Making basic scrambled eggs, and making them perfectly, can be seen as a guy’s Cooking 101 skill!! That may not be fair, it may be condescending, but hey, we all start somewhere, and scrambled eggs work any time of the day or night. The recipe can be varied, it can have esoteric ingredients, it may be served as part of a larger meal, but the consensus is, they must be fluffy to look good and to be appetizing.
- Whisk well to make fluffy,
- Cook quickly at a moderate to low heat,
- Remove the pan from heat before the eggs are completely cooked,
- If it’s your very first time – start with just two ingredients. Basic scrambled eggs is exactly that.
Once you have poured the egg mix into the pan you are committed, and the eggs will be ready for serving in one to three minutes. The eggs are at their best immediately after cooking, so it is advisable to have delicate details like the table laid and any tea, coffee, bubbly wine, bacon and toast ready before you cook the egg mix.
Whisking well gets air into the mix and is what makes the scrambled eggs fluffy. Whisk hard for a fluffier result. Whether you use a fork, manual whisk, a staff, or a full size egg beater, spend some minutes doing this. If you have the mix sitting for a while before cooking, then whisk again briefly immediately before pouring into the pan.
Start by putting your pan on the stove top and begin heating it to a moderate temperature. You know the pan is hot enough if a drop of water sizzles when flicked into the pan. Start cooking at moderate heat, and turning the heat down to low when the mixture starts to set. When the egg starts to set is when you gently stir it to create the scramble.
Cooking too hot browns the bottom of the egg on the pan. It gives a poor scrambling result and makes the eggs too dry, and you want to avoid that.
Using a heavy-based pan is best. Thin metal tends to allow burning more quickly. A heavy base retains the heat and you can remove the pan from the stove before the eggs are completely done, giving you better control over the finished product. You can actually serve onto a plate then, and the eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat for a minute or so.
Use a smaller pan if cooking for one or two. Have some depth to the egg mix, rather than a thin layer in a large pan. I do not know why, and it may be entirely subjective, but I think it gives a better scramble.
Milk: Using milk extends the volume and dilutes the egg. People argue about it and at the end of the day the decision is yours. In the recipe below I have left out the milk – using only eggs and salt. If you want to use milk, then use 1 tablespoonful per egg at the most. Too much milk upsets the scrambling.
Butter or Oil? It is your choice. However, ALWAYS put the fat in when the pan is hot and just before you put in the egg mix. If you put the fat into a cold pan you risk overheating it before you start to cook, and risk tainting the finished taste. This is a good principle to follow for all frying.
Other Ingredients: Scrambled eggs are a wonderful carrier for all sorts of additions and side dishes. In this post we are discussing making basic scrambled eggs. We will get to managing the parsely, spinach, tumeric and whatever else, in following posts!
Ingredients and Implements
EGGS!! say 2 eggs for one person, 3 eggs for 2 people, and 2 eggs per person for bigger groups.
Salt, a pinch to your taste.
A bit of butter for the pan. Just enough to give a film across the bottom.
A suitable pan.
A jug or bowl to mix your eggs
A wooden or soft spoon or fork to scramble the egg (this is about protecting non-stick surfaces)
- Put your pan on the stove and turn up to moderate heat. Keep butter out of the pan until you are ready to pour in the egg mix.
- Crack your eggs into the jug or bowl. Add your salt to taste.
- Whisk away merrily. With an electric whisk you will notice the volume of mix increase as it aerates.
- Check the pan temperature with the sizzle test. When ready, put in the butter and let it melt.
- Pour in the egg mix and when the sizzling stops, turn down the heat to low.
- In the next half a minute or so, and with the wooden spoon or fork, gently push the edges of the mix away from the side of the pan, towards the centre. This lets uncooked egg run in to the space.
- About now gently push the mixture around to create the scramble. This action also lets residual fluid on the top run to the bottom and start to cook. Avoid actually stirring.
- At some point during steps 6 and 7, to prevent over-cooking, remove the pan from the heat if on an electric stove. If on gas, turn the gas off. Judge this by the amount of uncooked mix you can see, and remove the heat before the egg is all cooked. The eggs will continue to cook for a little bit longer in the residual heat held by the pan.
Your scrambled eggs should be nicely mounded in the pan. There may be traces of uncooked egg visible. This is OK, and always preferable to overcooked eggs… Judging the exact moment is an art, and I am certainly not going to be pedantic about it!!
It appears that there is more to basic scambled eggs than meets the eye! But a good result is a joy to the eye of the beholder! Enjoy.