Perfect Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are somewhat of an enigma. In culinary schools and food science courses, endless hours and multiple chapters are spent on “the egg”-its properties, proteins, structure, composition, total egg weight, yolk to white ratio, how to purchase, and so on. But at the end of the day, properly scrambling an egg is one of the more challenging tasks a culinary student is asked to perform.
Some people like their scrambled eggs “hard”, or dry, while others prepare a more moist version. However you like your eggs scrambled, there are some basics to implement.
What Size Egg Should I Purchase?
Eggs generally come in three sizes: large, extra large and jumbo, and are graded according to three criteria: 1)the overall egg content proportion, 2)the thick white, and 3)the thin white and the yolk placement and elevation.
Grade AA eggs have an egg content that covers a small area; the thick white is firm; there is a small amount of thin white and the yolk is centered, round and elevated. Grade A eggs have a moderate amount of egg content; the thick white is semi-firm with a considerable amount visible; the thin white is of medium content and the yolk is round and elevated. Grade B eggs have a wide area of egg content; the thick white is significant and watery; the thin white is much greater than in Grade AA or A eggs and the yolk is wide and flat. Most recipes call for large eggs
How Do I Know if the Eggs are Fresh?
As for freshness, eggs are dated by the Julian date which indicates the date the eggs were packed. The Julian date starts with January 1 as 001 and ends with December 31 as 365. Most egg cartons have a P-plus three-digit number, then the Julian date. The P-XXX number is the packaging plant identification.
What’s the Difference Between a Brown vs White Egg?
The difference between a brown and white egg is the hen. Hens with red feathers and red ear lobes lay brown eggs; white hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs. Mystery solved. No matter which grade egg or color is used, the nutritional value remains the same. Scrambled eggs, whether brown or white look the same on the plate.
Which Kind of Eggs Should I Buy? Organic? Free Range?
Selecting eggs is a personal choice, as is the selection of most of our foods. The options are numerous: cage-free, free-range, organic, grain-fed, and so on. As with most foods, choosing the cleanest, most wholesome version is recommended. Another consideration is humane care of the animal.
According to the HFAC, Humane Farm Animal Care organization, there are a few humane-certified egg brands/companies that have met HFAC’s certification for humane treatment of hens. Some of these go beyond being certified as organic and some are not organic but certified as humane: Vital Farms, Kirkland(Costco), Backyard Egg, Safeway/Albertson’s (Lucerne, O-Organics, Open Nature), Pete & Jerry’s, Nellie’s, Wilcox, Phil’s Fresh Eggs and Stiebrs Farms.
How Do I “Scramble”the Egg?
The actual “scrambling” of the egg is done before you put the egg in the skillet. You’re basically beating an egg… that’s the first step in making “scrambled eggs.”
Technique: Circle 8
Use 1/4 tablespoon fat (oil or butter) per egg; melt the fat in the skillet on medium heat. Meanwhile, place the egg(s) in a bowl and whisk with a fork until the egg yolk and white are combined and somewhat fluffy. Pour the eggs into the skillet with melted fat and let it sit until a very light edge, our outline, begins for form around the egg. (Here’s how I time it: I pour the eggs in the skillet and by the time I’ve put the shells in the trash and rinsed the bowl, it’s time to form the Circle 8.”
Once you see this “edge” or outline, use a non-stick spatula and begin moving the eggs in a Circle 8.
The center of the pan is the hottest and the place where eggs most often begin to stick. By constantly moving a non-stick spatula over the center, you prevent the eggs from over-cooking and you circulate the outer part of the egg to the center occasionally. After four or five “Circle 8’s”, your eggs should be done–soft scrambled, which means they kissed the heat and are glistening, shiny and moist. If you continue to cook and “Circle 8”, the eggs become drier and less moist–then you have “hard” scrambled eggs.
What Type of Skillet Should I Use?
The best way to cook the perfect scrambled an egg is to use a non-stick or stainless steel fry pan. Some use a cast-iron skillet, but unless your skillet is highly seasoned and oiled, it is not recommended as the best vessel.
Should I Salt my Eggs Prior to Scrambling?
According to old wives’ tales, pre-salting uncooked eggs resulted in a tougher egg; however, this has been proven wrong. Serious Eats conducted some research and found that to be a myth; in fact, it may make your scrambled eggs more tender. But, after multiple tests and experiments, the result was an emphatic “it doesn’t matter.”
Aren’t Eggs High in Cholesterol?
Unfortunately, controversy continues to plague the egg, but recent research indicates that while the majority of the fat and cholesterol are in the yolk, it is the saturated fat, not the dietary cholesterol that impacts HDL. Consuming whole eggs, in moderation, is a nutritious way to incorporate thirteen essential vitamins and minerals into the diet, as well as high-quality protein way
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon fat (butter or oil)
- 2 whole eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a stainless steel, or non-stick skillet, heat butter on medium.
- Crack eggs into a bowl; whisk vigorously with fork until eggs are a bit frothy
- Pour eggs into skillet with fat
- Wait minute or so, until the egg forms an "edge" or outline in the skillet
- Using a non-stick spatula, begin to move the eggs in a Circle 8 pattern; for soft scrambled, cook eggs about 1-2 minutes; for hard scrambled, cook for 2+ minutes
- Plate on serving platter; season with salt and pepper to taste
- Consider adding cooked bacon, cheese or chives on top