No yolk! The best scrambled eggs
May 13th, 2011
08:00 PM ET
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My grand entrance into the culinary world was a sham.

Scrambled eggs were the first thing I ever cooked by myself as a child, my mother standing over me assuring the dish was simple, quick and hard to mess up. She was right - I certainly didn't mess them up, but the scrambled eggs I made were the rubber tires on the Rolls Royce of œufs to come.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret. The best scrambled eggs take up to half an hour to make, the slower the better and they're really good with cream and butter.

My first batch of scrambled eggs took two minutes at most: the quicker the better and they seemed really good with a dash of two percent milk.

Picture perfect scrambled eggs are unfussy to prepare; they merely require a little extra time to go from monotonous to symphonic, everyday to special occasion.

I first learned about real scrambled eggs watching Ina Garten prepare one of her many Hamptons brunches - on television, mind you. I haven't looked back since.

The process is a simple one. Slow and steady wins the race.

In a bowl, gently whisk the eggs with salt, pepper and a couple of tablespoons of cream. You want to incorporate the ingredients just enough so the colors swirl, but not enough to make it frothy.

Melt a generous chunk of butter in a large skillet. Reduce to the lowest of low heat settings and pour the mixture in, stirring, nay folding, only occasionally to prevent the bottoms from sticking to the pan. Depending on the heat of your stove, twenty-ish minutes later, the end result should be the eggs have slightly firmed up - but still look a little wet.

Serve these buttery scrambled eggs with warm biscuits spread with butter and jam. Right before they hit the table, fold in another tablespoon of butter until it melts. Just because you can.

A few additional ground rules for optimal egg-eating:

Eggs need to be eaten moments after leaving the pan. Never eat cold eggs (unless they're deviled) - lest I remind you of those scrambled tawny lumps in chafing dishes seen from sea to shining Marriott pool.

Scrambled eggs are not limited to the breakfast table. They're BLD appropriate - that's breakfast, lunch and dinner to you. We've all had those scrambled eggs kinds of days: you get home and convince yourself you would simply pass out mid-mise-en-place because of lack of energy, and it's a tad too late for momentous culinary feats. Scrambled eggs take five ingredients, two of which are salt and pepper. Even on your most woeful of days, you can do it - scout's honor.

No ketchup. Just like I believe barbecue should only have vinegar, salt and pepper, I hold the same purist belief in my eggs. Save yourself the time and microwave your eggs if you want to release the condiment Kraken.

What it hard-boils down to is no brazen seasoning - just eggs, technique and timing. Oh, and butter helps too.

How do you cook - or order - your eggs?

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Filed under: Cooking • Eggs • Make • Recipes • Staples


soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Edwin

    I hate butter.

    December 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
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    November 29, 2011 at 4:35 am |
  4. Hallie Spargur

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    November 24, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  5. Ozarkhomesteader

    I scramble my eggs by adding a splash of water to good, country eggs: those from chickens raised on pasture. I beat them using an old-fashioned hand egg beater. First, though, I heat a heavy, well-seasoned cast iron pan on medium-high heat. Before I pour in the beaten eggs, I add a pat of butter to the pan, which should immediately, completely melt. Pour in the eggs. Then I turn off the heat on the well-heated pan. If you're using an electric burner, move the pan off the burner. The retained heat of the pan will cook the eggs gently. Lift, fold, turn as needed to expose the liquid to the heat.
    Or try sage-butter eggs: http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/sage-butter-scrambled-eggs/

    May 19, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  6. LikesToSeeHisToes

    The traits of an excellent chief.... Use lots of fats, and salt and everything taste good. LOL! BTW I learned this same basic technique a long time ago from a different food network chief, so this is really nothing new.

    You want to impress me with great tasting food... find a way to do it with natural ingredients, and lower (not eliminate) the fat and salt.... Try this:

    1) Use whole milk (or really 2% will work) instead of cream.
    2) Use a LOT less butter, but instead use some olive oil in the pan. Make sure to use a good non-stick pan.
    3) Cook the same low and slow way – however I tend to stir them constantly more like I would a risotto.
    4) Serve them with a little fresh chopped chive or cilantro – Or go all out and add salsa and maybe even some 2% cheese.... but that does ruin the "purity" level.

    May 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  7. I want da gold!

    mmmmmmmmmmm...liquid chicken!

    May 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  8. free walmart gift card 1000 facebook

    Good review! This is exactly the type of blog post that should be shared around the internet. Sad on the Google for not ranking this article higher!

    May 17, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  9. EarlGrayHot

    Good advice on cooking scrambled eggs however, the rest of the article is so typical of many chefs-belittle the way other people want to eat their food. While I would frankly never put catsup on my eggs, I also happen to love barbecue sauce on ribs. It just so happens people can and should eat their food with whatever condiments they please. Thankfully, we can and we don't have to listen to this kind of diatribe.

    May 17, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Jerv

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2IJdfxWtPM&w=640&h=390]

      May 17, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  10. Soleada

    Also, we eat turkey bacon (less fat & sodium) and El Milagro brand corn tortillas (only 50 cals per tortilla and a small amt of fat & carbs) with our eggs. Sometimes i'll put a dab of sour cream & salsa on my egg 'taco'. delicious & nutritious!

    May 17, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  11. Soleada

    I love the american southwest: texas, new mexico, & arizona... My fiancee & I cook our eggs in a variety of diff ways depending on what veggies we have: -always- a bit of smashed garlic, salt, pepper, chopped onions, & jalepenos sauteed in some olive oil followed by the eggs cracked & scrambled directly in the pan. if we have ham or hot dogs, a piece gets chopped up & added to the mix. sometimes we add tomatoes, spinach, corn, etc. Or, we sautee the primary veggie mix, then add eggs & a can of black beans & cook the eggs until they're firm. no runniness in my house – that's gross.

    May 17, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  12. TI

    I prepare my eggs with garlic, lemon and pepper spice (and a little salt). Like them a little soggy but – and this may be weird to some of you but – a bit of salsa or brown mustard is TOPS. I'm going to go make some right now

    May 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  13. Phil

    I prefer my eggs scrambled, but very dry. I don't like moist eggs at all.

    May 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  14. Bill

    WTF are œufs? Pretentious twit!!

    May 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jerv@Bill

      Hello Bill. I stumbled onto this website called google. Here is the link. http://www.google.com Try using it sometime. Looks like oeufs are eggs. Isn't that what SLTs posting is about, scrambled eggs?

      May 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • AleeD@Jerv

      Bill, It's French for huevos.

      Jerv, Bill thinks it's pretentious because they only speak English in his trailer park.

      May 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Yakobi.

    I prefer eggs over easy, but for scrambled I add paprika and Tabasco sauce for a little zing.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  16. Liz in Seattle

    Another nice trick for fluffy scrambled eggs is to not use all of the yolks. If I'm making six or eight eggs, I might eliminate one or two yolks and that gives them a lighter texture.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  17. Bettertobethoughtafool

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/01/ina-garten-cancer-patient-barefoot-contessa_n_842246.html

    Do your homework before you judge.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  18. Here comes the Rooster

    The best scrambled eggs I've ever had are an every day treat. I just go out in the morning and gather up my Cuckoo Maran eggs and bring them in for cooking. Nothing like pasture raised ultra dark eggs from French Breed chickens. You can not buy that kind of richness in the super market.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  19. doobee

    Scrambled eggs are best with the freshest eggs you can find. The recipe is basic but works well.

    It's easy to get along with Texans. Don't criticize our barbecue.

    May 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  20. ilokid

    The best scrambled eggs are not prepared in a skillet, but rather gently simmered in a sauce pan. Mix eggs with milk, salt, etc, and add to sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat, gently stirring (this become more important as liquid evaporates) to prevent burning. If desired, add shredded cheese.
    In less than 10 minutes, a fluffy delight to complement any breakfast.

    May 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  21. Thomas

    I love eggs in pretty much any form but scrambled. I always think that scrambling an egg is a terrible disservice to what you can do with eggs. :)

    May 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • .

      I'm pretty sure your sh!t smells just as bad as everyone else's after dropping off that high horse you're on. You're a disservice to the human race.

      May 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  22. Tara

    You should have seen the response by the waitress and a nearby table of elderly patrons when my seven-year-old ordered his egg poached the other day. He didn't like it, but he tried it!

    May 16, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  23. Jorge

    30 minutes for scrambled eggs on a busy Saturday morning??? Oh hell no. Add ingredients, put in buttered shallow microwave bowl, nuke for 45 seconds to 1 minute Remove, scramble and serve. Now you can get on with your life.

    May 16, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  24. Mildred

    I have been doing eggs over medium. I have been meaning to experiment with poached eggs.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  25. Kevin

    Ahh crud – I make them like my grandma did, melt some butter in a pan, add eggs, wisk them around a bit, add a little milk, 5 minutes later, done. I have also followed her advice on nutrition – everything in moderation. Grandma died when she was 93. Sunday's breakfast included sausage, bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs. Monday was toast and jam. Do you see how this may work? Oh – she liked to make her own butter, shaking the old peanut butter jar filled with milk while she told stories. She didn't know a darn thing about Beta this or that, she just enjoyed cooking and eating fun foods, as do I. Big steak dinner, the next day, salad and some steamed veggies. It's that simple.

    May 15, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  26. ohbrother...

    WTH?? Some people don't like their eggs wet and creamy. Some like it with ketchup. The best scramble eggs are the way you like them.

    May 15, 2011 at 4:13 am |
  27. Goober Grape

    Funny how comments can go astray. The original question was "how do you make (or order) your eggs?" Only a very small percentage of comments at the time of this writing actually answered the question.

    If we're just talking about eggs mostly by themselves, I like 'em scrambled hard, no browning, with yolks. Ketchup on the side.

    My favorite egg dish is an omelette. Various assorted items can go in the omelette depending on the restaurant or what's in my kitchen. Also with ketchup on the side.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Emvaz

      Omelettes are bomb and so easy to make, but I like Eggs Benedict the best. For convenience, I just blend a few raw eggs up in my protein shake. Salmonella isn't an issue if the eggs are from a clean source (i.e. not industrially farmed).

      May 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
      • victim of democrat hypocrisy

        Wrong. Salmonella is ALWAYS a concern, no matter the source of eggs. In fact, I bet you've been bitten by the Salmonella bug already and didn't even realize it.

        May 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  28. Nat Nasci

    Funny. Just as I saw this article my partner was making scrambled eggs. No butter, just water to make them fluffier. The secret which really isn't a secret is to use FRESH eggs. I prefer free range organic. To me they yolk is tastier. Add some cheddar cheese shavings on top or even some salsa and anything that suits your fancey. Sometimes we put them in whole wheat tortillas. Eggs are so versatile. The above recipe is a bit rich but hey MODERATION and portion size count.

    May 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • I want da gold!

      I would bet my bank account you could not tell the difference in eggs in a blind tasting.

      May 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  29. highland

    I cook my eggs this way and they are magnificent. And they are not runny. But give Ina Garten all the credit? I don't think so. Julia Child describes this method in her book "My Life In France" as the way she learned it in Paris over 50 years ago. From a health point of view I think this slow cook method may be superior as the low heat allows the egg to cook without denaturing the protein as would be the case with high heat cooking.

    May 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Liz in Seattle

      Cooking is what happens when proteins denature. That's what's making the egg go from clear and runny to opaque and firm– the proteins are denaturing and tangling together to change the consistency of the material. So cooking it at a lower heat will not prevent the proteins from denaturing, but you probably don't want them to remain in their native state anyway :).

      May 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  30. bebe

    This was a really stupid article.

    May 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • sam f

      Bingo!

      May 15, 2011 at 4:24 am |
  31. jim

    Try the recipe without eggs or dairy and see what healthy feels like.

    May 14, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  32. phil

    ACTUALLY, THE BEST RECIPE!!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU_B3QNu_Ks

    May 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  33. Paul

    Give me a break! No pun intended for the egg people still viewing this page.

    You think she couldn't make time. There was multiple requests for her to go and meet this kid and her excuse was she had to go to a fundraiser for the Hamptons. The HAMPTONS! Like they need a freaking fundraiser. Get real.

    May 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  34. John Bobson

    Scrambled Eggs need to be browned. Soft/runny eggs are disgusting....

    May 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Emvaz

      And some people like their steak cook all the way through and grey in the center. Doesn't mean that having a steak rare is somehow wrong. There is probably more evidence to suggest that undercooked is better than overcooked as long as the food is clean.

      May 15, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  35. mary

    To the writer – didn't you mean to say you cooked the eggs for 20 seconds? I think eggs cooked for 20 minutes – as you note in your instructions, would be hard as rocks....

    May 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  36. Han Solo Says Relax

    These eggs sound disgusting!! Yuck yuck yuck! Scrambled eggs should be somewhat firm and not goo-y. X(

    May 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  37. My wife can't cook but you should see her box

    Nothing like two soft sunny side up eggs staring at you in the morning. Lather some jelly in a warm muffin and slide a sausage link in there. MMM...MMM....mmm. My oh my! Now that is a morning glory breakfast.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • .

      Is her box as runny as these eggs?

      May 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  38. Gingerpeach

    BBQ the best is from Nevada cow country. cooked in pits in the ground with the spices and meat covered in berlap and slow cooked for 3 days. now that's BBQ beef worth eating!!

    May 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  39. Brent

    I jury-rig a double boiler and cooks the scrambled eggs that way. I have a small wok that fits nicely in a saucepan. Boiling water in the sauce pan and eggs in the wok. The boiling water is at a very good temp to curdle the eggs.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Thomas

      That's an interesting idea. I think I will give that a try.

      May 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  40. Organica

    Sounds like typical "my apple pie is the best in the county" egotism. I'll cook my free-range organic eggs with 1⁄3 less cholesterol, 1⁄4 less saturated fat, 2⁄3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, 5 times more vitamin D and 7 times more beta carotene than conventional eggs the way I always have—sans butter and cream.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  41. Steve T.

    Cool article. I'd like to try this with canola oil instead of butter, and free range eggs. Very healthy without the butter, good protein, maybe with whole wheat toast.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Emvaz

      Canola oil (one of the cheapest oils) isn't healthy. The quality of oils, like most foods, can be determined by the price. The worst oils are Soybean, Canola, and Corn because they are the most refined, the hardest to digest, and the least nutritious. The best oils are Olive and Grapeseed, which are less processed and much more nutritious, but considerably more expensive.

      May 15, 2011 at 12:27 am |
  42. Josh

    I have difficulty trusting people who say that their way is the best way to do things. Those eggs sound kind of bad, actually (runny), and take 30 minutes, as opposed to 5.
    But I know it's tempting for speakers or authors to choose the path of "if I act snobby enough, some people will jump on my crappy egg/wine/music bandwagon".

    May 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • DinoMight

      I agree with you Josh.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
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