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Sep 19, 2012 05:25 PM

how to - hard scrambled eggs that aren't watery

I have read most of the threads on Chow discussing scrambled egg technique, but havet yet to come across an answer to this question as most seem to describe the best way to make soft or medium eggs. Any tips to make hard scrambled eggs without the 2 tbsps pool of liquid that always ends up in the bottom of my pan? Details on my technique if helpful: whisk eggs, add to pan preheated on low-very medium, let them settle for 45 seconds to 1 minute, stir the cooked eggs to top, and repeat until just done, then toss with cheese and remove. They are never cooked to the browned stage and are always just to the point of hard but I always end up with that annoying puddle of liquid. It's easy enough to pour it off the plate (yes, acceptable as it's just me), but I'd like to work on the technique to avoid this in case I ever need to make eggs for someone else and not have to explain why I am holding the plate or pan over the sink to drain the eggs :)

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  1. I just yank the heat up to high before they're completely done to evaporate the water. I start them off on med-low, too.

    5 Replies
    1. re: kubasd

      ahh, that occurred to me but given that it seems that watery is most often associated with overcooking I thought it might make the problem worse. I will definitely try that.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Just something I've learned through trial and error. If someone suggests a better method, I'll definitely give it a try!

        1. re: kubasd

          So crank it up for a minute or so?

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            Alton Brown would probably say that's too long.
            In this video he starts doing scrambled eggs at approx. the 1:10 mark, and while he does turn the heat up at the end, he explains the "eggs sitting in water" problem at approx the 3:32 mark.


            1. re: fldhkybnva

              I haven't timed it, but I do it for about 30 seconds, I'd say.

      2. Egg is some proteins floating around in water. When cooked these proteins 'denature' - unwind and then reconnect to form a mesh that traps the water. This happens around 160 deg F. If they get much hotter, the mesh tightens, and squeezes out some of that water.

        I don't use the terms 'soft' or 'hard' when talking about scrambled eggs, but rather wet, moist or dry. I'd suggest stopping the cooking while the eggs are still moist, and let the residual heat finish the cooking. If timing is right, they should be dry, but not exuding water, by the time you eat.

        1. A good many years ago--like maybe thirty--Sunset magazine ran an article on making scrambled eggs in a large batch for brunches and gave a tip on how to prevent water from seeping out. I don't have the article, but as I recall it was a simple trick making roux with cornstarch and a bit of chicken broth. Adding the roux to the eggs bound the water in a colloid. I don't have the article. Maybe one of our readers has seen it or Uncle Phaedrus could find it. I should think it would work with hard scrambled eggs, too. Although it would introduce a flavor change that might or might not be liked. You would not use very much, in any case.

          2 Replies
          1. I, too, am unsure about hard vs dry. When I want firm scrambled eggs I do it like this: heat a wok (yes, a wok) and when it is warm add a drizzle of oil (I use peanut or canola) around the edges so only a tiny amount puddles in the bottom.. When the oil just starts to smoke, pour in the beaten egg and let it make a small pool on the bottom. Begin turning the wok so the egg spreads out a bit but is still wet on top. After 10 or 15 seconds use the paddle to flip and break up the little omeltte and push it up the sides for cooking. Serve quickly.

            Here is a video demonstrating a method very close to what I do. Notice that they are firm an no puddle I use these in fried rice.

            1. The only time I've had liquid puddle from scrambled eggs is when I've added liquid to the beaten eggs. My suggestion is not to add liquid to your beaten eggs.

              If you're not adding liquid, the eggs are overcooking to the point the moisture is being squeezed out. You can try using higher heat and lifting the pan to control temperature.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dave_c

                I don't add any extra liquid. I assume the problem is that I prefer my eggs on the very hard/very dry side of hard/dry so perhaps it might be impossible to avoid the pool of liquid as they are probably technically considered overcooked

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I know this is old and maybe you have found a solution to your problem. I will still offer this method to you and for me I always get very dry and they and fluffy but firm. I start out by mixing 1/8 cup of milk and half a tablespoon of butter to my eggs heat the pan up prior to cooking with just enough olive oil (or on a bacon morning i use bacon greese) to coat the bottom of the pan. When the greese/oil starts to sizzle I pour in my egg mixture keeping the heat on high and slowly reducing the heat as i go your eggs will do most of the cooking while on high heat using the heat it retains to cook off any extra liquid as you reduce heat it take about ten minutes and my eggs always turn out very nice