how to tell when a fried egg is done | Family Cuisine

When a fried egg is done, the white and yolk will be cooked through and no longer runny. The edges of the egg will also be crispy.

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How to tell when a fried egg is done

Learn how to fry an egg perfectly every time using any pan! Make the best crispy fried eggs or easy fried eggs made sunny-side-up, over-easy, over-medium, or over-hard. It doesn’t take much to make perfect eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! All you need is a frying pan, a little oil or butter, and some good eggs.

How to Fry An Egg Recipe

One of the first things I learned as a child was how to fry eggs perfectly. There is nothing worse than an over-cooked egg, with egg whites that are so burnt that you think it beat the tan that you got this summer. Sunny-side-up eggs with a little salt and pepper on some avocado toast are an easy staple for a quick breakfast. You can do just like at the coffee shop. Medium heat and a frying pan makes for easy eggs.

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It’s easy work when you get the hang of things! What do I find to be a perfectly fried egg? An egg, sunny-side up, cooked in butter or enough oil with no chewy whites or burnt edges. Depending on my mood, maybe cooked in some bacon fat and topped with a little black pepper- honestly one of the best combinations for great eggs.

Learning to fry eggs perfectly is essential, especially if you like to eat them regularly. They’re very simple to prepare. Just be sure to keep an eye on the egg when you’re frying it because it does cook rather quickly!

Fried Egg in Pan

What is the best way to fry eggs? What kind of oil should I use to fry an egg?

Depending on what you are going for at that moment, you always want to use some sort of fat- be it butter, oil, bacon grease, goose fat, chicken fat, or even duck fat (like in these potatoes).

Do keep in mind, however that using butter will result in a luscious, soft-edged and soft-bottomed egg. Fats such as olive oil-depending on temperature, pan, and how much is used- will result in a crispier edge on the egg.

How do I make crispy fried eggs?

Crispy fried eggs- the kind that are golden at the bottom and crispy-edged are perfect over dishes like fried rice. These kinds of eggs are a staple in a lot of Asian cuisines. Just keep in mind that you will need a bit of oil to accomplish this.

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Truth be told, it is a favorite way of mine and I often crave this kind of fried egg with fresh Indian flatbreads, such as parathas. The ultimate method for making this kind of egg is using enough oil- you want enough in your pan for it to be almost on the verge of a shallow fry. Enough fat in the pan means you’ll be able to spoon the hot fat onto the egg to achieve the ultimate crispy fried egg.

Experiment With The Type Of Fat You Use

There are so many different ways to make the perfect fried egg. Growing up, my grandmother often used ghee or even a combination of oil and ghee. And this is the kind of egg that I often crave. Ghee literally makes for the most luscious and indulgent fried eggs- literally, perfect eggs. Coconut oil adds the right amount of flavor too.

What do I need for fried eggs?

Ingredients for Fried Eggs And The Right Pan:

  • Fresh Eggs – We are talking about chicken eggs here, but this would work for duck, or even quail eggs. You want fresh eggs and not older eggs that have been sitting in the back of your fridge for a while.
  • Butter – Unsalted, preferably. You can also opt for oil, bacon grease, goose fat, chicken fat, or even duck fat.
  • Skillet – Eggs have a habit to stick to the bottom of the pan. You will want (preferably) a nonstick skillet to make things easier. Cast-iron or carbon steel will work here too.
Frying an Egg in Oil in a Cast Iron Skillet

How long do you fry an egg for?

Generally, you fry an egg for about 3 minutes, or until the white is set. Depending on how you like your eggs, you may want to cook it longer if you prefer not to have a sunny-side up egg.

Do you flip a fried egg?

You only flip a fried egg when you cook an egg to be over-easy, over-medium, or over-hard.

What does it mean when you need to fry an egg over-easy, fry an egg over-medium, or fry an egg over-hard?

  • Over-easy means that you are still preserving the integrity of the runny yolk inside the egg without showing its vivid yellow yolk like a sunny-side-up egg would.
  • Over-medium means the egg is fried until the egg white is completely set and some of the egg yolk is set as well- it is not entirely runny.
  • Over-hard means the egg is fried until the egg white and yolk are completely set and not runny.
Breakfast of Sunny-Side-Up Egg with Pepper

What is the right pan for frying eggs?

For ease and comfort when it comes to making eggs, the best pan for this job is a non-stick skillet. Non-stick skillets allow you to use a smaller amount of fat compared to a cast-iron or a carbon steel pan (more on those in a moment). Something between 8-in / 20 cm and 10-in / 25.5 cm works perfectly.

Avoid using stainless steel pans when frying eggs- eggs tend to stick to them. A stainless steel pan can be more headache than necessary (though if you must, you may need to shallow-fry your egg using the same method to fry eggs in a cast-iron skillet if using this kind of pan).

Easiest way to make fried eggs

What kind of non-stick skillet do I need to fry an egg?

The non-stick you use to fry eggs is your choice; go for something affordable and well-made. Non-stick skillets tend to have short lives, no matter how nicely we treat them, so go for something you’re comfortable buying if you don’t have one already. You do not want a skillet that is super-inexpensive- you want a pan that you feel comfortable using for all your other cooking as well.

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I’m currently enjoying my Sardel non-stick skillet; it’s durable, dishwasher safe, and it gets the job done. However, I don’t suggest shelling out $90 on a non-stick skillet, especially for this task. I have used this pan by Farberware that I really enjoy. It makes amazing eggs, including omelets. I’ve also used this Rachael Ray one, and that is great too. The size of the pan is up to you.

Dipping into a runny yolk fried egg

What should I do if I prefer to use cast iron or carbon steel to fry eggs?

If you prefer not to use anything but cast-iron or carbon steel to fry your eggs, make sure your pan is well-seasoned and expect to use more fat than you would when using a non-stick skillet (about 1/8-inch of oil). It’s just the name of the game, and it’s worth it.

When I want a more crispy-edged egg, I use my Iwachu cast-iron skillet from Japan, though this pan is quite versatile and does allow me to achieve a soft-edged egg as well. I’ve also used my ever 100-year-old cast iron skillet that is well-seasoned, but I always gravitate back to my Japanese cast-iron. It’s just perfect.

Using A Non-Stick Skillet? Stick To Butter Or Oil.

  1. To fry an egg in butter or oil in a non-stick skillet, heat the skillet over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add in the butter. Quickly crack an egg into a small bowl and make sure the egg is fine and doesn’t have any any egg shell in it.
  2. After that, gently slide the egg out of the bowl into the skillet, then cover the pan with a lid and cook until the egg white is solid.
  3. Continue cooking the egg until it is sunny side up, then remove it from the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you used salted butter, keep in mind that you will need less salt.
Lifting a fried egg in cast-iron skillet

Oil Is Best For Frying An Egg In A Cast-Iron Skillet

  1. On medium-low heat, heat around 1/8-inch of oil in the cast-iron skillet for about 1 to 2 minutes, until hot and shimmering. In the meantime, crack an egg into a small bowl.
  2. Once the oil is hot, gently slide the egg into the hot oil. Let the egg sit for a few seconds. Tilt the skillet very slightly to one side and repeatedly spoon the hot oil over the egg. Ensuring that the whites are cooked and the yolk is still runny.
  3. For shallow-frying in a cast-iron pan, it is easy to get an over-easy, over-medium, and over-hard egg without flipping the egg. Continuously spoon the hot oil onto the egg until the desired doneness has been met. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste, and that’s all she wrote!
Sunny-side up runny yolk egg with herb toast

How To Fry Eggs Over Easy

To fry an egg over-easy, you are cooking the egg until the white is set and the yolk is white on top and is still runny. So, while cooking the egg, once the white and the yolk have set, flip the egg over and cook for an additional 20 seconds. After that, remove and serve as per your liking.

Eggs Over-Medium

To make an egg over-medium, let the egg cook for about 35 seconds after flipping. Make sure the egg white is set and the center is slightly firm and a little bit runny.

Eggs Over-Hard

To fry an egg over-hard, cook the egg for an additional 1-2 minutes after flipping it. Cook until the egg white is puffy and the yolk is firm and no longer soft and runny.

Sunny-side-up fried egg with toast

More Cooking and Baking How-Tos

Update (April 15, 2020): This post was updated from the archives with more images and information.

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