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Mar 30, 2010 06:42 AM

The perfect omelet

After happening across a London Times article on making the “perfect omelette,” , despite the journalist’s elaborate search for enlightenment, I came away thinking I should just watch the Julia Child clip on youtube. That coaching plus a wonderful high-tech pan helped me create perfect omelets my first try.

About the pan: we recently installed an induction cook top in our kitchen and have bought a variety of pans specifically for use on it. One pan is the Demeyere “ControlInduc” 8 inch non-stick skillet. It is precisely the size and shape of the pan in Julia Child’s demonstration (small, with relatively steep sides). And it has the virtue of controlling the maximum temperature while you are cooking.

The specs on the pan say its limit is 485 F (so it would seem there’s still room to get into trouble), but I found that I simply could not burn the butter in the pan, nor did I need to rush to get the pan off the stove.

Before starting the omelet, I remembered one comment by Julia: she mentioned she was rolling the omelet out onto a “heated plate.” So I put my plates in the oven at a low temperature before I started cooking.

So, the omelets: For the first, I whisked 3 eggs with a fork. I heated the pan on the smallest burner on the cook top, letting 1 T of butter melt and bubble, and making sure to twirl and tip the pan so the butter coated the sides as well as the bottom of the pan. Keeping the burner on high throughout, I poured in the eggs (I did not add water), using Julia’s shaking technique to move the mass of the eggs around as they were immediately starting to cook.

When the eggs were cooked enough that they substantially pulled away from the sides of the pan, I scattered an ounce of diced cheese over the still-runny center. Then instead of more shaking, I just used a wooden spatula to push the eggs around some more and to start rolling the mass to the edge of the pan. I grabbed the heated plate out of the oven (making sure not to burn myself), then rolled out the finished omelet ala Julia Child. There was a slight golden brown to the “good side” of the omelet.

This cooking took about 30 seconds. The skim of butter remaining in the pan was just fine—not scorched—so I simply added another T of butter, and made a 2-egg omelet for myself.


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  1. Welcome to Chowhound Ardelle!
    As luck would have it, I recently saw a re-run of the Jacques and Julia At Home PBS cooking show and the episode was their different versions of How To Make an Omelet. Julia's was just as you described... I forgot what Jacques did because I was fascinated with how easy Julia's technique was. It's a method that's virtually foolproof even without such a high tech cooktop as yours...I'm using an on-it's-last-leg gas range and the omelet is just perfect every time. Thanks for your concise description.

    1. Try using hot water to warm your plates next time. Just run the hot water over them, let it pool in the plate and leave them in the sink. You obviously have to dry them off but there's less risk of burning yourself and you have hot water already running through the pipes when it comes time to wash the pan after the meal.