How To Make Perfect Over-Easy Eggs

updated Oct 2, 2023

With their perfectly set whites and runny yolks, these over-easy eggs are begging for lots of buttered toast.

Serves1

Cook3 minutes to 4 minutes

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A breakfast of over-easy eggs sounds simple enough, right? Just crack some eggs into a pan and flip ’em over when they’re ready. But how do you achieve perfectly set whites that surround runny, intact yolks?

Perfect over-easy eggs aren’t hard to fry up (even if you haven’t had your first cup of coffee yet) — as long as you keep a few key things in mind. Here’s how to do it.

What Is an Over-Easy Egg?

Unlike sunny-side-up eggs, which are only cooked on one side and never flipped, over-easy eggs are flipped so that they’re cooked on both sides. The “easy” refers to the doneness of the yolk and means that it’s still runny, although you can always cook the eggs longer to “over medium” or “over hard.”

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Pick the Perfect Pan

Eggs are notoriously fickle and like to stick to cooking surfaces, so start with the right pan. For two eggs, an eight- or 10-inch frying pan is the right size so that the eggs have plenty of room to spread out, but you don’t need a lot of butter to make sure the bottom is well-coated.

Use any kind of pan that’s nonstick, either with an added nonstick coating, or one that’s naturally nonstick like a seasoned cast iron or carbon steel skillet. These will all guarantee that your over-easy eggs slide onto the plate like a dream.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Cooking Fats and Seasoning

While you can definitely fry over-easy eggs in oil, butter adds a nice nutty flavor and richness, and 1 tablespoon is what you need for two eggs. Melt the butter in the pan, crack in two large eggs, and season with some kosher salt.

If you like pepper, wait until you flip the eggs over before peppering, as this makes sure that the pepper doesn’t burn and stays nice and potent.

When to Flip?

Probably the most nerve-wracking part of frying over-easy eggs is knowing when to flip the eggs. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wait until almost all the whites are cooked and set (meaning they go from clear to opaque). You want to cook the eggs undisturbed until there’s just about a half-inch of unset whites surrounding the yolks.
  2. Grab a wide, flat spatula and use the edge to cut and separate the eggs if the whites have run into each other so that you’re only flipping one egg at a time.
  3. Gently slide the spatula under the first egg and make sure it’s centered under the yolk, then take a deep breath and gently flip the egg over. Ta-da! Easy-peasy and now you have the confidence to flip that second egg.
  4. Cook the eggs on the other side for just about 30 seconds more so that the whites are now fully set, and then slide onto the plate and enjoy while hot.

    We recommend lots of buttered toast to sop up all the delicious runny egg yolk (and maybe a side of bacon, too). For those who like their eggs cooked more medium, just cook on the second side a little longer. If cooking for more than one, scale the recipe up accordingly and use a larger pan.

Over-Easy Eggs Recipe

With their perfectly set whites and runny yolks, these over-easy eggs are begging for lots of buttered toast.

Cook time 3 minutes to 4 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 2

    large eggs

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Equipment

  • Small nonstick frying pan

  • Flat spatula

Instructions

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  1. Melt the butter. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Tilt the pan so the butter films the bottom.

  2. Add 2 eggs and season with salt. Add 2 large eggs and season with kosher salt.

  3. Cook until the whites are almost set. Let the eggs cook undisturbed until the whites are almost completely set and opaque except for the 1/2-inch area around the yolks, about 2 minutes.

  4. Carefully flip the eggs. Use the edge of a flat spatula to cut and separate the eggs if needed. Gently slide the spatula under one of the eggs, making sure it is centered under the yolk, and carefully flip the egg. Flip the second egg.

  5. Season the eggs with pepper and cook until the whites are set. Season the eggs with black pepper and cook until the whites are completely set, about 30 seconds more. Gently slide the eggs onto a plate.

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