Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Scrambling eggs in a cast iron skillet

Cast iron cookware has been an American icon of cookery for centuries. When given reasonable care, it will outlast the cook. And it's often passed on to the next generation.

Readily available at a modest cost, millions of cooks rely on its properties to cook good food, which include the ability to generate a good crust or sear, maintain even heat over a low to medium flame and clean up with little fuss. And it's easily placed in the oven to finish a dish as most cast iron cookware is ovenproof.

I frequently use a Lodge cast iron skillet to cook scrambled eggs at home and in camp. At home, my skillet of choice is a 10-inch cast iron chef skillet (model LC3S) with sloped sides. This is the ideal for two to six eggs.

When feeding larger groups, I scale up to the 13.25-inch skillet (model L12SK3), the larger 17-inch skillet with loop handles (model L17SK3) or the massive 20-inch skillet (model 20SK). (The 20-inch skillet is no longer produced by Lodge. It does show on from time to time; however, be aware it comes with a hefty price tag!)

I find the Lodge 13.25-inch skillet ideal for cooking one to three
dozen scrambled eggs in a single batch.


Cooking scrambled eggs in a cast iron skillet is straight-forward, so let practice guide you. Practice will teach the right heat setting when preheating, how much butter to use and the right setting for cooking the eggs. These basic steps will ensure perfectly scrambled eggs:
  • Select the right size skillet for the job. A six- to ten-inch diameter skillet is best for a family, while the larger skillets (see my notes above) work best for large groups. I find it's best to stick with a familiar skillet, one you frequently use. The advantage is that you know what heat setting to use as it preheats, when to turn the heat down and its capacity.
  • Preheat the dry cast iron skillet (without oil or butter). Medium-low to medium heat is best for scrambled eggs. Any higher than medium and you run the risk of scorching the eggs and creating a burned-on mess that's difficult to clean.
  • Crack two to three eggs per person into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then vigorously whisk to combine.
  • Add butter to the skillet and let it melt. The fat adds flavor to the eggs and helps ensure a non-stick surface (when pared with a properly seasoned skillet). Olive oil can be used in place of butter. Use one tablespoon butter or oil per serving.
  • Pour the eggs into the skillet. You should hear a slight sizzle. Any louder means that the skillet is too hot. Immediately turn the heat down a notch or two.
  • Using a spatula, slowly move the curd from the edge of the skillet toward the center. Continue until the egg is set, but still a bit runny. Take care not to overcook. I always remove scrambled eggs from the skillet when they reach the soft-set stage. The eggs will continue to cook for several minutes as they cool. If desired , top eggs with cheese. Serve immediately.

A typical breakfast at Star Valley Outfitters in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Western Wyoming. This meal included scrambled eggs with cheese, pork breakfast sausage and cottage fried potatoes.

No comments:

Post a Comment