How to Make the Best-Ever Scrambled Eggs
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Wondering why your favorite breakfast never turns out quite right at home? These expert tips will teach you how to make scrambled eggs like a pro.
Saturday mornings aren’t complete without a plate overflowing with light and fluffy scrambled eggs. (Crispy bacon and buttery toast are optional but definitely recommended.) And making this beloved weekend breakfast food should be pretty straightforward, right? After all, it’s not that hard to crack an egg, scramble it up, and drop it onto a frying pan. While that may be true in theory, in reality it’s easy to end up with a crusty, dry, overcooked mess.
But don’t worry—that’s what we’re here for. By the time we’re done with you, you’ll know how to make scrambled eggs like a pro…with a little help from Alex Guarnaschelli, celebrity chef, Food Network star, and executive chef of Butter in New York City.
Here’s the first thing you need to know: Making the best scrambled eggs isn’t just about your talents in the kitchen. Everything from the type of pan you use to the freshness of the eggs can be the difference between disaster and a delicious result. And just FYI, while it doesn’t matter how you remove eggs from the carton, there is apparently a “right” way to do it. With that in mind, here’s everything you need—from the essential ingredients and tools to the step-by-step directions—for breakfast perfection.
How to make scrambled eggs
To make this scrambled eggs recipe, you’ll need five basic ingredients.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. butter
- Cracked black pepper
- Cool water
- Hot sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with Guarnaschelli’s tried-and-true recipe for beginners: a pinch of salt, cracked black pepper, and a splash of cool water to loosen them up.
Place some butter in a pan and let it melt on mild to medium heat. Don’t let it turn brown. Once the butter is melted in your pan, pour in the eggs. The pan should be hot but not piping hot, since too-high heat is what leads to overcooked and dry eggs.
Allow the eggs to settle and cook for a minute before starting to gently stir them with a heatproof rubber spatula, which will not only protect your pan from scratching but also prevent your eggs from turning into mush. “I stir consistently, sweeping the sides and edges to make sure the egg doesn’t stick and cook too quickly in only one area,” says Guarnaschelli. “Being consistent and watching them is the most important part of the method.”
When your eggs reach their desired consistency, immediately remove them from the heat and transfer them to a plate. If you don’t, you run the risk of ruining that perfect pile of fluffy scrambled eggs you just worked so hard to create. “They will continue to cook as long as they are in the pan, even if you remove it from the direct heat of the stove,” she says.
Finally, one last rule before digging in. “I scramble the eggs when I am ready to sit down and eat,” says Guarnaschelli. “Scrambled eggs are so simple, but they don’t wait or taste better cold!”
What kind of pan works best?
If you’re using anything other than a nonstick pan, you’re making a big mistake. You might love your trusty cast-iron skillet, but it’s not ideal for scrambled eggs. Even with a ton of cooking fat or a well-seasoned pan, there’s something about the cast iron that makes eggs want to stick—meaning you’ll end up with fewer eggs to eat and a big caked-on mess to scrub later. “A nonstick pan and some butter is the best combo to make the eggs cook evenly,” says Guarnaschelli. Also, while you can nuke your eggs as an alternative method of cooking, chefs generally recommend making scrambled eggs without a microwave.
Should you add milk to scrambled eggs?
In a word, no. Step away from the milk and cream, no matter how creamy you like your eggs. “To make fluffy scrambled eggs, the best trick is to whisk in a splash of water and nothing else,” explains Guarnaschelli. “Cream, milk, and other liquids drag the eggs down.” That can dilute the taste of your eggs, as well as make them rubbery and more apt to burn in the pan.
How do you make scrambled eggs taste better?
If you crave a little more flavor, take a page out of Guarnaschelli’s mother’s book (she happens to be an esteemed cookbook editor) and whisk in a couple of drops of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. “It’s the perfect combo to elevate the egg flavor slightly without overpowering it,” says Guarnaschelli. “I love freshly grated Parmesan cheese too.” Another idea? Try swapping the salt with soy sauce or tamarind to add even more savory flavors.
Now that you know how to make scrambled eggs like a pro, learn these other cooking tricks that are only taught in culinary schools.
Alex Guarnaschelli, celebrity chef, Food Network star, and executive chef of Butter in New York City
Additional reporting by Melissa Corbin.