Emptying and Marking Eggs


Scroll down to see how to save the yolks

From Doris..........

After all these years of frustration and trying several methods for blowing eggs I finally hit upon a foolproof method that newbies who have no air compressor, (or money), or anyone who has arthritis in their hands can use. Please don't laugh at me - but "with" me I think is A-okay. I got a little black foot pump (cheap from Canadian Tire) with a useless little pressure gauge on it, and a likewise useless foot long air hose that a supplied needle fits on for blowing up footballs, etc.

I'm no contortionist, so now please go ahead and laugh with me. I tried pumping with my foot while trying to hold that needle with its very short hose in the egg. Now that would be some feat as I soon discovered! Uh-uh! However, I placed the foot pump on the table. No my foot doesn't reach that high! I clutched the air hose between the little finger and ring finger of my left hand, held the egg (today it was quail) between my first finger and thumb, placed the hole I'd drilled in the egg over the needle.

Two little pumps with my right hand and those eggs emptied like spitting it out. You can use this 'foot' pump anywhere - and no electricity. I've used it with goose or emu eggs too but haven't tried ostrich eggs yet. The attachment tells it all. It took me less than 1/2 hr to drill the holes and empty and rinse out 24 eggs.

From Karen..........

I can one up you on ease of egg blowing. Someone gave me the idea of using an aquarium air pump. What I have done is take a low end, cheapie aquarium pump, gotten a length of silicone aquarium air hose (this is important because it is more flexible) and the same sort of needle valve for blowing up a football that you described. You have to warm up the end of the hose and stretch it out with a pair of needle nose pliers inside.

Fill a mug with boiling water and stand the tubing in the water for a while.This will soften the plastic and allow you to push the valve inside. I think this would be easier than all the pushing & pulling with the pliers.

Eventually you will get tired of using the hair dryer and the pliers and can cut the end of the hose and attempt to get the needle valve into the hose. No small feat and well worth the pain. Use two pairs of pliers and whatever it takes to do the job. I then put a zip tie, wire tie, quick tie, cable tie over the hose and crank down on the needle valve inside the hose.

If you hook this whole needle valve zip tied hose contraption to the aquarium pump, all you have to do is plug the pump in and you get a continuous, gently stream of air. I can do about 72 an hour, which includes drilling the holes (thank you Dremel), blowing them, sanitizing them.

I have to advise not using an aquarium air pump of substance because it will blow the eggs out the other side not so infrequently. The guts of the egg can get stuck occasionally and the best solution is to stop daydreaming, pull the needle valve out, and stand back as the hypercharged egg contents shoot out.This whole mess was created when I managed to give myself salmonella poisoning blowing grocery store eggs by mouth.

I would suggest if using an aquarium pump, to add an aquarium valve along the line to control the amount of air to prevent blowing out the eggs.

From Lois.............

For smaller eggs you can use a little blue bulb that is sold in the baby department and also comes home from the hospital with an infant. It has a long slender protrusion with a small hole that fits into the hole in the egg . One or two squeezes and your all done. You can also use this to put the bleach solution back into the egg.

Tools to empty eggs

Fig.A-carbide flame burr to make drain hole in egg.
This tool is used in a Dremel type tool.
Fig.B- tool to blow the inards out of egg.
Fig.C- The pointed end to make hole in the egg.
Fig.D- Pump tool to blow air in egg.
Fig.C and D comes with the Blas-Fix to empty eggs
which can be bought in most egging supply places
in the supply list.


Save the Yolk and Eggwhite Separately

From Edna............

I have been emptying my pheasant, duck, and chicken shells for years (literally thousands) and getting the whites and yolks out separately. For, you see, my family very much likes homemade angel food cake (the whites) and homemade pasta (the yolks). I would rely on a pump or other method perhaps for larger eggs such as rhea, etc., however I emptied those with the syringe as well.

An overview of how I do it:

1. Wash eggs. Drill one 1/8" to 3/16" hole in large end of shell. This is important as the yolks generally have a certain position inside the shell (not this end) and the air pocket is generally in that end. The air pocket helps to keep the hole drilling less messy.

2. Prepare your work area with containers, (I use cereal bowls), wet paper towels or cloths and a teaspoon just in case a bit of yolk escapes you into the whites. You will need a 20 to 35 cc syringe (get them from your vet supply) and a 14 to 18 mm, 2" to 2 1/2" needle. The smaller the egg, the smaller the syringe and needle. This enables you to keep your egg contents clean and safe to eat.

3. Load the syringe with air. Hold egg cradled in your palm with hole toward you at a 45 degree angle. Insert needle, with the beveled edge up, slantwise up into the hole. Hold the syringe so that the tip of the needle just barely skims the inside of the upper part of the shell until the tip is about 3/4 of the way up the inside of the shell. The reason for this is because you *do not* want to pierce the yolk.

4. Slowly expel air into egg. Only the white will come out around the needle providing you have not nicked the yolk or it is not in it's usual position inside the egg. Continue until you see the yolk beginning to peek at you in the hole. Remember, slowly until you get the hang of the right amount of air to push into the egg and at one rate. This is the tricky part but with practice you will soon be doing it very well and stopping the air flow before the yolk begins to come out. I generally succeed with about 11 out of 12 eggs. And yes, you can pop a shell if you go to fast.

5. Now start on the next egg. I usually work on 18 at a time using the egg cartons for a dozen and a half. When all your eggs have the whites expelled, repeat this procedure to expel the yolks into another bowl. This is a remarkably quick way to empty eggs. You do need to be gentle and try not to push against the hole too much as it can cause small cracks radiating into the shell. If white gets into the yolks, that isn't a problem. However, if you get yolk into the whites and want to make angel food cake with them, that is a problem. The whites won't whip up because of the fat in the yolk.

6. Using an older syringe and needle (you no longer need to keep the shells food clean) put clean water into the shells. Shake them up, then load syringe with air and expel water. I usually use water with a bit of dishwashing liquid for this rinse but that is because I don't use my shells for pysanky. Rinse again and then a final rinse of 1/4 cup white vinegar in 1 quart water. I place my shells on a multiple layer of old towels to drain and dry.

For me the rinsing multiple times is very important. You don't want to leave behind a spot of egg contents to dry inside the shell, they cause you problems when you are carving. Doing a delicate carving with points hanging out there (as Gary says) and finding a clump of dried matter inside is enough to cry about when you have worked hours to get that design just right. I usually candle the shells after cleaning but still wet for cracks. I mark them with a pencil so I know where they are.

Hope this helps with getting the contents out of your eggs so that you don't have to eat that many scrambled eggs! If you don't want to use the contents immediately, you can freeze the whites as they are. I measure the amount I need for my cakes then freeze them.

The yolks need one teaspoon of salt per cup of yolks, stirred well, before freezing. If you freeze yolks without the salt the yolks will come out of the freezer looking like they have been cooked and are hard lumps. I use salt as my pasta recipe is 1 cup yolks, 1 teaspoon salt and 4 cups all purpose flour. Also mixing the salt into the yolks causes a chemical reaction (not harmful) that makes the yolks turn a much darker yellow. This looks very nice when the pasta is made up. I have also heard that sugar will also prevent the hardening of the yolks when frozen but I haven't tried that method, then they are used in baking.

Edna in Colorado Springs USA


Blowing Out an Egg
with the Blas-fix tool


I also found this web page on how to use the Markit tool to mark an egg.
Also be aware that this tool does not fit an ostrich egg or the very large rhea eggs.
Other then that, this is the marking tool I like using.

Using the Markit Tool