Break an Egg with One Hand

Professional cooks generally use one hand to break eggs as a means of saving time. However, doing so can also be a fun way to impress friends and family members. With practice, you can even start breaking two eggs at once! With these instructions and a little practice, you'll be a master in no time!


Practicing the Motions

  1. Hold two ping pong balls together.[1] They should be sitting in the palm of your hand, with one in front towards your fingers, and the other behind.
    • You can also use golf balls.[2]
  2. Place a quarter between the balls. Then squeeze the balls together to hold the quarter there. Your thumb, index and middle fingers should grasp one ball, while your other two fingers hold the other ball against the back of your hand. [3]
    • Once the positioning of your fingers is right, you can flip your hand over, holding the balls like an egg that you would crack.
  3. Separate the front ball from the back. This motion should come from your first three fingers. Your pinkie and ring finger should be holding the back ball against your palm.
    • In order to start the motion, think about your thumb pushing away from your hand and taking the ball with it.

Cracking the Eggs

  1. Hold your egg like you held the two ping pong balls. Your thumb and first finger should be holding the small end, while your second and third fingers are pressing the other end against the heel of your palm.
    • You may want to practice on top of a bowl or other container, just in case pieces of shell do make it into the final product.[4]
  2. Crack the egg in the center. Typically, you crack the egg against the top edge of the container you are about to put the contents into. You can also crack the egg against a flat surface, which some people find lessens the chance of the yolk breaking, and prevents eggshell surface bacteria from entering the contents.[5]
    • Make sure the point of impact is between your thumb and first finger and the rest of the fingers.
  3. Open the egg. Hold the egg crack down above a pan or bowl. Separate the top half with your thumb, index and middle finger, while you hold the back half against your palm. The inside of the egg should drop out. If it doesn’t, tilt your hand and try to open the shells wider with your fingers.
    • Most people drop the egg yolk close to the pan or bowl, then pull it up rapidly as they continue to let it drop. This will help free the egg from the shell.
  4. Take care of the shells. If you are cracking many eggs, most people stack the top and bottom half of the shell and put it back in the container to discard later. Otherwise, you can throw them in a bowl or your sink. Remember that eggshells are also compostable!
    • If some shell dropped in after you cracked the egg, you can remove it with a fork after discarding the rest of your shells.
  5. Practice making the motion fluid. Keep practicing until you can do it quickly. Try to do the steps faster and faster, until you can quickly crack the egg, separate the halves, and drop the yolk in one fluid motion.
    • Practice with your non-dominant hand as well. That way, you can break eggs two-handed!
    • Professional cooks often break eggs two at a time to cut preparation time from recipes, but you can do it to impress family members when you are making scrambled eggs.


  • Sometimes looking away from the egg helps. This way you are not concentrating too hard and can develop your own "touch".
  • If you are having trouble at first, try turning the egg and continuing the crack further around the egg, making it easier to pull open.


  • Keep a towel and disinfectant handy to clean up spills. This will help avoid contamination of other food products that may come in contact with the same surface.
  • Raw eggs can contain salmonella, so be sure to wash your hands and any surfaces that the raw egg comes into contact with.

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Sources and Citations