Beating Egg Whites

Egg whites are often beaten to produce stiff peaks, such as for meringues. The tips below will help you whip whites properly.
  1. For best results, use a copper, stainless-steel, or glass bowl. Check to make sure bowl and beaters are completely clean and dry. (The smallest trace of yolk, water, or fat can prevent the whites from obtaining maximum volume.)

  2. Beat the whites slowly until they are foamy, and then increase the speed. (If using egg whites for a savory recipe, add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar at this point to help stabilize them.) Do not overbeat or they will become dry and clump together.

    Beat egg whites until they foam.
    Beat egg whites until they foam.
  3. If the recipe instructs you to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, you can test them by lifting the beaters straight up from the egg whites. Peaks should remain on top of the egg whites, and when the bowl is tilted, the mixture should not slide around.

    Mixture should not move when tilted when beating egg whites.
    Mixture should not slide
    around when tilted.
  4. If adding to another mixture, immediately fold beaten egg whites gently into the mixture so volume is not lost; never beat or stir.
Tip: Eggs separate more easily when cold, but egg whites reach their fullest volume if allowed to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating. Plan ahead.

Want more information? Try these:

  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Egg Recipes: Who knew there were so many different ways to prepare eggs? You'll find some delicious varieties on our Egg Recipes page.
  • Breakfast Recipes: Start the morning off right with these scrumptious breakfast options.