Cracking an egg might look simple, but if you end up with pieces of shell in your cake batter or omelet blend, it becomes anything but. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to fish out those slippery pieces of shell.
To get stray pieces of shell out of an egg-based mixture, all you need is some water. While this hack might initially sound strange, it’s actually incredibly effective. To remove bits of eggshell from a mix, most people just reach in and try to fish them out with their fingers or a fork.
However, this method can get both messy and frustrating. The key is to wet your fingers before attempting to remove the shell.
Why does this work, though? Harold McGee, a food science writer, explained to Food52 that it’s all about the egg whites. When your fingers are dry, the whites will stick to them and get in the way of you getting to the shell.
The solution is wetting your fingers. When you do this, the egg white won’t be able to adhere, and you should be able to grab the shell without it getting in the way.
If you’re concerned about getting raw egg on your hands, don’t be. McGee addressed that as well and explained that the salmonella rate in eggs is low—around one in 10,000. Be sure to wash your hands before handling the eggs (so as not to contaminate them), and then wash again afterward, and you’ll be just fine.
The next time you notice a shell in your cake batter or in your raw eggs, just wet your hands.