The Best Scrambled Eggs - FineCooking.com

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The Best Scrambled Eggs

By Brian Geiger, contributor

July 23rd, 2009

Kitchen Mysteries is a weekly exploration of oddities surrounding cooking and food. They could be recipes that fail when they shouldn't, conflicting advice from different sources, or just plain weirdness. If it happens in a kitchen, and you're not sure why, send a tweet to The Food Geek to find out what's happening.

Friend of The Food Geek Steve Whitaker asks via twitter,

See, now you're just trying to get me in trouble. It's something of a cliché that the true test of a chef's skill is making eggs. To the professional chef, an omelette is an idealized thing that has specific characteristics: firm on the outside, creamy on the inside. No fillings stuffed in there. Some butter, maybe some herbs. To an arbitrarily chosen person from an arbitrary location in the US, however, chances are than an ideal omelette is quite different: thick, firm through and through, with a specific set of fillers including some combination of meats, cheeses, and vegetables, as well as a topping of some sort.

Scrambled eggs are in a similar situation. To one subset of people, a scrambled egg has an exact look, an exact texture, and any deviation from that is failure. It'll be heavier on the firm than an omelette, but with some creaminess mixed in. To the rest of the people I'm likely to meet on a day-to-day basis, however, their preferences on scrambled eggs are going to vary. Most often, the arbitrarily chosen person will want something more thoroughly cooked, but some may prefer a degree of fluffiness, some may want a topping, some may want this, that, or another. It's not as bad as the omelette, but it's still difficult.

Therefore, like your coffee question from before, I will state the following: I am going to tell you how to make my favorite type of scrambled egg. This will not necessarily please anyone else (though I know several people whom it pleases). If you have a favorite, I heartily recommend posting in comments. I may secretly think you're wrong, but I'll know that it's a matter of preference.

First, general facts about cooking eggs:

My scrambled egg preparation goes like this:

Ingredients
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • Kosher salt
Equipment
  • 1 11" non-stick cooking pan
  • 1 pair of tongs
  • 1 spatula
  • 1 fork
  • 1 bowl
Directions
  1. Starting from a cold, non-stick frying pan, cook 5 strips of bacon over medium heat.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, season (with kosher salt) 4 eggs in a bowl or glass.
  3. Beat the eggs with a fork until combined.
  4. When the bacon is cooked, set it aside for future eating.
  5. The bacon grease should cover the bottom of your pan. Not the thinnest layer of bacon grease possible, but a bit more than that. Say 1 Tbl more than enough to cover your pan.
  6. While you were fiddling with the bacon grease, the pan should have cooled just a bit. Add the eggs and return to the medium heat.
  7. Mix with the spatula until the eggs are just a bit more moist than you would normally eat them. Plate with the bacon. Add some biscuits and maybe some fruit on the side if you're feeling a little heart conscious.

 

Serves 2. The fifth piece of bacon can be split, or the cook can eat it while cooking the eggs to ensure that no fainting happens near the oven due to malnutrition. Use your better judgement.

If you are cooking with a metal pan, these directions are all kinds of wrong. However, the goal here is to slowly bring both the bacon and the eggs up to temperature. Bacon lays flat better if cooked slowly, and as mentioned before, eggs don't dry out as quickly if you cook slowly. Also, I've been vague on the amount of salt partially because I tend to wing it with seasoning, and partially because it depends on what brand of bacon you use. 

Armed with the knowledge I've given you, you should not only be able to reproduce the eggs I cook, but you should be able to modify it for your taste.

 

posted in: Blogs, food geek, eggs, bacon, spatula, nonstick pan
Comments (14)

JRSutton writes: So many different approaches - how I am I going to have the time to test them all and see which one is better! Posted: 10:17 am on March 25th

finner2 writes: The best scrambled eggs, and the lightest, are done in the microwave. One bowl and not much clean-up

I always add a tbsp. or so of sour cream to the slightly beaten eggs (2) per person and a tbsp of water. A touch of salt and pepper,add a tiny bit of chopped onion for flavor.
if desired. Cook on high, stirring a couple times as they cook, (but watch they do not cook too much). Moist, light and delicious. Posted: 5:07 pm on August 12th

kidzmom42 writes: I am told I make the best scrambled eggs in the community I live in. I make them for our biweekly breakfasts. I use 5 dozen eggs, 6 pats of butter and that is it. No milk or water which I think toughens the eggs. I cook them low and slow and stop just before they are completely done so that the holdover cooking will bring them right to the point of perfection. I use a large electric skilled and cook them at 225 degrees, using a wide spatula and moving them all the time they are cooking. Try them you'll like them. Posted: 3:36 pm on August 1st

Jaecharl writes: The way I make scrambled eggs: When I want a creamy but fast scramble eggs.
butter
3 eggs (best quality you can buy)
salt 1/8- 1/4tsp or to taste

In a small bowl scramble egg and salt.
Melt on high a generous amount of butter in a small empty skillet. The amount of butter is as described in the article for bacon.
Add the eggs and immediately with a fork start quickly scrambling the eggs.(circular movement with the points of the fork going into the eggs). Turn the heat off while continuing to scramble. Scramble until eggs are just firm--place on your plate and eat immediately.

I use to put water and a little milk in with the eggs when I mixed them before I put them in the skillet, but I found this made leaky eggs. I am interested in using some of the methods of adding milk once the eggs are cooked a little--sounds promising.
The best scrambled eggs I made was when I was making it with a dozen eggs and this had milk. The pan was too small and I cooked them on medium--I kept on scrambling as described it took about 15 minutes to finally cook through, but they were creamy and delicious. A child who's mother told me hate eggs loved mine and kept requesting that I make them (I was teaching an afterschool baking class). Posted: 11:33 am on August 1st

knittingem writes: My scrambled egg additions are somewhat unusual, but well supported by food science. I add whole milk, salt, and just a bit each of sugar and lemon juice to my beaten eggs. All of these ingredients make it easier to end up with a creamier texture in the cooked eggs. They are fully cooked without really being firm. The lemon juice balances out the sugar so that you don't taste sweet or sour. Cooking over fairly low heat and not stirring until they begin to set are also key to egg perfection. Posted: 11:07 am on July 31st

KSD writes: I'm the egg cooker in the family . Breakfast waits for me .
Fresh , local & natural eggs are always best .
I usually wipe out the pan after the bacon or sausage because
I feel that butter showcases the flavor of eggs the best .

Crack eggs in a high sided bowl .
My favorite liquid is buttermilk , add a good splash .
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper , fine .
Put butter in pan . Heat should be enough to bubble , but not
burn .
Now beat eggs with a fork rapidly for 20-25 strokes .
Pour immediately into pan .
Move about the pan calmly .
Don't over "worry" them . It takes the air out.
When eggs are half set push aside to open a spot in the pan . Pour in 2-3tbs of cream . As it bubbles up fold eggs over in it gently to coat .
So lushious . Serve immediately on a hot plate .

I also like to add cream cheese , sour cream , or other cheeses at the "cream" point .
Whatever is in the fridge . Posted: 10:56 am on July 30th

humblegourmand writes: I forgot to mention (and agree with Starenka) that the quality of your eggs is enormously important. Try scrambling a regular grocery store egg, a commercial organic/free-range egg, and one from your local farmers' market. The latter blows the first two away. Posted: 8:57 pm on July 29th

humblegourmand writes: I'm a regular scrambled egg-eater (nearly every weekday morning), so I'd like to think my method is time-tested. I firmly believe there are few foods that are worse than overcooked eggs. Yuck.

--Heat non-stick skillet to medium
--Melt 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
--Crack 3 eggs in the skillet
--Use spatula to gently break yolks and mix (you really don't need to do it separately). Again, key word is gently.
--Cook slowly for about 3 minutes, moving around with the spatula a few times, until eggs are setting but still look wet. Turn off heat & transfer to plate -- they continue to cook on the plate and are perfectly done by the time you're digging in. Posted: 8:55 pm on July 29th

Starenka writes: The absolute best and most healthy scrambled eggs is to start with range free eggs . To 1 egg add 1 tsp of mayo in a microwave correct bowl. I use 2 eggs, 2 tsp. mayo, scramble with a fork and nuke for 2 minutes. This way you do not get the LDH which is in the bacon fat, instead of bacon strips a person should use Canadian bacon which is rolled in cornmeal and is mostly meat. Posted: 8:51 pm on July 29th

Znomore writes: If you like your scrambled eggs light and fluffy, add a little water instead of milk or cream. Posted: 6:33 pm on July 29th

lizziecat writes: They are always better, however, when made for a crowd. A cast iron skillet works well too. Posted: 6:09 pm on July 29th

amberini writes: I have to say, my secret to both fantastic omelettes and scrambled eggs is plain cream cheese. As it melts in the slow cooking eggs, it adds a creaminess and texture that can't be matched.

I agree that the type of fat used is paramount. For scrambling I use butter, and for frying, I use bacon fat. Posted: 5:38 pm on July 29th

Thackerye writes: The best scrambled eggs I ever ate was in a dingy train station in southern France. My best replication is as follows:
beat two eggs in a bowl with a fork
melt some butter in a medium sized skillet on high heat
when the butter is hot but not yet turning brown,
dump the eggs in, you should hear a sizzle
stir them quickly and don't over cook
they'll be firm and creamy within
works every time for me Posted: 5:08 pm on July 29th

eelsferd writes: Good perhaps, but not the best. For the best, cover the bottom of a small skillet with heavy cream, bring to a boil and cook until very thick. Reduce heat and add beaten eggs. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until eggs set. Posted: 11:02 pm on July 25th

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