There is nothing like waking up to fresh-brewed coffee, bacon sizzling in a pan, and some scrambled eggs to complete the perfect breakfast. However, there is nothing worse than plating the eggs to find they are watery. While there are several reasons scrambled eggs become watery, one of the main culprits, according to the American Egg Board, is that they are cooked at too high a temperature.
According to the American Egg Board, “Weeping” is when water separates from the eggs while cooking. This can occur for a couple of reasons. Either the eggs are cooked at too high a temperature too quickly or the scrambled eggs become completely overcooked. To avoid weeping, eggs should be prepared in batches smaller than 3 quarts and you should use egg products with stabilizers, such as xanthan or guar gum. To avoid overcooking, remove the scrambled eggs from the pan when they are firm and can hold their own shape.
Some people like to mix vegetables into their scrambled eggs such as mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini. Because such vegetables are watery, they need to be handled properly so additional water does not seep out when cooked. Wash, pat dry and chop your vegetables to your desired size. Then, saute them for several minutes in a pan with a small amount of cooking oil or butter before adding the eggs. The eggs should be added when the butter begins to bubble or a drop of water in the heated oil dances gently.
Milk or Water
When making scrambled eggs, the recipe can call for you to add milk or water to the mixture before whisking. Adding liquid helps give eggs a softer texture when they are done. However, you must remember that since you are adding a liquid to the egg mixture, you shouldn’t add too much. This can make the eggs watery as well. A good rule of thumb is to only add 1 to 2 tbsp. of milk or water for every egg you are scrambling. Adding more will prolong the cooking time it takes to firm up the eggs. If this occurs, you end up with a soggy mess of overcooked eggs.
When cooking scrambled eggs, keep the pan over low to medium heat. Those who like “wet” eggs, should cook more toward a low temperature. Those who like “dry” eggs should cook more toward a “medium” temperature. The eggs set nicely as you stir them gently to a scramble. Also, when the eggs are firm to the touch of the spatula, remove them from the direct heat source so they do not continue cooking. Even if you turn the burner off, it still may remain hot. Therefore, move the pan to another burner that was not in use, to a trivet, or to a heat-safe surface.
References and ResourcesAmerican Egg Board: FAQ's
What's Cooking America: How to Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs
"On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen"; Harold McGee; 2004
"The Joy of Cooking"; Irma von Starkloff Rombauer, et al.; 1997
"The Inquirer"; Perfecting the Scrambled Egg: There's Much More to Making the Fluffy Creation Than Simply Tossing it in the Pan and Frying; Andrew Schoss; January 1996