HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


How to Make a Perfect Omelet - So Easy

It's really hard to get a perfect omelet in a restaurant, let alone at home. If you want to make sure the cheese melts the eggs will have gotten tough, rubbery, or dry. If you want the eggs tender and moist, the cheese won't have a chance to melt. And personally, most of the omelets I'm served - I feel the eggs are too thick - they should be thin, tender and yet somehow, somehow, the lavish amount of cheese I want should somehow be able to be nice and melted.

Impossible? Only a dream? Well, I did a lot of research and development and today I achieved the impossible dream.

The trick is you pour in the eggs and you do not touch them. Just pour them in, and cover them on a very low flame.

This is for a 4 egg cheese omelet - basically 2 servings. You need a 12" non-stick pan that still has its non-stick abilities intact and a cover that is sort of flat rather than a high dome (to concentrate the low heat). With a fork, whip up the eggs with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Crumble 8 oz. cheese of your choice. If you freeze the cheese first and then defrost, even semi soft cheeses crumble instantaneously. Melt about 1 T butter to cover bottom of pan. Heat pan on a VERY low flame and pour in the eggs. Cover and do not open for 5 minutes. When eggs appear cooked (surface is not liquidy looking) spread on the cheese and maybe some very thin sliced scallions, cover, and turn off the heat. Drop the toast and by the time it's buttered you can fold the omelet in half to enfold the melted cheese inside the egg, and serve. The egg layers are only 1/4" thick. It's beautiful, delicate, tender - perfect.

Really good with some home made cooked salsa spread on top.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That sounds almost like a frittata. Omelets should be cooked over high heat and should take a minute. Only single serve omelets too. You should try using less eggs.

    I take 2-3 eggs scramble lightly, adding water/milk if its thick. Pour in a nonstick pan thats been heated over med-high heat with a pat of butter. Let sit for a few seconds and then shaking the pan back and forth, keep pushing the edges slightly into the center so all the raw egg goes contacts the pan. When most of the egg is cooked, I turn off the heat, flip, add cheese and plate. Other people don't even flip the egg and rather just cook on one side and add the cheese at the point I flip it and then fold it onto a plate. Either way, there is plenty of heat in the eggs to melt the cheese.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ESNY

      ESNY - this is exactly how I make an omelet (no flop, just fold it over onto the plate) and I sometimes toss in a few other ingredients if I'm in the mood but not too much.

      Once I got the hang of it, the cheese melts fine, and the egg does not get brown (unless the phone rings at the wrong time!). I've tried to do a double omelet of 5-6 eggs in my bigger pan and it come out just fine, but not quite as pretty. For that I will take a large turner and fold it over in the pan, cut it in half then slide each half on off onto each plate.

      1. re: ESNY

        I read all these posts, decided to try ESNY's recipe above... I had a small omelet pan, I beat 2 eggs and about a teaspoon of water together, poured into a HOT pan that had a pat of butter melted covering the bottom. I kept the heat on about 80% (med/high) and used a spatula to push the edges in a little so the raw egg could keep runningto the outsied. I even picked my pan up several times and turned it to get the raw egg to keep running to the edges/on the pan. When the egg stopped running and bottom was set, I flipped it over, and sprinkled my cheese and bacon on top, folded in half, and removed from heat. I let the omelet sit in the pan for about a minute, and cheese was melted. DELICIOUS. AND the omelet was beautiful. If you've ever stayed at Embassy Suites, they make wonderful omelets, and I'd say mine was almost as good!

      2. Are you actually pleased with what you get when you order a cheese omelet in a restaurant? I posted recently on the SF board that I was trying to find, in SF of all places, a really tender, big, cheese omelet, and virtually everyone agreed no such thing existed. See, I used to work in a restaurant that made these really big, tender cheese omelets on the grill - not in a pan. That is the secret. The eggs spread out so thin. You need a very big diameter, not a little omelet pan if you want tender eggs AND a lot of melted cheese. So, I thought how to do this at home and I decided to try the huge pan and the very low temp.

        My invention is nothing like a fritatta. A frittata gets puffy and is thicker than a quarter inch. Also, the eggs get kind of tough/dry - especially on the bottom. I don't like frittatas at all. Your method is fine - for a french omelet - a 30 second plain omelet made in a small pan. But I dare you to try to get 8 oz. of cheese to melt in there - you'd have to cover it and the bottom would get tough because a small pan would have to be at a higher temp to melt that much filling. You'd never make a french omelet in a 12" pan. But the diameter allows for the very thin layer of eggs to spread out so thin and a lot of cheese to spread out on them. The very low temp. prevents the eggs from getting tough. Just try it and then we'll see what you say.

        1. Half a pound of cheese for a two-person omelet? Yikes!

          1. I like the sound of this method. Does the bottom get brown at all? That's the part I don't like about my home cooked omelet.

            5 Replies
            1. re: bookgirl234

              No, that's the point - it is so very tender and wonderful. Just use a very wide pan, a tight fitting lid and a very low flame. Once the eggs are dull on top - barely cooked through perhaps 5 minutes, add the cheese, turn it off and cover for another 5 minutes.

              1. re: niki rothman

                It sounds good. I agree that a proper "french" omelet should be cooked VERY LOW because there shouldn't be any colour on an omelet.
                It probably doesn't taste like a fritatta because it doesn't have additional ingredients (ie veggies, etc.), but covering it the way you describe, is technically the way you make a fritatta.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  The last step is to fold the eggs in half over the filling so you have a semi-circle with the eggs on the bottom & top and the filling on the inside.

                  1. re: pescatarian

                    St. Julia would emphatically disagree with the low-heat thing - when she demonstrated the Art of the Omelet on the Tonight Show, her gas hotplate was set to Full Torch and the omelet came out of the pan almost as soon as it went in. I was so impressed (and also never liked the fluffy, puffy things my mom had made) that I tried it her way and never looked back. And I don't like any color on mine, either.

                2. re: bookgirl234

                  The bottom should never get brown. Brown equals tough and dry.

                3. I think it needs asiago! And after it's folded a ladle of hot Bolognese sauce.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yayadave

                    Sounds delicious. I've been topping mine with the home made version of (Horrors!) Pace Picante Sauce which I recently posted the recipe for here. With home made hash browns cooked slowly in butter with onions until they're all crusty and an English muffin - that equals the best breakfast I've ever eaten. And so easy.

                  2. I believe MFK Fisher had an omelette recipe very much like yours. She advised slow cooking when it comes to eggs in order to prevent the rubbery result you mentioned.


                    I love a good omelette. I like mine with gruyere cheese and finely diced ham.

                    1. My secret to a great tender,fluffy omelette is the same as yours only I use a whisk or hand blender on the eggs till they have a good froth going. Plenty of fat in the pan is important too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: 2chez mike

                        I'm sorry, but I'm afraid you misunderstand. I intensely dislike a fluffy puffy omelet. My omelet is not at all fluffy. It's a big folded envelope of very thin, tender, soft (but not runny) eggs, with a very generous filling layer (in this case melted cheese and scallions)in between the 1/4" thick egg layers. The color is very pale yellow with no browning or golden color at all.

                      2. both of my teenage sons, after years of trying cannot turn over the omelette. What they have figured out on their own is to heat two pans (usually one is already dirty with the bacon grease or sausage that they cooked to go in their omelette). After heating the buttered omelette pan and pouring the eggs in they crank the heat on the bacon pan and when its almost smokin they put it on top of the omelette pan and turn the burners off. The omelette cooks from both sides this way, in a couple minutes they open the lid, top with cheese and toppings and fold the omelette in half. This seems to work for them.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: koriekiss

                          what clever fellows! sounds like a perfect finale to niki's technique. i'm agonna try it; thanks!

                          1. re: koriekiss

                            You make an interesting point. One poster described the steps involved in flipping the perfect French omelet. It is a beautiful thing indeed - depending on high heat and supersonic speed to prevent that high heat from toughening the eggs. It also depends on the expertise of being able to flip eggs in the pan when they are still loosey goosey on top - because if you wait till the top is cooked, the bottom will be tough. Most people are half asleep when they go to make breakfast, and many, if not most, (to put it mildly) are not confident of their ability to flip an omelet withhout tragic results. With my method, as long as your non-stick is intact and you use a wide spatula, ANYONE - irrespective of state of early morning consiousness, can fold over one half of the omelet onto the other - resulting in a very aesthetically pleasing presentation.

                          2. I do a cross of both techniques. I pour the beaten eggs in the pan, move it around until it starts to congeal, THEN cover it until almost set.

                            No flopping, either. Just filling and folding.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: piccola

                              Why do you move it around until it starts to congeal? What does that accomplish?

                              1. re: niki rothman

                                it allows the uncooked egg to flow onto the pan and cook, plus it adds air. note that i don't mean a fast, aggressive stir, just a little bit of a shift

                            2. Gee, I'm not sure, Niki. Perhaps it tastes just dandy, but this sure isn't the way the classic French chef does it. Of course we don't all have the skill of a Pierre Franey.

                              1. niki,
                                I found this thread on my member page but have NO recollection of it!!
                                Now I really am going to try this method, along w/ some of the variations below.

                                btw, my mom was an ardent fan of the omelettes in france, 'runny' or 'baveuse' as the french say.

                                1. I disagree with an omlet being thin... a true omlet should be nice and light and fluffy... not a thin layer of scrambled eggs and filling... a true omlet is nice and thick, and is an actual art!!!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: thasacoolname

                                    i agree with this. i like mine the french way, cooked briskly with constant stirring and over a very hot fire. cooks in 45-60 seconds and the curds come out dreamy. I like it plain with just a sprinkling of salt.

                                  2. I agree that omelets should NOT be brown. Browned omelets tastes icky!! I cook mine on low and they always come out delicious!! I also HATE it when restaurants put the cheese on top and then broil it (thus creating a browned egg!) Cheese belongs INSIDE an omelet!!!

                                    1. I know this post is old but I came across it looking for a better omelet cooking technique. I will always make this recipe from now. The omelet was light and so tender. Absolutely delicious!

                                      1. I had a laugh looking over these posts and seeing mine from eight years ago, insisting on "St. Julia's" high-heat method as the One and Only Way. Since then I've seen Eric Ripert's video demonstrating his low-heat method for making fully-cooked but very tender omelets, and have become a devotee of that method … which is EXACTLY the one the OP was telling us about!

                                        I must point out that there's more than one style of French omelet. The one Julia demonstrated is the widely-accepted classic, but one of the most famous as a local specialty is the big, puffy ones from a restaurant on Mont St. Michel. I have one of the copper bowls they use to beat those up in, and it's about a ten-pound, 16" hemisphere with a heavy lip and a single handle, since she's wielding a big whisk with the other hand. I think I would not want to pick a fight with any of those women …