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Eggs

July 16, 2012

Old Cook's Tale: You Can't Whip Egg Whites With a Speck of Yolk in Them

EggWhiteDebunk-15
You can't whip egg whites if there is even a tiny speck of yolk in them. It is known.

According to the common wisdom, that tiny drop of yolk in the photo is enough to stop a bowl of egg whites in their tracks and reduce them to a weepy, watery mess.

Ask any baker and they will tell you this is true. They may go on to recite the rest of the basics, described here by King Arthur Flour:

  • The bowl and beaters must be clean and grease-free.
  • Use a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl, not plastic.
  • Egg whites will whip higher if they’re at room temperature before beating.

Admonitions to ensure everything is dry, lest a drop of water render the whites too runny to whip, are often included.

Truth be told, this isn't a particularly onerous list. If you wash your dishes, they won't be greasy; separating eggs is not rocket surgery; most of us have glass or stainless bowls; and a few minutes in warm tap water fixes cold eggs.

Still, it bothered me. Such exacting instructions coupled with dire warnings if not complied with exactly.

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