The Reason You Shouldn't Melt Butter Before Cooking Scrambled Eggs

What's the secret to really good scrambled eggs? The answer is simple: butter — and not just enough to grease the pan. While many recipes insist that milk or cheese are the best ingredients to add, Cook's Illustrated says it's actually butter that imparts that creamy, rich consistency you want in scrambled eggs. 

The reason for this is that butter is made up of fat, and eggs are made up of protein. When eggs cook, the proteins form a dense bond, and when exposed to heat for too long, this results in a rubbery texture. But add butter to the mix and your scrambled eggs will be lighter and creamier. As Cook's Illustrated explains, when butter and eggs are combined, the fat of the butter coats the protein of the eggs, preventing the protein bonds from forming too tightly. 

You might assume, therefore, that it's best to melt butter and mix it in with the eggs, or at the very least put it in the pan first, but the truth is, there's a more effective way to maximize the effects of the butter.

Cold butter makes better scrambled eggs

Considering eggs can quickly go from perfect to rubbery, it's never a good idea to rush the cooking process. That's why cooking them low and slow is the best course of action. And because the whole point of adding butter to scrambled eggs is to let the fat and the protein properly combine, the temperature of the butter matters just as much. 

According to Fine Dining Lovers (via YouTube), the best way to incorporate butter into scrambled eggs is to use the perfect balance of each (2.5 grams of butter per egg) and to allow both to cook at the same time over low heat. Instead of using butter that's melted or softened beforehand, Fine Dining Lovers says you'll get better results if you add it into the pan cold, so both the butter and the egg are at the same temperature. This allows for the most control and prevents any overcooking that could occur otherwise. If you're extra patient, Cook's Illustrated actually recommends frozen butter. Frozen butter melts a lot more slowly, giving it enough time to coat the protein in the egg.