- I made scrambled eggs using 10 different methods to see how each would turn out.
- I compared the methods based on the texture and flavour of the finished egg.
- Adding heavy cream made the eggs fluffy, but whole milk made them watery.
- I was always sceptical of chef Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled-egg recipe, but it turned out delicious.
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There are plenty of ways to cook scrambled eggs and have them come out rich, silky, and creamy. In an effort to find the optimal way to enjoy scrambled eggs, I made the dish using 10 different cooking methods, from changing the level of heat to adding liquids like heavy cream, and kept track of the results.
While I gathered tips from different food writers and chefs, I stuck with a simple Food Network recipe as my base to keep things consistent. I used one large egg per batch and cooked each on a nonstick pan with butter over a very low flame, unless otherwise stated. Each egg took about one minute to cook. I also tried chef Gordon Ramsay’s method of using a small pot, high heat, and crème fraîche.
Here’s what happened.
Using a medium flame created a drier egg.
This egg cooked quickly and browned easily. After about 45 seconds, the scrambled pile was fully cooked through, with no sign of runny residue – but it didn’t feel rubbery like some overcooked eggs do.
The flavour of butter was only slightly detectable. It mostly tasted like cooked egg yolk.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like runny eggs, this cooking method is for you.
Cooking over low heat made for a creamy, custardy egg.
The low heat combined with pushing the egg around often on the pan yielded a silky, creamy top layer but a firmer and more fully cooked bottom layer.
The buttery top tasted delicious. This would be a great cooking method for someone who likes fully cooked eggs but also appreciates the texture of a runny yolk.
Scrambling the egg in the pan instead of in a bowl beforehand made for a less cohesive dish.
I didn’t scramble this egg until it was in the pan. Since I couldn’t whisk as well in the pan as I could in a bowl, there were inconsistencies in the texture. Bits of cooked yolk looked yellow, and bits of whites were solid and bright. It kind of looked like egg salad.
The texture was nice and fluffy, though, and it was pleasant to eat.
The buttery taste came through, but the underdone parts felt more raw than creamy. To keep this egg from frying, I had to move it around constantly. I would recommend removing the egg from the heat before you think it’s done, as it seemed to cook quickly on the bottom toward the end.
Letting the butter turn brown in the pan affected the colour of the eggs more than their taste.
This egg cooked in seconds, even on low heat.
The burnt butter didn’t give the egg a specific taste, but it did give it a unique colour. Though the egg mostly had a pale-yellow hue, some spots had a brown layer on top.
Since this didn’t add much, I’d say browning your butter for a scrambled egg isn’t worth the extra time.
Putting the butter in the pan at the same time as the eggs resulted in a creamy scramble.
This batch turned out creamy on top and in the middle. It was more of a pale yellow compared with the colours of the other batches, and the bottom didn’t turn brown.
I thought the flavour of butter would be more potent than it was. I was able to taste it, but it wasn’t overwhelming at all.
While I wouldn’t call these eggs fluffy, they were somewhat light.
Adding heavy cream muted the flavour of the eggs.
For this version, I added 1 tablespoon of heavy cream to my beaten egg before pouring it into the pan.
The egg was fluffy but denser than I expected. It had a creamy texture throughout and took a bit longer to cook than the other batches.
However, adding the cream seemed to dilute the flavour of the egg. If you’re adding heavy cream, you may want to be more heavy-handed with the seasoning.
Adding whole milk to the scrambled eggs made them wet.
Adding 1 tablespoon of whole milk diluted the egg’s flavour and left me with a pile of wet protein.
The scrambled egg’s consistency was reminiscent of curdled milk, which wasn’t pleasant. Like the egg made with heavy cream, this egg took longer to cook than some of the others.
I won’t be adding milk to scrambled eggs again.
Adding 2% milk was pointless — the eggs were bland, wet, and inconsistent.
I think the 2% milk I used in this variation did more harm than good.
It made the scrambled egg watery, but it also seemed to separate the components of the egg. The cooked bits were noticeably solid, while the soft parts were wetter than they should have been.
There was no silky texture and no flavour. If you’re going to add dairy to your eggs, I would recommend going with the heavy cream.
Using vegetable oil instead of butter to grease the pan left the eggs without their custardy texture.
For this batch, I used vegetable oil to coat the pan instead of butter. I kept the oil over low heat so it wouldn’t fry the egg. It made for an enjoyable egg that was slightly moist but also firm.
Though the texture was appetizing overall, the parts that were wet were a little more liquidy than custardy.
Though I missed the buttery flavour in these eggs, vegetable oil is a good substitute if you’re out of butter.
The celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay uses crème fraîche in his scrambled eggs to stop the cooking process and add richness.
When I first watched the videos of Ramsay making his iconic scrambled eggs, I thought they looked too wet to be considered scrambled eggs.
The “MasterChef” judge constantly stirs the eggs – which he cracks right into the pot with a pat of butter – over a medium flame in 30-second intervals. He makes it a point to take the pot off the flame, stir, and put it back on, repeating until the eggs come together.
Once they’re done, Ramsay adds a dollop of cold crème fraîche to halt the cooking process.
This method required a lot of elbow grease, but it was worth it. The eggs were decadent – rich in flavour and texture – and soft without being watery.
At the end of the day, I learned that scrambled eggs take a lot more care than I imagined to make them delicious.
I didn’t realise how changes as small as whisking eggs before they hit the pan could affect something so simple as scrambled eggs.
I used to just push the eggs around the pan until they were fully cooked, but now I know that the art of the custardy egg is worth practicing.
After trying 10 variations, I think adding liquids like milk to the eggs before pouring them into the pan makes them wet and flavourless. Heavy cream keeps the eggs fluffy, but it still mutes the flavour.
I was pleasantly surprised by Ramsay’s method for cooking scrambled eggs. While I wouldn’t make his eggs on a rushed morning before work, I would consider putting in the effort for a nice brunch or weekend breakfast.
Regardless, all these eggs would taste just fine on a roll with hot sauce.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).
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