The Extra Step You Shouldn't Skip When Scrambling Eggs In Butter

There's one dish most food lovers can agree signals the start of a good day: scrambled eggs. It's extremely customizable, lending itself to a variety of cheeses, spicy toppings, and hearty sides. And the best part about the breakfast dish is the ease with which it comes together, whether it's enjoyed on a slow, lackadaisical morning, or eaten as fuel before the rush of a busy workday.

To make seriously delicious scrambled eggs, it's best to use butter as a base of decadent fat that imparts flavor and also prevents the eggs from sticking to the pan. But when using butter, there's a step you can't afford to skip: browning it until it reaches a golden state. Yes, brown butter — you may have seen it used to add an extra caramelized warmth in baking recipes like homemade brown butter tahini cookies or brown butter banana bread.

Basically, if you add the simmered, toasty butter to just about anything, it imbues it with a depth of flavor, and eggs are no exception. Using brown butter as a bath in which to cook lusciously delicate scrambled eggs takes a few extra minutes of time standing in front of the pan (plus some additional stirring). But if you try it, you'll find this small extra step is well worth the added flavor and richness, giving your scrambled eggs a subtly nutty undertone and an extra savory hint of toasted goodness.

Timing is key when browning the butter

While it seems that everyone has a different tried-and-true way of making scrambled eggs, there's an important factor to consider when cooking them in brown butter: timing is everything. Put simply, you want to brown the butter, not burn it, so you'll need to pay close attention. To make brown butter, cook a few tablespoons of butter in your pan of choice over medium-low heat for four to five minutes.

Before you melt the butter, crack four to six eggs (to make two servings) into a bowl and whisk them with milk, cream, or any desired seasonings like salt and pepper. Keep the bowl of whisked eggs easily accessible, then add cut pieces of butter to your hot pan and let it melt. Begin stirring the melted fat with a wooden spoon or spatula constantly as it further heats and some moisture starts to evaporate. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to bubble. Rest assured, this is normal; continue to stir.

After a minute or two, the bubbles will calm, and you'll see little specs of browned milk protein solids. This is exactly what you want. Stir and scrape them from the sides and bottom of the pan so they don't burn. As the butter starts to turn uniformly light golden brown, speckled with the toasted bits, add in your whisked eggs and get ready to scramble.

How to scramble silky eggs

To scramble your eggs in the pan of brown butter, choose your preferred scrambling method, either letting them set for about a minute first or going right in and scrambling the mix around from the onset. The generous amount of brown butter should help prevent the eggs from sticking, but you'll still need to swirl and shift the mixture swiftly with your spatula as it cooks. Cook the eggs until they congeal enough to hold their shape but are still soft and fluffy. Then, remove your pan from the heat immediately, keeping in mind that the eggs will continue to cook for another 30 seconds or so in the pan.

Top your eggs with herbs like scallions, dill, or parsley. Or, for a full-stop flavorful accent, top them with salty smoked salmon. Serve your scrambled eggs over a crusty slice of bread or atop a toasted everything bagel to accentuate the depth of savory notes and nutty undertones from the browned butter. The result: an elevated breakfast or brunch that will seriously impress, just by waiting a few extra minutes for the butter's flavor to deepen and develop.