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From here:

By mixing in a small quantity of extra water before you cook the eggs, you are slowing down the cooking process by making more water available that has be evaporated. This keeps the cooking temperature to less than 100°C (212°F) for longer, therefore increasing the the time for the egg proteins to foam and expand before setting

What is the way to add water/milk to the sunny side up eggs (eggs which are NOT supposed to be mixed before putting on the frying pan)?

UPDATE: If I cook the egg in this cream instead of butter/oil, will it make sense?

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This really applies to beaten egg and refers to a method for making lighter omelettes. – ElendilTheTall Dec 7 '12 at 7:35
@ElendilTheTall Why? The sunny up egg will not be nicer with milk added? – TheIndependentAquarius Dec 7 '12 at 7:41
@AnishaKaul: in a word, no. It will not be nicer, because it'll be a sorta-cooked egg in a puddle of half-burnt milk. I'm puzzled how you could think this would be even remotely a good idea. – Marti Dec 7 '12 at 17:10
@Marti I haven't ever tried any egg with milk nor has my family. So, I thought of getting the advise here. Thanks for your comment though. – TheIndependentAquarius Dec 7 '12 at 17:13
The problem lies in the fact that the milk and egg won't mix unless you beat the egg and thus mix the two together. Spiceyyokooko's suggestion of poaching is a good one, though water is the usual poaching medium. – ElendilTheTall Dec 7 '12 at 19:07
up vote 0 down vote accepted


The quote in your question is clearly aimed at eggs that are mixed (ie omelettes, scrambled eggs etc) before cooking, not for whole eggs sunny side up. The benefits of adding more water is to slow down the cooking of those mixed eggs.

If you add a liquid, water or milk, you'll be poaching the eggs rather than frying them in fat or oil as most sunny side up eggs are cooked.

If poaching is what you want to do, there's plenty of instructions on how to do this out on the web. Poached eggs are equally as good if not nicer than fried 'sunny side up' ones in my opinion.

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thanks for your poaching suggestion. – TheIndependentAquarius Dec 7 '12 at 17:10

While I've never tried adding water to the skillet, as Josh Caswell suggests, I would stay away from adding milk or cream. I've never heard of anyone adding water or milk to eggs that aren't beaten, and it makes sense; the point of adding the extra liquid is to change the consistency of the beaten eggs and make them fluffier.

Regardless, if you do try this, do it with water and not milk. When I was a kid and first trying to learn how to make eggs, I sometimes added far too much milk to them. Even with beating the milk into the eggs before cooking, if there was too much milk it woulds start to pool on the bottom of the skillet, and I'd wind up with burnt milk froth along with my eggs. I suspect the sugars in the milk burn much more quickly than the eggs cook, but whatever the explanation, the result is unappetizing. Adding milk to *un*beaten eggs would almost surely result in something similar - or you'd wind up with a puddle of warm milk and an un- or under-cooked egg.

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thankful for your helpful response. – TheIndependentAquarius Dec 7 '12 at 17:03
Oh, yes, I meant to include in my answer that cream or milk sounded like a bad idea, for exactly the reasons you've given! – Josh Caswell Dec 7 '12 at 18:58

I'm not quite clear on the reason you want to do this, but you can certainly add a small amount of water (or veg stock) to the skillet -- enough to just cover the bottom -- right before you put the egg in. (I have in fact done this many times.)

The result is that the edges and bottom of the whites will not be fried, but will have a soft, almost coddled, consistency by the time the yolk sets up. You should still heat the skillet as if you are going to cook it in fat, but don't add the fat (except perhaps butter, which is, of course, partially water). You may find it more difficult to get the egg out of the pan once it's done (cast iron has always worked best for me), and when I've done this, I've finished it with a ring mold or pastry cutter for presentation.

It's also best to use the freshest eggs you possibly can, because as far as I can see, the water's lower temp (compared to oil) will allow them to spread more before setting if they're old.

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I would shy away from adding milk/cream to the pan when cooking the eggs but I do often use a bit of water and a lid to promote steam in the pan to help set the top of the egg when cooking sunny side up. I think you could run the risk of scorching and creating a mess with dairy but I believe the idea of the directions you encountered was to promote steam so that you don't have a really fried/hard bottom of the egg and a top that is too runny and undercooked.

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