What Makes a Good Omelet?

If eggs are a staple breakfast food for you, chances are you’ve whipped up your fair share of omelets. And if you’re a fan of eating out for breakfast or brunch, you’ve probably had more than a few chef-prepared omelets plated for you. You’ve likely also learned that not all omelets are created equal.

Whether you prefer your eggs at home or from a restaurant, a perfectly prepared, super-satisfying omelet relies on two crucial things: quality ingredients and cooking skill. Both are necessary to achieve a palate-pleasing omelet and duplicate it time after time.

But when it comes to ingredients and preparatory skill, what exactly makes an excellent omelet? Read on to find out!

Cooking Fat: Butter Is Nonnegotiable

Whether you want to whip one up at home or order from a restaurant, a deliciously cooked omelet needs butter. No other cooking fat will do.

But why? First, butter lends an unrivaled, rich flavor to any egg dish. Try cooking an omelet with any other fat—after a single bite, you’ll understand why rich, creamy butter is better.

Second, butter helps prevent eggs from getting rubbery while they cook. That’s because egg whites contain lots of protein, and as they cook, those proteins form dense, cross-linked bonds that can end up making the final product chewy and dense. That’s not the texture of a perfectly prepared omelet. Fluffy and soft is what you’re going for.

When eggs are cooked in a butter-coated pan, the butter serves to not only enhance their flavor but also coat the egg white proteins with fat. That fat prevents the proteins from forming those dense, linked bonds, so the eggs turn out soft, fluffy, and creamy.

Cooking omelets with butter just makes them better.

Quality Eggs: The Fresher, the Better

As an egg ages, both its white and yolk lose firmness. So when old eggs get tossed into a pan for an omelet, they don’t hold together as well as their fresher counterparts. That change in consistency can yield a less-than-desirable texture in the final product.

The fresher the eggs, the better they’ll hold their shape (and that amazing fluffy omelet texture) when you toss them on a griddle. Older eggs are suitable for boiling but definitely not for making the perfect omelet.

The Right Add-Ins for Flavor: Cheese, Meat, Veggies, Seasonings

If you’re a fan of omelets that can hold you over for hours, adding the right ingredients is key. Of course, if you love a simple omelet, go with what you love. However, if you’re looking for truly mind-blowing flavor, you can toss in whatever you like best.

Whether you’re cooking at home or ordering from a restaurant, here are a few things you might want to consider including in your omelet:

Diced leftover steak

  • Diced ham, chicken, or bacon
  • Any type of cheese you like
  • Spinach, bell peppers, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, or fresh herbs
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. (add just before cooking to prevent the salt from drawing water out of the eggs and making them dry)

The Right Cooking Temperature: Low and Slow

A perfectly prepared omelet is an omelet that was cooked at the right temperature. And that means medium heat, not high.

To achieve a perfectly cooked omelet exterior, preheat your pan low and slow. If you crank up the heat because you’re in a hurry, chances are you’ll miss the small window of time during which the pan is at the right temperature for adding the eggs.

If you pour eggs into a super-hot pan, not only will they get rubbery, but they might also burn or stick. If you pour eggs into a pan that isn’t quite hot enough, they won’t start cooking immediately after hitting the pan. And if they don’t begin cooking immediately, the butter in the pan will end up on top of them rather than beneath them. Ultimately, the fat won’t be able to do its job.

Pour your eggs into the pan when you see the melted butter start to bubble just a bit. Then keep the temperature steady.

The Right Consistency: Use a Whisk to Whip the Eggs

Before the eggs go in the pan, the whites and yolks must be properly mixed and smooth, so they’ll cook evenly throughout. And using a whisk is the best way to get that smooth, uniform consistency.

The whisk will incorporate just a bit of air into the mix, which helps keep the eggs fluffy as they cook. Some people like to add a bit of milk, cream, or water for extra fluffiness, but it’s not totally necessary.

Love a Good Omelet? Come to Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in OKC!

When you’re craving a deliciously satisfying, perfectly cooked omelet for breakfast or brunch, stop by Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in Oklahoma City! We’ve been an OKC staple for decades, and while we’re nationally known for our steak, we serve up some excellent omelets too. We open at 6:00 a.m. every day, so check out our breakfast menu and pay us a morning visit!