I had long considered a fried egg the kind of breakfast (or lunch or dinner, to be honest) a delicacy that could dress up anything from a plate of hash to a simple salad and not the sort of thing you throw together for a crowd. But last year, one of our editors taught me a trick for cooking a big batch of fried eggs at once, turning this once solo dining luxury into a crowd-pleasing performance that does not even require a frying pan.
Bake a Big Batch of "Fried" Eggs
In our recipe for sheet-pan "half English" breakfast, editor Christine revealed a surprising secret for frying more than four eggs at once: Bake them!
- First, coat a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray, butter, or oil — and be generous since the fat will prevent sticking and also help fry the eggs.
- Next, preheat the baking sheet in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes.
- While the pan is preheating, you can crack the eggs into a few ramekins or cups, which will help you get the eggs onto the sheet pan faster and result in more even cooking. This step is completely optional, as it does create more dishes for washing post-breakfast.
- When the pan is preheated, carefully pour (or crack) the eggs directly onto the baking sheet. Work from the middle of the baking sheet out for more even cooking and keep the baking sheet on the oven's rack so that it doesn't lose much of its heat.
- Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper before returning the eggs to the oven.
- Bake the eggs for five minutes for runny yolks or all the way to eight minutes for hard-cooked eggs. Use a thin spatula to remove the eggs from the pan.
Want Picture-Perfect Eggs?
Coat a few Mason jar rings (or ring molds, if you've got them) with nonstick spray and preheat them along with the baking sheet. Then pour the cracked eggs into the lids for baking.
And remember, the fresher your eggs the less the egg whites will spread and the prettier your baking sheet eggs will be.
Test your eggs: Here's How to Test Your Eggs for Freshness