Stop Adding This Ingredient to Scrambled Eggs

Save it for your morning cereal instead.

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Scrambled eggs are often one of the first dishes we learn to cook, perhaps as kids standing beside a parent or grandparent as they whip up our favorite breakfast. It's a simple, quick, and delicious way to start a busy day. But, as is often the case in the culinary world, the simplest recipes are often the trickiest.

Scroll around the internet for scrambled egg recipes, and you'll find that almost every chef has a version they claim is the creamiest, lightest, or fluffiest. Whether it's Gordon Ramsey's more elaborate method with a crème fraîche finish or Ina Garten's inclusion of half-and-half, you don't have to look far to find many different ways to make your morning eggs.

But if you ever made scrambled eggs that tasted a bit lackluster, watery, or even rubbery, chances are there's an ingredient you're adding that's causing some problems. Perhaps you've been adding a splash of milk out because someone once said you should always add milk to your scramble—and while dairy can certainly enhance the flavor of eggs, you're probably adding too much.

The Science Behind Making the Best Scrambled Eggs

When it comes to cooking scrambled eggs, it makes sense that adding milk would produce creamier, lighter, and fluffier eggs. Milk is creamy, so why wouldn’t a splash yield creamier eggs?

To answer this question, it’s important to understand the science behind scrambled eggs. Egg whites are mostly made of protein and water, while yolks are largely fat and water. Whisking the eggs brings the fat and proteins together into a near-perfect balance. As the mixture cooks, water from the eggs evaporates and creates steam, leading to the denaturing or coagulation of the egg proteins into solid curds. Some of the water will stay trapped in the curds, resulting in moist and tender scrambled eggs.

Does Milk Really Improve Scrambled Eggs?

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

As an experienced recipe developer, former line cook, and culinary school graduate, I'm in the camp that almost never adds liquid to scrambled eggs (maybe a very small amount of water, but never milk). But I wanted to get some scientific perspective on the subject, so I reached out to a food scientist for some, well, food science.

Jessica Gavin, a certified food scientist and culinary scientist, explained how a small amount of liquid can actually make softer, moister scrambled egg curds. She said, "It's advisable to add only a small amount of liquid. This dilutes the egg, delaying the coagulation of proteins and preventing the curd from becoming too tightly packed."

She recommends no more than 2 teaspoons of liquid per egg. Milk may slightly enhance the flavor of scrambled eggs; "however, the extra protein in milk may result in a slightly firmer texture compared to using water."

What Should I Use in Scrambled Eggs Instead of Milk?

Of course, milk isn't the only dairy you can add to scrambled eggs. Everything from half-and-half, cream cheese, and crème fraîche can make them tastier but can also throw off that delicate balance of fat, protein, and water.

I asked my former chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, Associate Professor Chef Lynne Gigliotti, how she makes her scrambled eggs.

"I use heavy cream in my scrambled eggs because I actually like the texture and flavor, and I think it makes the eggs creamier," said Gigliotti. But like Gavin, she cautioned against adding too much cream. "I don't really think heavy cream dilutes the flavor, I think it enhances the flavor."

Instead of reaching for milk—or any other liquid for that matter—I personally turn to butter for perfect scrambled eggs. Butter has a much higher fat content and can coat the protein to make creamier, more tender curds.

But the most crucial element of perfect scrambled eggs (whether you're an eggs-only purist or in the splash-of-milk camp) is heat management. Cook scrambled eggs over low to medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent curds from forming too quickly. Keep stirring as the eggs gently cook to form light, uniform, and silky-smooth curds. Remove from the stove just before the eggs are cooked through, as they'll continue cooking from residual heat. And if you must add milk, be sure to use a very, very small amount.

Read the original article on All Recipes.