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how to make the best scrambled eggs and omelet?

mschow Jun 27, 2007 06:58 PM

OK, I'll admit it. I don't know how , I don't know why, but my eggs never turn out well. I know I'm not a bad cook, but I just can't make eggs. In my last job I used to have to stay regularly at the Intercontinental in Toronto. They made the best scrambled eggs. Fluffy, tender, delicious. I dream of these eggs. I have NEVER in my life made eggs like that. How do they do it?
I've tried many different methods, but none have come remotely close to the eggs I refer to.
And my omelets, pathetic as well. I've tried butter, bacon fat, non-stick pans, etc. I've tried farm fresh eggs, week old eggs, large eggs, medium eggs, milk, cream, sour cream.
Please, can someone tell me how to make great scrambled eggs and omelets?
TIA

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  1. Quine RE: mschow Jun 27, 2007 07:01 PM

    It's the heat, slow and steady gives fluffy creamy results. There is even a video on YouTube where that hell's kitchen chefs shows you how.

    Try this link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1SM73...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Quine
      b
      birgator RE: Quine Jun 27, 2007 07:13 PM

      I think there's a difference between American scrambled eggs, and those made in another culinary tradition. Here, it seems the eggs go into the fry pan, get whooshed around as if they're frying, and when no moisture remains, they get served as scrambled eggs. No.

      We made scrambled eggs, eggs mixed lightly with a bit of cream (half the egg shell filled for each egg), in a saucepan with a tablespoon of butter in the bottom, stirring with a wooden spoon over pretty low heat. Fluffy, tender and creamy and not overcooked -- you will find the "curds" are smaller than most people are used to though.

      1. re: Quine
        chicgail RE: Quine Jun 28, 2007 05:05 AM

        I've used a double-boiler for years to get fluffy, creamy scrambled eggs easily. Lovely.

        1. re: chicgail
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          Alice123 RE: chicgail Jun 30, 2007 04:56 AM

          A double boiler really is the easiest way to get your eggs to be fluffy. Stir gently and occasionally.

          I'm also in the "no salt till it's finished" camp. Hope you're an "egg-spert" egg maker soon!

      2. c
        Captain RE: mschow Jun 27, 2007 07:49 PM

        For omelets, I use egg beaters a lot to avoid beating the eggs into oblivion. Add water for more fluffiness, but jsut a TBS for a few eggs. I tend to us medium heat at first, get the eggs frying, when some of the egg has solidified, pull it off the sides and into the center of the bottom. I like to add ingredients while there is still egg in liquid. Once most liquid is gone, you can fold the omelet by using a plate. Slide the omelet halfway out of the pan onto the plate, then lift the plate to fold. Add heat to brown, flip when one side is nicely browned. use the plate if needed.

        1. Sam Fujisaka RE: mschow Jun 27, 2007 08:08 PM

          Scrambled: beat eggs and a bit of cream or whole milk and pinch of salt with a fork. Pour into an evenly heated pan--to medium-low over a bit of butter; gently fold and slightly break the mixture using the fork with the sides of the tines held at about 45 degrees to the pan. Gently but constantly scramble; don't beat or heavily scramble. Scrambling should take perhaps five minutes. The butter should not be browned; there should be neither runnyness nor solids.

          Omelette: beat up eggs and relatively finely chopped or juleined ingredients meant to be in the egg; pour the mix evenly over pan at medium-high high heat with a wiping of oil; drop in fillings like cheese on the far half of the omelette while you turn the heat down; When the mix first sets up enough, fold over the side w/o filling on the other half. Fold before the omelette gets browned and plastic like. Wait a couple of minutes and turn the whole thing for another minute or so with the heat off.

          I roll Japanese omelettes like a round rug to slice cross pieces and serve chilled with hot rice.

          I use non-stick or anodized for scrambled and omelettes.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
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            HungryLetsEat RE: Sam Fujisaka Jun 28, 2007 06:36 AM

            I once heard that pre-salting the egg mixture before cooking can toughen the fininshed product. Any thoughts on this?

            1. re: HungryLetsEat
              Sam Fujisaka RE: HungryLetsEat Jun 28, 2007 11:41 AM

              HLE, you're probably right. Actually, we rarely use extra salt; but a sprinkle if desired when done makes sense.

              1. re: HungryLetsEat
                danhole RE: HungryLetsEat Jun 28, 2007 12:03 PM

                I always salt and pepper my eggs before scrambling. I put them in a measuring cup, add a splash of milk, a couple bits of frozen butter, salt, pepper and then whisk them to a solid yellow color. I add them to a pre-heated skillet with a bit of butter melted in the bottom, over a medium low heat. As soon as the edges start to bubble, which is pretty quickly, I use the scraper to constantly fold them in from the edges and mix them around the pan. It only takes a couple minutes to have a finished product. They come out fluffy, light and moist. My SO is a picky egg eater and he loves them.

              2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                chowser RE: Sam Fujisaka Jun 28, 2007 06:45 AM

                My mom does the japanese omelettes, uses a bowl to mold fried rice, and covers it with the omelette. When she makes ketchup fried rice (is this authentic in any country or is it her creativity?), she puts a drizzle of ketchup on top.

                1. re: chowser
                  Linda RE: chowser Jun 28, 2007 11:18 AM

                  yes, the ketchup is authentic in korean cuisine. i'd scream bloody murder if i ordered this at a restaurant and there was no ketchup.

                  there's a name for this dish. it's called ome-rice (omelette + rice).

                  they serve this mainly at korean-chinese restaurants, ie - places that serve jja jjang myun and such.

                  1. re: chowser
                    Sam Fujisaka RE: chowser Jun 28, 2007 11:43 AM

                    chowser, red rice (ketchup and chives/onions mixed in with left over rice) is also Japanese American.

                    1. re: chowser
                      chowser RE: chowser Jun 28, 2007 11:51 AM

                      Maybe it's not uncommon in asian cooking? My mom is from Taiwan and we often had ketchup fried rice. I've never seen a bottle of ketchup on the table in a Korean, Japanese or Taiwanese restaurant, though!

                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                      r
                      renov8r RE: Sam Fujisaka Jun 28, 2007 12:19 PM

                      I think that Cook's Illustrated or America's Test Kitchen did their usual exhaustive test of scrambled egg techniques/recipes and found that whole milk is pretty much ideal -- there is food science that supports the idea that the RIGHT amount of fat will sort of stand between the protein strands in the eggs and give the right texture. A lower heat is preferred, as browning is not desired, but the idea that this should take a really long time is silly.

                      For an omelet I feel strongly that no water, milk, or anything should be added to the beaten egg. A thin, strong layer of egg is needed to allow the omelet to be filled.

                      I am with Sam on pan choice too.

                    3. sweet ginger RE: mschow Jun 27, 2007 09:04 PM

                      Ina Garten has a great recipe for scrambled eggs- again, low heat is key. She finishes it with a pat of butter. These were the best eggs I'd ever made.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sweet ginger
                        purple goddess RE: sweet ginger Jun 27, 2007 10:12 PM

                        low heat, gentle stirring and take the eggs off the heat JUST a second before they actually set....then add the cream.... and a handful of shredded cheese and a finely chopped scallion or two.

                      2. BigSteve RE: mschow Jun 28, 2007 05:34 AM

                        Low heat and constant stirring is the answer...a small pot makes it easier than a frying pan.

                        1. eLizard RE: mschow Jun 28, 2007 06:23 AM

                          I use Julia Child's method for both omelettes and scrambles. Quick is key for the former. and low and slow with lots of cold butter and a few tablespoons of water for the latter. Seriously, it can take me 20 minutes to make a pan of scrambled eggs.

                          1. m
                            mark RE: mschow Jun 28, 2007 07:51 AM

                            i don't do omelets, but make pretty good, very light and fluffy scrambled eggs. as is often the case in cooking, similar results can be achieved through different techniques. my fluffy eggs result from the steam created during high-temp cooking and a gentle hand to prevent beating it out of the curds. here's how i do it.

                            for each person, i use two eggs plus 1/8 cup dairy (prefer whole milk, but have succesfully used half-n-half and 2%; cream is too rich, unless diluted; 1% & skim are too bland).

                            mix eggs until combined, then mix in salt to taste (i use 1/2t kosher when making eggs for 2 people, but then i don't like much salt) and pepper to taste. a few dashes of hot sauce at this point are nice, too.

                            meanwhile, preheat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. add 1/2T butter (use way more butter if you don't use non-stick). when the butter foams, pour in the egg mixture.

                            at this temp, the eggs will form curds immediately, just use a spatula to gently push the set curds to the edges of the pan. once most of the eggs are set, i give them a turn to set the tops of the curds, and onto pre-heated plates they go. the whole cooking process is under two minutes when making eggs for as many as 6.

                            the biggest drawback to this method is that if you like to do add-ins (cheese, herbs, etc.), the window to do so is pretty narrow. you need to add them after most of the eggs are set (the eggs won't fluff up if added too soon), but before completely done as they will burn quickly at this temp.

                            aside from color and taste, i've never noticed a big performance difference whether using farm-fresh or old, forgotten eggs from the back of the frig for scrambled eggs.

                            1. o
                              Oh Robin RE: mschow Jun 28, 2007 11:15 AM

                              Low heat! Add water, not milk or cream... makes them fluffier. Salt after... salt will toughen your eggs if you salt before cooking. Then top with lots of Heinz ketchup.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Oh Robin
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                                OrganicLife RE: Oh Robin Jun 28, 2007 04:21 PM

                                I have to disagree. The cream gives the eggs such a delicate flavor.

                                I think eggs should be top quality to begin with. You won't get delicious breakfast from the bargain supermarket eggs. Try to find some farm eggs or at the very least some free range eggs.

                                Use a heavy pan that heats evenly.

                                On med heat melt a tsp of butter, preferably whipped, preferably organic. Coat the pan well even the sides.

                                Beat eggs very well with about 2 tbs of cream.

                                Pour into pan and with a large spatuala, keep the eggs moving, scraping and turning them so they never stick to the pan. Keep them moving in the pan until cooked through. It takes longer to cook them but they come out light, fluffy, with no brown burnt egg taste.

                                1. re: OrganicLife
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                                  renov8r RE: OrganicLife Jun 29, 2007 08:15 AM

                                  doesn't the heat MELT the butter? why would whipped make a difference?

                              2. Richard 16 RE: mschow Jun 28, 2007 11:04 PM

                                One of the key things is to remember the idea of carry-over cooking. Eggs (and lots of other things) continue to cook after taking them out of the pan, so be sure to stop before they're done.

                                Both my scrambled eggs and my omlettes are done with very high heat.
                                Both start with eggs,water or dairy or dashi, and salt. Sometimes I add herbs or whatever I want (precooked if necessary) mixed into the eggs as opposed to an omlette filling. A trick for lighter eggs is to scramble in a blender or with an immersion blender. (To be really picky strain the eggs after scrambling to remove the tough part...) But whatever, have everything ready before putting egg to pan.

                                Technique:
                                Omlette pan; non-stick or very well seasoned. Add lipid (oil, butter, bacon grease, whatever), heat to almost smoking. (Dancing water drops) Pour in eggs and immediatley use wooden spoon or two chop sticks to furiously stir the eggs off the bottom and sides while shaking the pan all the while. You're shaking to get uncooked egg onto the surface of the pan you just revealed.
                                Within seconds (depending on how many eggs, how big the pan, and how hot the stove) you're almost done. If scrambled almost finish (carry over cooking in mind) and plate.
                                If an omlette, add filling (cooked if needed) while still runny in the half closest to you but still towards middle of omlette, As soon as you can (when it won't break apart) flip the half of the omlette that's away from you towards you, covering the filling.

                                Cover with a plate for a few seconds, invert pan and plate together to dump on the plate. If you want a "tiger" omlette briefly leave in the pan to begin to lightly brown before plating.

                                It will take a little practice and a commitment to *really* shake & stir, but is really fast, light, and fluffy, No more stirring for 5+ minutes; 1-2 minutes to cook and you're done; Invaluable for multiple omlette orders or big bunches of scambled eggs.

                                1. d
                                  diverx99 RE: mschow Jun 29, 2007 08:09 AM

                                  For Omlettes, I use Alton Brown's Good Eats method and have gotten great results. One of the keys is to use room temperature eggs. According to AB, the French don't refrigerate their eggs so many French inspired recipes don't translate well, by the time the eggs warm up in the pan, the bottoms are crusty.

                                  I've made them a few times his way and the results were amazing.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: diverx99
                                    b
                                    birgator RE: diverx99 Jun 30, 2007 07:20 PM

                                    You know, I think you're spot on about room temp eggs. Super market eggs in Sweden always sat in the middle of the aisles, and were stored in the pantry.

                                    1. re: diverx99
                                      widehomehi RE: diverx99 Jun 30, 2007 08:20 PM

                                      Thanks for sharing I'm going to try this.

                                    2. k
                                      katecm RE: mschow Jun 29, 2007 12:25 PM

                                      One quick addition - I really agree about cooking over fairly low heat. That keeps them creamy and tender. But I also have to say that my silicone spatula is the perfect utensil for scrambled eggs. It really helps to ensure that all of the eggs get stirred around and scraped from the bottom. I don't use anything else anymore.

                                      1. widehomehi RE: mschow Jun 30, 2007 05:13 AM

                                        As for omelets I use olive oil not that the oil matters that much I just like olive oil and egg pairing,but the trick I've found is getting the pan really hot then add the oil then your egg mixture,wait till the edges coagulate quite a bit then take a spatula and put it under the omelet and tilt the pan towards the spatula so the uncooked egg goes under it.Try to hurry to avoid burning.Then when it's not quite done and a slight layer of uncoagulated egg still exists put in your pre-sautéed ingredients cheese ect to one half of the omelet.Cover for 30 seconds or so then slide it onto a plate slowly when it's halfway onto the plate fold in half.My favorite omelet is tuna and Sriracha.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: widehomehi
                                          Richard 16 RE: widehomehi Jun 30, 2007 11:29 AM

                                          Tuna & Sriracha! What a great idea! Any herbs? What do you do to the tuna?

                                          1. re: Richard 16
                                            widehomehi RE: Richard 16 Jun 30, 2007 07:05 PM

                                            Never tried it with fresh tuna bet it would be great!I usually just drain a can of tuna and dump it in lol (I'm not suggesting that but it tastes good to me),If I had guests over I'd probably nuke it for a few first lol.Good idea on herbs a little dried Parsley might be good maybe a pinch of Tarragon mixed with the tuna.A dollop of sour cream might be good with it too.

                                        2. Spoonula RE: mschow Jul 2, 2007 06:44 AM

                                          I add cream to mine - cook them slow and midway through the process I add about 3 tablespoons of chicken broth to finish them.
                                          I've tried eliminating the cream and substituting the broth, but it really works better this way - so fluffy and light and the broth gives it a wonderful flavor.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Spoonula
                                            widehomehi RE: Spoonula Jul 2, 2007 09:05 AM

                                            I bet the broth makes some good eggs.-Thanks

                                          2. l
                                            lilloco66 RE: mschow Jul 2, 2007 07:48 AM

                                            I am in PR at Edelman and work on the American Egg Board account. I wanted to share a link to one of the American Egg Board's sites that has tips for cooking egg dishes, including scrambled eggs, along with hot-to videos and recipes:
                                            http://www.americasworstcook.com/

                                            In addition, I see discussion on preparing omelets as well and wanted to share a link to the "Omelet King's" video for making an omelet. This guy holds the world record for omelet making 427 in 30 minutes!:
                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNB_KW...

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