How to Crack an Egg with One Hand

by Irvin on April 11, 2014 · 17 comments

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A short and quick tutorial on how to crack an egg with one hand.

How to crack an egg with one hand. Photo and tutorial by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

“Can you show us how to crack an egg with one hand?” asked my classmate in the Le Cordon Bleu cooking class. We were doing a session on how to cook eggs (sunny side up, over easy, scrambled, omelettes, poached and shirred) but, as usual, it was the little simple things that caught my attention and made me take note. I’ve always been the sort of person envious of those cooks that can crack an egg with one hand, it looked so bad ass and casual at the same time. But I’ve never thought to ask anyone to teach it to me.

A tutorial on how to crack eggs with one hand. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Turns out, the reason cooks do it’s so casually is because it’s pretty easy to do. The first trick is to make sure to crack the egg firmly on a flat surface. If you crack the egg on the edge of a bowl (which a lot of people do) there’s more chance that a stray piece of shell will break off and that means a higher chance of broken yolk or worse having to fish the shell piece out of the bowl or pan (a nearly Sisyphean task).

How to Crack and Egg. Photo and Tutorial by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

How to Crack an Egg with One Hand. Tutorial and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Once you’ve cracked the egg, you make a motion similar to snapping your fingers, but with the egg in your hand. The idea is to keep your thumb and index finger on the top half of the egg shell, while the middle finger anchors the bottom half of the shell against your palm near the your thumb. Pull up with thumb and index finger while holding onto the bottom half of the shell and release egg into your bowl or pan. Simple right?

How to crack an egg. Tutorial and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

A diagram to explain how to crack an egg with one hand. Photo and tutorial by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Of course, pictures can only explain it so much, so I made as short tutorial video as well to help you crack eggs single handed. Soon you’ll be an insouciant bad ass in the kitchen cracking eggs one handed with abandon.

This past week I shared tips, tricks and recipes that I learned while taking a class at Le Cordon Bleu. You check out some of my other posts from this week. Thanks for stopping by!

Photo Essay: Le Cordon Bleu Techniques I Class
Homemade Gnocchi, an easy two-ingredient recipe
Peeling Carrots Like a Pro (including a video tutorial)
Tea Smoked Shrimp Vegetable Ribbon Salad and Asian Pesto

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie April 11, 2014 at 7:45 am

Cool! I crack eggs with one hand sometimes, but only into the dogs’ dishes since the shell usually ends up pretty mashed and I am sure there would be shell fragments. The dogs obviously don’t care. 🙂

The hens are laying too many eggs right now (spring!) so I will have lots of chances to practice.


Kristin Nicole April 11, 2014 at 8:55 am

That’s awesome though that you have your own eggs 🙂 Have you tried selling them to a local fresh market? I am not sure how that works but it’s probably great to look into for some extra money and the fact that if there are too many it’s hard to handle haha. I have two mango trees and in the summer it’s hard to hold onto all of them, plus there are so many mangos I can eat lol.


Karen April 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

There’s an on-line farmers market called where you can buy directly from farmers and the farmers can sell things like eggs, cheese, meat, and poultry, etc, just not produce, so no mangos unfortunately.


Kristin Nicole April 11, 2014 at 8:50 am

Love it…. I think a lot of people wonder how to crack an egg with one hand and the main problem is trying to use the edge of the bowl. 🙂 Are you taking a few classes at the Cordon Bleu or are you enrolled? I’ve thought of taking some classes myself to learn basics that only in a class/school you can learn. Great tips… THANK YOU


Irvin April 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I only took the one class there, a Techniques I class that covers basic techniques like knifes skills, different methods to cook (wet vs dry heat) and mother sauces. I knew a lot of it from various cookbooks but it’s always so great to be able to learn from a professional chef in person!


Kristin Nicole April 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Definitely. Good to know you can just take 1 class if you want. I have to look into that because it is always good to get tips from the professionals, like you said 🙂 Sounds like fun.


Chelsea April 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Bursting in here to ask a question – Irvin, you say one of the things your class covered was mother sauces? Did you do espagnole or demi-glace? This is coming up on my self-assigned cooking project for the year, and I have yet to find a recipe that looks reasonable and dependable. Thoughts?


Irvin April 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm

You know, my class DID cover mother sauces, but it was very cursory. We only had five 6-hour days so we just touched on it and we didn’t go very deep. If I really wanted to go deeper, I’d probably get either Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making by James Peterson or Modern Sauces by Martha Holmberg. Both of those books are fairly comprehensive when it comes to the mother sauces and the derivative sauces.

You could probably also consult with classic culinary textbook, like The Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute or my go to one LaVarenne Pratique which sadly is out of print but used copies are worth tracking down.

And, of course, there is always Julia Child’s >Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia rarely steers me wrong.

Finally, though I hesitate to bring it up because he’s kind of an ass, but Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook is surprisingly informative AND accessible. You have to willing to put up with him swearing a lot at you. Nothing super fancy but all rock solid. In fact his recipe (a term I use loosely) for the making demi-glace is pretty haphazard and fairly rough. But it will yield a useable product in the end. As he would probably say, it won’t impress Thomas Keller but it’ll probably kick the a** of all your friend’s food….


Chelsea April 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Wow, thank you so much for the detailed recommendations! I think I’m going to put off making this particular mother (hah!) until after my summer break when I’ve had a chance to do some reading!

Eugen @ Munch Ado April 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

Great tutorial, but it’s not as easy as it looks. I managed to crack it with one hand after 3 attempts. I guess practice makes perfect after all 🙂

Eugen @ The Munch Ado Blog


Irvin April 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm

So true! It does take some practice but once you get the hang of it, it comes fairly naturally. I think a lot actually has to do with how you crack it on the surface as you need enough of the shell to break in the right way to open up properly.


Wes Bailey (@baywes) April 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

I am inspired to try this today. I have been making eggs over easy for the kids and my sandwiches and hate having to fish the shell out when I make a mistake. Thanks for sharing Irvin!


Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking April 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Lol! Your labeled pictures are hilarious…maybe it’s just me. I have always been able to crack an egg with one hand but somehow it feels messier to do it that way…maybe this is just me again!

Loved your tutorial and I think I’ll go back to the one hand crack 🙂


Christine from Cook the Story April 14, 2014 at 7:53 am

Your skills ROCK, Irvin!


Karen April 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

Few things can make you feel as sophisticated a chef as cracking an egg with one hand. Thanks for sharing!


Sara May 7, 2014 at 5:22 am

I was just telling my sons how “some people can even crack an egg with one hand”–I’ll have to practice this and become one of those people. Superhero power? Maybe not, but it would be cool!


Becca September 26, 2014 at 6:45 am

I did it! I was so excited that I was able to do this that I woke my husband out of bed just to show him. He was groggy, but pleased. Thank you for sharing. You did an excellent job explaining this simply.


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