Have you ever been separating eggs for, say, a cake and had to discard the whites because some yolk got into them? Or perhaps you’ve pierced a yolk on a jagged shell while trying to juggle it back and forth between shell halves.

If you’ve experienced these or similar problems, you may want to look into egg separators. These come in a wide range of designs and price points, from $1.99 for a stainless steel separator all the way up to $92.94 for the Eurodib Bron Coucke Egg Separator, Model# SPOE01.

While many of these tools are reliable, the best separator for eggs is a tool you already possess. It is ideal for the job, and best of all it won’t cost you a cent.

What is it? It’s your impeccably clean hand.

Think about it. The palm of your hand is soft and well padded — perfect for cradling the contents of a freshly cracked egg.

Here’s how the “tool” works.

  1. Crack the egg on a counter-top or other flat surface. Do not crack the egg on the edge of a bowl. Apart from the danger of a wanton shard of shell poking the yolk, cracking an egg on a sharp surface can drive bacteria on the surface of the shell into the contents.
  2. Carefully pull the halves apart vertically such that the yolk and albumen (the white) are contained in the bottom half.
  3. Gently pour the contents into the palm of your hand. Open your fingers just wide enough to allow the albumen to slide down into the bowl below.
  4. Lower the yolk into a second bowl.

With practice, you can’t get pretty quick at separating eggs using this method.