Why Celebrity Chef Thomas Keller's Scrambled Eggs Are So Smooth

The proper way to make the perfect scrambled eggs is one of cooking's greatest debates. In the scramble to maximize the fluffiness and custardy smoothness of this simple breakfast dish, countless ideas have come to the fore. Scrambled egg hacks range from the reasonable, like turning down the heat on your burner or whisking in some dairy, to the possibly insane. Ever tried adding seltzer water or orange juice to your eggs? What about boiling your eggs or using the steam wand of an espresso machine? Cooking time is contentious too, taking anywhere from a couple of minutes to 20 or 30 on Chrissy Teigen's watch. What is one scrambled egg recipe's gospel is another's taboo. 

Some chefs, like Kenji López-Alt, argue for adding salt to the whisked eggs well before they hit the pan. Meanwhile, Gordon Ramsay's recipe warns against whisking or adding salt beforehand. That said, Michelin star chef Thomas Keller might have cracked the case on how to make the smoothest eggs. Here's a hint: there's no orange juice required. 

Instead, Chef Keller calls for extra care with the eggs, and a blender. It might sound paradoxical, but you should trust him, he's known to be something of an egg-whisperer. His quest to create the perfect hollandaise is said to have launched his career as one of the world's most respected chefs. This notoriously difficult, egg-laden sauce requires a fine attention to detail, which Keller carries to his scrambled egg approach in spades.

Thomas Keller's smooth approach

Thomas Keller's recipe (courtesy of MasterClass) starts off with the familiar, though not universally endorsed, process of cracking the eggs into a bowl, adding salt, and whisking. Then, he takes things a notch further, using a blender to mix the eggs even more thoroughly. To weed out impurities, he passes this mixture through a mesh strainer or chinois.


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♬ Amélie – Andrea Vanzo

His method for cooking the eggs involves (surprise!) butter, around 2 tablespoons of it. After adding this to a nonstick pan on low heat, the egg mixture is poured in. The low heat part is crucial here, as it makes sure the eggs do not overcook and reach the smooth, fluffy texture. Next, the eggs are lightly scrambled using a rubber spatula as they start to form curds. It is key that the eggs be taken off the heat before they are completely done. This makes sure they don't overcook in the still-hot pan.

Crème fraîche is stirred in right before the eggs are plated as a sort of insurance policy, adding extra richness and slowing down the residual heat of these perfectly-cooked scrambled eggs. While the recipe is a strict formula for success, how you enjoy the eggs is up to you — but since we're already taking his advice, Keller prefers sea salt and Italian parsley.