Here’s Why Some Egg Yolks BREAK Easily

Broken egg yolks are one of the most annoying problems you can come across if you do a lot of cooking.

You might find that you need to separate the egg white from the egg yolk if you are trying to cook for a low-cholesterol diet. You also might need to separate the egg yolk and white if you’re making a recipe such as a meringue, a pudding, or a crème brûlée, or when you just want to use egg yolks instead of whole eggs in general.

Breaking eggs so that you keep the egg yolk intact is a cooking skill that you will develop over time. However, it’s important to realize that some egg yolks simply break more easily than others.

Understanding Egg Yolk Breakage

Cracking egg over frying pan with a yolk that breaks easily

A variety of factors impact egg yolk strength. Egg freshness is one of the most important factors that influences egg yolk strength. Older eggs that have been in storage for a while will have weak egg yolks that break more easily.

Cold temperatures can also negatively impact yolk strength. That’s why it’s often recommended to purchase fresh farm eggs and avoid storing them in the refrigerator.

The breed of chicken that produces a particular egg can also impact yolk strength.

Factors That Cause Egg Yolks To Break Easily

Broken yolks are a huge frustration for cooks. Fortunately, broken egg yolks are easy to avoid if you make some smart choices regarding your egg supply and how you store eggs.

Farm fresh eggs that won't break easily

If you buy local, farm-fresh eggs, you’ll be less likely to deal with weak yolks. Standard, commercially produced eggs at grocery stores in the U.S. are refrigerated and cleaned so that they no longer have their “bloom” intact. Eggs without the bloom intact require refrigeration to stay fresh.

The egg bloom refers to a coating that is put on eggs naturally by the hen’s body when the egg is initially lain. This bloom makes it so that natural eggs don’t need to be refrigerated for up to two weeks because it protects the egg yolk interior from penetration by bacteria and other substances that cause an egg to go bad and reduce yolk strength.

The yolk is stronger in eggs that are not refrigerated, since cold temperatures can weaken an egg yolk.

It’s also best to simply do some experimenting to find eggs that hold up to being broken without yolk breakage. Since certain chicken breeds produce stronger yolks, you should familiarize yourself with these breeds. You should then find egg suppliers in your area that offer eggs from these breeds. When it comes to yolk and strength of eggshells, the White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, and Plymouth Rock chicken breeds are widely regarded as the best layers.

Avoiding Egg Yolk Breakage

If you’re wondering why egg yolks break, you should know that freshness and temperature are the two main factors that impact yolk strength. Choose a local supplier of fresh eggs if you want to avoid cooking with eggs that have delicate yolks that break easily.

Choosing the right egg variety in your area and storing your eggs properly will make it much easier for you to prepare recipes that specifically require fresh egg whites or egg yolks rather than whole eggs.