We know what you're thinking - how can you make a mistake when cooking scrambled eggs? They're just so easy to whip up. And yes - scrambled eggs are easy but they can also taste downright ghastly if you don't treat them correctly or use eggs that are past their sell-by-date.
Have a look at these 10 mistakes that many people make (without even knowing it) when cooking scrambled eggs. And check out Food24's amazing Breakfast Recipe Hub!
1. Using old eggs
When committing to the perfect scrambled eggs, it is advisable to install a chicken coop (Nkandla-sized if possible) in your garden and invest in a couple of good laying hens. However, if your commitment does not extend to chicken farming, I suggest purchasing fresh free range eggs from a farmer’s market. Most supermarket eggs, even the free range ones have been sitting on the shelf for a few days (if not weeks) since they last saw the sight of a chicken’s bum - losing colour, nutrients and flavour in the process.
TOP TIP: the white of fresh eggs has the appearance of firm jelly and when cracked the yolk will sit high up on top of the white. The white of old eggs is very runny and will be completely flat.
2. Still using an old fashioned pan
Get with the times folks and fire up your double boiler or sous vide machine if you want the creamiest scrambled eggs ever. The principal of the double boiler and the sous vide machine are the same; the eggs never become over-heated (and curdle) because the temperature is regulated resulting in the creamiest eggs possible. You can be forgiven for just using a regular old pan if time is of the essence because the sous vide method can take up to 40 minutes.
3. Not adding butter or cream
In the immortal words of Julia Child “If you're afraid of butter, use cream”. This definitely holds true for scrambled eggs. The more butter and cream you add the creamier and butter-ier they will be. Try the Ramsey method of breaking the eggs into a cold pan with a knob of butter, and heating gently while mixing the eggs and butter until the eggs begin to scramble, then add in more butter and a little crème fraiche.
4. Letting the eggs brown at the bottom
Don’t overheat your eggs and make sure you keep stirring all through the process to prevent the eggs from browning on the bottom. Apart from the fact that it looks a little unsightly to have flecks of brown running through your scramble, it also results in the eggs getting a little overcooked and becoming rubbery.
5. Cooking the eggs for too long
If your eggs become overcooked they will start to draw water, avoid this problem by removing the eggs from the heat as soon as they are just cooked, they will continue to cook in the pan so serve them straight away!
Season your eggs well with salt and pepper to avoid bland eggs. There are several schools of thought on this and some chefs believe (strongly) that salting the raw egg alters the final product making the egg tougher, so salt them once in the pan just as you are about to remove them from the heat.
7. Under-stirring or overmixing
Again there are a few schools of thought here, if you don’t mix your eggs enough before cooking you will get clumps of egg white in your scramble, but if you over mix the eggs before cooking you will break down the protein structure resulting in rubbery eggs.
8. Using an iron skillet
Cooking eggs in an iron or cast iron skillet will result in the eggs turning an intriguing green colour, so stick to using a stainless steel or (even better) a non-stick pan.
9. Adding milk
There are polarised views on this matter in the egg industry. Some people insist that adding milk (or water) results in watery eggs. If in doubt, skip the milk in favour of cream or crème fraiche.
10. Exotic eggs
Anyone that has been subjected to (the horror of) an ostrich omelette will tell you, eggs from exotic birds have exotic flavours. Try experimenting with duck or quail eggs and if the flavours a bit too strong, go for a chicken egg mixed with exotic eggs.
For more breakfast ideas have a look at the Breakfast Recipe Hub.
Follow Julie Donald on Twitter @AskJulieDonald.
- Julie Donald