Omelet Tips from Alton Brown

How to Make a Proper Omelet.

  • Cheap, aluminum pan, no distinct line between side and bottom.
  • Warm eggs in warm water for five minutes to help them cook faster.
  • Crack on a flat surface.
  • Fork, instead of whisk.
  • Bubbles are bad. They insulate the egg.
  • No water, bit of fine salt.
  • Heat pan till butter “foams briskly”, smells nutty. Brush it around with basting brush.
  • Dump eggs in, swirl spatula around for about 5 secs, swirl loose eggs out of curdled eggs, slide spatula under edges, step away for ten seconds, jiggle the omelet to unstick, flick the omelet to the edge of the pan, flip 1/3 over, change grip, plate the omelet, flipping it over into a tri-fold form on the plate.

Et, voila!

Edit (March 20th, 2008, 2:24PM): So, I tried making an omelet this way today. It wasn’t very effective, but I did like the egg-warming technique to reduce cooking time. I *had* a cheap, aluminum pan with sloping sides, but it was rather small. I used butter to grease it up, but I think my heat was a bit too low because I swirled my spatula in it for about 30 seconds and it still didn’t curdle up like it should have. I don’t know if there was too much butter or the pan just decided to be sticky or if my level of heat affected this, but…It stuck a teeny little bit in the middle when I tried to do the little…flip to the edge for the tri-fold thing. And I had a hard time getting it out of the pan. It worked out all right, but it really didn’t look much different…It tasted different and it was less overcooked. Could’ve done with less cheddar, though. I’m not a big fan of cheddar. Next time, I’ll probably spray the pan and then consider adding butter too. Oh, I did like using a basting brush to get the butter all over the pan, too. I think I’ll try this again. I may just need practice at it.

Edit (March 21st, 2008, 3:48PM): Gave it another shot today. Even less successful than yesterday’s, but way tastier without the cheddar cheese. Still had an issue with the egg getting stuck to the pan in the center even though I used cooking spray too. I think I may be swirling the cooking spray and the butter up into the egg mixture, leaving the pan beneath uncoated…Either that or I’m not scraping enough and it’s getting too cooked on there in the center. I’m not sure which! I will prevail! Here’s a picture of today’s failed attempt. Maybe I should try it without fillings? Or less egg, since the pan is small…Next time I’ll try it with just two eggs. The tri-fold format is really giving me a hard time, too. Maybe I can find a clip of Alton’s technique so I can watch how you’re supposed to fold it onto the plate.

Here’s what my old omelets used to look like.

And here’s failed attempt #2. Note the hole in the middle from getting stuck to the pan.

P.S. Endive, chicory, yucca, escarole, edamame, and radicchio?


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