The Tiny Trick for Picture-Perfect Fried Eggs

updated Apr 15, 2020
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Separating an egg yolk
Credit: jgareri/Getty Images

There are a thousand ways to cook an egg, but none of them are quite so visually alluring as the classic fried egg. The delicate balance of a fried egg is tough to make in a traditional manner — the crisp edges of the white require high enough heat to brown, the yolk needs to cook, but not enough to keep it from running tantalizingly off the edge of the white. If you have always considered yourself hapless when comparing your own breakfast handiwork to the perfect eggs of Instagram, one blogger is here to teach you her simple technique.

“It really is that simple,” says A Practical Kitchen in her post about how she achieves those ideal (and picture-perfect) textures: she cooks the white first, then the yolk. The single extra step of separating the egg means that she can let the white cook in the pan “until it’s opaque and mostly set.” Then she adds the yolk back into the pan — directly on the center of the white — and lets it cook a few more minutes so that it stays runny. (She suggests tilting the pan to keep it centered if you have an uneven stove or burner, as so many of us do).

There are other advantages to the two-step egg trick, too, she notes: you can layer your seasoning by first salting the white as it cooks, then the yolk once it goes in. And, “if you want to be even more extra,” she suggests, cook your egg white in a cookie or biscuit round cutter sprayed with cooking spray, and you’ll end up with the kind of egg that goes on restaurant television ads.

Try it yourself: Fried egg with perfectly runny egg yolk from A Practical Kitchen