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Why can't we order scrambled eggs like we do fried eggs?

With fried eggs, you can specify easy, medium, or hard.

Why can't we do the same with scrambled eggs?

Putting aside the thorny issue of actually getting what you specify, why don't restaurants offer this option as a matter of course for scrambled eggs like they do for fried?

For example, when I say, "I'll have your Breakfast Special, with hash browns and eggs over easy" no one bats an eye.

But if I say something like, "I'll have your Breakfast Special, with hash browns and scrambled easy eggs," I undoubtedly will get looks like I just grew a third eye.

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  1. I always ask for my scrambled eggs to be scrambled hard. I hate runny eggs and I find that's the only way to get them cooked the way I want them. I never get weird looks for this, although I have a feeling it might be different if you asked for them scrambled easy :)

    34 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      That's really interesting.

      You actually specify that you want your eggs scrambled "hard"? I don't believe I have ever heard anyone do that. How cool.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I ALWAYS specify that I want my eggs scrambled hard.

        1. re: PotatoHouse

          Speaking of...

          We're on vacation, in North Carolina. Jet lagged and tired Friday morning, we found a local store of a small Southeast chain for breakfast. I honestly only ordered 'scrambled eggs,' didn't mention soft or fluffy or lightly cooked. Well. Even though the server/bartender [don't ask] messed up my order, what finally emerged from the kitchen was just about the finest plate of scrambled I've ever had.

          Fluffy curds, creamy, delicious. I loved it. The 'scrambled hard' - see above - spouse, not so much. We discreetly looked around the room, and any customer who ordered scrambled pretty much had as pretty a plate.

          You just never know. !

      2. re: biondanonima

        Do it all the time as well.

        Ipsedixit - have you ever done this? My guess is you won't get weird looks. It's standard procedure in my book. "Scrambled soft" would be akin to easy.

        1. re: gordeaux

          I did, today. On a lark, I asked our waitress for scrambled easy, and got this look like I was from Mars.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            "Lightly" or "soft" works for me most of the time. Spouse always asks for "scrambled extra well," which, is just nasty to me. But that's how they arrive for him.

            Terminology - it's a pain.

            1. re: nikkihwood

              But then I would have to add "no browning" please which would make them not done so that's why I never order scrambled eggs out. If available, poached seem to work out quite well.

              1. re: escondido123

                brown+scrambled eggs makes me want to weep and gag at the same time.

                1. re: cleobeach

                  But browned scrambled eggs are YUMMY!!!
                  (Done in a very hot pan with ample oil, the scrambling of whole eggs broken directly into the pan finished within the minute with the results being "marbled" scrambled eggs with crisp edges and soft/slightly runny center/body)

                  1. re: huiray

                    And so we can see from our small discussion just how difficult it is to get scrambled eggs done the way each of us considers "perfect." (I haven't had any breakfast and now I know it will be perfectly scrambled eggs, made with butter and a spoon of heavy cream.)

                    1. re: escondido123

                      ... and now I know it will be perfectly scrambled eggs, made with butter and a spoon of heavy cream.
                      ________________________

                      That sounds more like dessert than breakfast ...

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Nope, for me it is the perfect scrambled eggs..........no sugar included. I know I'm not the only one that makes them this way.

                      2. re: escondido123

                        Escondido123, that one spoon of heavy cream makes such a lovely difference, doesn't it? I learned that trick from a younger sister. My passion re: scrambled eggs these days is to slow cook them. Very low heat, gently stirring, they cook but they are creamy and so tender. It takes a while. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes? You don't want to increase the heat, so however long it takes is the time it takes. I made slow-cooked scrambled eggs for my dogs the other morning when I was out of their dog food. Not terribly unhealthy for them. They were frantic waiting for me to finish cooking them! LOL.

                        1. re: Willa

                          I used to hate scrambled eggs because of the crispy overdone bits. Then I learned how to make them as Willa describes. Night and day! Almost as good as coddled eggs...

                          To the OP: I now order softly scrambled eggs when I go out for breakfast. Haven't had any funny looks yet but sometimes they still come more cooked than I'd like.

                          1. re: grayelf

                            grayelf, tell me about coddled eggs. I know they are sometimes used in a caesar salad by people who fear raw eggs (not sure coddling will cook them enough to make a difference). But I have never had them. I think eggs are such a cool food. Thinking of getting some chickens.....

                            1. re: Willa

                              Ya know, I'm not sure that the real name IS coddled eggs, now that you ask. But that's what the parentals called them. You cook beaten eggs in a buttered double boiler. Let 'em set up a bit, then gently fold a few times, "steam" a bit longer and voila. The SO and I often refer to them as fluffy eggs for what should be obvious reasons if you cook them right :-). You can add grated sharp cheddar cheese when they're half set if you're feeling naughty.

                              1. re: grayelf

                                Adding grated sharp cheddar doesn't seem "naughty," rather, it sounds just a bit cheesy to me.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  Your eggs sound very good, but they're not coddled. Coddled are made in a closed "jar" that is placed in boiling water. In the most basic recipe, you put some butter in the coddler, break in an egg or two, screw on the lid and set in pot of boiling water until done.

                                  1. re: escondido123

                                    That sounds good but the first thing I thought was that getting those eggs out of the jar is tricky. That jar must be really hot.

                                    Okay, I'm a total klutz. I admit it.

                                    1. re: PaulF

                                      We always ate them straight out if the containers.

                                  2. re: grayelf

                                    12 eggs to 4oz of butter cooked that way I know as "hospital" eggs.A friend of the family worked the burn unit some at Johns Hopkins during the 50's and 60's and eggs as described were an integral for burn recovery nutrition at the time.

                                    LOVELY EATING

                              2. re: Willa

                                Different strokes for different folks, as escondido said in effect.

                                I would find these "eggs" as you describe them (a.k.a. a variation of the French method) not appealing. I'd eat them, if I had to, but would NOT be how I would prefer my scrambled eggs.

                                1. re: Willa

                                  For years, I listened to the "rule" that you should never add milk or cream to scrambled eggs. Then one day last year, I decided to try just a small splash of heavy cream. I don't cook my eggs like you do, but that cream makes them well....creamy.

                                  1. re: escondido123

                                    Well, milk adds proteins that make it more likely to form tougher curds. Cream less so; silvers of ice-cold butter are even better than cream because it has less water than cream and the melting process helps temper and slow down curd formation to improve the emulsion. Hence, the classic French method for scrambling eggs, a greater art than making a mere omelet.

                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      I've tried both and the heavy cream that I have is so thick it just seems to do the trick. I don't like it to be a pudding so some curds are fine with me. Funny how we who like scrambled eggs are so specific about what makes them perfect for us.

                                      1. re: escondido123

                                        And it seems so embarrassingly picky when you try to describe how you prefer them! A case of 'easier done yourself than said' I guess.

                                        1. re: escondido123

                                          Very heavy cream will work, just that it's hard to get cream that's not ultrapasteurized today (UP cream has much less flavor, and lots of additives, in exchange for extended shelf life) so butter is just easier and better for me.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            The cream I get is so "heavy" it lasts for weeks in the frig, even once opened. Love it.

                              3. re: cleobeach

                                +1 Not much worse than eggs that are super tight and browned!

                              4. re: escondido123

                                OH. wow. Yes. Honestly, it doesn't happen to me much around town. But I've definitely encountered it on the road. [On the other hand, the spouse's eggs look realll brown.]

                                We will go to a great breakfast restaurant in a couple of weeks - neither of have been there for decades. [btw, it's Pann's, ipsedixit]. I will be most interested to see how they treat a request for 'soft.'

                                1. re: escondido123

                                  so you enjoy poached eggs but want your scrambled well done? (How) do you take them fried, just out of curiosity?

                                  1. re: splatgirl

                                    I like my scrambled eggs soft and creamy...looked carefully by didn't see that I said otherwise. Poached I like runny, fried I like basted with butter but not browned, runny yolk.

                              5. re: ipsedixit

                                Ha!
                                I hate scrambled eggs- if it isn't fried, or an omelet or other more developed egg dish, I can do without. I'm not even that picky about fried eggs, I just dont' like them scrambled. Why bother? I don't want to hear a lot of huevos revueltos fans trying to proselytize, either.

                            2. re: biondanonima

                              I do the same thing when I'm the mood for scrambled eggs.

                              Sometimes I specify how I want the ingredients in my eggs to be cooked. Like I might say "Lox, eggs and onions, scrambled hard, with the onions well done."

                              No one has ever thought this was weird. I thought lots of people did it.

                            3. I worked in a Hospital kitchen while in High School (decades ago) and the short order cook made scrambled eggs soft, regular and hard upon request in the Physician Cafeteria.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Cathy

                                Oh my gosh- and it's still going on, after al these years...

                              2. Scrambled 'soft' , 'medium', or 'dry' is what I've always heard.....

                                1. The only problem is scrambled eggs "hard" are very easy, the other two are often too nuanced for most cooks. I like mine very wet, but the white thoroughly cooked--not easy for someone who doesn't like them that way.

                                  1. the simple answer, most places scamble and then hold scrambled eggs and do not cook them to order, but single fried eggs are cooked to order.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: elkahani

                                      you are eating in the wrong places. Generally I onlly see precooked scrambled eggs where there is a breakfast buffet or cafeteria line.

                                      1. re: elkahani

                                        wrong. most places use a pouch. folks can't tell the difference.

                                        1. re: elkahani

                                          Ahh, the source of the notorious 'Egg Ball', breakfast served with an ice cream scoop at fire camp.