How to Order Scrambled Eggs When You Want Them Cooked

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I’m not a huge breakfast guy, so I must have missed a memo when it comes to the new way to order ‘properly’ cooked scrambled eggs.

How do you take your eggs? I know there are several ways to cook an egg. As a general rule, I prefer scrambled eggs without anything added; just a little salt and pepper works for me. I’ve never been much of an omelette guy.

My mom and I share a curious digestive trait. My dad likes to fry eggs with peppers and onions (and probably hot sauce). When I was a kid, I’d sometimes wake up to that smell and it’d turn my stomach. My mom is the same way. When I visit home and stay overnight, he now at least waits until everyone has been awake for a little while before he cooks up his preferred breakfast concoction.

For me, scrambled eggs should be simple. Cooking them is always simple. I mean, really, how hard it is to pull that off? I think the first thing I learned about cooking was how to scramble an egg. If a kid can do it, shouldn’t anyone be able to?

But something apparently changed when cooking scrambled eggs

The website BellyFull offers instructions on how to properly cook scrambled eggs. But I find one curious passage in their recipe:

Eggs continue cooking even out of the pan, on the plate. So remove them from the heat when they look a little wetter than you’d like. The eggs are done when the curds are pillow-y and set, they’re no longer liquid-y, but they still shimmer with some moisture.

A good steak also cooks a bit after you remove them from the pan. When I’m pan-searing a ribeye, I’ll try to pull it out of the pan a little before I think it’s fully ready. So I understand what they’re trying to say here.

But there’s a difference between a ribeye steak and eggs: I love a medium-rare ribeye. I’m not remotely a fan of “medium rare” eggs.

I don’t want my eggs overcooked and dried out. But I don’t want them, as BellyFull puts it, “liquid-y,” either. There must be a fine line between the two. Lately, it seems most restaurants around here misplaced that fine line.

I just tried out a restaurant that recently opened near me yesterday morning. Aside from taking about 45 minutes to get their basic breakfast, their eggs were definitely on the “liquid-y” side.

I don’t know why, but that turns my stomach just like waking up to the smell of frying peppers and onions does. I like eggs “pillowy” rather than browned. But if they’re “runny,” that’s a big no for me.

But more and more often, I’ve learned that more often than not, restaurants are going for the “runny” look. Seriously, did something change about this basic breakfast staple? Did the culinary gurus of the world suddenly rule that “runny” is right?

It sure seems that way.

I learned a term I hadn’t heard before

Not long ago, I visited a favorite stop for me when I’m actually in the mood for breakfast. Knowing their proclivity for preparing a good meal but slightly undercooked, gooey eggs, I adjusted my approach. When I ordered the breakfast and the waitress asked how I wanted my eggs, I added five words I hadn’t used before.

“Scrambled, but not runny at all,” I said.

She nodded and made note of it. Sure enough, the eggs came fluffy but not “liquid-y.” As I enjoyed them, I wondered why this additional notation became a necessary addition. It certainly didn’t used to be this way.

A second or third time after that additional bit of instruction, a different waitress nodded and made note of it. But when she repeated it, she said, “Eggs, scrambled hard.”

Scrambled hard.

I’d never heard that one before. But you can bet that ever since that day, anytime I’ve ordered breakfast that happened to include eggs, I ordered them “scrambled hard.”

Sure enough, every time, it worked. No “liquid-y” eggs. Not dry, not overdone, not brown. But not “liquid-y.”

Sometimes knowing just a little bit of jargon might just be a good thing!

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • So funny that this even needs to be said now. It reminds me of a restaurant where we got in the habit of requesting the fries “burned,” because otherwise they’d be raw in the middle.

    • It really does boggle the mind. I hate to think about safe temperatures these days! That’s why I will take a burger back for a refund from a place like McDonald’s when it’s pink in the middle. If I can’t trust them to prepare the order correctly, I certainly can’t trust that they’re monitoring internal temperatures!

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