Fried Eggs are a cooking staple that every home cook should master. The good news is that shouldn't be a problem thanks to these clear, step-by-step instructions, simple methods, and informative photos. You'll be slamming out perfect, made-to-order Fried Eggs in no time, guaranteed.
Delicious Fried Eggs, with yolks runny to your liking, are in your very near future. These are quick and easy enough to whip up on a weekday morning or you can serve them alongside cheesy grits or biscuits and sausage gravy for a slightly more hearty and luxurious weekend breakfast.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT FRIED EGGS
The first thing you want to do to kick off the perfect Fried Egg is get a small, nonstick skillet going over medium heat. Nonstick skillets are definitely our preference and recommendation for frying eggs, however, if you have a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, you could use that too.
Next, drizzle the pan with about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and allow the oil to come to temperature. Butter adds great flavor to Fried Eggs. The only downside is the milk solids in butter are likely to darken and brown faster than in olive oil. The difference is mostly aesthetic -- eggs fried in oil will not have little, brown milk solids specs attached to the egg whites. But, if you prefer to use butter, you most certainly can.
Time to bring in the egg. If you're not a super experienced egg cracker, consider cracking the eggs into a small bowl before adding them to the hot pan. If you break an egg yolk and add it directly to the heat, you should expect the yolk to harden; which is particularly heart-breaking for those who love runny yolks.
Gently slide (or crack) one to two eggs into the skillet and allow them to cook, undisturbed until the lights are completely set. After about 2 minutes or so, the whites should appear set and completely opaque on the bottom. At this point, you can begin spooning small bits of the hot oil over the top of any uncooked egg white.
If you prefer your Fried Eggs sunny-side up, consider this a job well done and remove the eggs from the pan.
If you like your egg yolks a little more cooked, read on...
(Pst! However you like your eggs, check out our Steak and Eggs recipe for another delicious and high-protein breakfast!)
TO FLIP... OR NOT TO FLIP?
Whether or not you need to perform the dreaded Fried Egg flip depends entirely on how well done you like your egg yolks. When cooking eggs, time is very much of the essence. Determining how well done you want the yolks, determines their total time in the pan. So, before we get to the flip, let's cover some egg terminology so you know exactly the type of Fried Eggs you're going for:
- Sunny Side Up | The egg is not flipped, and the yolk is completely runny.
- Over-Easy | The egg is flipped, the whites are firm, but the yolk remains runny.
- Over-Medium | The egg is flipped, and the yolk is partially cooked; not entirely runny.
- Over-Well | The egg is flipped and the yolk is completely cooked through and hard.
You're almost there! Once you know how to cook Fried Eggs perfectly, you'll definitely want to check out our easy Egg Sandwich.
As you can see, sunny side-up and over-easy eggs are very similar. The main difference is the white comes out a bit more done when it comes to over-easy eggs. As for the other levels of doneness, the more cooked you like your yolks, the more time you want to leave your egg in the pan after you flip it.
Eggs are an extremely delicate protein and once that flip goes down, you're looking at a mere minute or less from one doneness to the next (i.e. over-easy eggs to over-medium eggs or over-medium to over-well).
If you like your eggs sunny side up, good news – you don't have to flip your eggs at all! But for all other eggy donenesses, you will need to flip the egg. But don't worry, it's really easy!
One extremely important thing to keep in mind is that you cannot flip your Fried Eggs until the egg whites are set and completely cooked through. You can tell that your egg whites have finished cooking through when they appear entirely opaque on the bottom.
Use a thin, bendy spatula (preferably the oxo silicone spatula) and slide it underneath the egg yolk. The yolk is the heaviest part of the egg, so this is where you want the majority of your leverage power applied. Gently flip the egg over and set a timer.
- For over-easy eggs, cook for about one minute after the egg has been flipped.
- For over-medium eggs, cook for about two minutes after the egg has been flipped.
- And, for over-well eggs, cook for about three minutes after the egg has been flipped.
6 MORE EGG RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Every home chef should know how to make a Fried Egg and no matter how you like your yolks, this method guarantees perfect eggs, every time.
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 2 large eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat and allow it to come to temperature. Add the olive oil and allow to heat through.
Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl and gently pour them into the pan.
Allow the eggs to sit, undisturbed for about 2 minutes, until the white turns completely opaque on the bottom and begins to curl up on the edges.
For sunny-side-up eggs, use a small spoon to baste any uncooked egg whites (likely surrounding the yolk) with hot oil from the pan. Once the whites are done to your liking, remove them from the pan.
For over-easy, over-medium, or over-well fried eggs, gently slide a thin, flexible spatula underneath the egg yolk and carefully flip them one at a time.
For over-easy eggs, cook for one minute more. For over-medium eggs, cook for 2 more minutes. For over-well eggs, cook for 3 minutes more.
Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, carefully slide the spatula underneath the eggs once more and transfer to a plate. Season with salt and pepper, serve, and enjoy!