How Middle Child Makes Its Scrambled Eggs So Damn Fluffy
Almost immediately, Middle Child's scrambled eggs became Philly Instagram fodder. Here's how they turn eggs into clouds.
The “right” way to scramble your eggs is with a fork and not a whisk, say the French.
I asked Philly’s Frenchiest chef, Nick Elmi (he’s not really French, but his résumé sure is), for a technical explanation as to why that is, and he told me this: “When you’re making an omelette, you want a smooth exterior. If you whip the eggs and incorporate air, there are little tiny bubbles and holes in the surface of the omelette.” The French hate omelettes with bubbles and holes.
Scrambled eggs, though, are a different story. There’s no perfect scrambled eggs archetype, because perfect scrambled eggs are a bit more subjective. You like what you like: custardy, fluffy, creamy, small-curd, large-curd, etc.
At Middle Child, Matt Cahn and his crew like their scrambled eggs fluffy as hell — and for that, you need air, baby. You need all the bubbles you can get.
Now, you’ve surely seen the Middle Child breakfast sandwich on your Instagram feed, no? The cross-section shot has become the stuff of legend in this town. When I told him I was thinking about writing about it, he said, “It’ll be the world’s shortest article.”
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The Middle Child kitchen goes through about 45 dozen eggs a day — all of them cooked to order on just two induction burners. You need speed to do those numbers. Whisking them to order ain’t it, and you’ll never get that Middle Child fluff with your slow-ass human hands. For that, you’ll need to pre-crack your eggs, pool ’em in small batches, and use a machine to emulsify them.
Yep, that’s the secret to their fluff: a hand blender. Well, that, and a real knack for cooking eggs on a skillet (“Ideally, when you pour the eggs into the pan they’re still foamy.”). Middle Child has both. It’s a trick he says he learned back when he worked at Court Street Grocers in New York City: “Honestly, I think those guys prefer it cracked right into the pan and scrambled more at-home-style, but the hand blender thing kinda just came out of necessity.” It’s by no means novel, but it’s a good trick to know if you didn’t already.
So, next time you make scrambled eggs, and you want them to stand up high, soft as clouds, bust out your immersion blender. Or your NutriBullet, or whatever. Make sure they’re foamy in the pan, and don’t overcook them.
Or, you can just have them do all that for you for $6.50.