Monday, January 11th, 2010

How to Fry an Egg

how to fry an egg

There is nothing worse than an over-fried egg, with an egg white that is so burnt that you think it beat the tan that you got during the summer.

What do I find to be a perfectly fried egg? An egg (sunny side up), fried in butter with no chewy whites or burnt edges.

To me, fried eggs are essential to learn how to make (if you like to eat them, that is), and 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!).

how to fry an egg

How to Fry an Egg:
Total Time: | Makes 1 fried egg

I have used this egg frying method, for years and it always results in a perfectly cooked egg with no burns, no chewy whites, or globules on the egg whites! This is the perfect way to fry an egg!

To properly fry an egg, you want the freshest eggs as possible. Not the eggs that have been in your refrigerator since last month (you know who you are). Fresh eggs. If you are unable to get fresh, organic eggs, supermarket eggs that fall within the sell-by date, should work fine, too.

1 tspn unsalted butter
1 large egg


1. To fry an egg, you’ll need to heat a non-stick skillet or a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Once it’s hot, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter to the pan. Meanwhile, crack an egg into a bowl (making sure there aren’t any shells in it).

2. Gently place the egg in the skillet, then cover the pan and cook until the egg white is solid.

3. Keep cooking the egg until it’s sunny side up.

• For an egg that is over easy, flip the egg over and cook the egg for about 35 seconds more.

• For an egg that is over medium, an additional 45 seconds will do.

• If you prefer an egg that is over hard, just cook it for about an extra minute.

Enjoy with a sprinkling of salt and ground black pepper!

Peanut-Studded Milk Chocolate Brownies
Churros (Spanish Doughnuts)

Font Size: a A | print recipe Print Recipe | 45 Comments


  • Raj
    January 11th, 2010

    Lol, yknow, I always thought fried eggs were the easiest things in the word-until I got married last month. My husband likes his over hard-lets just say we had a lot of eggs that looked like they’d been through hell fire before I got it right!
    also, I LOVE the skillet you’ve used. Could you send me a link for where i could find it plz?

  • kamran
    January 11th, 2010

    Hey Rajika- I honestly don’t remember where that skillet came from… I’d have to do some searching online and get back to you on that… :)

  • jenn (Bread + Butter)
    January 11th, 2010

    A fried egg sandwich seems good right about now. Yum! I cook my eggs in a similar way, too.

  • Paula
    January 11th, 2010

    Love this post! Cooking eggs always seems easy but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Maybe you could share your tips on perfect scrambled eggs. ;)

  • Eleanor Hoh(wokstar)
    January 12th, 2010

    Hilarious. I have to say I like my eggs with crispy edges, not burnt or deep fried but crispy. Glad you mentioned cast iron to fry eggs, they just slide right out. My hubz didn’t use to like it this way but when I presented it with a drop of Lingham’s hot sauce, he devoured it with relish. We’re just strange like that.

  • Tokyo Terrace
    January 12th, 2010

    Nice post! It is definitely important to know how to fry an egg. Seems simple but can be tricky. My husband is actually much better at frying eggs than I am. I have trouble when I go to flip them. Getting better with practice though! Thanks for the laughs :)

  • my spatula
    January 12th, 2010

    that is one perfect lookin’ egg. bravo!!

  • diva
    January 12th, 2010

    i flippin love this post.

  • uberVU - social comments
    January 12th, 2010

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ksiddiqi92: New post! How to Fry an Egg –

  • Tangled Noodle
    January 12th, 2010

    Frying an egg isn’t as easy as boiling water! I remember when I was a child, fried eggs in our house were made with a rather large amount of oil in the skillet. To ‘cook’ it sunny side up, the oil was flicked over the top of the yolk. Talk about greasy! Now, I cook them only in butter but as long as I don’t let the butter start browning . . . Thanks for the tips!

  • thebreadlist
    January 12th, 2010

    Fun post. Nice egg.

  • El
    January 12th, 2010

    I’m telling you…English professor, writer or attorney. Another great description…utterly convincing.

  • Hummingbird Appetite
    January 13th, 2010

    Your fried egg looks beautiful!

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    January 13th, 2010

    Great post… Makes me want to make a fried egg, just to do it right. And I don’t even like fried eggs… :)

  • Tiffany
    January 13th, 2010

    My kitchen slowly became my domain, and it has taken alot to let my husband even scramble some eggs in there. I cook on a stainless steel frying pan, and I don’t care who you are, the only thing that will make a perfect sunny side up egg is butter and low heat.

  • Michelle (What's Cooking)
    January 13th, 2010

    This post makes me appreciate the fresh eggs that I can go get, right in my own backyard!

  • Hélène
    January 14th, 2010

    I cook my eggs the same way as you do. It’s so good. :)

  • Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)
    January 14th, 2010

    You have a real knack for writing, I must say! I fry my eggs in the same way :)

  • wasabi prime
    January 14th, 2010

    It’s so true, for something as simple as an egg, there’s a list of techniques and do’s/don’ts a mile long over the cooking of an egg. I feel the same about scrambled eggs, which are done poorly so many more times than correct — which can be sublime when cooked the right way.

  • Lauren
    January 15th, 2010

    I never really thought about there being a right or wrong way to make an egg – I just do it! These look perfect. So very yummy!

  • Chez Us
    January 15th, 2010

    Great fried egg & yes, it is hard to find a place that makes an good one – I am a picky egg eater. We did an entire series on eggs last year, from breakfast to dinner and the proper way to do all different kinds. Eggs are good!

  • amy
    January 16th, 2010

    i adore egggs! I am not all that picky even though I am really picky with how my eggs are done but yes, I would refuse to eat an egg that looked like it had gone through the fiery pits of hell! :P

  • Ciaochowlinda
    January 16th, 2010

    You really started my day off with a laugh. Fun post to read. Fried eggs are tricky to cook and I use a cast iron skillet too. But even with that, if you turn up the heat too much, it can turn the eggs to hellfire.

  • Natasha
    January 16th, 2010

    Great post!

  • Barbara Kiebel
    January 24th, 2010

    Great post…and guess it’s easy to forget how something so simple can get so ruined if a cook doesn’t pay attention to details.

    Next…we’re waiting for your ‘how to boil’ water experience…I know you’ll make it fun!

  • Fuji Mama
    February 4th, 2010

    Awesome post Kamran.

  • Joy
    February 16th, 2010

    Hey Kamran, I found your site through Divina’s and let me just say you are incredibly talented. It shocks me to know that you are so young yet your work is so sophisticated and well written. Great work, you are awesome :)

  • Diwa
    March 26th, 2010

    Honest to God, I’ve been looking (and wondering) how to fry the most perfect sunny side up eggs possible. I do believe this post saved my life. *grins*

    Two thumbs up.

  • John
    January 16th, 2011

    Great story! I’m very picky about my eggs too. One step you left out, however, when frying eggs: don’t add the egg(s) until the butter stops foaming. You want all the water to boil off before adding the egg.

  • Jen Shaw
    April 29th, 2011

    Great story! Thanks to you and the great instructions I can now make Milanese Asparagus!!!

  • Eirik
    May 31st, 2011

    i use oil first to cook it in, and then melt a bit of butter on the side and slowly pour it over the egg when it starts getting finished. very good. best with olive oil if you’re putting it on white bread with ruccula, tomatoes and salt

  • parrish
    February 5th, 2012

    I am considered a gourmet cook, but cannot fry an egg. It either sticks to the pan or the whites on top don’t cook. Frustrating. Will try this tonight with patience and expectations – many thanks –

  • Charnol
    February 19th, 2012

    Medium heat with melted butter. Wait till butter is melted. This applies to both scrambled or fried eggs. I thought I was pretty good at doing eggs until I got married. The first time I did breakfast my wife informed me that her eggs had to be flipped once, do not break the yoke and no snot. It can be a challenge to get that right everytime.

  • Zooey Lalond
    February 20th, 2012

    I think these direction are good; I am really going to consider them. I hope I can now fry an egg!

  • The Egg Came First « Spicy Life
    March 24th, 2012

    […] This may be the simplest way to cook eggs. You just crack them onto a hot surface and eat them when they set up! Here’s a more detailed explanation. […]

  • Rebekah
    May 1st, 2012

    Love the post. Agreed on the need for butter! I always add a tiny splash of water to the skillet before putting on the lid- if the skillet is hot enough, this creates steam that cooks the top of the egg, so I don’t need to flip it.

    You are, by the way, an excellent writer.

  • Yearn
    June 26th, 2012

    the first time i saw an egg cooked was when i was five years old. I opened the fridge door and two eggs flew out… :-) my ibu scooped them up into a pan and just like that – fried them, gave them to me for lunch. Soooo yummy…
    But is it impossible to cook them completely without flipping? And which is healthier? Butter or oil?

  • Anthony
    September 23rd, 2012

    I like mine sunny side up (so I can dip my toast in the egg yolk) and a crusty brown fringe for crunch

  • GloriaJo
    October 31st, 2012

    Like Tangled Noodle mentioned, the way I was taught to fry an egg was with lots of oil which is definitely not the healthiest method. With your method, my fried eggs were done quickly and they turn out just how I like them using a simple frying pan! Thanks!

  • MhaiS21
    January 7th, 2013

    Laughed my ass off reading this phrase: “To properly fry an egg, you want the freshest eggs as possible. Not the eggs that have been in your refrigerator since last month (you know who you are).” — ooops! Guilty!

  • Jono
    January 10th, 2013

    I cook mine the same way. I can never decide between over easy and sunny side up, so I usually cook two, one sunny, one over easy but split the yolk after I flip it.
    Also, tastes amazing with the sprinkled salt and pepper, but with shredded cheese added. Only takes half a second to melt if you flip it over, makes a nice layer over the top depending on how much you like.

  • Rebecca
    August 9th, 2013

    Good post!! I Have always had a problem with fixing eggs. they were always burnt eggs with globes of white here and there or broken yolks. Gonna try your way, Love fried eggs over medium on a hamburger! YUM! Sounds like dinner tonight! My mom always had the same problem as me and I remember hearing my dad on many mornings ask my mom “are they calling for rain again today? I see the eggs have their rain jackets on” LOL :) I will share your post with her!

  • Chuck
    September 22nd, 2013

    This recipe is for the purist. Very practical, indeed. There are more ways to fry an egg that are delicious. For example, in Spain they will use a liberal amount of olive oil heated before adding the egg to the skillet. While the egg is cooking you keep splashing some of the hot oil onto the egg with the spatula causing the white to become bubbly and crisp and cooking rhe top of the egg in the process. No need to flip it over. I guess you would cook it a little longer for medium or hard yolks. Then finish by sprinkling with salt and Pimentón de La Vera.

  • Laura
    December 7th, 2013

    This post helped me make my first perfectly fried egg. Thanks a bunch!

  • Dave
    May 20th, 2014

    Never, ever use butter or oil in a non-stick pan. Prefer to brush a cast iron skillet with pre-melted butter or a very light oil immediately before dropping the eggs in. With practice you can learn to flip the eggs by “rolling” them at the side of the pan. This is how restaurants do it.

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