Cooking School
How to Make the Best Scrambled Eggs
All you need is the right ingredients, the perfect cooking vessel, and some tips from our Online Cooking School.
03-21-2018
America's Test Kitchen Cooking School

We get a lot of feedback from the community of students in our Online Cooking School. We hear about the areas of cooking where they feel comfortable and the places they want to improve. And one of the topics that students of all different experiences and abilities name as one of the most challenging is also one of the most common: cooking eggs.

As an ingredient, eggs are indispensable in the kitchen. They can bind, thicken, emulsify, clarify, and even leaven. They are also incredibly versatile on their own and can be prepared in a number of different ways: fried, scrambled, poached, hard-cooked, baked, shirred, and made into omelets and frittatas. We cover each of these applications in the classes in our Online Cooking School, but in this article, we’re focusing on how to make the best scrambled eggs.

Use these tips to guarantee the scrambled eggs of your dreams, with billowy, tender curds and rich, farm-fresh egg flavor.

1. Use Extra Yolks

An egg’s fat is in its yolk. Adding extras gives the scrambled eggs richness, and helps them mimic farm-fresh eggs. Even better, the high proportion of fat and emulsifiers in the yolks further raises the coagulation temperature, helping to prevent overcooking. We found that two extra yolks per eight eggs balances the flavor nicely.

2. Choose Your Dairy Wisely

Dairy ingredients have the same two things in common—water and fat—which tenderize the eggs and provide insulation to prevent them from drying out. Our favorite dairy product to use in scrambled eggs is half-and-half, which produces puffy, stable curds. We also found that a combination of milk and heavy cream is a good substitute if you don’t have half-and-half on hand. (Milk alone produced scrambled eggs prone to weeping.)

America's Test Kitchen Online Cooking School

Essential Eggs Online Cooking Class

This class in our Online Cooking School uses interactive tools and one-of-a-kind videos to cover scrambled eggs and more, including the best ways to separate an egg, how to fry eggs, and other important egg techniques.
 

3. Don’t Overwhisk (or Even Use a Whisk at All)

OK, you can use a whisk if you can whisk with restraint. Aggressively whisking the eggs can cause them to cook up tough. Instead, use a fork to break up the yolks and combine them with the whites. When everything in the bowl registers the same homogenous color, you’re done.

4. The Size of Your Skillet Matters

Next time you make scrambled eggs for a few people, reach for a 10-inch skillet. The eggs will fill up the pan in a thicker layer than they would a 12-inch skillet. The thicker layer will trap more steam and produce heartier curds. If you’re cooking a smaller quantity of scrambled eggs, use an 8-inch skillet to get the same tender, glossy eggs.

5. Use a Two-Step Cooking Process

Adding the eggs to the skillet over medium-high heat will give the eggs a lift as soon as they hit the pan (and constantly stirring them will help achieve large, evenly cooked curds). Then, when your spatula leaves a trail through the eggs, turn the heat down to low until they’re glossy, moist, and clumpy.

Cooking School Unlocked

Facebook Live Cook Scrambled Eggs with Christie Morrison

Check out our recent Facebook Live with our Online Cooking School instructor Christie Morrison as she imparts more wisdom about scrambled eggs and how to cook them perfectly at home.
 

What are your tricks when it comes to cooking eggs? What are your biggest egg-cooking challenges? Let us know in the comments!

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