I was given a new copper pan and tried to cook my over easy eggs in the pan without butter, as it says in the ads.

However, the eggs stuck in the pan horribly. I usually use butter to cook even in my other not stick pan and they come out fine. What am I doing wrong?

  • Is the pan coated with ceramic/enamel or is it a plain old copper pan?
    – JimmyJames
    Nov 28, 2016 at 17:54

4 Answers 4


Eggs are very hard to get right on a non-teflon pan, but do-able. First, you need oil or butter. I don't care what the infomercials say, I've never been able to fry eggs on a metal pan without oil.

Second you need to get the heat right. Oil forms a barrier between the pan and the egg, and also conducts heat better, what actually keeps an egg from sticking is the steam produced by the egg cooking. If the pan is too cold, or the transfer of heat to the egg is not fast enough then steam will not be produced quickly enough to keep the egg from sticking. You need to get the heat up on your pan. If the egg burns before it's cooked you've gone too far.


You're not doing anything wrong, except perhaps buying into the advertising. Even with butter, eggs stick in anything that isn't a nonstick pan. It takes a true expert to fry eggs, even with butter, in anything but a nonstick pan. Even ceramic nonstick pans can become problematic pretty quickly. So far teflon is the only surface that I routinely use to fry eggs.

  • 6
    True expert? I was able to fry eggs on iron pan when I was what, ten? All it takes is knowing your pan a bit, and mom that forces you to wash it yourself ;)
    – Mołot
    Nov 28, 2016 at 14:56
  • 4
    A well-seasoned cast iron pan can do eggs no problem - but the factory coatings aren't adequate, as I'm sure there are many other answers on this site explaining in great detail.
    – zwol
    Nov 28, 2016 at 16:11
  • I regularly fry eggs in both cast iron and stainless steel pans using a variety of oils without any problem sticking. I never use teflon coated pans.
    – Rob K
    Sep 20, 2017 at 20:02

I regularly use cast-iron and other "sticky" pans to cook eggs successfully.

The secret is to add a small amount of water (few millimeters on bottom of pan) to the pan about half-way through cooking. It gets under the eggs and helps them lift. You can aid the process using the egg-flipper.

Even better, about half-way though add a bit of water and put the lid on. Not only will they be easy to get out, also the tops of the eggs will cook from the steam but the yolk will still be runny.

  • Like this! cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/40270/…
    – Jolenealaska
    Nov 29, 2016 at 22:35
  • @Jolenealaska Yes!!! It is such a good method! :) Nov 30, 2016 at 10:57
  • I also cook my eggs in cast iron. I don't use water, just butter, but the pan is hot, not smokin' hot, just hot and I never have a problem with over easy. But I think I will try the water drop method.
    – phoebe
    Dec 5, 2016 at 2:42

Using a copper pan, I fried six eggs at once. The key for me was spraying the spatula (on both sides) with non stick spray. Flipping the eggs was simple -- none of the yokes broke. Hope that helps!

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