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Flipping fried eggs practice

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  • Alcachofa Oct 25, 2005 01:10 PM

I was frying up an egg the other day, and realized I REALLY want to be able to use the pan and flip them. Is there any way to practice this, without going through a dozen eggs on the floor? Or, is there a simple trick I don't know about?

Thanks.

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  1. You may want to practice with a cracker or a slice of bread. The consequences of screwing up are less than with eggs. When you're ready for the test with the "real" thing, use the freshest eggs you can find -- the yolks are much less likely to break when you flip them. I also try to position the yolks on the far side of the pan from the handle. Putting the heavier mass there makes it easier to get the things airborne. Also keep in mind that because the heavier yolks are in the center of the thing you're trying to flip, you'll need to exert more oomph than with your cracker or slice of practice bread. By the way, I flipped the eggs over the sink for a long time until I got the hang ot it. Good luck.

    1. hard to describe, but here goes. shove pan quickly away from you. as contents reach sloped edge, with wrist as fulcrum, jerk pan upwards. while holding pan under airborne contents, lower it a bit to give them flipping room. bring the pan up to catch contents.

      larger things like eggs and pancakes take a little practice to judge the timing of the upwards jerk. too soon and it either doesn't flip or folds over, too late and it slides over the edge or doesn't flip.

      it's nowhere near this thought out when i do it, but i'm successful at flipping most things as long as the pan is sufficiently lubricated.

      the only tricks are that it's all in the wrist and speed. also, hope you have tough hands or wear a mit, because you will get spattered, at least until you get good at it.

      1. Start with little things like chopped onions or fried potatoes. As mentioned, it gotta be slippery. Practice over the sink is good.

        1. You can put some dried beans in a saute pan and practice the flipping motion. Once you get the motion down you can do it with anything.

          1. Swirl the egg around in the pan to make sure that it is completely loose. Nothing worse than trying to flip an egg and only half of it comes lose. Then, holding the pan off the flame, angle it slightly so then side opposite the handle is closer to the floor and slide the egg towards the edge. Then quickly move your hand in the same direction the pan is facing (away from your body), snap your wrist up as the egg starts sliding to the lip of the pan and at the same time raise the pan up to catch the egg, so its not really airborne for a while and the yoke won't break. When its all said and done, essentially the arc of the pan during the flip should be the same shape as balloon.

            It is fairly simple to do once you get the hang of it. The biggest keys are to make sure the eggs are not sticking to the pan and snap your wrists right as the egg slides to the lip and maybe even overhanging slightly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Evan
              p
              Professor Salt

              Evan's made a key point: raise the pan gently to meet the egg while it's in the air. The yolk won't have as much momentum on the way down and is less likely to break.

              Others have wisely made the point that the egg should slide around freely without saying how. I preheat the pan for about 5 minutes over low heat. My eggs cook slowly over that gentle heat (and plenty of butter, or chicken fat, or bacon grease, etc) and the whites firm up without browning or crisping cuz that's my personal preference. They easily release from the pan (and I own no teflon pans).

              If your preference is to cook the whites crispy on the edges or browned, a nonstick pan will work better for you. Ditto for those who prefer to use less fat than I do.

            2. Make sure you have enough oil and the sides of your pan are lubricated to prevent sticking. Also if you take the eggs out of the fridge soak in warm water for 4/5minutes first. Helps raise their tenp and reduce sticking too. Oil should be hot but not sizzling.
              Good luck!!

              1. And it might be obvious, but definitely take your pan off the burner and flip your egg somewhere where it won't make a mess. I'm pretty good at the flipping, but I still do it over the floor or sink to avoid splattering egg over all the stove burners.

                1. These all sound like good things to try. Thanks!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Alcachofa

                    Practice with a piece of toast. That way, you don't have to lubricate the pan and you can't make a mess. I guarantee you'll get the motion down.

                  2. Once you think you have the motion down with beans or toast or whatever, practice with a real egg too. Just cook it longer so that the yolk is firm and wonlt run everywhere. Practice flipping that one egg over and over and over. When you have the motion down, throw that one away and you still have 11 eggs left to eat.

                    1. the real trick is making sure that the egg, after being flipped, hits the pan at an angle. you don't want it to "belly-flop," or the yolk will break. i think there was a good description of this in the latest food issue of the New Yorker--in an article about the egg cooks in Las Vegas.