Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Best Scrambled Eggs Experiment

I got a lot of eggs for Easter. I had huge plans for these eggs. But I didn't manage to get over my inertia (aka the bed and youtube) and ended up with a glut of unadorned eggs. So I've been having quite a lot of eggs the past few days, enough to hold a proper experiment with controls and options. It's okay because I love eggs, especially for breakfast, fried in a sandwich, soft-boiled with soldiers, half-boiled Singapore-style with soy sauce and white pepper, in an omelette (plain and french, or stuffed and slightly burnt), and of course, the breakfast menu must-have-- scrambled eggs.

I put aside my classic standard way of making scrambled eggs and looked at different chefs' idea of perfect scrambled eggs (including a fat-free version which was simply just horrid). In the end, I managed to try permutations of the following conditions:
1. Whisking the eggs together first vs whisking them in a pan
2. Starting in a cold pan vs a heated pan
3. Stirring over very low heat constantly for very long vs over higher heat for shorter
4. Stirring like mad from start to finish vs letting sit/gently folding
5. Adding milk/cream vs just butter
6. Adding milk/cream/butter at the start vs at the end
7. Salting at the start vs at the end

If you do your math that's 2^7= 128 scrambled eggs, if I change only one variable each time. But, no I didn't do it that systematically, I didn't have that many eggs. I have been eating scrambled eggs for breakfast since Saturday though. And the conclusion?

I realise there isn't a way to make the ultimate best scrambled eggs because everyone likes their scrambled eggs different. If you like it really creamy or one might call it runny, you'll like Gordon Ramsay's (1b, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6b, 7b); if you like quite delicate curds, you'll like Bill Granger's (1a, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5a, 6a, 7a); if you like it more golden and less creamy, you'll like the classic textbook Delia Smith's (1a, 2b, 3a, 4a, 5b, 6 a and b, 7a). Mine goes a bit like: 1a, 2b, 3a, 4a and b, 5a, 6a and b, 7a.

My Best Scrambled Eggs
serves 1
2 large free-range eggs
1 knob of butter (preferably from local and happy i.e. grassfed/organic cows)
2 tbsp fresh whole milk/cream (preferably from local and happy cows)
pinch of unrefined sea salt

To finish,
freshly ground black pepper and fresh herbs like dill or chives

1. Whisk eggs together with 1 tbsp of milk/cream and salt.
2. Heat heavy-based pan over medium heat and add the knob of butter. Once almost foaming, do not let brown, add the eggs.
3. Let sit for about 10 seconds, then use a wooden spoon to start lifting and folding from the bottom of the pan.
4. Reduce the heat to low, and then keep stirring until they're just beginning to set, but not set.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the other tbsp of cold cream, and serve immediately. It may look a tiny bit runnier than expected at that stage, but note that it continues cooking a little more in its residual heat.

No matter what, always serve over generously buttered warm toast, my favourite being a sourdough picked up from work at the farmer's market. You need the toast as a bed to cushion and mop up the eggy velvety curds. Scrambled eggs that can stand stiffly on their own for you to actually cut into and scoop from the free breakfast buffet platter onto your plate, are not really scrambled eggs. I'm not being fussy, I like and eat them anyway(:

And now that I've finished the last of my eggs, I need to really get away from lazy "Sunday" brunches every morning of the week. Spring break is almost over, and my to-do-list has a worrying small number of ticks. There's going to be some major changes happening to this blog, if all goes well, this week!


  1. It's true that there is no "best" method for scrambled eggs as we all like them differently. You have provided an interesting analysis! I like mine with a little of chopped chorizo. I fry the chorizo first so the egg cooks with the delicious oils from the chorizo... the flavour is unbelievable, sooo good!

  2. they look damn fine to me... and experimentation is the only way we find out the best method for ourselves... nice work!

  3. I like the look and sound of your eggs, thanks for all the testing, I know you suffered through it all!

  4. My scrambled eggs looks different every time for some reason :)

  5. I shall give your method a go!

  6. One of my pet hates is the scrambled eggs you get for breakfast at hotels-dry and insipid in taste for the most part...

    Creamy, perfectly scrambled eggs are heaven served on good tasty buttered bread!

    1. I think those are almost always made from a powder / dehydrated eggs. Either that or their chefs fail really badly

    2. REALLY? they're made from powdered eggs..? I'm seriously disturbed. I actually do eat and do not hate them.. I'm horrible eh?

  7. The mushrooms look gorgeous! Any tips for good buttery mushrooms? :)

  8. Fantastic, I admire you dedication to the cause of scrambled eggs. Next time I make them I'm going to try it your way. That looks like a breakfast fit for a holiday - must get some mushrooms!

  9. Just noted one of your favourite reads is Weston Price - really pleased to see I'm not the only food blogger who likes what they are doing.

    1. I never knew you were into them too! Their work is one reason why I like making everything from scratch, and why I love tapping into traditional childhood recipes (:

  10. I am also having lots of eggs recently and the funny thing is that I have been thinking of new methods to make scrambled eggs. I usually add milk and fry them in butter, but I still look for new ideas.
    I love your new, clean design! Congratulations!

  11. Hazel: Wow that sounds amazing, frying it in chorizo oil. One doesn't always have chorizo lurking around though, unfortunately, but I'm going to keep that in mind!

    Dom: I'm a bit anal that way heh.

    Farine: Not really, I'm a creature of habit so I was quite pleased having scrambled eggs every day (:

    Munaty: Haha, that's one way to keep it interesting!

    Elaine: What's your usual method? Thanks for giving mine a go!

    Rachel: Start in a medium hot pan with a pat of butter and some evoo (butter alone will burn), then just let it sizzle and then cook over medium heat. When cooked, spoon the buttery juices over and sprinkle sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper over. nom (:

    Choclette: Heh and some bacon and sausages at that, and you'll have a good old full english (:

    Sissi: Yay, it was a nightmare designing it.

  12. i like eggs, i have to remember to not eat them every meal sometimes, because they're so delicious and easy to prepare.

    i prefer mine sunny side up or slightly soft/running scrambled and always seasoned with soy sauce.

  13. Hi there, this is a really nice post involving eggs. It would be great if you linked to it in my brand new Food on Friday series. This week it is about all things egg. Food on Friday It would make my day if you put a link into it via the Mr Linky widget.

  14. You are such a star for putting up the link. Thank you very much. Hopefully soon we will have a nice collection of all things eggy!

  15. i prefer mine less runnier, that's why i never add milk or cream. maybe like what you said, it may not be a real scrambled egg but that's how i normally eat it :))have a nice weekend, shu han!

  16. angry asian: With fried eggs, yes I agree, always sunny-side up, and seasoned with dark soy sauce. With half-boiled eggs, really soft, with light soy sauce. But for scrambled eggs, I go for the salt and black pepper and butter (:

    carole: It was fun to share (: thanks for the roundup!

    lena: Exactly, each to her own! It's very much a personal thing (:

  17. I like the dedication to eggy perfection here! And I am glad you go for the lift and fold, not too much messing, technique. It's something I started to do a few years ago after quizzing a cook who had just produced scrambled eggs that verged on the divine. I don;t go for the cream he added, but did take away that technique. Lovely stuff. Now, are you going to do a post on the best way of poaching eggs... ;)

  18. This looks delicious, I'd love to try it.

  19. Very interesting I never thought about it so much as just made them the way my family likes them, I like mine less runny and more seasoned so I make mine separate from theirs. Never cared for eggs out in a restaurant, they just couldn't get it right! :) Great job on yours you make them a lot like I do!!

  20. Hi there. I was looking at this great dish you linked in to Food on Friday: Eggs. I realized that I haven't been following your blog. Sorry about that. I have signed up to follow now. It would be great if you followed Carole's Chatter back. Have a super week.

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