Emergency Meals: 30-Second Scrambled Eggs

Emergency Meals: 30-Second Scrambled Eggs (October 19, 2017)

If you are the person who chronically oversleeps and skips breakfast, this post is for you.

If you are the person who can’t deal with yogurt or oatmeal or fruit within thirty minutes of waking up, this post is also for you.

If you are going paleo, gluten-free, or just trying to kickstart your metabolism first thing, this post is for you, too.

If you are spending $3 per day at Sonic/McDonald’s/Starbucks/Whataburger/Chick-fil-A because you don’t have time to make breakfast, this post is definitely for you.

But if you are the person who is about to compete on a reality cooking show, this post is not for you. I’m about to tell you to deliberately burn butter, and this recipe definitely doesn’t follow Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled egg protocol. But these eggs will taste delicious, and we eat them this way about five times per week, so you be the judge. Read each step through before acting on it, because once things get going in this recipe, they go fast.

You Will Need:
  • Eggs (I cook three eggs per person)
  • Salt (unless using salted butter)
  • Butter (grass-fed unsalted if possible)
  • [Optional] Cheese (we usually use whatever variety of shredded cheese is on sale, but my personal favorite is smoked gouda)
  • [Optional] One flour tortilla if you like breakfast burritos
  • One small frying pan (must be nonstick) and the hottest burner on your stove*
  • One small bowl
  • Cheese grater and extra bowl if not using pre-shredded cheese
  • Butter knife
  • Nonstick spatula
  • Small plate(s) (or glass food storage container with a lid, if you’re planning to eat the eggs on the run)

* I’ve listed the necessary kitchen equipment in the main list this time, because if you don’t have ALL these things sitting out when you start the eggs, you’re possibly screwed.


1. Set the frying pan to medium-high heat WITHOUT ADDING BUTTER and leave it alone for a long time. Use this time to do anything at all–brush your teeth, fix your hair, hunt for socks, take a shower. It does not matter how long the pan sits on the heat as long as it’s hot when you come back. This step is the most important, because it’s the step that allows you to cook the eggs in thirty seconds.

2. Crack all eggs into the bowl. You do not need to beat the eggs, and it does not matter if you break the yolks during cracking.

3. Sprinkle the eggs with salt.

4. Check to make sure you have everything else prepped: the cheese needs to be already shredded and/or the bag needs to be already open so you can reach in and grab a handful. The plate and spatula need to be standing by. If you want to serve your eggs wrapped up in a tortilla, the tortilla needs to be out and on the plate. Your setup should look similar to the one above, and you should have already read step 5.

5. Add a sizeable pat of butter to the pan, lift the pan off the burner to spread the butter all around, and immediately add the eggs. You are going to burn the butter, which will smoke and sputter. But by adding the eggs right away, you will ensure that you get flavorful eggs instead of a call from the fire department. You can put the pan back on the burner once the eggs are in.

Note: these pictures show the pan still resting on the burner, not held in midair. This is because I needed one hand to hold the camera.

6. Scramble the eggs in the pan using the spatula. Do this as soon as the pan is back on the burner. Mix them all around and keep mixing until they look 80% cooked (they should still be glistening somewhat; see large picture directly above). This process will literally take 20-30 seconds, depending on how many eggs you’re cooking.

7. Toss a handful of cheese on the eggs and keep scrambling until the cheese has melted. Lift the pan off the heat as soon as the cheese is mixed in.

8. Scrape the eggs directly onto the plate (or into a glass container the a lid). Do not let them sit in the pan; further contact with heat will cause them to go rubbery. Eat right away or cover with a lid to keep them warm. Few things are worse than cold eggs.


Additional Notes: Avoiding dairy? Omit the cheese and try this recipe with coconut oil instead.


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