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I like a fried egg with all the white cooked, yet all the yellow runny.

I normally do this by separating the yolk and white, and putting the yolk in halfway through.

Anybody know an easier way?

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13  
wow, never heard of separating the white and the yolk. That's some effort to go to to get a perfect fried egg. –  Sam Holder Aug 31 '10 at 14:57

7 Answers 7

Tips for perfect fried egg:

  • Temperature of your pan is the key. (low - medium)
  • Do not flip the egg (this will cook the top too fast and bye bye to runny golden yolk)
  • Halfway through the cooking take a lid for the pan put a small bit of water in it and close the lid on it for a few minutes. (Too much water and your eggs are wet when you pull them, too little and the effect is not noticed.)

The end result, if you do it right is the white cooked, the outer yellow cooked but inside runny golden and good. If you do it too short the white will not cook through, too long and you over cook but I have been doing it this way for awhile.

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so is that a low, medium or high heat? Never thought to use a lid / water when frying an egg! Interesting. –  Nick Aug 31 '10 at 12:53
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+1 for the lid and low heat. Although it should be reiterated that this will cook a little of the top of the yellow usually. –  Sam Holder Aug 31 '10 at 14:12
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+1 I use the lid method also for sunny side ups. To me the ideal result should have the yoke cooked just enough so that if you poke it with your toast, all the yoke oozes out. –  dotjoe Aug 31 '10 at 16:36
2  
Medium heat + lid on from the beginning. No extra water, and don't flip the egg. –  BaffledCook Aug 31 '10 at 19:37
    
@Nick yes this is low-medium depending on how busy you are while you are cooking. I find myself sometimes go with low heat toss the lid on early and get ready for work while my eggs cook real slow. –  Chris Sep 1 '10 at 12:13

One way to achieve this effect is to fry it in plenty of butter or oil, and baste the top of the white with the hot fat.

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2  
Better yet, bacon grease. YUM! –  sdg Aug 31 '10 at 17:04
    
A good way of performing this is by frying the egg in a cast iron skillet (or any other non non-stick coated pan) and splashing the (bacon yes!) grease up on the top of the egg thus cooking the white on both sides at the same time without over cooking the egg. We called these grease eggs, but basically it sounds like an over medium recipe would be what you're after. –  mfg Sep 1 '10 at 12:26
    
grease eggs? Sounds like a monthly treat :) –  Nick Sep 2 '10 at 8:56

I use a technique from Cooks Illustrated. Add very little oil (1-2 Tspoons), add the egg (preferably egg is at room temperature - ok if it is not), cover and cook at really low temp until the white sets. You might also try swirling the pan (the lid must be on) so that the little oil can cover the top of the white and cook it faster - however you also cook the yolk at the same time. The trick is really low heat, covered pan.

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there are a few ways to doing this, it depends on the type of fried egg you want. The easiest way by far, is to:

  • Crack the egg on top of a hot pan + oil.
  • season lightly with S & P
  • Flip the egg after about a minute or so for about 30 seconds.

If you want sunny side up eggs,

  • crack the egg on top of a hot pan + oil
  • season your egg
  • put a lid on for about a minute
  • take the egg immediately off the heat

it'll take about 20 to 30 eggs to master the process, but one you got'er you'll do blind folded

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I like my eggs over-medium (cooked white with a TINY bit of brown, runny yolk), and this is the method I've settled on after much trial and error. Everyone has different motivations, but for me, I like this method because it's:

  1. fast (the length of these instructions are a bit deceptive)
  2. uses minimal equipment
  3. repeatable
  4. uses minimal fat

cons:

  1. takes some practice
  2. need a good(relatively new) nonstick skillet(s)
  3. occasionally lose an egg

Technique:

  1. as previously stated, stove temperature is key. you have to spend some time learning your stove. You want a temp that is high enough to cook the white but not too high that the yolk is cooked as well. (modify this temp according to your desired results...runnier yolk = higher heat)
  2. another key is a SLICK non-stick skillet. I use the cheap $10 8" from a supply shop for one person's serving(up to 3 eggs comfortably). I have 2 on hand, so that I can cook for my wife and myself at the same time. With more people I cook in shifts, still using one skillet per person. These are dedicated egg pans...I use them for NOTHING else. When the egg no longer releases perfectly, they go into regular duty and I get another(hence the $10 version). No all-clad or calphalon here(the cheap one's are better non-stick anyway).
  3. heat pan to your known temp(see step 1)
  4. crack the eggs for one person's serving into a small work bowl
  5. swipe the pan with a very quick pass of a stick of butter(for the very slightly browning more than anything else)
  6. pour eggs into hot pan
  7. let cook until whites are ~3/4 cooked from bottom to top. this is where the temp is critical. if you have it right, the bottoms of the white will be at your desired level of doneness, and the top side will still be slightly uncooked.
  8. this is where the practice is important(and the slick pan). FLIP the egg. Everyone has their favorite technique for this, and if you don't I recommend practicing it. For me I move the pan away from me slightly to give the food some momentum, then pull back towards myself sharply just enough for the food to hit the sloped side away from me and become airborn. Lastly, bring the pan back under the food, and move it downward slightly to try and cushion the landing, so that the food lands nice and softly back in the pan. After some practice, you'll be able to do this with a pretty high success rate.
  9. let the egg cook for another 5-10 seconds. this will finish off the remaining uncooked white, including that surrounding the yolk. I
  10. usually do this on my way to the plate. Carryover heat will continue to firm the egg up, but if you got step 7 right, it won't overcook the yolk.

I realize this is a necro post, but just wanted to add this technique to the collective, and I love stack exchange :).

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+1 for dedicated egg pans. –  mikeTheLiar Dec 17 '12 at 17:52

I make myself a breakfast of bacon and eggs every Saturday morning. I feel I have perfected my egg cooking, and I will attempt to tell you how to replicate it.

Preparation

Materials:

One Cast Iron Skillet, 12 inches diameter
A wooden spatula with a rounded corner on one side
A wide pancake flipper
One Gas Stove (electric is less ideal but do-able)
A package of bacon
Three eggs
A bowl to hold the eggs before cooking
A plate for serving

Put the three eggs in the bowl and cover with warm to hot tap water, let these sit while the bacon cooks.

Put four full slices of bacon in the skillet (or more) and use a wide flame about medium-low to cook them. The fat in the bacon should render down to a golden brown and the oil from it should liquify in the bottom of the pan. Carefully remove the bacon and place on the serving plate, attempting to leave as much of the bacon oil in the pan as possible.

(Now's a good time to put bread in a toaster if you have both, not necessary to these directions, but how I prefer to do it. Wait until you're at the last egg to toast it.)

If you leave the oil on a medium-low flame while you do this, it may begin to smoke, and you don't want that, the heat will plasticize the egg whites, so turn it down a bit to almost completely low (remember, stove behavior varies so you'll want to carefully experiment until you learn your stove).

The Eggs

Now, carefully take an egg out of the warm water, dry it, and crack it into the pan. I prefer to firmly grip the egg between the ends and rotate it, knocking it softly against a smooth hard surface until I've fractured it all around its equator. If you're afraid you'll get shell in the pan, you can crack it into a ramekin first so you can inspect it.

When you crack it into the pan, it should smooth out much more quickly than a cold egg normally would, and you also want to puncture the inner whites' membrane with the rounded spatula as soon as you can to further smooth out the whites. When the top of the whites are firm enough to stay in place, tilt the pan slightly, allowing the oil to come to one side of the pan. Holding the pan tilted in place with your non-dominant hand, use your dominant hand to flip the oil onto the yolk with an almost whisking motion. I usually count 60 or so oil flips before the whites on the top of the yolk are congealed, but if the oil cools too much, it may take more.

Use the pancake flipper to carefully remove the finished egg from the pan, and try to drip as much of the oil back into the pan as possible for easier cooking of the remaining eggs.

Repeat the process for the remaining eggs. When you're done, you can filter and store the remaining oil in a jar for future cooking, or if it's relatively clean (no food left in it to spoil), leave it in the pan for another set of eggs tomorrow.

You should now have a plate full of bacon and perfect eggs. Enjoy.

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Hm, you cook the eggs one at a time? Don't you end up with the first one a bit cold by the time you're done with the last one? –  Jefromi Aug 8 at 15:35
    
They cook very quickly because they're already warm, and I cover one with the other, so they retain the heat fairly well. If they didn't, I could heat a stoneware plate as well. –  Aaron Hall Aug 8 at 15:37
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Although this is not a method I would use, I gave you a +1 for the clear instructions and attention to detail. –  AirThomas Aug 8 at 17:32

I have a new way - plop the whole egg or eggs in a pan like normal people, wait a bit then use a blowtorch to set that last bit of white which is around the yolk.

The blowtorch approach works great for omelettes too - so I can set the top and flip (if the mood takes me).

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