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Ridiculously Basic Question About Scrambling Eggs

Do you scramble the eggs straight from the fridge, or do you warm them up with warm water (or let them come to room temperature)?

I always made scrambled eggs with eggs cold from the fridge. But today I decided to warm them up under running warm water, and I think the result was better. But maybe that was my imagination.

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  1. I scrambled eggs which were cold from the refrigerator. I do this because I am lazy.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Yes, laziness all the way. Perhaps warm would be better, but mine still taste pretty good (probably because of all the cream and butter).

      2. Cold from the fridge usually, but if they sit out for a bit no big deal. My 2 year old, our Egg Consumer in Chief, doesn't seem to mind. As long as I add some cheese and salsa, she's good.

        1. I originally soaked them in "hot" tap water for 5 minutes because Alton told me to.
          Now, I still do it but it's mostly just to make sure they don't float....as in rotten.

          12 Replies
          1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

            So....why does Alton say so? Did he give a Corriher/McGee type reason?

            1. re: gothamette

              Apparently I've had a senior moment..... It was for omelettes, not scrambled that he gives that little warming tip.

              Just for the record,this is what he says (Not exactly his normal Corriher/McGee type reason) in his episode on omelettes....

              "Now to get started, we will need three of these [eggs] warmed for five minutes in hot, not scalding, tap water. Now the faster an omelet cooks, the more tender it's going to be. Since cold eggs have a longer thermal trip to take, starting with warm eggs makes good sense. You'll never see this step mentioned in a French cookbook because the French don't refrigerate their eggs."

              Since youtube seems to have removed all Alton videos, the following link is the best I can do for what he says (scroll down the page to where it says, "Scene Six") about scrambled......they're the fluffy kind, not the creamy style that's mentioned a lot in other threads.


              1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                Sounds reasonable to me, which is why I asked la question.

            2. re: Bryan Pepperseed

              Can't ever remember encountering a rotten egg even after weeks of storage. Forget the float test. If it's rotten you will know as soon as you crack it open.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                The only rotten egg I have ever encountered was the third of three eggs I was planning to make an omelet with. Fortunately the grocery wasn't far away.

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  After recently reading another post (maybe by you too??) that said the same thing and I (being quite the risk taker) tried it for my next batch of eggs. All went well, but for the same reason as sr44, I did get a little nervous as I tossed the last egg into the mixing bowl...... I've since gone back to the float test to be on the safe side.
                  Is there really enough time between cracking and opening to be able to smell it?

                  1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                    having cracked a couple of eggs in my lifetime that had seen better days?


                    It will knock you over.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      i've cracked a bajillion eggs and never encountered a raw one that was spoiled. hard-cooked too long in the fridge? yup. damn near need to clear the house.

                      if you're that worried, crack each egg into a bowl for a sniff, THEN add it to the bigger mix.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Please understand that I'm talking a few eggs over the course of my entire time in the kitchen, which now (gulp) spans several decades.

                        But I promise you'll never forget the aroma.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Agree. Only experienced one in my approx. 25 years of baking, but that one had me gagging and running for the sink so I didn't puke into the mixing bowl. Luckily, I had broken it into a separate mug.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            My husband was at the sink and I was at the stove when I cracked a bad egg. We both ended up vomiting in the sink. My only rotten egg in 50+ years and you are right, you never forget that smell!!

                  2. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                    Re rotten eggs:

                    When I was a kid, we had our own henhouse and hen yard. It was my job to gather the eggs every day or two. You had to work around any hens still sitting on their nests and just leave them. Sometimes an egg will take considerable time before it got gathered. Mom always tested each egg separately and found an occasional bad one.

                  3. Odds of a floating egg being "rotten" is EXTREMELY LOW!! Floating just means they're less fresh. If you boil a floater and peel, you get that dimple in the big end. Floating just means some of the moisture has evaporated thru the shell.

                    As for scrambled eggs, I use them straight from fridge. I like mine totally DRY and with a little brown. I use a non-stick pan most times... if I wanna make what I call a semi-omelett... that's not spelled correctly, is it?? Other times I use a WELL used/seasoned cast iron pan.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kseiverd

                      I'm usually a stickler on proper spelling, but omelette gets a pass. I've even been known to spell it "omlet."

                    2. I suspect that in culinary school--which I have not attended--they spend a whole day on cooking eggs. I've seen some over-the-top chef-fy instructions for cooking scrambled eggs that made me chuckle. Unless you're cooking to impress a Michelin-starred chef, my advice is don't worry about the temperature of your eggs.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LorenzoGA

                        Spend a whole day? I think they weeks. I didn't intend for my question to bring on ill-feelings, I just wondered if anyone knew whether there was a difference. Not better or worse, just different.

                        1. re: gothamette

                          when i was in culinary our breakfast mod was 4 weeks. that did not include any pastry. mostly eggs. :)

                      2. room temperature eggs are better for most things -- that's whyrecipes for cakes and cookies advise using room temp ingredients.

                        if low and slow is how you cook eggs they will be sublime if room temp hitting the pan.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          For baking, sure. Baking is chemistry. Batters are emulsions, etc. But for something as simple as scrambled eggs, I find it hard to believe that whether the eggs are 45F or 65F when they hit the hot pan makes a major difference in the result. I can see the logic in a cake recipe calling for room temperature eggs, but I would need to be persuaded that other kinds of recipes call for room temperature eggs out of anything more than myth. All too many recipes call for certain techniques because that is how the recipe author was taught to do it; in other words, it's a myth that just keeps getting passed along. My mantra in the kitchen is question everything. If I can't get a well-reasoned answer for why something is done, I conclude that it's probably more myth or tradition than anything else.

                          1. re: LorenzoGA

                            so instead of jumping to conclusions simply to refute my personal experience, why not try it yourself?

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              I made no "conclusion" whatsoever. That was my whole point. YOU jumped to a conclusion that room-temperature eggs would improve scrambled eggs by apparently drawing some inference from cake recipes. What made you draw the inference that eggs behave similarly when scrambled as in cake batter? I'm simply stating that I can think of no logical reason why a room-temperature egg would benefit scrambled eggs over an egg at refrigerator temperature, nor have I found any sources of information on it. In contrast, plenty of people have explained why it makes a difference with cake batter. Until someone comes up with a theory, I have to question people who have no theory. Have YOU done an experiment? You asked me to do the experiment, but I can't even come up with a theory why it might make a difference. Besides, different people find different qualities in their scrambled eggs pleasing, so it seems it would be hard to objectively conclude that one way produces better results than the other.

                              1. re: LorenzoGA

                                "Besides, different people find different qualities in their scrambled eggs pleasing, so it seems it would be hard to objectively conclude that one way produces better results than the other."

                                So really, this whole argument is pointless -- is that what you're saying? Because that's what I'm taking away from it.

                                1. re: LorenzoGA

                                  will start by saying i have cooked scrambled eggs almost daily for my b/f for the last 11.5 years. so, we'll say, give or take, 4000 times. we won't count the decades previous to that because i only cooked them once or twice a week back then, lol. one (although perhaps not you?) might then infer i have cooked them about every way imaginable.

                                  i *specifically* referred to a preference for low and slow scrambled eggs. if you like them fast and dry, by all means stop reading.

                                  very cold eggs hitting a hot pan means the proteins will seize. room temp eggs hitting a room temp or warmish pan will heat very gently, allowing the gradual formation of custardy curds, without the addition of any other fats or liquids. it's not a theory, it's science.

                                  so i am not taking out of my ass, nor just parroting stuff i have read off the interwebz.

                                  tyvm and have a lovely weekend. :)

                              2. re: LorenzoGA

                                " I find it hard to believe that whether the eggs are 45F or 65F when they hit the hot pan makes a major difference in the result."

                                I don't. I don't think it's a major, earth-shaking deal, but I do think that a 20 degree temperature difference would make a difference. Also, the heat of the pan.

                                It's just an idle curiosity.

                                1. re: gothamette

                                  Care to explain your theory as to the physical mechanism by which it makes a difference? If nobody can explain a plausible theory, that tells me something. My guess is that the frying pan is going to heat the eggs so quickly that a 20 degree difference in starting temperature will quickly be overcome. Scrambling is not like boiling an egg, where the heat has to penetrate to the center. A scrambled egg cracked in a pan spreads out thin and gets heated quickly. Or so that's my theory!

                                  1. re: LorenzoGA

                                    i don't crack my egg into the pan, nor do i heat it quickly. ymmv.

                                    you only have a theory though? do you actually cook scrambled eggs? is this the only way you have ever made them?

                            2. when I lived in Europe, my eggs were kept on the counter at room temperature.

                              Now I'm back in the states, they're kept in the fridge.

                              I've never noticed a difference between how the scrambled eggs turn out.

                              1. I usually let them sit out for 20 minutes or so but often just make them cold from the refrigerator.

                                1. Just keep 'em on the counter, then they'll be room temp all the time.

                                  As Serious Eats proved a while ago, 20 min (or 45) won't make much of a difference in temp anyway.

                                  1. it must be Saturday, because I'm thinking way too hard about this....

                                    We all know that they tell you to let eggs come to room temperature before making a meringue -- score one point for room-temperature, and making fluffier eggs.

                                    But putting cold eggs into a hot pan would be a larger heat differential -- score one point for cold, because the air-pocket expansion will be greater.

                                    So: 1-1.

                                    If you like 'em better when you start with room-temperature eggs, then that's the way you should make them.

                                    Me? If I'm making scrambled eggs, I'm short on time, energy, givadamn, or some combination of any or all three -- cold eggs it is.

                                    1. I always leave mine out. Aside from the knowledge that almost all the rest of the world keep theirs out too, there's the fact that a dozen eggs lasts me less than a week. That's barely time to let'em get old enough to boil and peel right, much less have them go bad!

                                      Thing is, if my room temperature is typically between 70º and 80º, and I'm following Eric Ripert's advice to keep the butter below the fast-sizzle point, in my super-slick little nonstick I can still scramble them rather quickly without their getting hard or dry, because the temperature gradient is much flatter.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        The rest of the world does keep them out, but there's a difference in salmenilla (wow, spelling) vaccines and also in the washing. I don't remember the exact details, just that while it's safe elsewhere, it's not here.

                                        1. re: Lileanda

                                          Depends on where you get your eggs. And there's a huge thread on the whole issue elsewhere on the board. Let's not get into it again here.

                                      2. I've never noticed a difference in using cold vs tepid eggs, but then I put them into a cold pan, then turn on the heat, so perhaps that brings the cold eggs up to room temp before the proteins start to cook?

                                        1. I scramble straight from the fridge and cook with low heat for a creamy consistency

                                          1. If I'm using butter, my only rule of thumb is wait till the butter starts to foam up before adding the eggs. If the pan is hot enough first, the eggs will get fluffier from the steam, and the scrambled eggs will have more body and large fluffy curds. Adding a little water will contribute to this as well.

                                            If I am using Olive Oil, I wait until the oil loosens up the point where it glides around the pan almost as if it's water. Plus I wait till I can start to smell the strong aroma from it.

                                            1. Makes no difference.

                                              And if you think it does, then keep making scrambled eggs with cold or room temp eggs -- whichever one you think tastes and makes better scrambled eggs.

                                              But I'm just telling you ... makes no difference.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I think you've got it.

                                                Depending upon mood, time available, etc., I have cooked eggs every which way. They always taste like eggs, the biggest possible differences being how much I stir them and how done I cook them. Oh, and what fat I cook them in.

                                              2. I do them right from the refrigerator, but I'd attribute that more to impatience than laziness.

                                                1. I haven't been to Fred's in Sausalito recently, but I assume they are still scrambling their eggs the way they have always done it. They break the eggs into a blender, and blast it into a fluffy heap before cooking them. This produces nicely puffy scrambled eggs and omelets.

                                                  Fred's is the only place I seen that does this.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Sharuf

                                                    And I bet they are delicious. And they are the opposite of what many claim to be "correctly" scrambled eggs.

                                                    I think that there are many great ways to make them, all likely very good.