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How to properly cook an omlette?

  • r

Every time I try to make an omelet I end up with the outside of the omelet over cooked with a sort of tough skin on it yet the inside is still runny. What's the secret to getting the inside of the omelet to set without ruining the outside?

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  1. What kind are you making, the American "fluffy" sort or the French variety? If it's the latter, you use a fork to stir a couple of room-temperature eggs with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon or so of water until the whites and yolks are just barely blended, heat butter in your pan over fairly high heat until the fizzling dies down (which indicates that most of the moisture has been boiled away) but before it browns, and pour in the eggs. You swirl them around, lifting the cooked part to let the uncooked egg run under it, and then when it's all more or less set but still wet on top you sprinkle on whatever fillings you want and fold one third over the middle third, then roll it out over a heated plate so that the last third gets covered. SOOOO much easier said than done the first few times, but if you have these as often as you should it becomes second nature.

    If, on the other hand, you're making the fluffy variety, I can't - okay, WON'T - help you. Those were the bane of my childhood; my mother loved the scorched outer skin, which has always tasted to me like burnt hair, and the sooner we all forget about those the better off we'll be.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Will Owen

      One trick for rolling the omelets out is to hold the handle of the skillet with your palm up and roll the omelet out the other side.

    2. Thanks Will,

      Turns out what I wanted all along was a French omelet but I didn't know what it was called or how to make it! Your directions produced exactly what I was looking for, a think omelet without a tough skin. Thank you!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Rick

        Thank Julia Child. She was on the Tonight Show one night, back in the Johnny Carson days, and did the whole thing on a portable gas burner. That was a revelation to me, what an omelet COULD be, and I got so excited I would've made one right away, but I was out of eggs and had to wait for morning.

        1. re: Will Owen

          The Omelet Show in the original Julia Child French Chef programs was phenomenal. You can find DVDs at your library, and it's a great refresher course. I was just conscripted to do yet another dinner, and after the expense of the holidays decided upon an omelet party, as suggested by Mrs. Child. Low cost, but pretty elegant. I can't recommend Child's technique enough.

          Now I just have to dream up my filling selection.

          I still have - ahem - people in my house that prefer the puffy, slightly browned ones. I make those too. Gotta keep the peace!

          1. re: cayjohan

            I had an artichoke and feta omelette at a local breakfast cafe about a year ago and fell in love! Sons are constantly asking me to make them now, too! You just use the marinated artichoke hearts, drained & chopped along with crumbled feta and sprinkle it on while the egg is still a little runny. You might like it!

            1. re: Val

              Thanks for that tip - got all the ingredients and am planning as I type. Sounds delicious!

      2. The heat of the pan continues to cook the egg after it comes out, remember that. So you don't have to have the top part of the egg cooked before you add fillings. This is what scorches the bottom of the egg. Don't worry about the egg being flat, lifting the uncooked egg underneath after partial setting is fine, because you won't see anything once it's rolled out onto a plate. The egg that cooks against the pan is all you will see and that is always flat, you don't look at the interior part of the omelet.

        My problem? I like to put so much stuff inside, the three eggs don't end up covering it all! Spinach, mushrooms, cheese, onion, just make sure your filling are somewhat ready to eat/cooked before putting them in your omelet. Always use a touch of water, never milk products. Water is what makes it tender.

        1 Reply
        1. re: personalcheffie

          Just as a personal aside, I never make more than a two-egg omelet, and usually multiple one-egg ones. Part of that is due to the size of the pan I like to use, the flat part of whose bottom is just right for one extra-large egg to cover to omelet thickness. This means I have to set out little piles of stuff for each omelet on a tray close by, and juggle plates on and off the hot tray, but I love the look of two omelets rolled neatly and sitting side by side, maybe with a smear of sour cream and some kind of sauce drizzled over. The other factor is that when I do make a big omelet in a big pan it tends to start scorching a bit before I can get it rolled onto the plate.

        2. Use a large non-stick skillet, the largest one you have. Stir two whole eggs in a small metal bowl with a fork. Chop up some thin ham slices. Set out some real cheddar cheese slices. Heat skillet to medium-high, and put in a tablespoon or two of butter - enough to coat the entire skillet.

          Fry the ham with a lid or splatter guard for a few minutes, then put it into a small bowl. Add 1 more tablespoon of butter. Stir the eggs again as you pour them into the skillet - eggs should cover the entire skillet. Use a plastic spatula and stir the eggs as they cook, taking care to spread the uncooked parts over the bare spots. Repeat as needed. When the top of the egg starts to look almost cooked, lay some slices of cheddar and spoon some of the fried ham on top. Fold in half with the spatula, and put it on the plate!

          1. low heat is your friend. once the egg mix is swirled on the bottom of the pan, use a silicone spatulata and lift the edge so the uncooked egg can go underneath. Gently repeat this proces, and then when the middle beginds to look like a custard, put your toppings in the center. Fold one side over and then gently roll the omelet with the seam on the bottom. garnish with more cheese and chives. works for me.

            1. I've quickly gone from not liking to make omelets to having three this week thanks to this thread. Chef Chicklet's method is my preferred method of making the omelets. I've been adding milk, salt, pepper to the eggs and it's tasted great. I'll try it with water instead of milk to see the difference.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Rick

                The only thing I have Lawry's seasoned salt for is eggs. I use chefchicklet's method as well, but I add a little water to the beaten eggs.

                1. re: personalcheffie

                  I've never addded milk/cream or water, my preference is to keep the heat so low and be patient. I love soft tender eggs, no brown at all, and nothing crunchy.

                  One of my very favorite fillings is to add, cooked mushrooms with a little cooked onion and nice cheese, then top it with fresh cold tomatoes and chives.
                  It's such a lovely dinner with a salad and a nice glass of wine....

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    I like your fillings, but I add spinach. I steam fresh spinach from the bag and squeeze out all the water. Yes, it makes a nice dinner.

              2. Recently here I posted my revelation about how to make what I think of as the perfect omelet - tender, not rubbery or dry, very thin with completely melted cheese - which I had thought was an impossibility.

                This is how: first grate your cheese (I like to use plenty), whip up the eggs with a little bit of water - perhaps a tablespoon for 4 eggs), heat a 12" non-stick pan with half butter, half heatproof oil such as grapeseed until quite hot. Pour in your eggs and immediately cover with a flat pot cover - a domed cover will dissipate the heat. (One of those universal covers works great - and if you don't have one of those I advise you to get one - they do come in handy) Turn the heat as low as you can get it and walk away. Come back in 5 minutes and add the cheese and whatever other toppings you want - but they should be hot already (except the cheese, of course). Re-cover and wait another couple of minutes for the cheese to melt. Fold the omelet in half to cover the filling.

                1. NIki rothman, are you referring to the wide flat aluminum looking lid?