Emergency Biscuit: Are Scrambled Eggs Worth the Whisk?
The eleventh installment of our breakfast advice column
Are you in a breakfast conundrum? Do you have deep-seated, unresolved feelings for brunch? Are you at a loss in front of the smorgasbord of life? Because so often breakfast is about feelings, and relationships teeter on the edge of the morning meal table, Extra Crispy editors Kat Kinsman (Bis-kat) and Margaret Eby (Bisc-gret) are here with the eleventh installment of Emergency Biscuits, our breakfast advice column, to dole out hopefully not half-baked counsel and recipes for life. Got a question for the Biscuits? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bisc-gret and I are gonna scramble the usual format this week to tackle your questions because we each have very strong opinions about technique (me) and what “worth your time” (her) means.
I was a fork scrambler for the longest damn time; I just didn’t know any better. It’s how I was raised. It’s how my mother learned in her home economics class: eggs, milk, dash of vinegar (still unclear on that one), forkforkforkforkfork, butter pat, pan, stir, salt, serve. The eggs were fine. FINE! No particular art to them, but scrambled eggs aren’t in need of exceptional flourish to be good. You can make them when you’re hungover. You can make them when you’re five. Unless you drop them on the floor, let them introduce discriminatory House Bills, or sneeze into them, they’ll probably be perfectly good.
But they can be outstanding with just a little effort, and your stirring method definitely plays into that. Fling the fork, chuck the whisk, and plop the eggs into the blender or food processor for a good, solid whirring at a velocity not achievable by the human arm. Pulse it a few times if that feeds some primal need for you. This will fill your eggs with air. All the air. The greatest air. Your eggs will be so airy, you won’t even need any cream or half-and-half or what have you. Just pour them into the melted butter and agitate in a manner that pleases you. I’ve been opting for low heat and a constant loping motion, but I’m a fan of a super-soft scramble. You may like for things to be hard about the curd, and that’s just dandy. But seriously, give the electro-trick a whirl and see where it lands you.
Handing you over the the brilliant Bisc-gret for the second question.
Bisc-kat is wise in things that are technical and culinary, and I would 100% take her advice. One time she taught me how to make a casserole that included Doritos, and it ruled. In my life, I usually use a fork because whisks are a pain in the ass to clean and I often can’t even find mine when I want to make eggs. Forks are abundant. My usual technique is to throw in a little milk and whisk it all together, then add cheese at the point that the eggs are nearing their final textural form, and finish with a goodly amount of salt, pepper, and hot sauce. I respect deeply your inquisitiveness about technique and your impulse to experiment in the kitchen, and I say, go forth and try that cream cheese.
The question of “worth your time” is an interesting one, because, well, what does that mean? Scrambled eggs, unlike, say, a Spanische Windtorte, is a very forgiving dish. So forgiving that it can accommodate a number of technical flaws and ills, and also all kinds of variations. The holy ideal of scrambled eggs is elusive because of the dish’s capaciousness. Perhaps you prefer your eggs herbed and quite done, perhaps a little spicy and just barely set. It’s probably worth your time to try a variety of different techniques, because the best one for you, the one you might like above all the others, may not be the same one that Mark Bittman or Jacques Pepin or Julia Child or Chrissy Teigen prefers. It’s honestly pretty hard to do scrambled eggs wrong unless they are burned or intensely watery. That’s why they’re the preferred food for dorm rooms and large hungover crowds and small, nourishing, fast meals. Your pursuit of the perfect scrambled eggs is a worthy one, but it’s also important to remember that eggs don’t have to be perfect to be really, really good.