Quick and Easy

How Do You Make the Perfect Scrambled Eggs?

January 18, 2018

Scrambled eggs are like the learners permit of the kitchen. They require—at the least—just one ingredient and no more than a warm pan. But for all their apparent simplicity, preparing the perfect plate of scrambled eggs is actually an art in and of itself. Everyone swears by their own preferred method(s).

We’ve even got a Genius Recipe on the site devoted just to the topic. Brought to us by Mandy @ Lady and pups, this recipe calls for one surprising addition: cornstach! The thickening agent, she claims, binds the proteins in the eggs and prevents them from releasing their moisture too quickly. Her recipe also calls for a hefty serving of butter—a tablespoon for each egg. One commenter recommends adding in a fourth tablespoon just as the egg curds are firming up for a glossy finish and softer mouthfeel.

Back in 2013, we tested out three sworn by scrambled egg methods, all in pursuit of the perfect plate. We tried them low and slow, scrambled in the pan, and whisked and whizzed over medium heat. There was no conclusive answer as to which was best, per se. It seems scrambled eggs, and their multitude of preparations, is best resigned as a matter of taste. With this in mind, we asked around the office, curious to see what Food52 staffers had to say about their own methods. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Luz Ramirez, Marketing Manager

So I start out with 3-4 eggs straight from the fridge. I crack those into a 2 cup measuring cup because I'm lazy and it's easier to mix with the handle. I add in a dash of heavy cream, salt, pepper and sometimes dried garlic and mix it with a whisk. I then let my cast iron get really hot and add in some olive oil and butter (i love them both). I pour the mixture in and let that cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds and then I fold it a few times on itself. Before it completely sets I remove and let it rest (usually with some cheese on top)

Connor Bower, Social Media Manager

1) Add the scantest splash of milk/cream/water. Too much dries it out from my experience. 2) Don’t be afraid to season before whisking. Some people say to not do that, but it’s never had any adverse effect on my eggs. 3) If you have the time, put your heat on the lowest setting possible and stir constantly.

Emma Laperruque, Food Writer and Recipe Developer

Add a hunk of butter to a tiny skillet. Set over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk a couple eggs in a cup with a fork. Don't salt—that comes later. (And I know, I know, pre-salting helps retain moisture, blah, blah, blah. But they're barely cooking here and eggs don't need to be so complicated.) Anyway, the butter. It's melting. Now it's browning. When it's on the edge of burning, pour in the eggs. They should sizzle. Use the fork to swirl and stir-fry them in the fat. When they're juuust set—barely two shakes of a lamb's tail—dump onto a plate (or, better yet, into a bowl of soy-sauced brown rice with sambal oelek). Salt now.

Josh Cohen, Test Kitchen Chef

If I had to make scrambled eggs for your favorite grandmother, I would have a nice nonstick pan and some good butter. I'd let the pan get medium hot. I wouldn't whisk the eggs too much or anything, just lightly whisk them and throw it in the pan. I'd grab a good rubber spatula and move it around. Then around just ten seconds before everything is fully cooked, I'd take it out of the pan and serve it. The residual heat while it’s sitting on the plate will have it be perfectly cooked by the time someone is eating it. Then a little salt and pepper.

As I expected, the answers are varied. No one method prevails and why should it? Scrambled eggs are endlessly versatile, so let’s celebrate that. Instead of seeking the perfect method, why not seek the perfect method for you. Go ahead and try your hand at some of the above methods and let us know what works best for you.

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What's your tried-and-true? Tell us about it in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Linda W. January 21, 2018
So....right now I am on the TJ’s 21 Seasoniing Salute kick. So my latest scrambled eggs old fashioned simple with a little added love. Typically butter in the pan. A bit of 1/2 and 1/2 to the eggs. Some 21 Seasoning salute and yes....salt and pepper. My eggs always have cheese......so I add as they are firming up. When I was a little girl, I fondly remember my Dad (he was our breakfast man) letting me use the spatula to move around this yellow liquid that amazingly to me turned into a solid! Silly I know, but maybe it was stirring the eggs at a young age the started my complete passion for cooking and baking.
Amy January 20, 2018

I heat the pan on medium, add a teaspoon of ghee, and crack 2 eggs directly into the pan. Let the whites cool for a minute before gently stirring with a spoon. I plate them when they're just barely not runny.
This needs to be a style I can order in restaurants.
CaffeineSpasms January 19, 2018
I whip up scrambled eggs with an immersion blender. Brain to hand function in the morning is low enough that finding the wits and energy to beat eggs with a fork or a whisk is not happening. The blender yields a wonderful, silky texture. Sometimes I whizz some goat cheese into the mixture. I like using cultured butter to cook them too!
Paul H. January 19, 2018
I add splash of milk, a small dash of tamari, and some nutritional yeast to the eggs first, then set the burner on lowest heat with some butter in the pan and just stir thee egg mixture in the pan until just fully set. I may add a bit of fresh herb like tarragon too if I feel a little fancier.
Big P. January 19, 2018
In a non-stick skillet and with small bits of cream cheese added to the beaten eggs. And watch the cooking time!
PHIL January 19, 2018
I like the technique used be Christopher Kimball, the eggs cook very quickly and come out perfect every time : In a 12-inch nonstick or seasoned carbon-steel skillet over medium, heat the oil until just starting to smoke, about 3 minutes. While the oil heats, in a bowl, whisk the egg and 3/4 teaspoon salt with a fork until blended and foamy. Pour the eggs into the center of the pan. Using a rubber spatula, continuously stir the eggs, pushing them toward the middle as they set at the edges and folding the cooked egg over on itself. Cook until just set, 60-90 seconds. The curds should be shiny, wet and soft, but not translucent or runny. Immediately transfer to warmed plates. Season with salt and pepper.
Muhamed R. January 19, 2018
I'm an absolute beginner when it comes to cooking however I know I like eggs (I'm also a fussy eater) and they're pretty versatile so I thought it would be a good place to start. Great, easy recipe! My scrambled eggs were delicious. Thank you!
witloof January 19, 2018
I crack mine into the pan, let them cook until the white are just set, then gently scramble them. If I have some cheese I will grate it and then fold it in at the last possible second. I don't salt eggs as they're cooking because I find it makes them watery. I vastly prefer to cook my eggs in a cast iron skillet, to cook them in olive oil, and to buy my eggs at the greenmarket.
HalfPint January 18, 2018
I don't often, if ever, order scrambled eggs when eating out. 99% of the time, the scramble is so overcooked that I could probably bounce it off the wall. So I make scrambled eggs at home: plenty of butter, cooking until just set but still 'wet' looking, and transfer to plate. The hard part is knowing when to pull it off the heat.

BTW, I did find a place that made perfectly cooked scrambled eggs: Saul's in Berkeley, CA.