How to Beat Egg Whites

Properly beating egg whites is one of the most important baking skills you can master. Watch as our kitchen expert demonstrates her secrets to beating eggs that will result in light and airy cakes, souffles, and meringues.

-I'm Sue with the Better Homes and Gardens test kitchen. One of the most important cooking techniques you can master is properly beating egg whites and with our secret to success, you'll be able to make light, airy cakes, meringues and souffles like a pro. Let me show you how it's done. The first step is to separate the whites from the yolks. In the test kitchen, we always use an egg separator, it's an inexpensive tool that makes the job quick, clean and minimizes the spread of any bacteria from the outside of the shell. We also use what we call the 3 bowl method. You'll need 3 glass or stainless steel bowls, plastic is porous and can have an oily residue on the surface which would prevent the whites from beating properly. Separate one white into a small bowl, drop the yolk into another bowl then transfer the white to a larger bowl. This process helps prevent any egg yolk from getting in to the whites which would also prevent them from beating properly. Now let the whites come to room temperature. Warmer whites will beat better than cold ones. It takes about 30 minutes so do this before getting started on any other prep for your recipe, if you're in a hurry set the bowl of whites in a larger bowl that's about a half full of warm water. They'll be warm in about 10 minutes. Beat the whites with an electric mixer at medium speed until they start to thicken and turn white then increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the consistency indicated in the recipe. Stop the mixer periodically to check your progress. Soft peak stage is when the whites hold their shape as the beaters are lifted out but the tips crawl under. Stiff peaks are when the whites are shiny and the tips stand straight up, just be careful not to over beat, you'll know you've gone too far if they look dry, curdled and bumpy. If you get to this stage, you'll have to start over. They'll be impossible to fold in the batter and sauces and won't be able to give recipes the left they should. Mastering the secrets to success for properly beaten egg white is easier than ever with Better Homes and Gardens.