Cracking an egg with one hand is one of those simple skills that says, I know my way around a kitchen. When pastry chef Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer at Marlowe, The Cavalier, and Park Tavern restaurants in San Francisco, stopped by our test kitchen to demo a few recipes for us, we noticed that she had a particularly graceful way of doing it. So we asked her to teach us how so that we, too, can crack eggs with the ease and skill of someone who has been baking professionally for more than 20 years.

The trick is all in the thumb: after cracking your egg on a flat surface, push away from yourself with your thumb as you pull with your fingers. The shell should pop right open and the egg will drop into the waiting bowl below. Until you master it, we suggest cracking the eggs over a separate bowl so you can fish out any shell fragments before you add them to your recipe. (The best way to do that? Rather than using your finger, try scooping it out with another, larger, piece of shell.)

Need ideas for using all those eggs you’ve expertly cracked? Some of our favorite recipes:

Our best cakes and desserts »
22 egg dishes »
Classic crème brûlée »
Vanilla meringue »