How to Scramble Eggs in a Cast Iron Skillet (and not end up with a stuck on mess.)

This is post is for the girl like me. Newly married, I set out to be the perfect Suzy Homemaker, but just ended up with an egg covered heirloom and lots of frustration. My husband had 2 skillets passed down from his grandfather.  I wanted to use them well, but had no clue.  I read on the internet about seasoning, so I put on a fresh layer of seasoning.  After I seasoned the pan, I held it proudly and prepared to cook my hubby some eggs.  After all, it was non stick, right? I had just seasoned it.  Cook eggs I did, and I think half of them immediately glued to the bottom of the pan. After spending 30 frustrating minutes scrubbing the pan (with soap mind you,—a definite no no). I promptly stuffed it to the very back of my cabinet and retrieved my not so trusty teflon pan for daily use.

Years later, I am happy to say that I eventually tried again and now solely use cast iron pans.  In fact, I am constantly cleaning and restoring them so that others can feel the gratification and freedom from fragile teflons.  I wish I had known then that there is a bit of an art to cooking with cast iron. Its not hard at all once you learn some basic principles– all of which can be demonstrated in cooking eggs.  I hope to share some of what I’ve learned with you today.

  1. Its all about the preheat.  Putting cold oil and cold eggs into a cold pan will always result in a stuck on mess. I preheat on LOW for 3-4 minutes.  You may be tempted to crank it up to high to go faster.  I have done this. Just. don’t.  Not a good idea. Overheated pans means very over heated eggs.
  2. While its preheating, I crack and scramble my eggs.  Once I think its ready, I simply put my hand fairly close to the surface to feel how warm it is (I know it goes without saying, but don’t touch it. Cast iron=hot).  I have also heard that if the handle is hot, then the pan is ready, but I prefer to just feel the radiant heat.
  3. Put in a bit of oil (for my kids I use coconut oil) and let it heat up too. It only takes a bit.IMG_1055
  4. Add the eggs and LEAVE THEM ALONE.  Don’t sit there and fiddle with them.  Don’t keep scrambling them.  Just let the pan do its job. Cast iron is excellent at searing.  Basically, we are very lightly searing (not even to the point of brown) the bottom of the eggs. This will make the rest of the eggs not stick.IMG_1057
  5. Once the eggs are BARELY set on the bottom and you can see them start to set on the edges, turn off the heat and stir to your hearts content.  Remember how cast iron is excellent at holding heat?  It will have plenty heat there to finish your eggs.

    IMG_1058

    See how the edges are rounded?  Not brown, just barely set.  Ready. Set. Stir those eggs!

  6.  They should be done pretty quickly at this point and ready for the plate.IMG_1060
  7. Now, proudly pat yourself on the back as you look at your nice, nearly egg free pan. Yay! Now, if I could just figure out how to get that glass top truly clean…IMG_1045

Now, if your skillet is not egg free. Don’t fret!  Check out my blog post about how to clean it up fairly quickly and somewhat painlessly.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Feel free to ask me questions.  I will do my best to help.

*The pan featured in this blog post is a Red Mountain Series Birmingham Stove and Range number 5.  It was made in between the 1930s-1950s. It is my favorite egg pan for making eggs for my husband and myself in the morning.  It also, in my opinion, is the ideal omelet skillet. You can find more of my vintage pans (probably evene a few just like this one) that are looking for good homes at yesteryearfortoday.etsy.com.

 

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