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How To Make A Perfect Omelet

How To Make A Perfect Omelet

If you’ve got three eggs, a bowl, some butter, and a nonstick skillet, you’re only minutes away from one of the simplest, most filling meals a cook can make. An omelet (or omelette, if you prefer the British spelling) is a classic dish that intimidates many home cooks, but with the right skillet (like HexClad’s own 8-inch pan), enough butter (or oil), and our foolproof step-by-step guide, you can be cranking out both French-style and American-style omelets for this weekend’s brunch.


First, let’s look at the difference between a French-style, rolled omelet and the folded American style common at diners and other breakfast spots.


Rolled into an almond shape, a French omelet has no trace of browning on the surface. Though traditional recipes will call for high heat, cooking over medium heat is a more reliable way to achieve the perfectly golden exterior. While classic French omelets are often served plain or with a little cheese or herbs, you can also stuff them or top them with fillings. For a particularly restaurant-worthy serving, use a knife to cut a seam in the omelet and stuff it with your favorite fillings.


An American omelet is folded in half—rather than rolled like the French kind—which makes it perfect for stuffing with everything from mushrooms and peppers to shrimp and feta. Though browning isn’t essential for an American omelet, it’s okay if you get a little color on the exterior, which adds flavor and ensures the eggs are fully cooked for those a little squeamish about soft eggs.


Here’s how to make a French omelet:


  1. Crack 3 eggs into a small bowl. Beat well with a fork and season with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. (If you want to mix in finely chopped herbs like chives or parsley, add them here.)
  2. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter (or so) and let it melt. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the butter.
  4. Pour the eggs into the pan. Let cook for a few seconds, then use a flexible spatula (or a plastic fork—a metal one will scratch the nonstick coating) to gently stir the eggs. Break up any large curds and shake the pan back and forth, keeping the egg in motion as you stir, until a solid bottom forms.
  5. Use the spatula or fork to smooth the egg out. If you’re adding grated cheese, now’s the time to scatter it over the eggs.
  6. Get your plate ready. Lift the pan and tilt it gently. Use the spatula to begin to roll the top lip of the omelet down towards the edge of the pan, leaving about an inch uncovered. Tilt the pan so you tip the omelet onto the plate, making sure the uncovered, bottom lip is tucked under.
  7. Top with more salt and pepper, grated cheese, or slice vertically and stuff with your favorite fillings, and serve.

Here’s how to make an American-style, folded omelet:

  1. Before you get started, cook any desired fillings and keep them covered so they’re hot. (See our list below for ideas.)
  2. Crack 3 eggs into a small bowl. Beat well with a fork and season with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of butter (or so) and let it melt. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the butter.
  5. Pour the eggs into the pan. Let cook for a few seconds, then use a flexible spatula to gently stir the eggs until curds form. Gently lift the edges of the omelet and tilt the pan so that the uncooked egg slips underneath. Continue until any liquid egg is gone.
  6. Use the spatula or fork to smooth the egg out. If you’re adding grated cheese, now’s the time to scatter it over the eggs.
  7. Add any fillings to the bottom half of the omelet. Use the spatula to gently lift the edge of the untopped half up and fold over into a half moon shape.
  8. Gently slide the omelet out onto the plate and serve.

Here are 4 delicious ways to fill an omelet:


Western Omelet

A Western omelet—also known as a Denver omelet—is filled to the brink with cubed ham and diced bell pepper and onion that have been sautéed with smoked paprika. For cheese, Cheddar, pepper Jack, or Swiss all work well.


Shrimp Omelet

Though you can simply sauté shrimp and add it to an omelet, a little extra seasoning will go a long way. Sizzle some scallions in neutral oil, then add the shrimp and cook until opaque. Stir in fish sauce to taste, then tuck into a folded omelet.


Greek Omelet

All things great and Greek come together in this flavorful breakfast, which combines sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, chopped tomato, and chopped kalamata olives. Pro tip: salt and drain the chopped tomatoes for 30 minutes before cooking so they don’t add too much liquid to the filling.


Spanish-inspired Omelet

A traditional Spanish omelet is called tortilla Espanola, has more in common with a frittata than a folded omelet and is served at room temperature. That being said, you can take cues from the flavor combination for a filled omelet. To make this, roast or sauté sliced potatoes and sauté diced onions with smoked paprika. Though cheese isn’t common in a tortilla Espanola, a grating of Manchego would be delicious.

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