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Jun 6, 2010 02:07 PM

Baking Powder for Fluffy Scrambled Eggs?

I saw a recipe online for fluffy scrambled eggs that includes baking powder ( ). What in the world?

Can any of you who have worked in professional kitchens vouch for this trick? Does it affect the flavor?

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  1. What in the world is right. Mm, no, I have never seen this technique. I read the recipe intro where the author states "this is how all the hgher end restaurants prepare their eggs," ok, well, but I don't think so (said emphatically.) I can see it as a slick diner trick that was used before my time.

    On a scientific level, it'll certainly work, but for the fluffiest, most tender eggs, I like to cook them very slowly in a double boiler. Try the baking powder and see, it's just a little bit for extra leavening. As long as you can't taste it, maybe it'll be good. The recipe's reviews at the site page are very encouraging.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      I know, I just read the recipe shaking my head. I will give it a try, just for science's sake. I'm with you on the low and slow method, although I'm usually way too lazy to bother with a double boiler.

      1. re: ChristinaMason

        Looking foward to you reporting back. I like fluffly eggs and if this is a shortcut it would be great.

    2. A waiter at IHOP told me they put pancake batter in their scramble to achieve fluffiness - which in effect is adding a rising agent.

      4 Replies
      1. re: CocoaNut

        Interesting. Unfortunate for people with wheat/gluten allergies or low-carbers.

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          Yeah, what we don't know.... and my dad is one of those with Celiac. I don't remember how the subject even came up, but he said they would make them from fresh cracked eggs on request, leading me to believe they make up big batches for continual use.

          1. re: CocoaNut

            I think most big kitchens and cafeterias and such do this for omelets and scrambled eggs. It skeeves me out a little but not as much as when I discovered that you can BUY MASSIVE CARTONS of this egg-blend, pre-mixed. Eeeeeeew.

            1. re: CocoaNut

              both of these are true. they will make straight eggs or whites upon request, and they do have a big vat going for continual use...

        2. Wow, I have never tried it. Suddenly, I feel like I should try adding baking soda on all kind of things.

          Maybe we should wash our faces with baking soda and make it fluffy :P Actually, I am not going to try that because I have a bad feeling for it.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Just looked at recipe. Very interesting. Don't think I have ever seen or heard this idea before. I am going to try it - will report back.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              You could try adding baking soda to all kinds of things, but the fluffy eggs recipes calls for baking powder. I know there is baking soda in baking powerder and i also know you probably know the difference.

              The idea of the cat in the kitchen bothers me more than the baking powder in the eggs.

              1. re: John E.

                John E and random amblings,

                Thanks for correcting me. Yes, I meant baking powder, but typed baking soda. I already use baking soda to soften beef and use it for blanching too. I do these very rarely, but I have done them.

                I need to think of more non-traditional use of baking soda and baking powder :)

                P.S.: Where does the "cat in the kitchen" come from?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  The link in the original post goes to the recipe for the eggs with baking power. The person has photo of themselves holding a cat, in the kitchen I presume.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Somewhere in the thread, we changed from Baking Powder to Baking soda. Might make a difference!!

                1. re: random amblings

                  Yeah, you'd have to add something sour to activate the leavening. Eggs with vinegar? No. Yogurt!

                  1. re: sonia darrow

                    There's a very tasty recipe for eggs with vinegar and garlic in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, although I always used less vinegar than called for.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I have taken baths with baking soda--good for sunburn and makes skin very soft. I've also used it for tooth brushing in a pinch. So maybe you have something there. I bet it's a good exfoliate.

                3. There are countless "tricks" to make prepared foods look like something they're not. Baking powder is activated by heat as well as acids to it's perfect for using in the manner suggested by the recipe. IMO, we either want to learn to prepare foods expertly or we want to fake it and make the guest believe we're accomplished cooks. You can fluff eggs with just about anything that offers a CO2 saturated environment. Or you can learn to gently massage them just as they come from the shell and get fantastic results. I guess it's an individual choice.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: todao

                    I agree. Just a side note, double acting baking powder is activated by liquid and heat but baking soda is activated by acid. Personally, I don't even like my eggs fluffy. I like them creamy and smooth.

                    1. It's sounds like the opposite of professional scrambled eggs, the benchmark method for which is the French method - eggs over very low heat (preferably a double boiler), mixed with a fork to avoid mixing in too much air, adding slivers of ice cold butter to keep the eggs from forming noticeable curds, so that you end up with a more custard like consistency in the end, very moist and delicate.

                      But I would not be shocked to learn that this technique is responsible for the abomination that passes for scrambled eggs in food service, sitting sadly out under over heat in chafing dishes (or in a square pan on the grill top in the diner), the negation of true scrambled eggs. Another reason never to order scrambled eggs out, unless you know they are truly made right and to order....

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Karl S

                        Many restaurants or hotels that serve their scrambled eggs on a buffet will add a portion of bechamel to the eggs to keep the soft consistency and the eggs from turning green with the prolonged heat. I have never heard of or seen baking powder used in scrambled eggs, though; and I don't think it would function to keep the eggs from toughening up or changing color on a buffet, anyway. Happily, as a professional, I guess I worked in all the "right" places.

                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          For those (like me) who prefer their eggs and omelettes fluffy, a pinch of cream of tartar (which is the other component of baking powder, along with baking soda) per egg will help them rise a bit. Baking powder per se could tend to add a metallic overtone to the taste because it has that soda in it- useless in this acid-free instance, as someone has already commented. A snippet from my kitchen tips file, my preferred method for many years:

                          for fluffy omelettes:
                          Break eggs into teacup or large glass; do NOT add water or milk to thin them out. (I usually add a bit of dill weed, thyme or sage at this point, and sometimes some onion powder depending on the intended savory filling, or no spices and a pinch of sugar for sweet ones- hold off on salt & pepper until after cooking). For extra super fluffiness, add cream of tartar - about 1/8 tsp before whisking.
                          Hold wire whisk between flat hands and roll back & forth rapidly to incorporate plenty of air into the eggs.Or use a stick blender for a couple of seconds.
                          Make omelette in well-buttered pan over medium (not low, as in the French style) heat, lifting edges as it firms up to let the uncooked egg down to the heat.
                          For a dryer omelette, remove from heat and dry under broiler for 30-45 seconds, then lay down your filling & finish under broiler for another 30-45 seconds if needed (to melt cheese, for instance), fold over & turn out onto plate.