Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No-Stick Scrambled Eggs

About three weeks ago I posted about my spiffy new Costco cookware.  I can enthusiastically say that I have been nothing but pleased with it!!  I love that I don’t have to worry about scratching the surface and that I can put it in the dishwasher.
Anyway, that post prompted a few questions about scrambled eggs and whether or not they stick to the frying pans.  While I did post the answer in the comments, I thought the issue deserved it own post.

Scrambled eggs is one of those dishes that there are as many ways to make as there are cooks.  I am very picky about my scrambled eggs and seldom come across any that I think are really good.  My basic “recipe” is there to serve as a guide—use more or less milk or cream, use different seasonings, add sautéed veggies, melt cheese over the top—the possibilities are endless.

The one factor that should remain the same is pan preparation.  Regardless of what you are adding to your eggs, you should always start with a hot, oiled pan.  This is the key to prevent them from sticking.

You don’t need a lot of oil.  Spray oils work, but I don’t buy them because you pay a lot for the can and the accelerant.  I simply put some vegetable or olive oil on a paper towel and wipe it around the inside of the pan, bottom and sides.

My oiled pan.  The film of oil is so thing it doesn't even
look like it's been oiled.

You want to heat your pan and cook your eggs slightly above medium.  My stove knobs are marked 0 through 10.  I cook eggs at about 6.5.  I recommend starting to heat the pan after you’ve gathered your ingredients but before you start preparing the egg mixture.  Once everything is whisked together, test the pan to make sure it is hot enough by dripping a few drops into it.  If the pan is hot enough, they should start to sizzle immediately and cook within seconds.  It is then safe to pour the remainder of the eggs in.

To illustrate the difference a hot pan makes, I made two identical batches of eggs—one with a well-heated pan and one with a cool pan.

Heated pan
Unheated pan

Coming off the bottom nicely!  A little
over-done because I was taking
Uh-oh!  Looks like trouble!

Hardly any sticking!
Lots of stuck-on eggs.  Ick!

Basic Scrambled Eggs
2 eggs
1-2 Tbsp. cream or milk*
⅛-¼ tsp. Montreal steak seasoning

Lightly grease small frying pan.  Preheat pan just above medium.  Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, cream or milk, and seasoning.  Pour eggs into heated pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through.

For the sake of this "experiment" I only made one egg at a
time, but I rarely make less than six.

*I usually make scrambled eggs with milk.  But when I happen to have cream in the fridge, I like to use it as it produces fluffier eggs.


Kristin said...

Thanks for the tip...I didn't know about heating the pan ahead of time...looks like it makes all the difference!

Kiefler said...

A hot pan is huge.

I don't oil the pan. Rather, I use aprox 1 Tb of butter per 2-3 eggs. This adds flavor as well as non-stick. I melt it on low, and once it is all melted, I bring the heat up until it starts to bubble. You're ready to add the scrambled eggs just before the butter starts to brown.

I also use a large wok-style pan. If you're cooking a lot of eggs, what you can do is pour the eggs into the center of the butter. The butter floats on top of the eggs, and coats the pan all the way up.

The Lung Family said...

Thanks for the hot pan tip, I usually put them in as soon as I turn the heat on, and it sticks so badly. Have you ever tried using water instead of the milk or cream? I have found that the eggs are way fluffier that way and don't weep.

Sumiko said...

I have used water when I've been out of milk--with three milk-drinking kids in the house, that happens quite often. I have found that using cream instead of milk also prevents weeping.

Betsy Pierce said...

Ah! You solved the great mystery for me Sumiko! I always wondered why sometimes they sticked and sometimes they don't. I thought it was using more butter but now I think it was because it took longer (hence more heat) for more butter to melt. I have a dish I call pan quiche that I make and now I get it right every time. Yeah! I'm way more likely to make it if I know I won't have to soak and scrub afterwards, especially in my cast iron skillet.

I'm going to pass this on to my in-laws, as well.

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