How to Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs

by Bridget Lancaster

This post is courtesy of the America's Test Kitchen Cooking School. Get access to our complete catalog of over 100 courses, receive personalized one-on-one instruction, and become a better cook today!

When was the last time you made eggs for dinner? I'm not talking some frou-frou frittata or delicate French omelet. I mean a big ol' plate of hearty scrambled eggs--with maybe some bacon on the side.

In my house, scrambled eggs are for dinner at least once a week. They're easy to make (I'm thinking of you bachelor(ette)s out there.), super-fast to get to the table, a perfect source of protein, and (channeling my starving college student here,) really, really cheap. And if those reasons to make scrambled eggs weren't enough, they're pretty darn tasty too.

But that doesn't mean that you can beat the hell out of a couple of eggs and then toss them in a hot skillet. Well, not unless you want tough, rubbery, weeping eggs. No, I didn't think you did. So let's quickly review a couple scrambled egg basics and get dinner (or any meal of your choice) on the table.

Fat is Good
Forgive me scrambled egg white lovers, but this is where we part. An extra yolk or two (depending on how many eggs you're making) and some half and half add luscious, rich texture to the eggs. More importantly, the extra fat prevents the eggs from becoming tough. So go ahead and thank an egg yolk today.

Scramble… Just Enough
A light scrambling with a fork--just until the eggs are combined and pure yellow--is enough. Don't take your frustrations out on the poor eggs and they will stay nice and tender for you.

Shrink the Pan
Don't let those eggs spread out in a thin layer. Switch out the 12-inch skillet for a 10-inch one--nonstick if you want to get the eggs out of the pan. That thicker layer of egg is harder to overcook.

Get High, Then Get Low
I'm not talking about mood swings here. Starting the eggs in a medium-high skillet will create steam, which in turn makes for large, fluffy curds of scrambled eggs. After they're just set, reduce the heat so that they don't overcook. It's pretty foolproof.

Ok, so that's some scrambled egg basics, but what about adding-in ingredients? Well even that takes a little consideration, but in general, it's best to avoid super-moist ingredients (think tomatoes and mushrooms.) Both will give you watery eggs. Better choices include quick-wilting greens like arugula or baby spinach, sautéed veg like bell pepper or asparagus, cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, goat, feta, and even Parmesan,) and of course, pre-cooked breakfast sausage or crumbled bacon.

Any of these will work as long as you fold them into the eggs after they are finished cooking. You can even pre-cook and prep a bunch of different ingredients, then have your buddies over for a scrambled egg party. They choose the ingredients, and you get to play hotel-breakfast-buffet-egg-station-dude. Woo-hoo! What fun you'll have…

There's a lot more info in our Essential Eggs course, and you'll also get some great info on frying, hard-cooking, and poaching--not to mention fab recipes for the aforementioned frou-frou frittata and French omelet. Watch my video and I'll show you exactly why I love eggs so much!

So get cracking and make some dinner! And while you're at it, what are your favorite scrambled egg add-ins?