Scrambled eggs are a breakfast staple found on hotel breakfast buffets around the world. However, some people wonder if the scrambled eggs served at hotels are made with real eggs or substitutes like egg powder or liquid eggs. This article will examine if hotel scrambled eggs are the real deal and look at how hotels prepare large quantities of scrambled eggs for their guests.
Are the Eggs Real or Fake?
The good news is that hotel scrambled eggs are usually made with real eggs rather than substitutes. Here’s why:
Taste and Texture
Real eggs have a richer flavor and creamier texture than egg substitutes. Since hotels want to provide quality breakfasts, they generally use real eggs to create the best taste and mouthfeel. Powdered or liquid eggs often result in more rubbery, less flavorful scrambled eggs.
Hotel guests expect and demand real eggs for their breakfasts. They can usually tell the difference between real scrambled eggs and substitutes. Hotels realize this and want to satisfy customer expectations by using real eggs.
Although real shell eggs are more expensive than liquid or powdered eggs, hotels calculate that the higher food costs are worth it to keep guests happy. The cost difference per serving is relatively small, especially for higher-end hotels. Even budget hotels often opt for real eggs to provide better quality.
Labeling and Advertising
Most hotels advertise “farm fresh eggs” or “made with real eggs” on their breakfast buffet menus. Since this would be considered false advertising if they used substitutes instead, hotels need to use real eggs to comply with food labeling laws.
How Hotels Prepare Large Quantities of Scrambled Eggs
Hotels must figure out how to prepare hundreds or even thousands of servings of scrambled eggs each morning for their guests. Here are some of the methods and equipment they use:
Cracking thousands of eggs daily would be hugely labor-intensive, so hotels often use mechanical egg cracker machines. These devices can crack 600-2000 eggs per hour into a waiting receptacle. This saves many hours of manual work.
Commercial egg beaters are used to quickly and efficiently beat the cracked eggs before cooking. These can beat about 15 dozen eggs in under a minute, doing the work of several cooks. Beating aerates the eggs for fluffier scrambled eggs.
Hotels use specialized cookware to cook large amounts of scrambled eggs at once. Options include:
- Double boiler steam cookers that can scramble up to 120 eggs at a time
- Convection steam ovens that rapidly cook and fluff eggs
- Tilt skillets that cook eggs on a rotating base
- Commercial griddles that cook eggs in smaller batches
The cooking method allows hotels to keep up with demand and ensure properly cooked eggs.
Holding and Serving
After cooking, scrambled eggs are transferred to commercial hot holding units to keep them at safe temperatures until service. Steam table pans and hotplates keep them warm and fluffy. Ladles are used for large-batch serving at buffet lines.
Tips for Preparing Hotel-Style Scrambled Eggs
While you likely don’t need to prepare hundreds of servings of scrambled eggs, you can mimic some hotel techniques at home:
- Use a hand mixer or blender for quick, fluffy egg beating.
- Add creams or milks to the eggs for extra richness.
- Cook the eggs gently over medium-low heat to avoid toughness.
- Fold the eggs rather than aggressively stirring them.
- Don’t overcook – eggs should still be moist.
- Melt butter in the pan and continue to add pats of butter while cooking.
- Season well with salt, pepper, herbs, etc.
Making scrambled eggs the hotel way results in soft, silky perfection. With these tips, you can enjoy excellent scrambled eggs at home.
Nutrition of Hotel Scrambled Eggs
Assuming hotel scrambled eggs are made with real eggs and minimal added fat or milk, the nutrition will be similar to home-cooked eggs:
|Nutrient||Per 3 large eggs||% Daily Value|
As you can see, scrambled eggs are high in protein, various vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats, although also high in cholesterol. In moderation, they can be part of a nutritious hotel breakfast.
Food Safety at Hotels
Proper food safety practices are critical when serving large volumes of food. Here are some ways hotels keep scrambled eggs safe:
- Following health department regulations for food temperatures, storage, handling, etc.
- Using pasteurized eggs to reduce salmonella risk.
- Cooking eggs to the proper minimum temperatures.
- Holding scrambled eggs in warmers above 140°F.
- Discarding eggs after 2-4 hours in hot holding.
- Monitoring temperatures of equipment.
- Cleaning cooking and holding equipment thoroughly.
Foodborne illness can spread rapidly in hotel buffet situations, so preparing scrambled eggs safely is a top priority.
Specialty Hotel Egg Dishes
While plain scrambled eggs are a classic, hotels often offer unique or more elaborate egg dishes as well:
A breakfast favorite, eggs Benedict features poached eggs and ham on English muffins with hollandaise sauce. It takes some skill to poach enough eggs for large groups.
Like a frittata or quiche, these egg bakes contain eggs, cheese, vegetables, and meats. Portion sizes are easy to control.
Egg White Frittatas
Made entirely with egg whites, these appeal to health-conscious guests seeking low cholesterol and fewer calories.
Custom omelets with fillings like cheese, meats, mushrooms, onions, etc. allow guests to customize their eggs. These take more time and skill than basic scrambled eggs.
Hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, or folded egg patties can all be served on breakfast sandwiches and biscuits for another hot egg option.
Non-Egg Breakfast Items
While eggs may be the star at hotel breakfast bars, hotels provide other options as well:
- Breakfast meats like bacon, sausage, and ham
- Hot and cold cereals
- Pancakes, waffles, and French toast
- Breakfast potatoes
- Fresh fruits
- Yogurts and breakfast breads
- Juices, coffee, tea, milk
Offering this variety satisfies guests with dietary restrictions or those who simply don’t want eggs. It also provides balanced, nutritious breakfast choices.
So are those scrambled eggs at your hotel buffet the real deal? In most cases, yes – hotels serve actual eggs to provide the best taste, texture, and nutrition. They have specialized techniques for mass producing scrambled eggs each morning. While not exactly the same as home cooking, hotel scrambled eggs made properly with fresh eggs can still start your day off right.