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Sometimes I fry eggs (1-3 pieces). But they are spread out (blurred) on a pan and where thin egg white burn up. The size of my pans average.

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Perhaps you can take a picture and show us... –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 15 '13 at 15:21
    
@SAJ14SAJ now I can not add a picture. –  Apostle Apr 15 '13 at 15:29
    
@Apostle If you mean it won't let you because of rep, I think you should still be able to upload one somewhere and paste a link to it. –  Jefromi Apr 15 '13 at 16:38

7 Answers 7

Your pan is probably too hot, so the edges burn before the middle. Try turning down the heat some.

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It sounds like possibly your eggs aren't very fresh. Fresh eggs hold their shape a bit better when frying, while when they're less fresh, they tend to spread out more, get thinner, and are more prone to those burned edges.

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Over time, grade AA eggs will -> grade A -> grade B. Nice diagram here: hickmanseggs.com/sales/faq.html –  Wayfaring Stranger Apr 16 '13 at 2:07

From my own experience, it works best to fry an egg in a thick-bottomed, small pan (so it distributes heat evenly and your egg doesn't run too much) over VERY LOW heat. I have an electric stove, which can be somewhat unreliable, but I usually cook my fried egg on heat settings "2-3" -- which is about low to (maybe) medium-low. I flip the egg once, and the whole thing takes about 5 minutes, though I haven't actually timed it so that is only a guess.

Mostly, though, it helps to do it over nice, low heat. To help keep them from spreading so far, I have two tips: 1) Use fresh eggs, as was mentioned in another answer. They hold up better. 2) As soon as you crack the egg into the pan, tip the pan so the egg runs to one side. Let the whites cook a bit like that (30 seconds or a bit more) and then lay the pan back down flat.

This recipe from chef Alton Brown helps to explain a bit more: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/eggs-over-easy-recipe/index.html

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I definitely agree with turning the temperature down so I upvoted that answer - I always assumed they should be fried on maximum heat but after some epxeriementing, heating up the pan on maximum heat, adding the egg and immediately turning it down to a bit below the middle setting on my hob works best.

I wanted to add another answer though, because you can also buy egg rings (google for "fried egg ring" or similar and lots come up) which help keep the egg together so you don't suffer from the varying thickness of different parts of the white.

You can also baste the hot oil over the egg while it is frying to help it cook through.

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Have you considered a smaller pan? When cooking 2-3 eggs for one person, I use a non-stick 5 1/2" (inside bottom) pan. It keeps the eggs contained in one area and can be flipped over in one piece. If all other recommendation aren't acceptable, try using an egg ring. You can make your own using a tuna can, opened at both ends with a smooth edge opener.

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I have been wondering about the same problem. Couple of things I learnt from watching how professional chefs do in hotels

  1. (preferred way) Make sure your pan isn't too hot - about medium heat. Crack your egg and then cover the pan. After a couple of mins, you will have a cooked fry egg that isn't burnt, but still has a runny centre.

  2. (this is a over kill) You have a pan with lots of oil and the amount of oil is about couple of centimeters deep. Leave the pan at about medium-low heat and crack your eggs to the pan. What it does will cook your egg through and you will have perfect shape eggs that isn't burnt. I can see lots of skills in this way too as you have to control the temp of oil and you have to be careful when you take the eggs out.

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pour egg white into oiled pan. allow some depth of white to solidify; thereafter pour egg yellow onto the solidified white from a small height

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