How to Scramble Eggs

There's more to it than meets the eye, but it's really not that hard

How to Scramble Eggs
Mexican Made Easy, Clarkson Potter/Publishers

First of all, a disclaimer: This is the method that I use and it works pretty well for me, but should anyone out there have alternative methods, suggestions, tips, or modifications, any comments are welcome.

Second, an apology: Or perhaps not. I will not apologize for using butter. In fact, I will insist on it because butter and eggs go together like, well, bread and butter. And, if using stainless steel cookware, it makes for easier release. (Photo courtesy of Stock.XCHNG/superfloss)

OK, here we go.

First, we're going to talk about equipment. Choose the right-size pan for the task — the pan should be just large enough for the eggs to spread evenly in a fairly thin layer when poured. For two eggs, I use an eight-inch pan, but I think that size would work pretty well for up to a four-egg scramble. When using butter, it doesn't matter if the pan is stainless steel or nonstick, but a pan with sloping sides makes removal easier.

What else is needed? An ordinary fork, and if using stainless-steel cookware, a heat-resistant spatula. It's been said before, but it never hurts to say it again: forks will scratch the coating on nonstick cookware, and that coating is not something that should be floating around in food.

Next, the prep. Use about half a tablespoon of butter for every two eggs. Melt the butter in a skillet or omelette pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them thoroughly with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (I find white pepper goes better with eggs, but this is a matter of preference.) Add any chopped herbs, if using, as well as heavy cream or whole milk for fluffiness. Use about one tablespoon for every two eggs. Stir to combine. (Photo courtesy of flickr/(nz)dave)

Once the foam subsides, add the eggs and reduce the heat to low. Let them cook undisturbed just until the edges begin to set, about 10 seconds or so. Now, the next part happens fairly quickly. Methodically, tilt the pan "North, South, East, West," each time lifting the edge of the set portion and letting the uncooked egg dribble to the edge of the pan. It is preferable to leave a bit of uncooked egg in the middle since it will continue to cook slightly once removed from the heat.

Feel free to muss up the eggs at this point to give them that "scrambled" look (otherwise it might just look more like a flat omelette) and then remove from the heat and immediately plate.

That's all there is to it. Like pasta, stir-fry, grilled cheese, or boeuf bourguignon, scrambled eggs is a dish that should be in every cook's repertoire, from novice to budding chef. (Just kidding about the boeuf bourguignon, by the way.)


Once you feel you've mastered this technique, try Julia Child's Scrambled Omelette Recipe.

And for the truly adventurous who have plenty of eggs, be sure to try her Rolled Omelette Recipe.

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I was allways told that adding milk or cream causes scrambled eggs to be tough. What about it?

Donowownder's picture

Please don't use milk products in the eggs, it will tighten and make the eggs tough. Do use a small amount of water to help steam and fluff the eggs during the cooking process. Butter is an important ingredient only if it is sweet cream (unsalted) for the slide out but most important the flavor. Think about what salt feels like. In your pan it really doesn't have the time to completely dissolve and can actually scratch the nonstick pan.


My favorite meal is certainly the brunch and here, in the provine of Quebec, we like to cook our eggs in maple syrup (I actually prefer Organic Maple Syrup, which I find more tasty). It gives a sweet and delicious taste to my breakfast! The best maple syrup I found is one that's exclusively offered online, it's call the ROUGE organic maple syrup. Love it!!

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