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Egg Cooking Basics

Created January 11, 2017
Baked or fried, scrambled or poached, eggs are packed with protein and are a sure crowd-pleaser.


Preparing a healthy, satisfying breakfast or brunch for family and friends? Baked or fried, scrambled or poached, eggs are packed with protein and are a sure crowd-pleaser. Use eggs as the key ingredient in your main dish—our baked vegetable omelet recipe, for example—or in recipes for sides such as Bisquick buttermilk pancakes or apple-cheddar muffins. 

Before you choose a breakfast recipe or set your brunch menu, learn the basics of preparing eggs.

Learn the Basics

First thing’s first: Understand the different types of egg preparations that many breakfast and brunch recipes require. For instructions on how to make hard-cooked, soft-cooked, poached, fried or baked eggs, simply follow these tips. You’ll also learn success tips for each type.

Once you know the basics, try moving on to more advanced ways to prepare eggs.

Separating Egg Whites

Whether you’re following the recipe for our black-and-white coconut macaroons or are opting for a healthy option like our garden vegetable bake, many breakfast and brunch recipes call for egg whites.

Here’s how to separate egg whites:

  1. Lightly crack an egg on the edge of a bowl.
  2. Turning the egg upright, carefully open the shell into two halves, keeping the egg in the lower half.
  3. Over the bowl, pour the egg from one half of the broken shell into the other, letting the egg white fall into the bowl, but keeping the yolk intact in the shell halves as you pour.
  4. Repeat until all the white has fallen into the bowl, leaving only the yolk in the shell.

Or try this:

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands.
  2. Over a bowl, gently crack the egg.
  3. Gently drop the egg’s contents into your hand near your fingertips.
  4. The egg whites will drip through your fingers into the bowl.

Folding Egg Whites

Once you’ve mastered separating egg whites, you can move on to another preparation: folding egg whites. Folding whites into other recipe ingredients gives dishes volume and fluffiness, like when making a soufflé. Try our chiles rellenos egg soufflé bake. Beat the egg whites until they’re stiff and have peaks (stand up on their own). When using an electric mixer, set on a low to medium speed.

To fold egg whites:

  • Pour egg whites into batter or other ingredients, as directed by recipe.
  • Use a rubber spatula.
  • Cut spatula into the egg whites, and while turning spatula, scrape the bottom of the bowl, lifting the spatula back up to “fold” the contents of the bowl over the egg whites.
  • Turn the bowl as you fold.
  • Repeat until egg whites are fully mixed with contents of bowl

Using Egg Yolks

Those egg yolks don’t have to go to waste when your recipe calls for egg whites.

  • Whisk egg yolks with water, lemon juice, butter and salt to make hollandaise sauce for eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon or eggs Florentine with spinach.
  • Use the yolks to make cookies, almond macaroons or biscuits.
  • Mix a yolk with ¼ teaspoon water and add your choice of food color to glaze sugar cookies.

Play It Safe

It’s important to keep in mind a few safety tips when cooking with and serving eggs:

  • Buy only refrigerated eggs, and refrigerate them promptly after taking them home.
  • Store eggs in their original carton and use them within three weeks.
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after working with eggs.
  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and the whites are firm. Casseroles and other egg dishes should be cooked at 160ºF. And if a dish calls for raw or undercooked eggs, be sure to use egg shells treated to destroy Salmonella.
  • Serve cooked eggs and egg dishes immediately after preparing. You may refrigerate some dishes, but be sure to reheat properly.
  • Cooked eggs should not sit out for more than two hours. Refrigerated cooked egg dishes should be used within three to four days.