Here's How To Fry The Perfect Egg Every Time

There are few things more beautiful in this world than a perfectly cooked fried egg. Follow these simple tips with these fried egg recipes so you know how to perfectly fry an egg either sunny side up, over easy, over medium, and over hard.

Video Transcript

JUNE XIE: Chances are, you already know how to fry an egg and cook an egg perfectly. But if you think you need a little bit of tip here and there for that perfect fried egg, you've come to the right place. Today we're going to fry the perfect egg. All you need is a trusty pan, some butter or oil, and obviously some eggs.

For the pan, if you're using nonstick, perfect. If you're going to go ahead and use a cast iron, you're going to need a fish spatula to help you make sure that egg releases perfectly. For all other pans, I would use caution. Cast iron releases perfectly if it's well seasoned. Nonstick, if used properly, should give you a clean release as well. But pots like stainless steel might stick quite a bit.

In my home kitchen, I don't actually own any nonstick pans, because they can sometimes wear out. And that nonstick coating can become damaged and no longer give you a clean release. So my choice of pan is always this handy dandy cast iron.

If you use nonstick pans, chances are you can get away with little to almost no oil or fat in the pan. But if you're using cast iron, I would highly recommend that you be a little bit more generous with your fat for that nice clean release. As for your fat, butter is delicious. You put it on some high heat, you let it go for a minute or two, and it gets a little bit more browned. That nutty flavor really adds a nice little touch to your eggs.

But if you're vegan or you prefer to go with more heart-healthy oils like olive oil, you can also do that too. If you want to use bacon fat, you can do that. If you want to use vegetable oil, peanut oil-- whatever you want. Maybe just stick away from toasted sesame oil. That can become a little bit more burnt tasting over long periods of direct heat.

As far as what constitutes the perfect egg, that's totally up to you. You can have a sunnyside-up egg with a little bit of a runny yoke or you can have an over-easy one, where it's cooked on both sides with a running joke; over-medium, where it's cooked on both sides but with a little bit more set yolk; or over-hard, if you really like that solid yolk. Whatever you choose, there is no wrong choice here.

For the perfect sunnyside-up egg, we're going to take our cast iron skillet, place it over the heat-- medium heat level. We're going to drop in our butter or our oil. Let that all melt and get nice and hot.

We're going to crack our egg in right into the middle, and we're going to let it cook for three minutes undisturbed, unless you see some egg white that is not cooking. Then you can poke through the egg white that's already cooked to release some of the uncooked egg white into the pan so that you get a more evenly cooking egg white thing going on. After three minutes, your little white edges should be nice and golden and crispy. Your yolk should still be a little bit sloshy and deliciously creamy.

We're going to take our fish spatula, and we're going to slither it right in between the egg and the pan for a nice clean release. If you use enough oil and your pan is well seasoned beforehand, you should not be experiencing any trouble at all. Put it on your plate. A little salt, a little pepper, and let that creamy egg flow.

For an over-easy egg, it's pretty much the same except we're going to add a flip element to this. Skillet over medium heat, we're going to heat our oil or butter, and then we're going to crack an egg. Once that egg has cooked for three minutes and the whites looks set to you, we're going to use our spatula, gently release it, and help it flip over. We're going to cook that other side for just a minute or so until the egg is still runny in the middle but the whites are nicely cooked on both sides. Remove it from the pan onto your plate. Salt and pepper, whatever else you want.

For over medium, same exact thing that we did for over-easy, except right after you flip you're going to let that go for two to three minutes so that that yolk is a little bit more set. Release it from the pan, salt and pepper-- you know the deal by now.

And finally, if you're in that diehard fan club of over-hard eggs, well, this one's for you. Same process as our over-easy egg. Skillet over medium heat, butter and oil, egg, crack it, cook it, three minutes, flip it. We're going to let that cook until it's nicely set on the inside this time. After flipping, it's going to take you about three to four minutes for a completely cooked egg yolk. You'll remove it from the pan, clean release, plate it, salt and pepper, eat it, be happy.

Now of course, as with cooking anything, recipe times are simply a suggestion. Depending on the construction of your pan, how conductive it is, the size of your egg-- including the size of your burners on your stove-- these times might be a little and accurate for you. One way to know for sure how well your cook is going is to use your eyeballs and to gauge, is this how runny I like it to be? That's the only way to ensure that you get your perfect egg.

When it comes to the over easy, medium, hard eggs, there's one way also to test how done that egg is. And that's by, after flipping your egg over, using a fork to gently scrape on the surface of that yolk. Gently prod it with the curved side of your fork and see if that movement is bouncy enough. If it still feels very sloshy, that egg is probably over-easy. If it feels like it's starting to gel, over-medium. And if it feels like it's done, it's probably done. There you have it, over-hard egg.

A nicely fried egg is a perfect addition to any meal. Or you could just have it for breakfast, a couple of them-- maybe even three if you're really hungry. And it's going to be great. Top it with whatever toppings and condiments you want, and it's so simple, so easy, and so nutritious. And there you have it, how to fry an egg. Four different ways, four different donenesses, all delicious in their own respect.

And no matter what type of egg is your personal favorite, we won't judge you. Here at Delish, we believe all eggs are delicious. And you are entitled to enjoy your eggs exactly the way you like them.