5 Ways to Make Better Scrambled Eggs

When I’m home alone, I’ll often make scrambled eggs for dinner. The catch? I wing it every time and have no idea what I’m doing. Seventy percent of the time they’re really dry; and when they’re good, I can’t remember what I did. This year, once and for all, I want to learn how to make really good eggs. Today, Caroline Lange, contributor at Extra Crispy is sharing five tips from the new cookbook, Breakfast

Scrambled eggs may be one of the first things we learn to cook as kids, but they aren’t one of the first things we master. The art of scrambled eggs is a delicate one, but a few very small shifts in technique can take a C-grade skill set to an A and ensure you a lifetime of perfect scrambled eggs. Here are a few tips to get you started on your path to scrambled-egg excellence:

1. Season the beaten raw eggs, not the cooked ones.
This is a matter of debate. Some say this breaks down the eggs, rendering them watery; others believe this makes them moister. I say that it simply seasons the eggs more uniformly, and since scrambled eggs should be served right away, there’s not much opportunity for wateriness to occur.

2. Start in a cold pan.
You know how a hot pan can set a thin layer of the eggs the moment they’re poured in? That interrupts your scramble’s potential for ultimate creaminess by cooking one portion of the eggs more quickly than all the rest. Instead, start the eggs in a cold pan (with a pat of butter) and set it on a low flame. Then go to work, stirring regularly, knowing that your eggs are cooking at an even rate.

3. Cook bacon first, then cook your eggs in the same pan.
Because your eggs will be creeeeeeamy and flecked in the nicest way with bacon fat (and will taste, you know, like bacon). You could also do this with fat that renders from cooking breakfast sausage. If you’re not a meat eater, use a generous amount of olive oil or, preferably, butter. Use a pat that’s not quite a tablespoon per two or three eggs. Never start in a dry pan.

4. Take the pan off the heat at least a minute before the eggs look “done” to you.
In fact, even if you like your eggs on the dry side, they should look almost wet. Both the pan you scramble the eggs in and the eggs themselves will hold heat even after they’re off the flame. This is called ‘carryover cooking,’ and it means that your eggs can go from runny to dry in the time it takes you to refill your coffee cup. When the scramble looks two hairs softer than you’d usually like it, take it off the heat, grab a plate, and they’ll be just right.

5. Add a little lemon juice before — or after — cooking.
Sounds strange, right? Reserve your judgment. A wee bit of acid encourages the egg’s proteins to hook up and be creamy and tender. You don’t need much juice — just about 1⁄2 teaspoon per two to three eggs. You can also add a touch of lemon juice right before serving. A teeny squeeze of lemon juice brightens a pile of buttery scrambled eggs.

Any other tips? What do you make for dinner when you’re home alone? Thank you so much, Caroline!

P.S. More recipes, including angel hair pasta and a Trader Joe’s breakfast hack.

(Top photo by Pixel Stories/Stocksy. Excerpted from Breakfast by the editors of Extra Crispy. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation, New York, NY. All rights reserved. This series is edited by Franny Eremin.)