The Secret to Tender, Flavorful Scrambled Eggs

scrambled eggs

How to make scrambled eggs that are fluffy and delicious, with photo illustrated directions designed for the new cook.

Years ago, I asked as many people as I could, “What’s the first thing you’d want to show someone new to the kitchen how to cook?” The overwhelming answer was just one word: eggs!

Sure, you bet, there are plenty great cookbooks and online resources that provide an incredible wealth of egg recipes. But there’s nothing out there that will no-kidding show you—or someone you’d like to help—exactly what to do with step-by-step picture book and short video directions. At least not until now. Here’s a picture of the cover of an interactive book, Just Eggs: “Show Me How” Video and Picture Book Recipes, that shows only how to make the most practical and popular egg recipes as easily as possible.

Screen Shot Just Eggs Cover

To give you a better idea of what the book’s all about, here’s a complete step-by-step picture book recipe showing how to make quick and easy pan cooked scrambled eggs. For more information about the first of a kind Just Eggs book itself, click this link.

Here’s a short step-by-step video showing how to make these quick and easy scrambled eggs:

Now, before getting started, here’s one quick tip about salt and eggs. Adding just a small amount of salt to the eggs before cooking them not only slightly enhances scrambled egg flavor, it also ensures the eggs will turn out soft and tender as shown in the left photo below because salt helps breakdown some of the proteins in the eggs. Eggs cooked without salt tend to be tough and rubbery as shown in the right photo below.

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Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients
(for 2)

1-2 Eggs per person
Milk (optional—makes the cooked eggs slightly more tender)
Butter or Margarine
Dash of Salt
Ground Black Pepper

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Equipment

10 – 12 Inch Frying Pan
Small Bowl
Fork
Spatula
Table Knife

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1. Put the frying pan on the stove, and turn on the burner to MEDIUM heat.

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2. Break 2-4 eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl by holding each egg snugly in your hand and tapping it just hard enough on a firm (preferably rounded) surface, like the countertop edge as shown, to crack the eggshell.

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Use your thumbs to push in on the crack in the eggshell to break the membrane while gently pulling the eggshell apart to release the egg white and yolk into the bowl.

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If necessary, remove any broken eggshell pieces from the bowl by using a larger eggshell piece to attract and scoop up the smaller piece(s).

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3. Add a splash of milk (optional—milk helps make the cooked eggs slightly more tender) and…

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a light dash of both salt and ground black pepper.

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4. Stir the eggs vigorously with a fork until…

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…the yolks and egg whites are well mixed together.

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5. Check the frying pan for the proper cooking temperature by wetting your fingers with tap water and flicking the water onto the pan surface.

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The pan is warmed to the proper cooking temperature when the water sizzles on contact with the pan surface and quickly evaporates. (NOTE: If the water sizzles and evaporates in a puff as soon as it hits the pan, move the pan to a cool burner for a few minutes. Turn down the heat setting a few notches on the burner you originally used, and heat the pan again. If the water doesn’t sizzle on contact, keep heating the pan until it does.)

6. Add 1/4 – 1/3 inch (5-10 mm) piece of butter or margarine to the hot pan with a table knife.

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Hold the pan handle, and swirl the butter or margarine in the pan by rolling your wrist until…

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…the pan surface is evenly coated like this.

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7. Right away, add the eggs to the pan, and…

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…let them cook for about 30 seconds until they start to solidify along the pan edge and form bubbles that push up from the pan surface. Then…

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…lay the blade of a spatula flush to the pan surface starting at the pan edge, and…

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…gently and evenly scrape the eggs toward the middle of the pan.

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Keep pushing and pulling the eggs from the side of the pan with the spatula gently and evenly as shown in the following two pictures until…

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…the eggs have solidified enough to form a mound in the middle of the pan like this.

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Finish by turning the eggs over once every 10-15 seconds with a spatula as shown here until…

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…the eggs are done. Scrambled eggs are safely cooked when they are solid throughout with no runny liquid but are still tender and slightly moist on the surface as shown here. If, however,…

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…your eggs look undercooked—still runny and wet—as shown in the following pictures, keep cooking and turning the eggs until they are safely cooked through as shown in the previous Safely Cooked Scrambled Eggs picture.

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8. Lift the cooked scrambled eggs from the pan onto a plate and…

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…serve warm.

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9. Cleaning Tip: To make cleanup as easy as possible, transfer the hot pan to a cool burner until the pan is safely cool to touch. Then…

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…fill the pan with warm water and a squirt of dish detergent, and let the pan soak for at least 5 minutes.

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After soaking, clean the spatula and pan with a sponge and…

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…finish by rinsing with warm water.

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See more Food on The Good Life.

Images courtesy of Bruce Tretter

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About Bruce Tretter

Bruce Tretter helps people feel comfortable making practical, flavorful and quick & easy meals for themselves---even if they’ve never boiled water---through Gotta’ Eat, Can’t Cook step-by-step picture book and short video directions. He’s a father of 3, Former Naval Intelligence Officer, current school board member, and avid cyclist.

Comments

  1. Deanna Ogle says:

    Love this! I once tried to make the perfect scrambled eggs by Alton Brown and it just took FOREVER and was kind of complicated (not practical for every day cooking), but I did pick up the milk thing from him. I’m amazed at how just a little bit of milk can turn eggs from being weird and, as you say, rubbery to really loved, fluffy eggs like my aunt used to make when I was kid! Great stuff. :)

  2. Mel Brown says:

    I add a slice or two of American cheese to mine while they are cooking. It makes them creamy and cheesy. Everyone loves them like this. I also have always put milk in my scrambled eggs. Delicious.

  3. Right on, Deanna, though the real key to fluffy, not rubbery eggs, is just light dash of salt to the eggs before they go in the pan. Incredible result! I learned about it years ago in Cook’s Illustrated – terrific magazine. Glad you liked the recipe.

    Mel, dig what you said about adding cheese. You bet that works great. It’s all about individual taste.

    Egg on! Bruce

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