Technique of the Week: How to Beat Egg Whites

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Like creaming butter and sugar, beating egg whites is a critical step in recipes to trap air and create lightness. It's critical for puffing up meringues, chiffon cakes, angel food cakes, souffl├ęs, waffles, and many other dishes.

Improperly beaten egg whites (both under- and over-beaten) aren't aerated adequately, and as a result, the final product is dense, flat, and a big disappointment, especially if your arms are aching from beating those eggs by hand. But it's not hard to get it right, especially if you know a few tips.

This slideshow will take you through the process of achieving perfectly beaten egg whites, from the whole egg to stiff peaks.