Can you break an egg's yolk without breaking the shell?

I don’t even know if it’s easy or impossible since I’ve never tried, but I am curious about it.

Certainly. Don’t you remember the K-Tel (or as it Ronco) Inside the Egg Shell Egg Scrambler?

If you didn’t want to shell out (Ha!) the dough for the cheap plastic gizmo, all you had to do was carefullt insert a clean needle through the egg shell and whisk it about.
You can cut a banana in two without peeling it, too, if you know how.

I knew I should have added… without a needle! Just using external forces.

I’ll bet that if you coddled the shell and spun the egg as if in a centrifuge you could do it. Maybe you could just stick the egg in a padded centrifuge.

The question, as with the Popeil machine, is Why?

Ahhh…but I believe you have thereby “broken the shell”! :wink:

I would love to know how to do this WITHOUT breaking the shell. Imagine Swirled Boiled Eggs!

No I haven’t – I’ve penetrated it without breaking it. The hole is so small that the contents won’t come out, and there are no cracks in the shell – only a discreet hole.
It’s all a matter of definition. The Popeil folks claimed you could use their device to scramble the contents “without breakuing the shell”.

If they can break up gallstones with ultrasound, I’m sure they could do the same thing with an egg yolk. You can probably get the interior of the egg pretty well emulsified if you want.

Doesn’t the gallstone thing work because they’re stones and have no flexibility? A liquid egg yolk surrounded by a membrane would probably just change shape in response to the bombardment of ultrasound and not break.

Well, in this experiment, ultrasound works on liquids. So I don’t think a solid target is a requirement.

Breaking the yolk without breaking the shell is really simple. Just shake the egg vigorously. The egg is then literally 'addled", with the yolk membrane broken.

This is so easy to do that considerable effort has to be taken to prevent it from occuring when tranporting eggs. Back in the days of horse drawn transport and rough roads it was normal to have at least some of your eggs delivered addled.

Try it yourself. Get a fresh egg, shake it vigorously for a few minutes, then crack it. No special machines or tricks required. I’m actually surpised that so many people have apparently never seen an adled egg. Says something for the quality control and transport of commercial eggs I guess.

Note that addled eggs aren’t particularly appealing. Because they are mixed while still liquid you tend to get a plae yellow mess inside the shell, and if it occurs some time before opening there are some chemical reations occur that give the egg an odd flavour. Safe enough to eat but not something I could enjoy.

Mind you people eat “thousand year eggs” so…

So my idea for swirled boiled eggs wouldn’t work?

The shaking thing will break the yolk inside the shell, but it is more work than scrambling them in a bowl. I think the result would be closer to scrambled boiled eggs. And no one wants that. You might be able to experiment by shaking a few eggs for varying amounts of time and see if you can create something closer to what you are thinking. But I think with the difference in texture between boiled egg white and yolks that your swirled boiled eggs would crumble apart while peeling. I don’t know for sure, but you can try and prove me wrong.