Basic Techniques: How to Fry an Egg

A fried egg over a simple salad or a bowl of grains and veggies is one of the best quick meals we can think of. It follows that frying a good egg is one of the best basic techniques you can know! Here's how we do it:

1. Choose The Skillet: Use a skillet that's large enough to hold all the eggs you want to cook. If we're cooking a single egg just for ourselves, we use our tiny 8-inch skillet. If we're cooking several for a big brunch, we use our larger 14-inch skillet. For fried eggs, we prefer non-stick or well-seasoned cast-iron so that we can be sure the eggs don't stick. If you're using a stainless steel skillet, just be sure to use enough oil.

2. Heat the Skillet: Set your pan over medium heat and let it warm up. Add 1-3 teaspoons of oil or butter (depending on the size of your pan), and swirl to coat the pan. You can use any kind of oil here that you like. Butter gives the eggs an extra richness and olive oil will impart some of its clean, grassy flavor. You can also use canola oil, or if you're feeling very indulgent, bacon or duck fat.

3. Crack the Eggs: We crack our eggs directly into the pan, but you can crack it into a ramekin and transfer it to the pan if that feels more comfortable. Drop the egg into the pan slowly so the whites pour out first. If the pan is hot enough, the whites will begin to set and keep the yolk centered.

4. Cook the Eggs: Once you've cracked the eggs in the pan, just let them sit. Fried eggs don't need much help from us! They are done when the whites are set and the outer edges are just starting to curl up. If the edges start to curl before the whites in the center are fully cooked, cover the pan with a lid for a minute or two.

We like our eggs sunny side up to ensure a perfect runny yolk, meaning the egg is only fried on one side as we've described above. If you prefer your eggs over-easy, you can flip them partway through cooking once the bottom has set. This makes sure the top is cooked.

Is this how you fry your eggs? Any other advice or recommendations?

More Fried Egg Yumminess:
How To Fry an Egg the Spanish Way
Top Five Ways to Eat a Fried Egg
10 Ways to Eat an Egg Tonight
Recipe: Breakfast Pizza
On Why I Pay $7.50 for a Dozen Eggs

(Image: Flickr member Robert S. Donovan licensed under Creative Commons)