Last Updated on December 16, 2021
I spent a good part of my early culinary years as a breakfast cook at a very busy hotel in Las Vegas. Back then, I had no idea that the egg station is one of the most rigorous jobs in a professional kitchen, especially during brunch service.
I developed my technique under the tutelage of two chefs who took me under their wings and taught me the tricks of the trade, including how to juggle cooking eight omelets at a time while maintaining a giant coffee-induced smile on my face. I worked at an open station where guests would tell us how they would like their eggs prepared and what ingredients they wanted in their omelets. It was a very fast-paced, egg-slinging time mixed together with people who just woke up to see the sights or go to their convention meetings.
The time I spent in that room with those two chefs (they called themselves “eggsperts”) is one of the most cherished memories of my early cooking career. It taught me timing, speed, accuracy, preparation, and memory recall.
In my later years, I found those skills to be invaluable to chefs working in professional kitchens. So although it was extremely difficult to get up at 4 a.m. each morning with a pep in my step to cook breakfast for other people, it was actually a joy to be able to make that perfect golden omelet: That one ray of sunshine that would start the day off right for my hungry (and still a bit sleepy) guests.
It’s not hard to have the same great omelet experience at home, so below are the top tips for achieving a wonderful omelet at home.
Tips for Making the Perfect Omelet
1. Use fresh ingredients.
The freshest eggs make the tastiest omelets. Add about a tablespoon of sour cream for every 2-3 eggs and whisk until they are smooth. That means no white strands or pieces of yolk floating around.
2. The classic French omelet vs. a regular omelet.
It’s all about technique! A classic French omelet should be smooth like a baby’s behind once cooked. A regular omelet may have some browning on the eggs. Having a little browning doesn’t mean your omelet is overcooked, it’s just a matter of preference.
To achieve a classic French omelet with a smooth golden surface, start on medium to medium-low heat with some butter. You don’t need it to sizzle; you just want it to melt. Stir the eggs and shape the omelet as soon as it hits the pan to avoid browning on the surface. When done, fill and fold your omelet and slide it onto a plate.
With a regular omelet, use a similar technique, but either use a higher heat or cook it longer.
3. Season your eggs.
You can add seasoning to your egg mix or while it cooks. I actually prefer seasoning the eggs soon after I add them to the pan. A little pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and you’re ready to go.
4. Less is more when it comes to fillings.
I know we want it all, but trust me on this one. If you have too much filling, your omelet will break. A good ratio is about 1/3 cup of fillings to two eggs.
5. Avoid watery ingredients, like tomatoes.
The extra moisture will ruin the perfect texture of the eggs and will cause them to break during the fold. Always cook the ingredients first, then add your eggs if you want to incorporate your ingredients in the egg mixture. Or cook your ingredients separately then fill your finished omelet with it.
It makes the world go round and keeps things from sticking. We use clarified butter in professional settings, but a good tablespoon of regular butter will definitely add that wonderful flavor to your omelet. And it will seal those microscopic pores in the nonstick finish of your pan, which will definitely keep the omelet sliding so it won’t stick.
7. Treat your nonstick pans right.
For home cooks, I would highly recommend using a nonstick pan (sorry all you hard-core omelet cooks!) until you get better with technique. Use a rubber spatula during cooking to prevent any scratches because these will cause your omelet to stick and you may end up with scrambled eggs instead.
8. And finally, the fold.
Slide your spatula underneath your omelet and either do a two-fold or a three-fold.
Slide the one-third farthest from you onto the plate and then ease the fold over. Once the omelet is rolled and all the way at the other end of the pan, tilt the pan over onto the middle of a plate and, use your spatula to help you get the omelet to sit seam side down.
Bonus – One more thing to become a true “eggspert”—the flip:
Ooohhhs and aahhs from your hungry audience!
You don’t really need to flip your omelet, but when you’re making over-easy eggs and such, you need to be proficient with the flip technique. My two mentor chefs made me practice with a piece of toast until I got the motion right. You, too, can practice with a piece of toast to avoid unnecessary spills on the floor. But if you happen to have a dog, then all is well.
Best of luck to all you home cooks with all your future breakfast and brunches! And without further ado, here is a recipe for a lobster-filled omelet made with ButcherBox’s finest lobster tails.
Louiie is a chef, recipe developer, food photographer and stylist based in Las Vegas. While working the line at Bazaar Meat, Louiie merged her twin passions of the visual and culinary arts. She has tested and developed recipes for Anova Culinary, Bon Appetit, and EATER. She also co-hosts and produces a food and hospitality based podcast, 2 Sharp Chefs and a Microphone. She frequently shoots architecture, food, and people for Eater Vegas. In her free time, Louiie loves to turn her phone to airplane mode, travel, do yoga, cook outdoors, and spend time with her naked cat, Dobby.