How to Cook Perfect Over-Medium Eggs

published Sep 8, 2023
How to Make Over-Medium Eggs Recipe

An easy, fool-proof method for making over-medium eggs with firm whites and a barely runny yolk every time.

Serves1

Prep1 minute

Cook5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Close up, overhead view of over medium egg on white plate with a cut taken out of the yolk. Small piece of toast and sausages peeking into the shot on right side.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Sunny-side-up eggs and over-easy eggs seem to get all the attention, but in recent years, the often-overlooked over-medium egg has become my number one. Sure, a runny egg is fun to look at in photos, but a jammy yolk is where it’s at when it comes to enjoying it. Just like I prefer jammy boiled eggs to hard-boiled, I’ve taken to enjoying my fried eggs over-medium, where the yolks are cooked to just barely runny, but still soft. 

Think about a breakfast sandwich. Have you ever tried to take a bite when a sunny-side-up or over-easy egg is stuffed in there? It can be delicious, but it can also be a drippy mess — the yolk isn’t contained enough to actually eat it. Instead, it ends up on the plate or in your lap. Over-medium eggs have all the juiciness without the mess. 

Don’t limit yourself to breakfast sandwiches once you start enjoying this version of fried egg. Try it in any sandwich, on a burger, over pasta, in a rice or grain bowl, or wherever you might enjoy an egg. 

What Is an Over-Medium Egg?

Somewhere between an over-easy and an over-well egg, an over-medium egg has a firmer yolk than a runny over-easy egg, but not quite as firm of a yolk as an over-well egg, which is similar to a hard-boiled egg yolk. It’s the perfect balance — a yolk that is just barely runny, but still soft and brightly colored. It’s like the fried egg version of a jammy soft-boiled egg. 

Here’s a quick guide to different fried eggs.

  • Sunny-side-up: Fried with the yolk up the whole time, these eggs are never flipped. The whites are fully set and the yolks are runny.
  • Over-easy: Flipped version of the sunny-side-up egg. The top of the yolk is just barely set, but still runny. 
  • Over-medium: Flipped and cooked longer on both sides, so the yolk is barely runny, but still jammy.
  • Over-well: Flipped and the yolk is cooked completely until it resembles the center of a hard-boiled egg.

Choosing the Right Pan

Nothing works better than a nonstick skillet for eggs. For me, a nonstick skillet is so essential for cooking eggs that I have a dedicated pan just for them. It’s perfect for omelets, fried eggs, scrambles, and such. 

An 8-inch nonstick pan is the right fit for two fried eggs, but you can also opt for a 10-inch skillet to cook just two, or even four eggs, at a time. With a nonstick, the eggs will flip easily and slide right from the pan onto the plate.

If You’re Making Over-Medium Eggs, a Few Tips 

Fry a few batches of over-medium eggs and it will become second nature. Until then, here are some tips to ensure you get it right every time.

  • Preheat the skillet. Make sure the skillet is preheated before adding the egg so the whites start to cook right away. This takes about 2 minutes. 
  • Stick with medium-low heat. An even medium-low heat sets the whites without browning them too much, while the yolks stay evenly bright and jammy throughout, without one side being more cooked than the other. No need to turn up the heat and rush it; the whole cooking process goes fast. 
  • Flip before the whites completely set. Let the eggs cook undisturbed until the whites are mostly opaque and set except for the 1/2-inch area around the yolks, about 2 minutes. Then, flip and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Follow this timing and each side will be evenly cooked with a perfect over-medium yolk.
  • Center the yolk on the spatula. For the smoothest flip, slide the spatula under one egg at a time, centering the yolk on the spatula, then flip in one quick motion. Centering the yolk ensures a nice flip without a broken yolk. 
  • Don’t fuss with the egg. The truth is fried eggs practically cook themselves. All you need to do is flip the eggs one time and don’t mess with them in between.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

How to Tell When an Over-Medium Egg Is Done? 

Before removing the egg from the skillet, gently press on the top of the yolk. If it has a little give, but isn’t hard, it’s ready. If it feels very squishy, keep frying the egg. Trial and error will eventually result in the perfect radar to tell when an over-medium egg is done without having to cut into it first. 

Different Types of Cooking Fats to Use

Canola oil (or vegetable oil) has a neutral flavor which highlights the flavor of the egg, but that doesn’t mean it’s not totally delicious to fry up an egg in more full-flavored fat like olive oil, butter, or even bacon fat! Swap in an equal amount of your preferred oil to fry over-medium eggs. 

How to Make Over-Medium Eggs Recipe

An easy, fool-proof method for making over-medium eggs with firm whites and a barely runny yolk every time.

Prep time 1 minute

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon

    vegetable or canola oil

  • 2

    large eggs

  • Kosher salt or flaky salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Equipment

  • 8 or 10-inch nonstick skillet

  • Flat spatula

Instructions

  1. Heat the pan. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in an 8 or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the oil.

  2. Add the eggs. Crack 2 large eggs into opposite sides of the skillet. Season with a pinch of kosher or flaky salt and a grind of freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to low and let the eggs cook undisturbed until the whites are mostly opaque and set except for the 1/2-inch area around the yolks, about 2 minutes.

  3. Flip the eggs. Use the edge of a flat spatula to cut and separate the eggs from each other 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. Season the eggs with another pinch of kosher salt and another grind of pepper.

  4. Finish cooking the eggs. Continue to cook until the whites are completely set and the yolks are jammy, about 2 minutes more. Gently slide the eggs onto a plate and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Oil substitutions: Another cooking oil, such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil, or 1 tablespoon unsalted butter can be used in place of the canola oil. Just make sure to preheat the pan properly (about 2 minutes over medium-low) before cracking the eggs into the skillet. If using butter, the skillet will be properly heated when the butter melts and is slightly foamy.