WFMW: Stick-free Eggs Without Teflon


Let me begin this post by saying that some of you may read this and say, “Duh! Everybody knows that!”

Um, no. Not everybody.

Thanks to the feminist movement and the rise in boxed dinners, fast food, and other monstrosities, many of us made it through childhood without learning even what was once considered the very basics of cooking. I’ll never forget the first time I made a soup that was supposed to contain squash. The recipe didn’t tell me directly to cook the squash, and it was only after cutting into it that I realized that I was making a mistake. A quick Google search told me what I had missed, and I shamefully hid the squash deep within our garbage can, serving the soup without mention of what it was supposed to contain. Somehow, we as women feel that we’re supposed to intuitively know how to cook. How are we supposed to know what we haven’t been taught??

Okay, enough with my rant! Back to eggs!

When Dan and I were first married, I got a sexy set of Teflon-free pans. But after months of laboriously scrubbing eggs off of my omelet pan, and then months more of refusing to make eggs, we finally bought some Teflon. When it started chipping a few months ago, I started looking for an alternative, and, a few weeks ago, I found the solution!

I now use that same omelet pan to cook scrambled eggs, and clean-up is as simple as it was with the Teflon pan.

The secret?

Start with a hot pan. I mean hot. Stick that thing on the burner with nothing in it, and heat it until it is hot enough to cook on. THEN, only then, add some butter. One or two tablespoons. It should melt quickly, then bubble, and it might even brown within a minute. Good. You did it right.

Now add your eggs and cook ’em. See? Isn’t that amazing? It’s like you’re using Teflon, but without the cancer-causing toxins!

Apparently, the problem lies with oil and water and their inability to mix, according to a website I found. When your pan is cold, microscopic particles of water sit on it or in the pores and tiny cracks in the metal. You put the oil or butter on, but it can’t perfectly coat the pan because of the water. When you heat it first, the metal expands, allowing the release of every last drop of quickly-evaporating water. NOW you add your oil or butter, and it can truly coat the pan and prevent sticking. At least, that’s what I was told.

But in reality, who cares WHY it works, as long as it works! Anything that lets me make food safely works for me!


12 Responses

  1. Great tip, I don’t use teflon either and did have a problem with my eggs. I wasn’t getting the pan hot before the butter.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. That’s interesting – I’ll have to try it out!

  3. You know what – add me to the list that didn’t know this – I have been cooking for ummmm way too many years. I do use teflon but would rather not.

    So I am going to give this a try – thank you so much for being brave enough to post something you thought everyone already knew 🙂

  4. Oh, smart idea! Another egg trick: remember that ‘done in the pan’ means ‘overdone on the plate.’ (I think this line came from Alton Brown.) Your scrambled eggs should look just a tiny bit ‘wet’ (but opaque–no clear whites) when you take the pan off the stove. They will finish cooking in a few seconds on your plate…and you’ll have the creamiest eggs ever.

  5. It also keeps the eggs from absorbing all the butter (or oil).

  6. this worked so well for me!

    i spent an hour on vacation scraping burnt eggs off with my fingernails…eeww! this was such a great simple tip, my fingernails thank you

  7. Thanks for the very good advice! But why be so harsh on the “feminist movement”? This was also the movement that got women thinking more about what goes into their bodies — like cancer-causing teflon.

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