I know what you’re thinking… “Who needs a recipe for scrambled eggs?” Well, you do. And I did, too. But I didn’t know I did before I had this one. Are you thoroughly confused?
Well, I’ve been making scrambled eggs for probably 30+ years. It was the very first thing I ever cooked all by myself.
I had gotten up early one morning – I was probably close to 8-years-old or something – and was going to surprise my parents with breakfast. Well, I didn’t know what else to make other than scrambled eggs, so that’s what I made. And it was all I made. And I’m sure they were a pure rubbery, overcooked mess. But they ate them with big smiles on their faces. I guess that’s right where my love for feeding people started. Who knows where my life would be if they hadn’t pretended to enjoy them while choking down those eggs. Ha!
Anyway, I thought I was doing eggs justice after all my experience, but that all changed when I came across Mark Bittman’s recipe for scrambled eggs several years ago.
Mark cooks his eggs low and slow and the result is nothing short of perfection – in my book. They’re smooth, velvety, and have incredible flavor.
When eggs are cooked quickly over higher heat, they get tough, overcook easily, and have a taste that’s… well… eggy.
Cooking them low means you have more control over the process and can prevent them from overcooking more easily. The texture of them when they’re slowly cooked is far superior. The butter helps with that, too.
Now, Mark’s method calls for the eggs to be cooked over low and it takes about 30 minutes to get them cooked through. And while that is my preferred method, I don’t always have 30 minutes to scramble eggs on a weekday, so my version is a little faster.
Again, the biggest challenge with cooking eggs is not overcooking eggs. The low and slow method helps us have a little more control. I prefer my eggs to be soft scrambled and take the pan off the heat when they are still wet but mostly curdled and continue to stir until they are to my liking.
That being said, eating undercooked eggs does pose a salmonella risk and folks with compromised immune systems should be cautious. I’ve been eating runny yolks and soft scrambled eggs my entire life and have never had a problem, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a risk. But I suppose everything is a risk in life, so you should evaluate the risk for yourself.
A few other things to note:
When it comes to scrambled eggs, I like large silky curds, not little tiny ones, so I prefer to use a spatula to push and fold the eggs rather than a whisk which constantly breaks the curds into little tiny pieces. This low and slow method of cooking works with both a spatula or whisk – just depending on how you like your eggs.
When it comes to those eggs, I always tell folks to crack eggs on a flat, even surface and not the side of a bowl. Someone once taught me that cracking them on a bowl can force shell fragments up into the egg white.
I usually try to start with room temperature eggs, but don’t always have time. If you do, I find that room temp eggs whisk together more easily and cook a little faster.
Some folks add a couple tablespoons of cream or half and half when they whisk their eggs together – Mark’s recipe calls for it. With all the butter though, I just don’t really see that much difference. So, I leave the cream out. Feel free to add it in if that’s your thing.
Cheesy eggs are a frequent occurrence at our house, too. For that, I simply fold in about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I prefer colby jack) when the eggs seem about halfway cooked through to give me those perfect scrambled eggs with cheese.
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk together until very well combined. Add salt and pepper. (Start with about 1/4 teaspoon salt.)
- Put a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Swirl the butter around until melted completely, then reduce the heat to medium low. Add the eggs. Use a spatula to stir the eggs around the pan. It may take a few minutes before the eggs start to form curds. Use the spatula to push and fold the eggs over on themselves, being sure to push the liquidy parts of the egg to make contact with the skillet. Stir frequently. Once the eggs are mainly set but still wet, remove the pan from the heat. Then continue to stir until they are done to your liking*. Serve immediately.