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Help! How do I cook eggs over easy without breaking the yolks?

I love eggs over easy but have no luck when I flip them over - the yolks either break or stick. I make sure the pan is hot enough but I'm doing something wrong. Suggestions please.

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  1. Why are you flipping eggs if they are overeasy? Flipping it over will most definitely overcook the yolks.
    I do one of two things for over easy. I either cover the pan for some of the cooking time or spoon some of the hot butter from the pan over the yolks. Both methods will give the yolk a skin but the entire yolk will still be runny.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ESNY

      Over-easy eggs are flipped over, otherwise they're not over-easy.

      What are you cooking your eggs in? If you use butter and have a clean pan, you should have no problems in the sticking department. Not sure why it is, but oil doesn't really have the same effect.

      You can practice the actual wrist-flick thing when you flip them over (just bring them to the back edge of the pan and flip as though you were sauteing) but if you're using a spatula, make sure the spatula goes under the yolk(s) and flip a quick 180 degrees. Do it gently (not from a great height) and everything should be good.

      1. re: afoodyear

        Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

        I haven't been using butter in the pan but a little olive oil. I wonder if this is why they stick.

        1. re: Beau711

          I use olive oil with no problem or sticking. What type of pan? It could be your pan causing sticking. If it's a non-stick and has some scratching or if you've ever used pan spray in it for instance.

          1. re: Beau711

            Butter and Olive Oil should work the same. Try a non-stick pan as well and cleanit really well with a scrunge sponge.

            When are the yolks breaking? When you flip them or when you try to remove from the pan to the plate?

            1. re: jfood

              When I flip the eggs over - it's not "easy" :)

        2. re: ESNY

          spooning the cooking oil over the top of the egg is "basted" not "over easy". Just being pedantic. :)

        3. You're flipping too early.

          Flip only after you see that the inner white part (the white closest to the yolk) has set, or is about to set. This usu. takes about 15 seconds, give or take depending on the heat of your stove.

          1. This is the tried and true southern Granny's way of cooking over easy. Use a good cast iron or nonstick frying pan. Fry enough bacon to give 1/4 inch or more of grease. You could add some oil, but Granny used pure bacon grease. With your pan heated to medium, gently place your egg in the pan. Let it cook a few seconds to set the bottom of the egg. Then use a spatula to flip the hot grease over the yolk. You control how done the top of the egg is...no broken yolks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: southerngal

              THE best -- especially with the tiny little bacon particles that spread over the egg. oh. so. tasty! and you can get the nice crispy edges on the cooked white, without diminishing the runniness of the yolk. darned near perfection.

              now, i need some good grits!

              1. re: southerngal

                This reply might be a bit late, but this is the best way of cooking them in my personal opinion. I'm a completely trashed college kid (sadly by myself :( ), and was able to cook them using this method. I set my stove on a fairly low heat though, and waited for about 7 minutes (if my scale of time is correct) until I could LIGHTLY tap the top of the yolk without it breaking; luck was on my side with the first tap. What makes this method great is that it's intuitive if you've ever cooked eggs in bacon grease (the best non-stick agent). I actually found this site after double-checking if this was in fact how over-easy eggs were made. I've cooked the best dishes of my life drunk :)... or so I thought at the time.

                1. re: southerngal

                  Yep, what we southerners call basted eggs - yummy!

                2. You probably don't have enough oil. If there isn't enough oil, the bottom of the egg will stick to the pan (even if it is a non-stick pan).

                  1. I was never able to flip eggs at home until I started working in a diner- the combo of the flat grill (wider work surface) and the egg spatula (with a long end, so you slide it quickly and firmy under the well-greased egg on the side of the spatula, instead of on the front)- totally changed my egg-making experience. I was always using a smaller, rounder pan, and a front-to-back spatula.

                    My husband still prefers 'Granny's' method with the grease... but it makes me shudder.