Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 14, 2008 07:32 AM

Scrambled eggs: sometimes the basics are the hardest

It startles me that I can make a fantastic vinaigrette, I'm not intimidated by dishes that take hours to put together, I can perform many complex kitchen tasks...but I can't scramble an egg to save my life. How does one get fluffy solid eggs that are neither runny nor overly dry?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: c oliver

      slow cook in butter.....add a little cream cheese to make them dilectable!

      1. re: mledet

        It's fun that this thread has reignited. It's got some great messages. I came to this party a year ago.

    2. Don't be so hard on yourself. Although they are sometimes thought of as "basic", scrambled eggs are delicate and require practice to prepare properly.
      A few things to consider. Scrambled eggs are easier to prepare in a shallow pan with gently sloping sides. I prefer to use a pan that is just large enough to hold the egg batter in a deep pool, but I find that cooking small amounts of scrambled eggs requires that I slant the pan briefly to pool the eggs slightly on one side. Scrambled eggs require constant attention; you can't walk away from them once they're in the pan.
      Place the pan on medium/low heat and, once preheated to the point where any butter in the pan is foamy but not yet to the browned stage, pour in the egg batter. Allow the eggs to cook for a short time (less than a minute) then lift one side with a narrow spatula and allow the uncooked egg batter to run underneath. Fold the cooked portion of the egg over the top of the uncooked egg and begin stirring the eggs gently, turning them as you stir. The stirring method I use is stir/turn, turning them modestly as I stir them with the spatula. Too much or rapid stirring action breaks the eggs up into small pieces and causes them to dry out. Too much heat causes the eggs to set too quickly generating sheets of egg that are not really scrambled - and can leave pockets of uncooked egg inside the "sheets". Just stir/turn to maintain a fluffy consistency. When they have reached the point where they show just a tiny bit of moisture on the surface, remove them from the heat and plate them. They will continue to cook , albeit it not much, after they've been plated. A warm (not hot) plate can help keep them at a good temperature for a pleasurable eating experience.
      I know what you mean about "overly dry" eggs. My wife prefers hers to be browned; ugh!

      1. My Mom's trick: small non stick saucepan (I spray first) or a non stick frypan also on the small side. Small knob of butter, then two eggs per person and one extra whisked with a fork adding salt and pepper but ONLY just before you put the eggs into the saucepan - don't let them sit and don't add milk or water. Then take a wooden spoon and stir over a pretty low heat until eggs start to set. Watch them at this point because you want to turn off the heat before everything has completely set and let the heat of the pan finish them off. Try a few times but remember last instruction. People have cried for my eggs, honest.

        1. I thought I made great scrambled eggs until I read this. Keith Froggett is one of the top chefs in Toronto. He even makes this breakfast basic better than ordinary humans.

            1. re: AndrewK512

              I use a non-stick pan and a small amount of olive oil (I try to avoid butter) over medium heat. It is crucial not to mess too much with the eggs before or during cooking. I use a fork to break up the eggs in the bowl. Into the pan they go, where they cook for a bit before I use a spatula to gently move them around in the pan, which allows the liquidy top to be exposed to the heat, without really breaking up the eggs. I do this a few times, until the eggs look mostly set, yet a touch wet. I turn off the heat and give one more gentle turn/stir, then remove to a serving dish or plates. The eggs continue to cook once off the heat source, so keeping them a tiny bit wet allows for them to finish in the time between removing from the heat and hitting your plate.

              From cooking shows, I learned that a Tb of water added results in lighter eggs, while a Tb or so of milk makes them tastier, but heavier/tougher. I've been known to season with a dash of Vietnamese fish sauce instead of salt. The flavour is incredible, as long as you only use a small amount. The ultimate in decadence is my grandmother's recipe, which called for 1 TB of sour cream (14%) for every 2 eggs, to be gently whisked into the eggs right before they went into the pan. They were great, but serious artery cloggers, particularly since she used butter as well.