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Jan 19, 2014 09:47 AM

Best pan for flipping eggs

I love over-easy eggs. Whenever trying to flip them with a spatula, more often than not I break a yolk. I want to learn how to flip them in the air. I've watched a few videos about how to do this, and apparently the keys are a pan that has a good non-stick surface, and a shape with rather sharply sloping sides. Does anyone here flip eggs in the air, and have a pan that makes this easy, even for a novice?

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  1. I just finished my usual breakfast, flipping a pair of eggs in the air. My pan for this is T-fal Encore 2 frying pan, with a diameter of seven inches at the rim and five inches at the inside bottom. The height is about an inch and a quarter. The sides have just a slight curve to them. This is a perfect pan for two eggs, but is no longer available.

    As for technique, I use butter in the pan and fry gently at very low heat. When I'm ready to flip, I turn the heat up briefly (I have a gas range) which makes the butter run freely. When catching the eggs, it is important to move the pan down as the eggs settle into it, lowering the differential speed, much as you would catch a hard-hit baseball.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GH1618

      The smaller the pan the better(5"-7" bottom diameter)
      Technique is just as important as the pan. Tilt the pan slightly forward when flipping. takes some practice to ace it.

    2. Either use a nonstick pan or a carbon steel pan. Something which sticks the least for your eggs. Make sure the egg is able to move freely before you start to flip. You can use a spatula to make sure it is movable, or you can just shake the pan a bit and see if the egg will slide.

      After that it is more about technique than anything else. You really don't need a "rather sharply sloping side". A curved slop will work rather well. My DeBuyer works fine, and it does not have a sharply sloping side.

      I have also used my cast iron skillet to slip eggs, and it worked great. It has a completely different side than my carbon steel pan.

      As long as your egg is not sticking to the pan, then you are fine. Don't put way too much focus on cookware. Concentrate on the technique.

      If you cannot keep your eggs from sticking, then it is a different topic.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        <Either use a nonstick pan or a carbon steel pan.>

        I find my carbon steel pan a bit too heavy for flipping eggs(even though I have massive arms), but it can be done. My small non stick is for eggs only. Let the eggs set a bit before moving them around.

        1. re: petek

          <I find my carbon steel pan a bit too heavy for flipping eggs>

          Really? It is heavy, but I only have to do it once. Maybe because you are in the food industry and you need to do this repeatedly. At home, I only have to flip once or twice, so it is not a big deal.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            You obviously have bigger "pipes" than I do.. :D

            1. re: petek

              Oh yeah. I forgot. My carbon steel is Force Blue DeBuyer. Your is the Carbone Plus. Yours is thicker and heavier.

      2. Used to do this all day with a standard-shape non-stick frypan, but not actually required. The eggs must be unstuck before you try to flip. And they don't really go high in the air, just barely flip over to the other side while mostly maintaining contact. After that, it is just a matter of practice, you will break the first few. Get a dozen or two eggs, work on your wrist action. You will master it.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mwhitmore

          Yes, I agree. I lift one edge of the egg and then move the pan to meet the top of the egg.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            Fidhky...I don't understand your technique. You say you lift one edge of the do you lift it...with a spatula? If you lift the edge of the egg closest to you, then it sounds like you are flipping the egg away from From looking at several videos and observing cooks, I think most flip the egg inwards towards themselves.

            1. re: josephnl

              Lift it with a spatula, the edge closet to me, then flip the egg away from me to meet the pan. I guess I'm not like most :)

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                That's pretty much what I do also.

        2. I have a very small non stick pan with sloping sides. Big enough for 1 egg. I can flip with ease. It's all in the wrist.

          1. This is one of the few times I would recommend using a non-stick pan.

            You can do it in a very well seasoned cast iron pan with a smooth - not rough - bottom. Carbon steel would work as well. I have a small cast iron pan that I only use for eggs and can flip in.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Cynic2701

              Well... maybe. Seasoned cast iron and carbon steel are slightly stickier than teflon when it comes to frying eggs, but they have the advantage of being useable with metal spatulas. A thin-bladed steel turner is very helpful for getting under the egg and flipping it. I've never had much luck with the thicker wood or plastic spatulas you have to use with nonstick pans.

              But the best pan for frying an egg is the carbon steel wok in my opinion. The oil pools in the rounded bottom, creating a mini deep-fryer effect which crisps the outer white without overcooking the yolk. Perfect for creating a lacy brown edge which I consider to be a requirement for eggs over easy.

              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                I hate any browning of fried eggs! I guess it's a matter of taste.

                1. re: josephnl

                  Since you don't like browning, perhaps (re)consider sunny side up eggs? I used to make over easy, but lately have preferred sunny side up. I like really soft yolks, and sunny side up has helped me not overcook the yolks. Another benefit is no need to flip and potentially break the yolks, :).

                  1. re: souvenir

                    Over easy are perfect for me. The way I make them the white is totally opaque, but there is no browning whatsoever and the yolk is very runny.

                2. re: RealMenJulienne

                  I totally agree with the carbon-steel wok. The natural curved sides of the wok make it so easy to flip the eggs.