Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 5, 2014 11:23 AM

Motel / Buffet Scrambled eggs

Anyone have any information as to the ingredients in the egg products being used for the typical free motel breakfast scrambled eggs? Powered eggs are reportedly real eggs, but the only resemblance I find between real and motel breakfast eggs is the color. They are truly nasty.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I had some the other day that were positively weird--almost like jello in consistency.

    I usually like steam table eggs, but these were something else.

    1. USDA has an interesting page on dried and liquid egg products. See

      1 Reply
      1. re: drongo

        I'm now wondering if these motels are using dried egg mix products (eggs, nonfat dry milk & soybean oil and who knows what else). Considering their odd taste & texture, I can't see where they are just made from eggs.

      2. These days they're scrambling up a big 'ol batch of egg beaters for ya; or the institutional equivalent. Dunno what's in 'em, but....I hate them as much as I hate the perfectly round weird eggs they sell as "poached" at those weird buffets. Usually next to a vat of "made-here peppered sausage gravy" and their unnatural looking biscuits. :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: mamachef

          Don't forget the Instant, school glue, wall paper paste grits!

        2. Any establishment that advertises eggs but serves only scrambles or omelets almost certainly gets their eggs from a carton. This is not necessarily bad IF they're using pasteurized whole egg, and I used to buy that for myself when I lived in Nashville, but having scouted the open-to-the-public restaurant-supply stores in the L.A. area I haven't found anything but egg-white product.

          I have gotten used to some of those – the Reddi-Egg from Trader Joe's isn't awful, just a bit lacking – but when a favorite seaside motel added scrambled eggs to their free breakfast buffet I knew what to expect. Well, a couple of sausages on the side and enough Tapatio …

          1. Having worked professionally at camps for over 10 years, I would guess that motel eggs are probably done the same way that every camp that I have been to. None of the camps used powdered eggs (except for limited applications in backpacking trips, where food needs to be very light). Every place I worked used boil in a bag eggs that came in already liquid, and usually frozen in a large bag. Thawed overnight, then tossed in a big pot of boiling water for however long it takes to cook. Open up the bag and pour out the 'scrambled' eggs.

            8 Replies
            1. re: jw615

              The boil-in-a-bag approach sounds about right - easy to prepare. It would also explain the vast differences in texture I've seen from well broken to solid mass chunks, probably dependent on the cooking time and perhaps if the attendant may break up the egg after cooking.

              1. re: Clams047

                Yeah, how good they are really depends on the preparer. The best cooks at camp would do them just a little underdone, pour out of the bag immediately into large pans, sprinkle a little cheese on top and break them up with a large potato masher. They'd finish cooking up from the residual heat.

                1. re: jw615

                  It also depends on how often they swap them out. There are a couple of hotels at which we stay in Staunton, VA, that are VERY proactive at getting rid of the most slightly aged eggs.

                  I always think of Julia Child's line in a sidebar about egg safety: "Scrambled eggs on a buffet -- I'm wary of these."

                1. re: jw615

                  And here's 'boiled in the bag' and there's 'boiled in the bag'. Lots of manufactures. Lots of price points.
                  Some motels/chain motels spend more $ on the 'boil in the bag' products. (There's lots to choose from). Also lots of breakfast cooks have 'secret ingredients' they fold into the finished eggs. Once I actually heard of a breakfast cook who would fold in a few T's of real butter and a pinch of tarragon!

                  1. re: Puffin3

                    Now that I'm understanding the frozen egg-in-a-bag approach, I searched and found a whole variety of available egg products.

                    One in particular -

                    Whole Eggs, Egg Whites, Whey, Skim Milk, Modified Food Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Annatto (color), Artificial Butter Flavor (partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil,
                    medium chain triglycerides and flavor).

                    Yummy. No wonder they taste so funky.

                    1. re: Clams047

                      Revolting, yet people gobble them up because they are "free" probably a similar ingredient list to the danishes and other "baked" good too.