How to Make a Perfect Omelet
Here's a handy guide to whipping up a French omelet, an American omelet and egg white omelet with ease.
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By Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen.
Amanda is a recipe developer at Food Network.
Whether you prefer your omelet rolled or folded in half, a scratch-made omelet is easier than it seems. With a couple everyday pieces of equipment and few simple techniques, you too can make an omelet like a pro. Here’s your go-to guide for how to make the perfect omelet every time.
What's the Difference Between French Omelettes and American Omelets?
French omelettes are made quite differently than American omelets. Therefore, the two look and taste quite different. French omelettes are stirred the entire time you cook them, making for a very thin, delicate omelette with no browning whatsoever. Minimal filling is added, and then egg is folded over itself into thirds so it looks like a long, thin rectangle.
American omelets aren’t stirred as much. They’re typically thicker, fluffier, browned on the bottom and folded in half. The focus is very much on the filling, and lots of it is added. This is the type of omelet you will get at most American diners.
Tools You Need to Make an Omelet
Whether you’re making a classic French or American style omelet, there are a couple pieces of equipment that you will need to set you up for success.
- A balloon whisk and large bowl for whisking together the eggs
- A small 8-inch nonstick skillet for cooking the omelet. The nonstick coating will prevent the egg from sticking and let you easily slide the omelet from the skillet to your plate without any mishaps.
- You will also need a heat-proof rubber spatula for both stirring and rolling your omelet.
How to Make a French Omelet
The French omelet (or omelette) is known for its custardy interior and perfectly set, pale exterior. These omelets are also rolled into a cylindrical shape, and typically served with a pinch of salt, pepper and sprinkle of fresh herbs. With a little practice, you too can master the technique of French omelets at home. Important note: Only make one omelet at a time! If you add more eggs and try to cook in a larger skillet, the omelet will cook unevenly and not roll properly.
1. Whisk 2 large eggs, 2 tablespoons milk and a pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl until very well combined.
2. Meanwhile, preheat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet warm, add 1 tablespoon of butter, then swirl the pan to distribute the butter as it melts. Once the butter stops sizzling and the foam subsides, add the eggs. Pause to the let the eggs heat slightly. Stir vigorously with a heat-proof rubber spatula, making sure to include the sides of the egg mixture so it cooks evenly.
3. Once the omelet is almost set but still custardy, hold the skillet at a 45-degree angle to the stove and carefully fold the omelet like a business letter. The underside should not have any browning on it. Transfer to a warm plate serve with a pinch of salt and freshly chopped fine herbs, such as parsley, chives, chervil and/or tarragon.
How to Make an American Omelet
American-style omelets (like a Western omelet) vary in technique because there’s no swirling or pan-shaking. The eggs are cooked until golden brown and well set, filled with sauteed veggies, cheeses and seasonings and then folded in half like a book rather than rolled. Have all your toppings ready before you start cooking the eggs — it comes together fast!
1. Whisk 2 large eggs, a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl until very well combined.
2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the eggs and stir for a couple seconds with a heatproof rubber spatula. Allow the eggs to set 1 minute.
3. Sprinkle half of the egg pancake with your favorite toppings (some classic toppings include diced ham, spinach, sautéed bell peppers and shredded cheese). Use restraint when adding fillings for the most successful omelet; overstuffed omelets will burst when you fold them. Once the egg is cooked through and the bottom is lightly golden brown, carefully fold the omelet in half like a book. Slide the omelet onto a plate and serve warm.
How to Make an Egg White Omelet
Egg white omelets are a high-protein, low-fat breakfast option. The technique is slightly different than cooking a whole egg omelet because egg whites set differently than whole eggs and become tough and rubbery when cooked incorrectly.
- Whisk 5 large egg whites until foamy and double in volume; whisk in a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Pour the whites into the skillet and swirl to cover entire skillet. Cook, without stirring, until the whites are almost set and light brown on the bottom.
- Broil the omelet until it sets and begins to brown, about 30 seconds.
- Spoon your desired omelet filling over half the egg whites, fold the omelet in half like a book and slide it onto a plate.