowl’s width—but at 8 7/8 inches long, it didn’t reach across even a medium-size bowl. Its sturdy brushed-steel handle was the best part—we could tip it from side to side to release the white from the yolk. But the slats on the yolk holder were too narrow to allow separation to happen on its own. And for almost $20, it really ought to work without our help.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Separating Ability

    $19.98

  • Not Recommended

    Cuisinox Egg Separator with Lock-In Base

    This stainless steel separator uses a slotted cup firmly wedged in the top of a narrow cylinder, but its deep strainer bowl let the white remain suspended over the yolk almost every time. With a lot of shaking, we could get the white to run into the collecting cylinder, which held up to five egg whites. But whenever it held two or more whites it backed up and would not allow another separation without a vigorous (and potentially yolk-breaking) shake.

    • Ease of Use
    • Separating Ability

    $12

  • Not Recommended

    Fox Run Egg Separator

    This short spoon won’t take up much drawer space, but it perched only on bowls or cups no wider than 6 inches. With a fairly deep bowl and narrow straining slats, it needed several good shakes to get the egg white to finally let go. We could have cracked and separated half a dozen eggs in the time that we spent struggling to get it to release. 

    • Ease of Use
    • Separating Ability

    $1.99

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