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Sep 13, 2010 06:17 AM

Fried eggs (not scrambled) in a Stainless Steel or a Cast Iron pan


It seems that both of these pans require preheating before frying something in them, I'm a beginner in the kitchen and I have both a stainless steel and a Cast Iron pan in the kitchen and I'd like to know how to properly fry eggs in them so that they won't stick or burn.

1) Stainless steel:
It requires preheating on a medium flame, and then you add the oil, wait for it to shimmer and then go the eggs.

I've tried this but it did stick a little (not too much) and the eggs got a little golden on the bottom VERY QUICKLY.

I assume that this is because I preheated the pan on medium. Is this how it's supposed to come out?

2) Cast Iron
I haven't tried on this one yet because I'm not sure how to start.

How long do I preheat it for? When do I add the oil?


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  1. I cook almost exclusively with cast iron, and I use the same method you describe for your stainless steel except I cook w/ bacon grease.
    Heated pan, add cool grease, heat more, add eggs. Don't get the pan so hot if it browned the eggs last time. Most people think browned eggs are a cardinal sin, but they never really bothered me too much.
    Well used cast iron is non-stick. Just let the eggs cook a while undisturbed before trying to lift them. And I cover the skillet to keep all the heat in, since eggs are cooked with a gentler heat, I want to hold it all in.
    Yea for cast-iron clean-up: a paper towel : )

    1. I only use cast iron, so I'll speak to that. I'm a little different than Weewah. I preheat my pan dry. I at least want it hot enough to make water droplets sizzle. I'm shooting for just hot enough to very quickly melt a pat of butter, but not instantly brown that butter. (Not such a concern if you use a fat with a higher smoking point/less particles). I pop my eggs in and leave them alone. I actually really like the slight browning, so I keep my pan pretty hot. I flip once, let the whites set, them pull them off before the yolks cook through. I never cover them. My pan is very well seasoned and if eggs stick, I know it's time to give the pan some TLC. I don't use paper towels, so I clean my pan by either wiping it out with a clean rag or by popping it hot under the faucet and wiping it out with a sponge or dishrag. Back on the warm burner to dry (pan is still hot from the cooking).

      4 Replies
      1. re: Vetter

        I pre-heat a dry pan (how long? As long as it takes to pop the toast in the toaster and crack the egg in a small bowl and add salt and pepper) and then add a pat of butter. When the butter is melted, starting to foam, but not browning, in goes the egg. As mentioned above, I've found that a "hands off" policy works best: if something seems to be sticking, leave it alone for a moment, as usually the pan will "release" the item shortly.

        This egg just slid right out onto a plate:

        1. re: Beckyleach

          +1 ~~~ This method works perfectly for me whether cooking in SS, CI or aluminum!


          1. re: Uncle Bob


            If you are still experiencing sticking with this method -- either with SS or CI -- then you need to add more oil, butter, or grease, or whatever.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              agreed that adding a bit more fat.

      2. just read what Becky said. she nailed it better than I therefore I erased my blathering

        1. On stainless steel pan, you need to turn down the heat a little after you put the egg in.
          The egg should not be cold either. Let it sit in room temp for 5-10 mins before cooking.

          1. Thanks for all the responses, I'm going to try tomorrow morning :D