How to Make the Best Fried Eggs
Start with a good egg, a hot skillet, and a generous drizzle of olive oil, and you’ll end up with the most flavorful fried egg you’ve ever tasted. They are infinitely better than the rubbery, sulfurous eggs that come out of non-stick skillets.
It’s very important to use a pan or skillet that’s non-stick, which will guarantee that your eggs roll off easily. Pick the right size so that your eggs have plenty of room to spread out but it’s not too big (as you’ll need a lot of butter or oil to coat the bottom).
For two eggs, an 8-inch pan is the right size. If you are cooking for a larger crows, you’ll need something bigger.
How to Make the Best Fried Egg
Tips and considerations to keep in mind:
Start with a great egg. I like to buy local eggs, which have the most beautiful golden yellow yolks. Free-range organic eggs are great, too.
Cook one or two eggs at a time. I usually just cook one egg at a time in a small skillet because sometimes the two eggs cross paths and stick together.
Use a cast iron skillet if you have one. Cast iron is non-toxic and retains heat well. If you warm up the pan as directed before adding the oil, it should offer a great non-stick cooking surface. I use my 8″ cast iron pan (affiliate link) for single eggs, or 12″ pan for two eggs. My next best bet would be stainless steel. I’m hesitant to suggest non-stick pans because high heat can damage the coatings and release toxic PFOA’s into the air.
Crack the egg into a bowl first. You can more easily avoid oil splatters this way. I also find that pouring from a bowl yields a more evenly shaped fried egg that cooks a little more evenly.
Make sure the oil is hot before you pour in the egg. This helps ensure that the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, and yields super crispy edges.
Be careful and watch out for hot oil splatters! This recipe is going to leave some tiny oil splatters on your stovetop. You’ll want to step away after you pour in the egg to avoid getting splattered yourself.
A note on basting the egg white with oil: Most olive oil fried egg recipes suggest basting the egg white (not the yolk) with the hot olive oil while it cooks. You can do this by tilting the pan and scooping up some of the hot oil with a spoon. However, I can’t do this without burning my hand with oil splatters! My eggs turn out great without basting, so I didn’t include this in my recipe.
If you want more firm yolks: For medium eggs, just cook the egg for 30 to 60 more seconds. If you want more firm yolks than that, you can cover the egg for 30 seconds or longer while it cooks.
Repeat with additional eggs. You can continue frying eggs in the same skillet. Just add another drizzle of olive oil before each egg. You might need to dial down the heat as time goes on (if you catch the faintest whiff of smoke, it’s too hot).
Season as desired. These fried eggs are basically perfect right out of the skillet, but I love to sprinkle them with a little flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve them with a knife and a fork to cut through their crispy undersides!
FOR FRIED-EGGS SUNNY-SIDE UP
Sunny side up eggs have to be one of the simplest foods to cook. Nevertheless, we’ve all had ones that are scorched on the bottom and raw on top, rubbery, or just plain greasy.
It’s quick and easy, and it doesn’t require any fancy equipment or special ingredients. All you’ll need is olive oil, eggs, and a good nonstick skillet!
In a small nonstick over medium heat, melt butter (or heat oil). Crack egg into pan. Cook 3 minutes, or until white is completely set. Remove from pan and season with salt and pepper.
FOR FRIED-EGG OVER-EASY
Over easy eggs are fried eggs that are flipped over to cook the top and envelope the yolk in egg white. The whites should be firm, while the unbroken yolk remains runny. The two most important things in the recipe are the eggs and the pan; whenever possible, choose fresh free-range, pasture-raised, or organic eggs, and make sure to pick a good quality nonstick skillet. Serve over easy eggs on buttered toast or alongside crispy home fries, with a side of bacon and grilled tomato.
In a small nonstick over medium heat, melt butter (or heat oil). Crack egg into pan. Cook 3 minutes, or until white is set. Flip and cook 30 seconds until white is just set. Remove from pan and season with salt and pepper.
FOR FRIED-EGG OVER-MEDIUM
WHAT IS AN OVER-MEDIUM EGG?
In diner lingo, there’s a lot of variations of fried egg lingo as well as many types of fried eggs. For an over-medium egg, the white is firm and the yolk is slightly runny and like a loose and jammy custard.
Unlike sunny-side up eggs, which are cooked on one side and never flipped, over-medium eggs are cooked on both sides. After the white is set on one side, it’s then flipped and cooked until the yolk begins to solidify a little bit. The “medium” refers to the doneness of the yolk, which is somewhere between “over easy” and “over hard” eggs.
How do you like your eggs for breakfast? Scrambled? Poached? Hard-boiled? Sunny-side up or over-easy? To me, over-medium fried eggs are my favorite. It seems simple enough, but most people would agree that it’s difficult to get the egg white perfectly set while the yolk is slightly runny.
Over-medium eggs are a beautiful thing. The whites are just firm enough on the outside to hold a slightly runny, golden yolk that oozes deliciousness. And with a few tips, you too can learn how to fry an over-medium egg perfectly every time! It takes only 5 minutes and it’s so easy to make!
In a small nonstick over medium heat, melt butter (or heat oil). Crack egg into pan. Cook 3 minutes, or until white is set. Flip and cook 1 minute more, until yolk is slightly set. Remove from pan and season with salt and pepper.
HOW TO MAKE OVER-MEDIUM EGGS (PERFECTLY)
1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. (You may need to try a few times to find the right temperature.)
2. Add butter or oil, and coat the pan evenly. It’s very important to make sure the pan is well-oiled so that the eggs don’t stick. (Spread the butter with a spatula if necessary.)
3. Crack the egg into a small bowl.
4. Once the butter is melted, add the egg into the pan gently.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Cook the eggs on the first side for about 3-4 minutes until the white is set and the corners just begin to curl.
7. Flip the egg gently using a thin non-stick spatula. (Make sure the spatula is all the way under the yolk.)
8. Cook for about 2 minutes, and flip once more. Serve warm and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Gentle heat is important for even cooking. If you’re uncertain about the temperature of your stove, start with lower temperature to avoid the crispy and chewy texture of the egg white.
FOR FRIED-EGG OVER-HARD
Over hard eggs have a completely cooked yolk, similar to a hard boiled egg. They’re not as sophisticated as their cousin sunny side up with the beautiful, bright yellow yolk. But done correctly, these are just as tasty! They’re great for who’s not a fan of the bright yellow yolk spilling over the plate, especially kids: and they’re perfect for fried egg sandwiches! Here’s how to master this easy cooking technique.
In a small nonstick over medium heat, melt butter (or heat oil). Crack egg into pan. Cook 3 minutes, or until white is set. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, until yolk is completely set. Remove from pan and season with salt and pepper.
Over hard eggs are great for breakfast, brunch: or any meal in between! There’s really not much that this treat doesn’t make better: we especially love them on sandwiches! Here are a few ways to serve it for breakfast, and then some dinner ideas as well:
. Throw it onto avocado toast
. Eat it in a breakfast sandwich
. Add it to a fried egg sandwich with smoky mayo (yum!)
. Add bacon and pan fried potatoes
. Eat it atop sesame noodles
. Eat with roasted vegetables in a grain bowl
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