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Over-easy vs Over-medium

Help me out here please....

I used to cook in a small deli. We did breakfast and lunch. Before working there I didn't have any experience cooking breakfast professionally and learned on the job. Over easy I also put out still very runny and yellow, over-medium went out golden and more of a thicker oozing...but still liquid. Over-well went out golden and set, not runny anymore. Hard went out well hard...not gold, but yellow and solid. Usually yolk broken as requested.

I rarely had orders returned and often had comments that people liked the mornings I cooked as they got their eggs how they liked them. So I figured I must be on the right track.

Myself, I only in the past year began eating my eggs anything but scrambled or over hard. After years of aversion to a liquid yolk I've come to appreciate how well it goes with certain items(particularly mexican breakfasts and salads) and have taken to ordering my eggs either poached or over-medium.

Ok poached is easy and easy to identify when wrong. But when I order over-medium I'm tryign to get them the way I used to cook them - a golden color, runny but thicker. More often than not I get solid yolks - golden but solid. What I would personally consider well done.

Am I ordering wrong or they not cooked right? I don't like to send them back since they're still fine to eat but I'd like to get them the way I like themI don't like them over-easy because at least hte way I used to make them that's not cooked enough for my taste. Should I be ordering them differently?

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  1. I'm not sure what the official terminology is, but your best bet is probably to be more descriptive - say "thick but liquid yolk" (or something like that) instead of over-medium.

    1. If they keep coming out solid when you order over medium, just try ordering over easy and see how it works out for you.

      I like my yolk thicker and oozing but I find when I try to cook them like that I usually end up with the bottom part of the yolk hard with a small amount of stiff runny yolk on top. Any tip on how to get the thicker yolk without having the base of the yolk getting hard? Since I can't get it right, I usually just make them sunny side up at home. The yolk is a bit too runny for me, but it's a full yolk at least and not half hard.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Rick

        It is timing and not cooking them at too high a temperature and too quickly. I like the medium type but in a rest. I order "over" but not "over easy" it makes my skin crawl to see any uncooked white on my plate.

        1. re: Rick

          Try using organic eggs or some fresh eggs from a farm stand. Most supermarket eggs are just horrible. I had some organic eggs (overeasy) for the first time this weekend and was impressed that the yolk was a dark yellow color, thick, and full of flavor. Reminded me of the eggs we used to get from our chickens when I was growing up.

          1. re: Rick

            I used to have that problem all the time but then I started cooking my eggs at a lower temperature (medium, for my stove) and for a bit longer. The yolk will still cook slightly around, but not much, and it's wonderfully thick and runny on the inside. Perfect for dipping toast!

          2. I've never been a paid cook, but I understand exactly the difference you described between over easy and over medium. I'd send the eggs back with a fuller explanation of what you want, and if you often visit the same place for breakfast, I'd explain when you place the order.

            1. I think you should try ordering over-easy . . . and then waiting a bit. I like a runny yolk and don't even mind some loose white. I find that I can get an egg cooked perfectly that, if I don't eat it right away and it sits, can finish cooking on my plate all the way to over-medium (as you describe it).

              1. So, would "medium well" be gold-orange but soft-solid, as it were?

                1. I would bet that some restaurants refuse to serve eggs even a little bit "liquidy" because of liability concerns about food-borne illness. I remember a few years ago New Jersey made it illegal to serve eggs that weren't cooked hard, though I think they may have repealed that because it was difficult to enforce. I know of some restaurants where they ask you how you want your burger cooked, yet they always deliver it at least medium-well regardless of what you say. There may be the same thing going on here.

                  1. when you were cooking, did ever you baste your over-easy orders?

                    also, I've seen some cooks use a pot lid to get the top to set a little faster to keep up with the bottom heat source....

                    I agree the grill heat is important; also the grill thickness.

                    1. Getting a decent "over medium" egg in a restaraunt is about as likely as finding Jimmy Hoffas remains in your back yard. The general rule is that it will come out with a solid yoke. Unless you know the staff are extremely skilled and attentive I would just order over easy. Personally id rather too runny than solid.

                      1. This isn't really going to help answer your question, but it in SW Ohio if you order your eggs over easy, they come out with runny yolks and solid whites. That's how I usually order them, I'm happy as long as the yolk is runny and I can scoop it up with my toast.

                        However, I was ordering breakfast in New Orleans a coupld of years ago and odered the eggs over easy and they came out with very runny whites, yuk!

                        My point being I think this varies on the region of the country your in, or maybe on if your in a city or a small town. What do you think?

                        1. Thanks for all the feedback...good to know at least I'm asking for the right thing even if I don't get it!

                          I'm reluctant to order over-easy in case they won't be done enough...I can eat an overcooked egg and wont' send it back. I can't eat an undercooked(to me) and would have to send that back though.

                          ABout cooking over medium...when I was working over the gas range at the deli, I'd cook them up until the whites were set and no longer clear, then flip, turn the heat off and leave them in the pan for a few seconds(usually while I buttered toast) and then plated. This seemed to get them just right everytime. Over easy was flipped while the whites still had some translucency and then plated almost immediately afterwards.

                          1. you method is the best--I can never get them they way you describe-I order them over-medium when I eat eggs