How is mass egg-frying performed?

Nikolai Prokoschenko
  • How is mass egg-frying performed? Nikolai Prokoschenko

    I'm currently at a hotel in Spain. We are having a buffet breakfast and one of the meals are sunny-side-up fried eggs. I estimate they probably fry several hundred eggs per breakfast. I wondered how they pull it off in the kitchen, especially the "breaking eggs" part.

    I can imagine two extremes:

    1. A cook is breaking eggs manually, taking extra care not to put any shell onto the frying pan.
    2. Some kind of automated process takes place, e.g. eggs are put in some foamy container, the top is cut off and then the whole lot is flipped over the pan.

    The truth is probably somewhere in between. Anyone with mass-kitchen experience, care to enlighten me?

  • Chefs are really fast at cooking. It's what they do. A chef can almost effortlessly crack an egg with one-hand in about a second. Scrambled eggs would be pre-cracked and beaten prior to the cooking-shift.

  • For a large kitchen they would probably use a griddle for this instead of frying pans. There are griddles available about a meter across. As long as the hotel doesn't come down for breakfast en masse I imagine that would provide enough throughput.

  • As a chef, the bigger question I would have is how are they serving sunny-side up eggs buffet style without them breaking to pieces and making a mess in the chafing dish?

    I wouldn't ever put them on a buffet or suggest doing them for a large group but it can be done. Most likely they are baking them on sheet pans in the oven or doing them in what we call "hotel pans" in a convection steamer covered with plastic wrap.

    Large volume commercial kitchens will either do scrambled eggs in the oven (pour the egg mix into a greased hotel pan and stir periodically to break up and mix as the curds form) or in a bain marie where they also need very little attention and will cook to a creamy curd without getting crusty.

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