How To Order Fried Eggs

How to Fry Eggs, Four Ways

I'll show you how to fry eggs so the whites and yolks are cooked the way you like.

1. Sunny Side Up

Sunny side up eggs are eggs that are fried only on one side, leaving the yolk runny and perfectly dippable. The key is to keep the yolk runny but set the whites. Here's how:

  1. Heat a non-stick or a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon cooking oil until the oil starts to shimmer. If using butter, wait until it stops sizzling, but before it starts to turn brown.
  2. Add the egg to the skillet.
  3. Wait until the white begins to set, and then use a fork to gently break up the white closest to the yolk, being careful not to pop the yolk. By doing this, you're pulling the layer of white that surrounds the yolk out towards the edge. This smooth move is used by diner cooks and chefs to cook the white evenly. It also means the egg won't have that gooey slime that turns so many people off with sunny side eggs.
  4. No need to flip; serve the egg when cooked so that whites are uniformly white (no longer clear). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Over Easy Eggs

Over easy eggs still have that runny yolk, but the egg is flipped and briefly cooked on the second side so that the white is well set.

  1. Heat a non-stick or a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon cooking oil until the oil starts to shimmer. If using butter, wait until it stops sizzling, but before it starts to turn brown.
  2. Add the egg to the skillet.
  3. As soon as the whites have become slightly firm and the yolk begins to set, after about 2 minutes, use a large spatula to flip it, turning the egg gently, so the yolk doesn't break.
  4. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds more and serve with the flipped side up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Alternate method 1: You can avoid flipping the egg by basting it with the cooking oil or butter. Simply tip the pan a bit to spoon up the hot fat and pour it back over the egg. Repeat several times until the white is set.

Alternate method 2: Another approach involves adding a teaspoon of water to the pan and covering it with a lid until the top of the egg is cooked, peeking in every 30 seconds to ensure it's not overcooked. Caution: Have the lid ready to pop onto the pan immediately, otherwise you'll have hot grease spitting out all over you and your kitchen.

3. Over Medium Eggs

Over medium eggs are just like over easy eggs, except the yolk cooks longer until it is partially set, but still creamy. A great over medium egg will have a jammy yolk that is neither runny nor completely set.

  1. Heat a non-stick or a cast iron skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon cooking oil until the oil starts to shimmer. If using butter, wait until it stops sizzling, but before it starts to turn brown.
  2. Add the egg to the skillet.
  3. When the whites are firm and the bottom of the yolk is set, after 2 to 3 minutes, use a large spatula to flip it, turning the egg gently, so the yolk doesn't break.
  4. Cook for 60 to 90 seconds more and serve with the flipped side up, then season to taste.

4. Over Hard Eggs

Over hard fried eggs are the most-cooked of the bunch, with both the whites and yolks cooked through completely.

  1. Heat a non-stick or a cast iron skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon cooking oil until the oil starts to shimmer. If using butter, wait until it stops sizzling, but before it starts to turn brown.
  2. Add the egg to the skillet.
  3. When the whites are firm and the bottom of the yolk is set, after 2 to 3 minutes, use a large spatula to flip it, turning the egg gently, so the yolk doesn't break.
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more until the yolk is totally firm. Remove from pan and season to taste.

Tip: For evenly cooked eggs every time, you can poke the yolk when cracking the egg into the pan, so that the yolk breaks and cooks evenly with the whites.

Video

How to Make Over-Easy Fried Eggs

This method is for those who like soft yolks without a trace of shiny egg white.

Once the egg is cooked sunny side up, just flip the egg in the pan for about ten seconds to cook the top of the egg. For over-medium or over-hard, add a few more seconds.

The trick to flipping an egg for over easy-eggs is to use a thin spatula. Slide it directly under the yolk, which is the heaviest part of the egg. Once you have the spatula in place under the yolk, flip the egg and let it cook for 10 to 15 seconds.

Again, place the spatula directly under the yolk, remove the egg from the pan, and flip it again onto the plate so it is right side up.

Sally Vargas

Don’t Forget the Lid!

A lid is the key to this low-heat method; it ensures that the egg will cook evenly.

Once the egg is in the pan, immediately top it with a lid. The lid traps the heat and steam from the egg, and helps it cook on both the bottom and on the top.

Without a lid, the bottom cooks too quickly and the top takes longer, so you’re more likely to end up with an overcooked, hard egg white by the time the yolk is done.

Placing the Egg Into the Pan for Frying

This step can be as informal or fussy as you please, depending on the desired result. If you’re making a rustic meal, cracking several eggs in a pan is a no-muss time-saver.

But to make perfectly proportioned eggs for stacking on top of a burger or sandwich, consider first cracking the egg in a small bowl or ramekin and then gently easing the egg into the hot fat. You may also want to tilt the pan, allowing the fat to collect to one side and then easing the egg into a pool of fat, which will help it set and brown more quickly and evenly.

How to Cook Fried Eggs Over Medium

The end result you’re looking for when cooking a fried egg over medium is a crispy golden-brown exterior on both sides, with a yolk center that’s set but still just slightly runny. That means the heat level and the time the egg spends in the hot pan will make or break your success.

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Soft-Boiled

"Miltsova, Olga"/Getty Images 

Similar to a hard-boiled egg, a soft-boiled egg is cooked in boiling water with the shell intact. The difference is soft-boiled eggs are cooked only to the point when the whites are set, but the yolk is still liquid or runny.

Frittata

 The Spruce

A frittata is made by cooking an egg mixture until set. Eggs are beaten along with ingredients like cheese, vegetables, and meat. The mixture is then cooked slowly over low heat and either flipped or placed under the broiler to brown the other side.

Deep-fried eggs

I admit this is not really weekday-morning friendly but I have to include it. No secrets, no special tricks, it’s just a deep-fried egg. Heat a couple of inches of neutral-flavored oil—that’s canola, vegetable, safflower, etc.—in a heavy bottomed medium pot to about 350° (but I know none of you are going to dig out the thermometer for this so just heat over medium until a little piece of bread dropped in the oil sizzles, but doesn’t go crazy). For safety’s sake, crack an egg into a small bowl and then gently tip it into the hot oil. This will prevent a hot oil splash, and your mom thanks you for taking caution. Fry the egg until golden, using a slotted spoon to gently coax the white together like a poached egg. Use that same slotted spoon to transfer the fried egg to a paper towel lined plate, and season with salt and pepper. Serve however you like, toast or no toast, but the Deep Fried Egg is a great way to slay new sleepover buddies as well as hangovers.

And if you just want a simple egg on toast, fried to your liking, by all means, do your thing. I just want you to be informed, and eat breakfast.

Eggs fried in flavored oil

The pimenton-fried egg is one of the Canal House gals’ great contributions to food. You heat a tablespoon of oil (per egg) in a hot skillet, add a pinch of smoked paprika (per egg), and swirl around until fragrant. Crack the egg in there and fry to your liking, spooning some of the auburn oil over and around. That’s a great idea, especially alongside a split toasted baguette rubbed with garlic and tomato (mouth actually watering here).

Just as easy would be adding a pinch of madras curry powder (per egg) and serving with warm, buttered naan. Try some whole cumin seed cut with a bit of sesame seeds for an egg with texture. A little Chinese five-spice powder would be nice if that egg were destined for a bowl of leftover steamed rice, topped with sliced scallions and a little chile oil.

EC: assets%2Fmessage-editor%2F1477403562979-egg-yolk-pepper-inline Credit: Photo by Funky BG via Getty Images

What else? Fresh herbs certainly work. Pop a sprig of marjoram or thyme, or a couple fresh sage leaves in the oil until sizzling, push them to the edge of the skillet, then add the egg. That fried herb sprig infuses the oil and makes for very nice Instagram photo, too. And don’t forget the old workhorses shallot and garlic. A few slices of either—or both—would make a delightfully savory egg if that’s your a.m. inclination.

Dirty Desert Fried Eggs [ edit

Procedure [ edit

  1. Use butter to grease a pan over medium heat.
  2. Crack two eggs into the pan, and immediately season the whites with onion or garlic powder. Feel free to use a lot because it only helps the taste, but don’t dump it on. Reduce the heat to low.
  3. Sprinkle salt mainly on the yolks, with a little on the whites.
  4. Add black pepper to your taste.
  5. Put a lid on the pan and cook, checking occasionally.
  6. When the whites are no longer runny on top, remove from the heat and serve.

Notes, tips, and variations [ edit

  • These eggs go especially well with a piece of toast or two because the yolk is still pretty runny and very flavorsome!

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