In a provocative article entitled “Why the French Can’t Scramble Eggs!”, Christopher Kimballs Milk Street cites the science that olive oil makes puffier scrambled eggs.
To make a long story short (page 3 in the Fall, 2016 magazine), Milk Street’s talented chefs and scientists have determined that olive “oil gets hotter faster than butter because butter is 20% water.”
Milk Street cooks argue that eggs cooked in olive oil reach the “scramble” temperature (around 160º) faster than butter which produces more steam “and the protein network traps that steam . . . to produce quicker, bigger puffs and more impressive scrambled eggs.”
The article goes on to suggest that one should use 1 tablespoon of olive oil for two eggs in an 8 or 9 inch skillet. Allow the oil to warm slowly over medium heat until it just begins to smoke (very important). Pour the lightly beaten eggs into the center of the skillet which pushes the oil to the perimeter and cooks the edges of the eggs first.
Stir immediately and begin to fold. It should take 30 seconds or so for a soft scramble. Allow the scrambled eggs to rest on a warm plate for another 30 seconds before serving. The eggs finish cooking off the heat.
Now, I am quite sure the French will disagree with the assertion that olive oil is better than butter for making scrambled eggs, but I am happy with the science and strongly endorse using extra virgin olive oil – rather than butter – for healthy cooking.
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