Scrambled eggs are one of our favorite back-pocket breakfasts: the ingredients are always in the fridge, the kids love ’em, and they’re a great source of protein. But just because they’re easy to make doesn’t mean there’s no technique involved. In fact, there’s a significant difference between a soft, fluffy pile of eggs and a sad skillet of rubbery, over-cooked curds. If yours have been looking more like the latter, the reason is probably that you’re starting to scramble the eggs too soon and at too high of a heat.
Though it’s tempting to start scrambling the eggs as soon as they hit the pan, the key to perfect eggs is letting them cook until they’re beginning to set around the edges before moving them around. “Just when those curds start to set, you just gently move them, and you end up with these big, fluffy, cloud-like curds,” says Chef Curtis Stone, a cookbook author and television personality. There’s never a need for vigorous stirring; instead, push them softly to the center of the pan with a rubber spatula, tilt the pan back so the uncooked eggs run back, and repeat until they’re creamy and almost cooked through. “Take the eggs off before they’re fully cooked, because they continue to cook even once they’re on the plate,” Stone says. Keep the pan on a low heat throughout the entirety of the cooking process.
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Feeling indulgent? Whisk a good dose of cream into the eggs before adding them to the pan—a luxurious version Stone calls his “weekend” scrambled eggs. And once you’ve mastered the art of scrambling, try upgrading your eggs with these delicious toppings.
This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.