With our favourite cafes still closed, the breakfast du jour is the one we're whipping up at home. Which makes it the perfect time to discuss the absolute best way to make one of the most revered morning munchies: scrambled eggs.
Making the ultimate scram is a true skill. Methods are varied, with the ultimate technique for the creamiest, pillowiest eggs hotly debated. Not to mention the essential additions: milk or cream, parsley or dill? Is it OK go rogue and throw a bunch of cheese in there? Or ditch the eggs altogether in favour of a vegan version? Our CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair settles the score with her tried-and-tested method for making the best scrambled eggs, plus we've asked the keenest cooks on CHOICE's staff to dish up their scram secrets, too.
"Scrambled eggs are my absolute favourite," says Fiona. "My preference is to keep it simple, and I just add 1 tablespoon of cream to the mixture. Taking the eggs out of the pan before they overcook is also key."
"Using a non-stick frying pan is perfect for making scrambled eggs, as you'll have more control over the mixture than you would if using a stainless steel frying pan. Just use a low heat and gently scrape the egg around the pan. There's no need to constantly stir the eggs, as this can curdle them," says Fiona.
The ultimate scrambled eggs recipe
1 tablespoon butter
2 fresh free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a non-stick fry pan over a low to medium heat. Combine eggs, cream and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and mix well. Pour egg mixture into the fry pan and allow to cook gently for 1 minute. Using a spatula, gently scrape the egg around the pan for about 1 minute until the egg mixture is cooked but still wet. Remove from the pan immediately and serve.
CHOICE staff share their scrambled egg secrets
We received some cracking tips on how to cook the best scrambled eggs from CHOICE staff, including from fans of the 'brinner' trend (because breakfast for dinner is one of our favourite things) and those who suggested genius accompaniments such as roasted pumpkin and feta, or smoked salmon and a cheeky Buck's Fizz (orange juice and sparkling wine). We heard opinions on the controversial method of adding a splash of water (or, gasp, orange juice!) to your scram, and which herb beats them all.
CHOICE staffer Emily says: "I'm a big fan of scrambled eggs. They're such a simple tasty meal it seems criminal to limit them to just breakfast. I make sure they're soft and creamy by cooking them low and slow with lots of love – I use a small fry pan on a low temperature and keep the eggs moving with a silicone spatula. You don't want them to cook too quickly or you'll lose that delicious creaminess.
Using the chopsticks, stir the egg in a figure-eight motion until the egg comes together like ribbons
"You also want to get them out of the pan just as soon as they're looking close to done because they'll continue cooking (even if the pan is off the heat)," she says.
Another staff member Emily W shares her secret egg technique: using chopsticks. "Place a knob of butter in the pan over low heat till bubbling. In a separate bowl, crack in an egg and use chopsticks to mix, gently incorporating yolk and white but leaving a little visible eggwhite. Add to the pan and, using the chopsticks, stir the egg in a figure-eight motion until the egg comes together like ribbons. Take off the heat while it's still a little runny, residual heat will cook the egg some more. Add a grind of salt and pepper to serve."
Which herb makes for the perfect scram?
What's the best herb and spices to add to scrambled eggs?
While many maintain that your eggs need nothing more than a squeeze of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of salt, you'll find many who favour throwing in a herb, spice or two. Perhaps even a smattering of chilli flakes or a sprinkling of onion powder.
You don't want to overpower your creamy, buttery eggs too much
A vote for chives comes from CHOICE staffer Ian and one for tarragon from Chris, while chopped parsley is the standout favourite (and the herb you're most likely to have in the crisper drawer or sprouting in the garden). You also can't go wrong with basil, sage, mint or coriander to pep up your eggs.
Does cheese belong in scrambled eggs?
Many are a fan of adding a little sharp and salty punch to your eggs with sprinklings of parmesan or pecorino while cooking. Or a sprinkling of feta or fresh goat's cheese when you plate up your eggs for serving. You can add whatever you have on hand, but just be mindful that you don't want to overpower your creamy, buttery eggs too much – if you're adding a salty cheese such as parmesan or feta, it may mean you don't need any extra seasoning.
Adding water, milk, soy sauce or orange juice to scrambled eggs
Turns out we're mostly purists here at CHOICE, with most people maintaining that your scram should be made up of eggs and butter only. The exception is Fiona's dash of cream and CHOICE staff member Anh who says: "I like to add a small dash of water instead of milk or cream. It's a much lighter taste but helps soften the texture."
Try adding Asian flavours such as soy sauce to your eggs
Emily says: "I've heard people talk a big game about adding a splash of orange juice to scrambled eggs but I'm yet to give it a crack," but CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona is not convinced. "Orange juice is more likely to curdle your scrambled eggs best to avoid this and have yourself a glass of OJ instead," she says.
But, she says, feel free to experiment with flavours like soy sauce or tamari: "You can definitely try adding Asian flavours such as soy sauce to your eggs, which will turn it into a lunch or dinner," she says. "Just add some finely chopped spring onions and some chilli sauce or sriracha if you like and serve with steamed rice."
How to make vegan scrambled eggs
If you're looking for egg-free options, CHOICE staff member Soraya does a vegan version of scrambled eggs made with soft tofu, which she vouches for as being super quick and delicious.
"Just heat a non-stick fry pan and add some oil or dairy-free spread. Add the tofu and break it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces so they gain a 'scrambled' texture. Add a pinch of turmeric and mix through until yellow. Add fresh herbs as desired, such as oregano, parsley, thyme and/or mint and season with cracked black pepper. Serve with toast."
Using CluckAR: how to find the best free-range eggs
The best-quality scram comes with using the best-quality eggs you can afford. If free range is important to you, check out CHOICE's recently updated CluckAR smartphone app. It's free and you can use it to scan cartons of eggs when you're shopping in the supermarket to find out the stock density of the free-range eggs you are buying.
The CSIRO recommends a maximum density of 1500 chickens per hectare
Some producers which label their eggs as 'free-range' can have stock densities of up to 10,000 hens per hectare, which is far higher than the maximum density of 1500 chickens per hectare recommended by the CSIRO. The app uses information from our unbiased, up-to-date research, so you can be sure you're getting independent advice on which eggs are worth shelling out for.