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How to Fry an Egg

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Perfect eggs, every time.

brown eggs in carton with marble background

The title “How to Fry an Egg” almost sounds like a joke for people who can’t cook, a la “How to Boil Water” or “How to Open a Can of Soup.”

But sometimes, the simpler things seem, the harder they are to perfect — as anyone who has ever burned a grilled cheese sandwich knows. (Which we all have, right?)

Fried eggs are a one-ingredient meal almost entirely based on technique. It is not hard to make an adequate fried egg, but a little more egg savvy is involved if you want an excellent fried egg: runny yolk, fully-cooked white, with lacy, crisp brown edges.

You may also like: How to Hard Boil Eggs and Egg Salad With Fresh Herbs

I used to do the thing where I greased a pan, cracked an egg into it, then flipped it half way. If I was lucky, the yolk didn’t break in the process. No more. Thanks to Julia Turshen’s Small Victories game-changing technique, adapted here, I eliminated the flip and finally found breakfast bliss. Here’s what to do, step by step:

fried egg and buttered toast on metal dish with fork

1. Heat a skillet to medium high. While it is heating, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan, and maybe a small dollop of butter for good measure.

2. When the skillet is hot, add the egg. You’ll know the skillet is ready when the oil shimmers and slides quickly across the pan when tilted. If butter was added, the bubbling should completely subside. (Tip: If the oil is smoking, it got too hot. Start over with fresh oil.)

Gently crack an egg (or two) into the pan. Cover the pan, and let it cook for about 30 seconds. This is, incidentally, a good time to start toast. Lift the lid; the white should be just set on top, and the yolk should still wiggle.

3. Turn the burner off. Add a few drops of water to the pan and cover it again. The water will give a burst of steam to the fried eggs, finishing the cooking process.

4. Using a spatula, slide the fried egg onto a plate. Serve with well-buttered crusty bread or toast.

How do you like your eggs in the morning? Tell us in the comments below.

fried egg and buttered toast on metal plate with fork

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