How do I Keep Scrambled Eggs From Turning Green?

by Jill Corleone, RDN, LD

Green eggs are fun when you make them on purpose to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday but not so much when you're making scrambled eggs for a breakfast get-together with a large group of friends. There's nothing wrong with eating green eggs, even when you don't make them green on purpose, though. The discoloration is caused by a chemical reaction between the sulfur in the egg whites and the iron in the yolks when the eggs are cooked at too high a temperature, held at a high heat for too long and/or cooked in a cast-iron skillet. But a few simple cooking techniques may help prevent your next batch of scrambled eggs from turning green.

Tips

  • Keep your scrambled eggs from turning green by cooking them at medium-low heat in nonstick pan, not a cast-iron skillet, and serving right away. If you're making a large batch of eggs, keep the eggs warm in a chafing dish instead of on a hot plate.

Step 1

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork or whisk until the eggs are uniform in color. Do not over beat.

Step 2

Add butter to a medium-sized nonstick pan, and place it over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, turn the heat to low.

Step 3

While the butter is melting, add 1 tablespoon of milk per egg to your beaten eggs, and whisk vigorously until frothy. This process adds air to the eggs, which makes them fluffier. For easier mixing, use your electric mixer with the whisk attachment.

Step 4

Pour your egg mixture into the pan and let it sit for a minute or until the liquid egg on the bottom of your pan starts to set. Then, with a heat-resistant or flat wooden spatula, pull the eggs from the side of the pan into the center while tilting the pan so the egg that is still liquid makes contact with the cooking surface . Continue to pull and tilt until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is also a good point to add other ingredients such as cheese, veggies, meat or herbs and spices.

Step 5

Turn off the heat and flip the eggs over once, then transfer to a plate or chafing dish.

Cooking Tips to Prevent Green Eggs

If you're making a large batch of eggs, pour in about eight eggs worth of liquid at a time to allow for even cooking and to prevent green eggs. It also helps to use stainless steel or nonstick pans. The iron in a cast iron skillet can react with the sulfur in the egg yolk at high heat, increasing the likelihood of green eggs.

Warnings

  • Most scrambled egg recipes recommend you add the salt while beating or whisking the eggs, but this causes the protein in the egg to toughen. Adding the salt to taste after cooking prevents a tough, rubbery scrambled egg.

About the Author

Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.