Why Scrambled Eggs Taste Different At Restaurants

There's nothing like a home-cooked meal. When preparing food at home, you can use fresh products, tweak the recipe how you want, and get the food piping hot every time. Yet sometimes, something as simple as scrambled eggs never seem to taste as good as when you make them yourself. Plus, it doesn't matter (at least not that much) which restaurant you visit — the eggs have more flavor. The secret? Salt. 

Salt doesn't just make food taste salty. It also helps you better perceive flavor. According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, salt not only creates a chemical reaction in food by decreasing the water content to boost other flavors present in individual ingredients — or many ingredients — but human taste buds have evolved to appreciate and crave salty tastes. In other words, what you've always been told is true: Salt brings out the flavor in food. Since a restaurant's primary purpose is to make food that tastes great, the cooks aren't as concerned about your sensitivities to certain ingredients. The food is cooked to get you to come back and enjoy another meal.

Other reasons scrambled eggs are better at a restaurant

While adding salt is the most likely reason scrambled eggs taste better in a restaurant, it is likely not the only reason. Believe it or not, adding water to your eggs can make them taste better too. Adding water or other liquids (and cooking at low heat) helps keep proteins from binding together too quickly, which creates a chewy, unappealing texture. While people are occasionally divided about what liquid — if any — to add, doing so can also help the eggs cook more evenly. It doesn't take much to accomplish this: You only need roughly 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid per egg.

As for the last reason, remember that restaurants want diners to return, so they are more willing to use ingredients you might shy away from at home. With this in mind, is it any wonder that another way you can get that irresistible velvety fluff is to add extra butter? Animal fat, such as bacon grease, is another option. As an added benefit, if you cook your eggs in more flavorful substances, then you may not need to add salt. 

It's also possible that better-tasting scrambled eggs at restaurants could be the result of more skilled chefs or the equipment used. For example, a seasoned griddle or cast iron can impart unique flavors that can't be replicated at home. However, home cooks can turn to clever scrambled egg hacks to achieve a similar outcome.