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May 12, 2014 10:26 AM

Perfecting Fried Eggs

I really love eggs. Specifically fried eggs, sunny side up. I can cook them like a pro but I feel like they could be more consistent. How do you do it? Or how do pros do it?

Cast iron? Non-stick? Butter? Olive Oil? Canola Oil?

High heat? Medium High Heat?

What I am after is a sunny side up egg that is really well crisped up on the edges.. maybe even the bottom. The top of the egg and yolk are cooked so there are no clear whites, but the yolk is still runny.

Also, it seems to me that eggs should be warmed up to room temp before frying so it doesn't take forever to cook them through. I don't read about this being a step very often. How would you do it? I am thinking placing them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes should do the trick.

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    I have been frying in butter or oil but have found there is much less sticking using pam. it does not crisp up as nicely though. lately I am leaning more to soft boiled, I wish poached weren't such a hassle.


    The best fried egg is made by frying bacon in the pan first, then removing the bacon to a plate and flipping hot bacon grease over the egg yolk again and again to cook it from the top as well as from the bottom. It's best if the person frying the egg is your mother and she's wearing her bathrobe and it's snowing so hard there's no school today.


    I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen on PBS within the past month for perfect fried eggs. it's on the PVR and I tried it, was ok.

    the ATK recipe went along the lines of:
    preheat non-stick skillet on medium for 5 minutes
    pre-crack eggs into a bowl
    add veg oil & butter, wait for sizzle to reduce
    add eggs
    cover for 2 minutes, 3 or 4 for extra crispy.

    I've tried it only once and haven't experimented with it at all. I personally like super crispy edged, over medium eggs cooked with extra oil wide open throttle and extra oil in a wok.


    What you need:

    Lid (clear is best for this)
    1-2 tbsp Room temperature water
    Butter/duck fat/olive oil (only necessary if you're using a stainless pan, but duck fat is pretty good either way)
    Eggs (I use room temp, not sure if it is necessary, gotta go look up some egg science after this post)

    1. Melt fat in pan on medium or medium/high (or whatever temp you you typically fry eggs on your stove)
    2. Crack eggs in pan
    3. Wait about 10 seconds, and pour some water on the sides of the pan (try not to let it get on top of the eggs or under them if possible)
    4. Put the lid on quickly
    5. Steam eggs until they are the doneness you want
    6. Take eggs out
    7. ?
    8. Profit

    This eliminates the need to flip eggs, they cook faster, more evenly, and it's super easy to control doneness. I like my eggs cooked so 10% of the whites are still a bit clear, most people don't like this but you can easily just cook your eggs a few seconds longer. The texture of your eggs will be perfect by cooking them like this. I've done everything from sous vide to baking eggs, and if you want an over easy egg, this is the ultimate, and easiest way to do it. I've done 6 or so eggs at a time in a big pan too, so it's very scaleable if you're having people over for breakfast or something.

    Only drawback is that the eggs are usually not too crispy on the bottom, but if you add more butter you can remedy that to a degree.

    If there's a better way to cook eggs over easy I'm unaware of it. Sous vide and steam ovens are good, but I find that I like conventional methods (for over easy) as they allow both the yolk and white to get to their perfect temperature rather than cooking the entire egg to 1 temperature.


    Depends on how firm you like them. I'm usually not fond of runny fried eggs, so I cook mine in an iron skillet over low heat with lots of bacon fat or olive oil (maybe a quarter cup). I spoon the hot fat over the egg so that it's almost poached.


    I'd say that wanting any part of the egg "crisp" is inconsistent with perfection.


    I don't eat sunny side up eggs(bad experience in Venezuela years ago) but I'll still give you my advice.
    Room temp eggs are best.
    I use a dedicated 8" non stick but a well seasoned CI or CS pans will work.
    Butter, olive oil, bacon fat or a mix of any of these is good.(I prefer a mix of bacon fat & butter.
    Med low to med heat.
    The gooey whites can be "peeled back" gently with a fork.
    Experiment to see what works for you.
    Have fun!