Saturday, February 25, 2012

A LIfter's Guide to Delicious Scrambled Eggs

By Andrew McGunagle

I know, I know. Every blogger in the strength and conditioning realm claims to make the best scrambled eggs. There are already a zillion blog posts about scrambled eggs, but, to be honest, finals week is bearing down on me and I am a little short on time right now. Despite the cliche nature of this post, you will:
  1. Learn how to make some stellar scrambled eggs, and
  2. Get a couple of my thoughts on nutrition.
I am in no way, shape, or form a nutrition expert. However, in my ongoing quest to become a strength and conditioning expert (which I also don't claim to currently be), I have read through more nutrition information than the average person. I know how to eat "healthy", and I have come to understand the more practical aspects of eating to support heavy lifting that the muscle mags neglect to mention. I have also had to unlearn a lot of the things that bodybuilding nutrition articles led me to believe, and I hope that I can help some younger lifters learn from my mistakes. 

Bacon and sausage optional, but recommended (especially for younger lifters)
10 Steps for Delicious Scrambled Eggs

1. Put your pan on the stove and turn the burner on to medium-low heat. The burners on my stove go from 1 to 10, and I am always in the 3.75 to 4 range. Do not cook on heat higher than medium-low, as your eggs will cook too quickly and you will have to stir too much to prevent them from browning.

2. Next, crack your eggs into a separate bowl. Try not to make the rookie mistakes of using a bowl that is too small or allowing small pieces of shell to get mixed in with your eggs (duh).

3. Whip the eggs up until they are a light yellow color. Do not only stir a couple of times to break the yolks; whip those eggs up for a solid 30+ seconds so they are a light yellow color.

4. After getting the eggs all whipped up, add a little bit of cold water to your eggs. I once read that adding water makes for fluffier eggs that are not excessively moist. Adding milk, on the other hand, makes for fluffy and moister eggs. I prefer my eggs to be less moist, so I always go with the water. I don't add much, just a quick spritz from the sink. After adding the water, I make sure to give the eggs a couple more quick spins in order for the eggs and the water to mix.

5. By now your pan should be ready to go, so it is time to add butter to the pan. I usually cut a fairly thin slice of butter, as it doesn't seem to take much to work its magic. If, when you put the butter in the pan, your butter melts quickly and browns, your pan is too hot. Cooking eggs with a pan that is too hot is a sure-fire way to make terrible scrambled eggs. Should your pan be too hot, dump the burned butter, turn down the heat slightly, and give the pan a couple minutes to cool off before you try again. Trying to rush the process is not worth it. Trust me, do it right.

6. Okay, your butter didn't burn and you are now ready to add the eggs. Pour the eggs into the pan.  Nice work.

7. Here is one of the most important points: do not stir the eggs too much! Do not constantly stir the eggs; instead, let them sit and only scrape the cooked egg from the edges of the pan to the center of the pan. Do this every 30 seconds or so when you first add the eggs, and then more frequently as the eggs progressively become more cooked. As the eggs begin to solidify, keep scraping to the middle and then tilt the pan so that the uncooked liquid egg runs to the perimeter of the pan.

8. You scraped the cooked egg on the edges to the middle and now you are left with a mass of cooked egg in the center of your pan. Because I like my eggs to be a little drier, I flip my mass of eggs over to cook the top of it. But, if you are a fan of moist eggs, you can probably skip that part.

9. This last part is optional, but recommended. Top your eggs with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a dash or two of salt, and a couple shakes of pepper. You can really add anything else you like, but those three things are easy and make your excellently cooked eggs even more delicious.

10. Eat.
Like this crocodile, you will be salivating
Now, a couple of thoughts. First off, I wouldn't be surprised if some readers are offended by the suggestions of adding butter, salt, and cheese. When I was younger and more impressionable, the muscle magazines tricked me into thinking that I had to avoid these things if I wanted to get huge/jacked/ripped/yoked. So, as a 6 foot, 155 pound kid (skinny, really skinny), I would go out of my way to not have extra butter or salt, cheese, pastas, breads, potatoes, and a number of other foods. Because of this stupidity, I completely squashed any chance I had at getting bigger and stronger in high school. I distinctly remember adamantly refusing a chocolate chip cookie after a JV basketball game while I watched one of my teammates, who, as a sophomore, was the starting middle linebacker on our varsity football team (and, at this time, could bench 225 for about 15 reps), consume a couple of cookies. At the time, I just didn't get it. I was eating "clean" and lifting consistently, but I was not getting results. Meanwhile, this guy seemed to be much less stringent with his eating, and he was an absolute beast. Sure, genetics play a role; but that is not the point. The point is, if you are a young, skinny, weak kid, JUST FREAKING EAT! I am not saying that you should be eating a bunch of cookies, but you should be less concerned about what you are eating and more concerned about how much you are eating. Surely a high schooler is going to use that sentence as an excuse to eat nothing but chips, fries, Gatorade, and ice cream, so I need to give a disclaimer. Eat a lot of good food. What is good food (in this skinny kid context)? Anything that isn't some sort of dessert. You have a general idea of what "good" food is and what "bad" food is. Think logically and not too restrictively in order to take advantage of this prime growth period.

Senior year of high school. I probably would have broken this tackle if I just ate the freaking cookie
With that little spiel out of the way, I also want to highlight a couple of eating pointers for college-aged lifters. The most important thing lifters in this category can do is learn the basics. I don't mean learn the lifting basics (although you should be doing that, also), but the cooking basics. Learn how to cook some good scrambled eggs (see above). Figure out how to grill a nice piece of steak and a tasty chicken breast. Be able to cook up some baked potatoes.

The basics.
I could go on, but you get the point. It is difficult to get big and strong if you suck at cooking. Sure, you can always get take-out, eat dining hall food, or just eat the poorly cooked food that you can make. But, at some point you are going to have to learn to feed yourself, and you might as well get good at it. It is much easier to eat a lot of well-cooked food than it is to force-feed yourself dry, burnt, disgusting food. Trust me on that one. Learn to cook, your lifts will thank you. Also, and this point can apply to anyone that has trouble gaining size and strength, you need to develop a lifter's appetite. Being a naturally skinny kid, I always had trouble eating enough food. I was always the kid who would only have a couple of slices of pizza and would get a doggy bag for the second half of my burger. I had a tendency towards smaller portions and ceasing my food intake before I was full, Those are good traits for overweight people to develop, but they are not conducive for making skinny kids less skinny. I overcame this tendency by serving myself more food and then eating everything that was on my plate. Simple, yes. But, if you are not a big eater, you are going to have to do something like that to address that issue. It isn't hard, but it will take some conscious thought and effort.

That's it for this week. If you have any thoughts on cooking or eating for lifting, don't hesitate to share them below. Also, if you have any questions about this, or any previous article, feel free to comment or contact me on Facebook or at Thanks for reading!                   


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This recipe is also good and its make easily same as simple steps to make scrambled eggs.I didn't know about heating the pan ahead of time...looks like it makes all the difference. I have to say that for the last few of hours i have been hooked by the impressive articles on this website. Keep up the wonderful work.