The Cream Trick To Rescue Overcooked Eggs

For a dish that seems so simple, the only thing that can feel easy about making scrambled eggs is how easy it is to screw up cooking them. Using too much heat for too long is a common mistake that can quickly lead to overcooked eggs. According to Dan Churchill — founder of the Charley St restaurant in NYC and The Health Chef on TikTok — making the perfect scrambled eggs starts with low heat (via well + good). In a TikTok video, he explained that when your pan is too hot, your eggs will cook unevenly and dry out instead of being fluffy and buttery. Medium heat is the ideal temperature, Churchill says, since it gives you more control over how your eggs are cooked.

One trick to knowing whether or not your heat is too high for your eggs is to listen. If your eggs hiss when you pour them into the pan, it's a sign you're cooking with too much heat, per Southern Living.

Nick Korbee, the author of the Egg Shop Cookbook, adds that you should have a tablespoon of fat — whether that's butter, olive oil, ghee, or something else — to every two eggs you're scrambling (via Self). Churchill says he likes using olive oil on the bottom of the pan before he adds the eggs and adds a little more while he's cooking. While it may be easy to overcook scrambled eggs, there are (thankfully) some simple tricks you can try to save your dish.

Add this ingredient to save your dried-out scrambled eggs

A common tip for cooking the perfect scrambled eggs is to add cold milk or cream to your eggs while they're cooking. It's considered the traditional French way of cooking scrambled eggs, per the New York Times, and is a hack to help prevent your scrambled eggs from overcooking before they get to the table.

"The key is to cook the eggs to a gentle curd that retain enough moisture so they're soft and succulent," Christopher Koetke, executive chef at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, told Real Simple. To do this, Chef J. Kenji López-Alt first carmelizes butter in the pan and then adds some cold cream before the eggs, bringing the pan's temperature back down. The end result should be "creamy, non-greasy ribbons of egg with the nutty flavor of browned butter" (via New York Times).

According to Southern Living, adding some of that cream to your raw eggs after you've whipped them can help make your scrambled eggs fluffy. Other cultured dairy products, like sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, will also work as they resist separating when they're mixed with heat. Unfortunately, milk and non-dairy products don't have the same effect. The other way to avoid overcooking your eggs, López-Alt adds, is to cook them for a longer period of time at a lower heat. As tempting as it is to rush the cooking process, patience is necessary to make the perfect scrambled eggs.