This Is The Best Time To Salt Scrambled Eggs

Many home cooks add salt to their scrambled eggs, but they may not realize that choosing exactly the right moment to season this beloved breakfast staple is every bit as important as the seasoning itself. That is, if you like your scrambled eggs creamy and delicious — and who doesn't? 

So, what is the right moment? Is it in the skillet, on the plate, or during some other step? More to the point, what possible difference could it make to the taste and texture of the finished product?

It can make a big difference, actually, and for some rather surprising reasons. But before we get into egg chemistry and the molecular makeup of egg proteins, let's first fix the correct time for salting. According to Bon Appétit, the perfect time to salt your scrambled eggs is right after you've finished whisking them in the bowl ... ideally 15 minutes before cooking. Not only does this help to ensure that the salt crystals have ample time to dissolve into the eggs and season them evenly, but it also can affect consistency, leading to scrambled eggs that are softer and creamier in texture, and not watery.

Here's why the salting time matters

The reason salting at this precise moment results in tender, creamier scrambled eggs is a bit complicated. As My Recipes observes, salt inspires a chemical transformation to take place in eggs, changing the way their proteins react during the cooking process. Normally, the negative electrical charge in these proteins keeps them from binding together. But by adding salt and waiting the suggested time, the negative charge can be neutralized to the point that egg proteins are able to bind together quite easily (albeit not too tightly) when cooked.

This latter element is crucial, per Bon Appétit, because in a hot skillet, egg yolk proteins can bind together so tightly that they end up losing moisture. Proper salting prevents this from happening. So rather than becoming dried out, the eggs have a perfect creamy consistency. Amazingly, this is all due to the time at which the eggs were salted.