5 Tips for a Perfect Fried Egg

Gourmet Live
CN Digital Studio
CN Digital Studio

Kemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

Whether you like them sunny side up or over-easy we've got the tips and techniques for cooking the perfect fried egg.

Fried-Egg-Over-Easy Perfection

Even if you don't cook much, it's not hard to fry an egg, right? Yes and no. It's the simple things that get us pretty heated about the best technique. I'm a fried-egg-over-easy girl, and here are my five tips for perfection:

1. Get your toast or whatever the egg's going on ready. Fried eggs don't wait.

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2. Use a cast iron skillet if you have one, and heat it first before adding a mix of olive oil and butter. (If using a nonstick, heat the pan with the fat in it). The pan should get hot enough so that the butter foams up and then subsides, but not so hot that it burns.

3. Crack the egg on a flat surface, not an edge-your chances for a clean break are better that way-then slide it gently from the shell into the pan.

4. Turn the heat down to medium and cover the skillet. Cook the egg undisturbed until the film of egg white barely covering the yolk just turns a milky white, 1 to 11/2 minutes. This makes the yolk sturdy enough to handle the flip.

5. Using your thinnest metal pancake turner, slide it gently but confidently under the egg and turn it over. Don't be timid. Turn off the heat and let the egg cook in the still-hot skillet, uncovered, for 10 to 20 seconds, or until the yolk still jiggles when touched for a runny yolk. Longer for a firmer one. Now land it where it belongs.

The Perfect Sunny-Side Up Fried Egg

The yellow bull's-eye of sunny-side up fried eggs is one of nature's gifts to food stylists-it makes a colorful and instantly-recognizable image. For eating, though, the trick is to get the whites cooked through-no jiggly uncooked whites for me, thank you! That's why I prefer over-easy fried eggs; there's no way the whites aren't cooked.

It is possible to prepare a sunny-side up egg to perfection (tender cooked-through white and runny yolk). Here are five tips to get there:

1. Squash your impatience; go zen. Sunny-side up eggs need slow cooking over low heat.


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2. Use medium heat to get the pan hot. If using cast-iron, heat it dry, then add olive oil and butter (for nonstick, heat the pan with the fat in it).

3. Turn the heat low and crack the egg in. If it splutters noisily, cool the pan off the heat briefly. Cover the skillet and cook the egg slowly, about 2 minutes. No browning. Check it. If the white around the yolk looks loose, cook it, covered, another 30 to 60 seconds, but check often, because you don't want the thin film of white covering the yolk to turn milky white.

4. Some pros recommend basting the whites with fat from the pan to help cook them through. That's fine, but tilting the pan to scoop up some hot fat makes the egg slide, too.

5. To make landing the egg foolproof, hold the skillet over the plate (hopefully with a piece of toast waiting for it).

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