What is the best technique for cooking an omelet?
So as I look on youtube, it seems there are a thousand and one ways to cook an omelet. Some like them brown and crispy on the outside but gooey and silky on the inside. Some prefer a super fluffy omelet through and through. Some like a more dense and meaty omelet. What's your preference and why? I'm more curious about the technique around how to cook the eggs rather than what to put into the omelet.
If you're interested, below is a link to a demonstration of how I prefer to cook an omelet:
During college I cooked at 4 different restaurants, and they all made omelets different. First used rings on a flat grill (flipping was optional, most didn't). Second place we did them in a pan similar to the video, no flip. Third place we used a pan and a hot oven and added all ingredients at the start with a flip halfway through cooking. The last place we spread the eggs on a flat grill and rolled it like a burrito (no flip). I wouldn't say any one was "the best". Each method had its pros and cons, and the results were quite different.
At home I don't have a flat grill, so I prefer the pan method shown in the video. The only thing I do different is fold it in the pan, cover it, and add a bit of water for steam. This seems to make it fluffier and helps melt the cheese.
I am not a chef! But I taught myself to make an omelet from an old cookbook using a smallish iron skillet which happened to have sloping sides. I pull the egg away from the sides of the pan, letting egg mixture into the breach. I cook on med heat. I fold once. I like the tip about adding a bit of water for steam. (I now use a non stick fry pan.)
Let your pan heat up, and then put in the oil.
For a big omelet, I have found that after folding, I like to flip it by turning the skillet over, letting the omelet rest on the lid, and then removing the pan for an instant before returning the omelet upside down to the pan for a little more browning. With a small omelet, I just turn with a wooden spatula.
There are a million ways to make an omelet. If you make these often enough, you will develop your own technique.
That's a nice basic approach, but if you are less patient, try the shake method for the eggs like Julia Child favored or the Jacque Pepin demonstration where he shows you how to roll it over in three steps onto a plate to make more of a log presentation so the fold is not visible.
When cheese is involved, I like to use the oven or broiler at home after the eggs are set to melt the cheese.
I know. And what I found wonderful is if you watch all three videos done by French-trained chefs--Child, Peppin and a chef from NY (can't remember the name)--their technique is almost exactly the same including how they hold the pan and then switch the way they hold the pan--all creating that same perfect cigar-shaped omelette with a creamy, wet center. I think I'm going to be using up some eggs this weekend practicing.
I make my omelets in a similar manner in a skillet with no browning.
One thing I've noticed as I've aged is that browned eggs have a strong bitter taste. As a result, I rarely order omelets when dining out. At home, I mainly do scrambles 90% of the time. I guess with age I've become impatient too. :-)
I learned to make an omelet similiar to the way Jacques Pepin makes his country omelettes - pulling the coagulated egg into the center of the pan to allow the runny egg to hit the pan. This produces a fluffier omelette, which I like, but with a soft center - yummm. I found this video on youtube and it is Pepin making a country omelette and then a classic omelette. They both look delicious to me. Of course, Pepin has that way about him, doesn't he? I think I'll be having an omelette for dinner now. :)