What’s the Best Way to Salt Scrambled Eggs?

In this column, Ask Kenji, the cookbook author Kenji López-Alt answers your questions. This week, he discusses the surprising science of salting scrambles.

Q. Should I add salt to scrambled eggs before cooking, during or after? — Ashley Allison, Chicago

A. “Don’t season it,” a young Gordon Ramsay warns in the viral video that has no-doubt landed his soft scrambled eggs on countless breakfast tables. Salt “breaks down the eggs” and turns them into “something very watery,” he says sternly, adding that salt should be added during the last moments of cooking. In a different scrambled egg tutorial, he claims that salt added too early will make the eggs “go gray.” Is he right? Will seasoning eggs before cooking them ruin them?

As with most simple questions, the answer can get quite complicated.

Recipe: Extra-Creamy Scrambled Eggs

Let’s start with the quick version: It doesn’t really matter. Salting your eggs before cooking can improve texture and flavor incrementally, but adding salt at the last minute works just fine.

Got it? Now that I’ve revealed the stakes, let’s dive deeper.

A Little Background

I’m no stranger to writing about scrambled eggs and the contentious comments that arise surrounding their ideal texture. It can be downright dangerous to weigh in on whether you prefer your scrambled eggs fluffy and moist (the so-called American way), custardy and creamy (the French way), or — heaven forbid — well done and browned (my wife’s way). But I think there are two things we can all agree on: Eggs taste better when salted properly, and while moist eggs are good, wet eggs are not.

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