How to Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs - WITHOUT a Nonstick Pan!
Step by Step for Perfect Scrambled Eggs ... that won't stick to the pan!
How do you get perfect, nonstick eggs without using a nonstick pan? Even with nonstick, are your eggs a gummy mess? I always wondered how chefs turned out such light, fluffy eggs, when my scrambles were always heavy and soggy.
Turns out that perfect scrambled eggs are not so hard to make and come with a bonus: easy clean-up ... even without a nonstick pan! And it is actually so simple; less work than your mom's way of making the soggy, congealed mess you grew up with.
Directions are given for scrambling eggs in stainless steel first (since that's a bit trickier) and also in cast iron.
But why would you want to use a regular pan when eggs are so easy to cook in nonstick pans? Learn a little more about the dangers of nonstick cookware and why you want to make the switch to stainless steel or cast iron while you perfect making scrambled eggs with no teflon!
All photos © tandemonimom unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved.
The Secret to Perfect Scrambed Eggs: Part I - Perfect eggs that won't stick in cast iron, stainless, or any pan!
Nope, it's not the pan. But here's a secret about the pan: you don't have to have some special expensive omelet pan, or a nonstick pan that may be emitting harmful chemicals into your food. Because the secret is not the pan, the secret is how you heat the pan.
The pan needs to be at the correct temperature before adding eggs or even oil to the pan. That's the big secret! This is a plain old stainless steel skillet that would normally have to be cleaned with a blowtorch after scrambling eggs in it. Wait until you see the picture after the eggs are removed!
While the pan is heating, crack the eggs. Personally I don't stir them until just before putting them in the pan, because the broken yolk tends to cling to the side of the bowl and it's hard to get it all into the pan. Freshly stirred doesn't have a chance to get sticky with your bowl.
If a piece of shell falls in, use nature's perfectly provided shell-getter-outer: a bigger piece of the shell!
Turn Up the Heat
How to make scrambled eggs that won't stick to the pan!
You will have to experiment a bit to find the proper heat needed on your cooktop. For mine, it is just under medium (a good heavy duty pan to promote even heating helps). Turn the heat on and let the pan get HOT ... but not TOO hot! And for goodness' sake, don't add the oil or butter yet!
How hot? Wet your fingertips and flick a few water drops into the pan.
If they sit there in a puddle, the pan is not hot enough.
If they sizzle a bit, the pan is not hot enough.
If they sizzle and evaporate, the pan is almost hot enough. Watch closely now ...
If the drops of water, instead of sizzling, bead up and dance around the pan without evaporating, like drops of mercury, the pan is just right.
WARNING! DO NOT leave the pan at this point, or let it sit empty and get hotter much longer, because if you do, and then add your oil after the pan gets even hotter, you could get a grease fire on your stovetop! (Don't ask me how I know this ...)
REMEMBER! "Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick!" according to The Frugal Gourmet.
The Secret to Perfect Scrambled Eggs: Part II
Hot pan, cold oil, eggs won't stick!
Now it is time to add the oil or butter, after your pan is perfectly heated. Have your eggs cracked and ready to stir, then add the oil or butter, quickly but thoroughly stir the eggs, and pour them into the hot pan and barely warm oil.
Two notes here:
1. Yes, that's a lot of oil in my pan. You need enough fat to coat the pan and then a little more depending on how many eggs you are cooking; I was cooking ten eggs. I prefer coconut oil for cooking because of its health benefits.
2. I am an egg purist. I don't add anything to my scrambled eggs. I love the unadulterated flavor of good eggs!
TASTE TEST: What scrambles your eggs? - Do you enjoy your eggs as is, or with a little extra kick?
Egg flavor can't be beat, or more flavors make it a treat? (Psst: BESIDES butter, salt, and pepper.)
Nature's perfect food, as is.
These adorable egghead kitchen tools will bring cheer to your kitchen! Sturdy as well as cute and helpful, these make great kitchen gifts!
Makes it simple to separate eggs - clips on the edge of a bowl or mug and holds the yolk while the white drips through.
This egg-shaped slicer makes perfect slices of hard-boiled eggs.
60-minute mechanical egg timer puts a 0 to 60 minute spin on all of your kitchen creations. Hold the feet in one hand and turn the body completely clockwise to 60 minutes.
This heat resistant spatula is the perfect size for flipping one egg or handling small items.
Cute and functional, the egghead whisk will beat up a couple of eggs in no time.
When the pan is perfectly heated, pour in the eggs and LET THEM SIT.
The Secret to Perfect Scrambled Eggs: Part III
Perfect scrambled eggs without a nonstick pan!
STOP! ... don't touch those eggs!
That's right, don't touch them! Pour them into the oil and back off. This is critical both to getting light and fluffy eggs, and to getting an easy-clean pan at the end of things. (Yes, it does too make sense! Scraping the pan disturbs the oil, making the egg come in contact with unoiled pan and ... it sticks!)
Look carefully at the picture above. See the pale edges where the eggs are beginning to set? That is the sign you are looking for. If you let them sit too long, you will get an omelet, and that's not what we're looking for here. So just wait for that whitish ring at the edge. Don't stir at the first sign, let it get a little thicker ...
Okay, NOW stir ...
Start Your Scrambles ...
... but be gentle.
You've got a nice set edge, so you are ready to start the scramble. GENTLY. Take a spoon or spatula and run it around the set edge to loosen it a bit. GENTLY. Pull the set bottom up in a heap, and let the uncooked eggs run to the bottom. GENTLY. Do this around the pan. Then STOP.
Back off. Let the eggs start to set up again.
Repeat this process of gently loosening the set eggs and letting the uncooked eggs run underneath, then LEAVING IT ALONE for a minute or two, until your eggs are mostly done, like this:
Almost done ...
If the Eggs Stick
If you start your first stir and feel resistance, as if the eggs are sticking rather than sliding loose, STOP. Wait a moment or two before the first stir. Stirring too soon is what causes the eggs to stick to the pan!
Finish the Scrambles
Perfect scrambled eggs that don't stick to the pan!
You see that the eggs are largely done and there is just a bit of still-runny egg sitting on top. At this point, you can get a bit rougher. Get your spoon in there and flip the eggs, not like you would flip a whole omelet over, but breaking it into large chunks.
The runny bits left over will cook up very quickly, so once it is flipped you are within seconds of removing it from the heat. I like to flip the eggs, leave for a second, stir to make sure all the runny bits are gone, then salt the eggs in the pan (I have four kids; this is much less messy for me!) and also stir in a pat of butter for extra flavor.
The flipped eggs need only a moment to finish.
Light and fluffy - not a gummy mess.
Now for the cool bonus part ...
... check this out ...
Look at that pan!
Look Ma, No Scrubbing!
You've stopped your eggs from sticking to the pan!
Remember, this is a stainless steel pan, no nonstick about it. I just scooped the eggs out onto plates, and this is what was left for cleanup. No soaking necessary, no scrubbing pads or elbow grease. A little soap on a dishcloth, and it practically wipes clean.
But wait! There's more ...
Scrambled eggs in cast iron make even less mess than in stainless steel!
Cast Iron v. Stainless Steel - What is the best pan for making scrambled eggs?
Both stainless steel and cast iron have good points for cooking eggs.
Stainless steel is fussier to scramble in so that the eggs won't stick. If you want eggs that won't stick in stainless steel, you must be scrupulously careful about heating to the proper point and adding the oil at the right temperature and not overstirring the eggs. Cast iron is more forgiving on all these points: a nice hot pan, but it doesn't have to be just to an exact degree; and eggs won't stick in cast iron even with a bit more stirring.
However ... cast iron does require more general care than stainless steel. If you want good nonstick cast iron, you must never, ever, ever put soap in it! This freaks a lot of people out, although it has been proven to be perfectly safe. Wipe it, scrub it with hot water, but don't ever use soap. Cast iron builds up a patina that acts like nonstick if it is not scrubbed off.
Cast iron also tends to rust if it is not cared for properly. After wiping and rinsing cast iron, wipe it dry and place it on a low burner to dry it thoroughly, to prevent rust. (Air drying is too slow and promotes rust.) Wipe the inside very lightly with oil once it is dry. If storing in other pans or with a lid, put a paper towel between lid and pan to prevent moisture accumulation and rust. I usually just wipe it out again before using, or if it has been a long time I'll rinse in hot water (the oil can get a little tacky inside the pan).
- Caring for Cast Iron
After cooking, clean utensil with a stiff nylon brush and hot water. Using soap is not recommended, and harsh detergents should never be used. (Avoid putting a hot utensil into cold water. Thermal shock can occur causing the metal to warp or crack).
Keep Your Cast Iron Nonstick
Not only do you never put soap in it - you never put tomato products in either! The acid in tomatoes will remove the "finish" that has built up in your well-used cast iron. So make your world-famous spaghetti sauce in another pot!
Cast Iron Skillets on eBay - Scrambled eggs in cast iron - for less!
No worries about buying a used cast iron skillet - the harder it's been used, the better!
Beautiful Stainless Steel Pans - Calphalon Contemporary Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set
The pictures you see on this page are my own Calphalon contemporary stainless steel cookware. I have had them for four years and love them! As long as you preheat correctly there is little sticking or cleanup, and the heavy tri-ply construction (with aluminum safely enclosed away from any food surfaces) ensures fast and beautifully even heating every time. I never have to turn my burner above medium with these pans, as they conduct the heat so very well. Not to mention, they are beautiful and highly ergonomic and easy to handle. I have carpal tunnel syndrome but the construction of the handle and the way it joins to the pan makes it easy to lift and carry. Also, the way the handle joins to the pan (with a Y construction) ensures that it is a very solid join but conducts little heat, so the handle remains cool. In four years of hard use (family of six) none of the joins or screws have loosened even a smidge, and no glass lids have broken. Plus, they are by far the most attractive pots and pans I've even seen, with lovely elegant lines. I enjoy having them in my kitchen just to look at! ~ tandemonimom
The set includes:
* tri-ply construction with full aluminum core for excellent conductivity and even heating
* stay-cool handles remain comfortable when pan is heated
* 8-inch omelet pan
* 10-inch omelet pan
* 1-1/2-quart saucepan with cover
* 3-1/2-quart saucepan with cover
* 3-quart saute pan with cover
* 8-quart stockpot with cover
* dishwasher safe
* lifetime warranty
Griswold Collectible Cast Iron - Lots of people collect and use Griswold cast iron from Erie.
From 1865 until the late 1950s, the Griswold Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pa. made various cast iron implements for home use, including many types hardware. Griswold cast iron cookware includes skillets, muffin pans, roasters, bread molds, waffle irons, kettles, dutch ovens and even miniatures. [read more]
Find some of this wonderful and functional Griswold collectable cast iron on eBay!
But Why Bother?
Why bother learning how to cook eggs that won't stick in stainless steel or cast iron? Nonstick cookware is cheap and easy to use. Unfortunately, you may pay in other costs for using it.
Why Not Just Use Nonstick Pans? - What's wrong with using nonstick pans?
Sometimes "easier" is not the same as "better." Dr. Joseph Mercola investigates the health and safety differences in cookware.
- Is Teflon Dangerous?
The nonstick coating used in DuPont's Teflon pans has been found to release one or more of 15 different toxic gases when heated to certain temperatures. Which chemicals are released depends on the temperature of the pan. This outgassing is fatal to p
Teflon is Fatal to Birds
Teflon fumes kill pet birds.
So it's okay for humans,
as long as you don't own birds?
OF COURSE NOT!
A tiny bird with a tiny body
and tinier lungs shows the effects
sooner than a human.
Outgassing from nonstick coating is
AS DEADLY TO HUMANS
AS IT IS TO BIRDS.
It just takes longer to show.
More Eggscellent Kitchen Tools - Kitchen tools to make your egg preparation a little easier.
No more guesswork for boiled eggs. Place this timer in the water along with your eggs, and it will darken to warn you when the eggs are done to your satisfaction!
The poachpod, made of flexible silicone, allows you to float and poach an egg in boiling water like a lily pad on a pond.
One press makes perfect round or oblong slices. Rotate the egg holder and press again to chop egg for salads.
Unique egg slicer will cut perfect wedges every time, as well as slices, halves, and diced eggs - all in one quick and easy motion. Stainless steel wires easily cut through eggs, strawberries and mushrooms and other soft fruits and vegetables.
This dishwasher-safe set of four egg cups adds a bright spot to any breakfast table.
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 5 min
- Ready in: 15 min
- Yields: depends
- fresh eggs
- oil of your choice (preferably coconut oil)
- a stainless steel or cast iron pan - NOT nonstick
- Preheat pan well, according to the explanation above. Stir the eggs thoroughly. After pan is properly heated, add oil, then eggs. DO NOT STIR until the eggs begin to set. Gently lift the cooked egg and let the uncooked parts run underneath, then let sit again. When mostly done, begin flipping and breaking up the large chunks. Remove from heat. Add salt and butter or your choice of condiment.
The Good Egg - More than 200 Fresh Approaches from Breakfast to Dessert
This comprehensive book on egg cookery is winner of a James Beard Award. Starting with how to make perfect scrambled eggs, it progresses to more complicated egg dishes such as sandwiches, soups, pastas, quiches, souffles, and cakes - even meringues! skillfully describes a plenitude of ways to cook and serve this basic, healthful ingredient. The Good Egg
MARIE SIMMONS, a popular cooking teacher and author who has won both a James Beard Award and a Julia Child Award, is the culinary director of Copia, a food and wine cultural center in Napa, California. She is a frequent contributor to Cooking Light, Prevention, Cottage Living, and Eating Well. Her books include Fresh & Fast, The Light Touch Cookbook, Rice: The Amazing Grain, Lighter Quicker Better, and 365 Ways to Cook Pasta.
~ from product description