4 mistakes you’re making with your scrambled eggs, and how to fix them, according to a Michelin-star chef
With the cooking and feeding frenzy of Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to return to fundamentals. How about a breakfast staple? There’s nothing more elemental than scrambled eggs. Crack, beat, cook. Simple, right? Well, sorta. In the kitchen, as on the course, a lot of us botch the basics. James Syhabout is an avid golfer. He’s also the chef and owner of two-Michelin star Commis, in Oakland, Calif. We asked him about common errors—and corrections—when it comes to making scrambled eggs.
Cracking under pressure
This just in: eggshells don’t taste good. You don’t want them in your scramble. But that’s what you’re apt to get if you crack your eggs over the sharp edge of a bowl or table. Those methods push the shell into the egg, producing tiny shards that often wind up in the finished dish. The better way to go, Syhabout says, is to tap the egg on its flattest side against a flat, hard surface. You can also hold the egg gently in your palm and tap it with the back of a spoon.
Consistency. We like it in our putting. And we love it in our eggs. To achieve it, make sure to beat the eggs until the whites and yolks are evenly incorporated. Under-beaten eggs have a stringy look in the bowl that translates into inconsistent texture on the plate.
Applying too much heat
A lot of people crank the heat and cook quickly, which produces dry, stiff eggs. Syhabout suggests going low and slow instead, with the burner kept somewhere between low and medium. A good way to test for temperature is to put pad of butter in a cold pan on the burner. You want the butter to be barely melting. If it starts to brown, lower the heat before adding the eggs. Stir them gently with a rubber spatula until they start to fold into soft and silken sheets.
If you know how you like your eggs, feel free to salt and pepper them at any point. But if you’re making eggs for others, Syhabout suggests holding off on the seasoning and serving the eggs just as they are. “You never know if someone is going to want to add hot sauce or something else,” Syhabout says. “I like to give them something neutral, and they can season in the eggs however they want.”