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wow - stunned at whisked scrambled eggs

It could be that I recently became a fan of eggs in general and developed a obsession with scrambled eggs, that I never learned the "proper" technique. My usual approach is to use a fork to mix the yolks and whites. This morning, the whisk caught the corner of my eye and since I was planning to run a load of dishes in the dishwasher anyway wasn't annoyed at the thought of an additional dirty utensil. I grabbed the whisk and mixed until there were bubbles on the surface (about 2 minutes). When the eggs were cooked, the finished product was so much more volume than usual that I thought I might need to pull out a larger plate. When plated, the eggs easily filled the plate, whereas my usual product fills about 2/3 of the plate surface. Is this likely due to whisking or some other random variable?

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  1. Air sometimes adds volume........

    1. 80 strokes is the rule of thumb.

      1. I've used a whisk forever. My husband was amazed because his mother always used a fork and the difference was a revelation to him. Try adding a TBLS of heavy cream to your eggs --- bliss on a plate! Even supermarket eggs taste good.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Sherri

          Whisk it is from here on out...that was truly a revelation. I have a friend who prefers egg whites (not meant to incite any discussions of cholesterol good vs bad or yolk better taste), does the whisking of egg whites have any effect on volume?

            1. re: raskolnikov

              haha, well yes, indeed I could beat them to stiff peaks though the question remains

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                No, that answered your question. Obviously, whisking egg whites increases their volume.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  i whisk egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar -- major volume and fluffiness factor.

                  1. re: Emme

                    Wow, I will definitely give that a try.

              1. re: Sherri

                +1 on adding some heavy cream. Alternatively, Sour Cream is a very good addition as well.

                1. re: The Professor

                  Do you think crème fraiche would taste good? I have some I need to use up.

                  1. re: Isolda

                    I think creme fraiche would make just about anything taste better.

              2. I will try that next time, with the addition of a spoon of heavy cream for creaminess. Thanks.

                2 Replies
                1. re: escondido123

                  A few ice chips is my preferred addition. Makes them fluffy.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    To take it a bit further - I whisk the eggs without any additives (cream or milk). Cook them slowly over low heat until nice curds form. Then I add a splash of half and half. Perfect, creamy eggs!

                  2. I loved these "poached scrambled eggs" from FOOD 52 even when "hard cooked" and I usually only love lightly cooked eggs. I have even used several whites with one whole egg and had an excellent result. I thought you might enjoy it.
                    (I did not strain eggs and I covered and simmered. I do use very fresh eggs.)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mscoffee1

                      mscoffee, thank you for the link to that site

                    2. To make it puff even more, try scrambling in very HOT oil quickly and remove. Of course some of the puffiness will be gone when the skillet is removed from the stove, but the resulted taste (the taste of hot oil meeting egg white) won't. It's yummy.

                      Hot grease also give you a crispy edge if you do your egg sunny-side-up. Kids love that crispy edge.

                      For a fan of eggs, have you tried to cook eggs the sous vide way? This is a no-fail way to prepare onsen tamago (the Japanese 'hot spring' or soft boiled) - very tender egg white and half-cooked creamy yolk. Eggs laid by happy chicken (ones that run around free a lot) also help the taste, a lot.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: borntolovefood

                        Oh my Mom made crispy eggs when I was a kid, not on purpose though, and I never liked eggs for breakfast until I grew up and moved out and found out that eggs can be made without a brown bottom!

                        1. re: coll

                          I'm with you, coll. I too was subjected to crispy-edge eggs as a child and I still cannot abide them. Scrambled for me, please.

                          Thanks, all, for these great tips. I too have only used a fork to mix eggs for scrambling. That is about to change starting at lunch time today.

                          1. re: soccermom13

                            When I was little, my mother mistakenly believed that I liked the dried up scrapings of scrambled eggs in the bottom of the pan, so after serving my three sisters, she scraped out the crusty bits and triumphantly deposited those on my plate. I was too shy to tell her I really didn't like them at all..
                            My ideal scrambled eggs are creamy and soft and a little runny, well mixed but not fluffy. And absolutely no brown! (still trying to teach hubby that part)

                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                              My mom was an excellent scrambler of eggs - she just did them as she'd done as a girl out on day hikes over a fire, breaking the eggs into hot bacon grease and stirring until they were done. I still love them that way. But her omelets were the ghastly whipped-to-billowy scorched dry yucky things, folded over insufficient cheese. I was an adult before I learned that an omelet does not have to be bone dry, nor should it taste like burnt hair.

                              Those who want their eggs billowy like that are welcome to them. All my standard references insist that they should never be whipped to full liquidity, but only enough to even out the color, and then stirred over moderate heat until just cooked, but still soft and moist. I also like the layered-omelet variety, cooked at a higher heat more quickly, and repeatedly folded over themselves until a nice oval mass is formed but never browned.

                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                My favorite method of softly scrambling eggs I learned right here on CH from fellow CHers.

                                Beat egg w/o salt or pepper (I add a little bit of full fat cottage cheese tho but you don't have to). Heat pan on low heat. Add egg to pan and using a spatula, make a constant swirling motion in the bottom of the pan as the egg starts to set up slowly. You want it to set very slowly. If it starts setting too quickly, remove pan from heat source but continue swirling the pan bottom w/ spatula. One egg takes about 5 mins total to finish. Remove egg from heat source before it is completely set and season w/ salt & pepper (Maldon salt if you have it). This make THE BEST softly scrambled eggs, IMHO. :)

                                P.S. I love adding a little bit of red pepper flakes to the finished eggs too. April Bloomfield suggests this in her cookbook, if you don't have those little, dried pequin peppers (I can't find these anywhere!).

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  Pequin peppers in your morning eggs would certainly wake you up. I do not recommend -- these things are hotter than hell.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    I just picked up some pequin peppers today and had them on an egg for lunch - yum! I didn't think the heat was bad at all (incidentally, they rate 40 on the scoville scale). I think moderation is the key. They add a nice dimension though. I liked them a lot!

                                    April Bloomfield said in her book that she uses them a lot in her cooking to layer flavor, not necessarily add heat.

                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                      I made my morning egg/cottage-cheese "blob" today with some bright-green habañero pepper sauce. Two eggs, 1/4 cup Egg Product, 2 Tbs TJ's nonfat cottage cheese (hey, it's good!) and four or five good dashes of the sauce and a pinch of salt. Tinned copper skillet, hot, bit of olive oil and some butter, heat turned to med.-low, pour eggs in with a swirling motion and let sit. Careful lifting to allow running-under all around until all seems cooked underneath, then gather up edges into the middle until it's a pile and turn it all over. After maybe fifteen seconds turn off the heat and butter the toast. A bit firm but not rubbery, good buttery flavor with whispers of habañero heat.

                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        Sounds good to me Will! I'll have to give it a whirl... except for that nonfat cottage cheese. ;-)

                                  2. re: lynnlato

                                    That sounds very much like Gordon Ramsay's recipe. He also added a spoonful of creme fraiche at the end. I didn't know how to make scramblies properly until I saw his video.

                              2. re: coll

                                My husband says his mom called that crispy edge the "bacon".

                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                  Ha, that sounds like something my Mom would say too! She always sees the bright side of things.

                              3. re: borntolovefood

                                I'd rather scramble my eggs in butter. Just sayin'... ;D

                              4. I prefer my scrambled eggs lightly whisked then cooked in a hot wok with a bit of oil. I saw it done at an outdoor Chinese restaurant and tried it at home. Wow beats the frying pan.

                                And I *never* liked the crisp edges on fried eggs (which I like over hard so they are fully cooked). I feed those to the dog :)

                                1. When you whisk, how long and until frothy?

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    I've neither timed this nor counted strokes so I don't know "how long until frothy". I look at the eggs and when I see bubbles around the edge of the bowl, that's it. I wisk them into a very low (heat) pan with butter, count to 20 then a slow steady stir with my wide wooden spatula, pulling the cooked portion and tilting the pan so the uncooked portion runs into the void. I like these with soft curds, so I stop before they're completely cooked. Any additions go in after the eggs have had their first gentle "set" -- unless the addition is something previously cooked in the pan, like this morning's mushrooms & shallots. Hope this helps.

                                    1. re: Sherri

                                      Right, but vigorous whisk is advised right?

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        Yep, I do a pretty mean 'vigorous whisk'. It is definitely not stirring, I am beating the eggs with a whisk about the same way I do with heavy cream or egg whites when I want to add volumn. Try it tomorrow and let us know how you like your new scrambled eggs.

                                          1. re: Sherri

                                            Thanks for the tips. I had my lovely plate of weekend scrambled egg whites, whisked for about a minute until the entire surface was frothy. It definitely amped up the volume!

                                    2. I can't stand vigorously whisked eggs for scrambled eggs; I do 80 short flat strokes with a fork, to avoid getting too much air in them so they stay custardy rather than puffy.

                                      1. I whisk mine in a coffee mug, holding the whisk handle between flat palms and rubbing the palms back & forth vigorously for a few seconds. Quick & easy and it saves strain on the wrists.

                                        1. There's a long-time neighborhood cafe/diner who has a unique way of doing their scrambled eggs and omelet eggs. They put the eggs in a blender and blast into a foamy mass, then cook this. The eggs end up almost souffle-like. It's their trademark.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Sharuf

                                            I'm tempted to try that real soon.

                                            1. re: Sharuf

                                              I've done this in the blender and they are fantastic. Light and fluffy!

                                            2. MFK Fisher said scrambled eggs should take no less than 30 minutes to cook, but I've never been able to pull that off. Burner too hot?

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: lboeckx

                                                I'd lose the will to live at 30 minutes - I'm assuming that's very low heat and using a double boiler. Takes me 10 - 15 minutes for 2 eggs (pan on low direct heat)

                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  Exactly. Fifteen minutes in and most of the eggs have beaten nibbled away with or without a double boiler. Maybe someday someone will make it for me.

                                                  1. re: lboeckx

                                                    I've only been able to do perfect 30 minute scrambled eggs a few times and they were without a doubt the best scrambled eggs I've ever eaten. It is time consuming and needs perfect temperature control and excellent control of the eggs in the pan. Most of the time I fail due to either impatience or just not being able to control the temperature well enough.

                                                    Karl S was my inspiration for working on this so credit to him! There are a few key points to making this work. Controlling the temperature is key. You need the heat to hit the temperature where eggs start to set and be just slightly over the cooking period. Point two is to have sticks of butter(I always use unsalted, but I don't know if it's better to use salted) cut into 1 tablespoon pieces in the fridge. When I was working on this frequently, I had a ziploc full of the pieces in the fridge. They need to be cold for this to work.

                                                    The butter is key for this. Keep stiring the eggs all the time. When it looks like the eggs are about to start setting, add one of the pieces of cold butter and keep on stiring. The butter will prevent the eggs from setting and bring the temperature of the eggs down just a little bit, which is enough for a few minutes more of cooking. Continue this process for about 30 minutes!

                                                    Patience is the third key point. The last bit happens very quickly. All of a sudden, it just starts to get thicker and thicker. The eggs are setting at this point. Keep on stiring as you have been for the last half hour! You don't need to add any more butter because at this point you are pretty much finished and the eggs are going to set whether you want them to or not. But keep stiring and you'll see the eggs turn into a custardy consistency. Take the eggs off the heat just before this happens and they'll be perfect. All you need to mix in is some salt and pepper and they are amazing. The custardy consistency makes them perfect to eat by itself or I like to spread it on some nice toasted bread or english muffins.

                                                    I don't really have a recipe, but I would say it's about 6TB of butter for 6 eggs. Sometimes it's a bit more or less. It's certainly not something you want to eat every day but when you can make it perfectly it's one of the best things you can eat. It also goes without saying as well that you should use the best eggs you can find.

                                                    1. re: BKK Brendan

                                                      Thanks for the props, and yes, a TB of butter per egg is not over the top, though I probably use half that ratio for 3 eggs in 20 minutes. This is not diet food, but it is supernal food.

                                                      1. re: BKK Brendan

                                                        " keep stiring and you'll see the eggs turn into a custardy consistency..."

                                                        Take the eggs off just BEFORE this happens? That's going to rattle around in my head a bit!

                                                2. on ATK, they explained to barely beat eggs so as to not mess up the proteins too much, and the trick is to use room temp eggs, pour into a med-hi frying pan, then lower the heat immediately to low. The burst of heat at first creates the steam to lift the eggs, and the low heat at the end cooks through but prevents the proteins from squeezing out all the water and making the eggs tough.

                                                  Your wisk method does indeed introduce air, but it damages the proteins, so not optimal.

                                                  Lightly beat, high heat, then low heat.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: brianv78

                                                    I agree. I just tried the vigorous whisking method & was super disappointed in the result. The eggs were puffy and dry. I prefer them without the volume and a little moist. That said, I do like the frittata method of lightly setting the eggs in a skillet on the stovetop, then lightly broiling them to get an almost crispy texture on top... but not as much as lightly scrambled.
                                                    And of course, farm fresh free-range eggs make a humongous difference.

                                                  2. I recently read that the secret to creamy scrambled eggs is to use the lowest heat and stir with chopsticks. Chopsticks! Well, I tried it and sure enough - creamy, delicious eggs every time. Nothing added except S&P. It takes patience and you must constantly stir the uncooked eggs from the center to the edge, and the cooked eggs from the edge to the center. Give it a try!

                                                    1. I have found the discussions of preferences of egg texture very interesting. I don't think I like the really wet eggs of the ATK style. I *do* like eggs tender as one has in tamagomaki. If one is going to spend a "long time" making scrambled eggs (which I always think of as a very quick dish), does anyone prefer tamagomaki instead?

                                                      1. I started scrambling eggs almost every morning when I got a lovely small non-stick pan and a tiny coated whisk. To minimize effort and dirty dishes, and get the eggs I like, I fry sliced mushrooms in butter w salt & some savoury seasoning mix (eg roasted garlic & herb), slide them onto a small plate, break a few eggs into the pan off the heat and immediately break yolks and mostly blend with the whisk - pinch of salt too. Back on low heat with lots of stirring/scraping with the whisk first, then a silicone spatula to get the whole mass warm then custardy w/o overcooked curds. Mushrooms folded in, heat turned up for final set and increase of volume by getting the water to expand. Moist, tender though not fluffy, tasty mushroom nuggets - yum!

                                                        1. Yes, whisking rules. I whisk, and add a tiny bit of 1/2 and 1/2 and a tiny bit of water. This keeps it rich and moist, but not runny. And I've learned to then cook them in a non-stick skillet with some butter VERY slowly, like, "is the fire even on?" slowly. That makes them very rich-tasting.

                                                          Mind you, I only do this on weekends when I have time to dawdle, but slow cooking the scrambled eggs also makes a world of difference.

                                                          1. ...and a wonderful and healthy (little sat fat, no salt) substitute for doing eggs in butter is avocado oil if you can find it. My brand is d'AVO and is just full and rich.

                                                            1. This is a very random/slightly related question. I have never really been a big fan of egg yolks. What is the "flavor" that they add? I can't seem to pinpoint why people claim that they contribute all of the flavor especially since most people season eggs with other things (e.g. salt and pepper). Anyone have a good "what does an egg yolk taste like" description? It's similar to my feelings about avocado.

                                                              1. My grandmother--w/o doubt the best Southern cook who ever lived--always put about a tsp.-per-egg of mayo in her scrambled eggs; told us it was an old caterer's trick to keep eggs held on a steam table from drying out (or looking so). I always scramble mine with a little mayo or full-fat sour cream, (Which has always necessitated using a whisk because it's the only way to get the mayo or sour cream smoothly incorporated.) And I agree w/whoever pours their eggs over sliced fresh mushrooms sauteed in a little butter. With a rasher of Nueske's applewood-smoked bacon and a sliced homegrown tomato, one of my favorite meals any hour of the day.

                                                                1. if anyone has a vintage circa 1960 Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (the red gingham kind of binder version) - check out the recipe for "fluffy omelette" under the "eggs and cheese" section

                                                                  1. Your next step to scrambled egg 'Nirvana' is to gently stir them in a 'double boiler'. Takes a while but worth the effort.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN8St...