It’s easy to fry an egg, but getting it just is a minor skill. If the heat’s too high the egg will get rubbery, and the yolk grows hard and unpleasant. A properly runny yolk can be delicious, but not if it is undercooked, and spots of raw egg is nauseating.
The biggest reason fried eggs get messed up in our house is because it’s morning, we’re anxiously struggling to get everybody out the door for school and work. We sit our boys down and make them take their time while enjoying breakfast, and we can focus on the perfection of a yellow circle on a white background.
Use the Right Heat
1. Add a few drops of water to a non-stick skillet, and pre-heat on medium heat. When the water begins to boil, it is the proper temperature.
2. Add a tiny amount of butter, and wait until it foams. Crack eggs and drop into butter, and immediately turn heat down to medium-low.
3. Fry eggs for about 1½ minutes, until there is a yellowish oval and bright yolk on top of a cooked white egg.
4. Flip the eggs, and cook for about a minute for runny yolks, or about 1½ minutes for a slighty more firm egg yolk.
5. For “sunny-side up” eggs that are actually cooked, pour a Tablespoon of water into the pan immediately after dropping the eggs in, and put a cover on the skillet. The steam will cook the top.
These eggs will be softer than eggs cooked at a higher temperature, so they will more difficult to flip. It requires a forceful shove of the spatula underneath the eggs before flipping.
Cracking the Eggs
Why do yolks break when eggs are cracked for frying, but rarely when you crack them for scrambling. It’s not common sense, but the harder you smack the eggs, the more likely the yolk will stay intact when you pour it into the pan. If a piece of shell goes into the pan, use the large half of the shell to scoop it up, or wet a spoon before using it to scoop it up.
Best results come by cracking eggs on a flat surface, rather than the edge of a dish or pan. I keep a plate next to the stove to crack eggs on, put the shells on, and make it easier to clean up.
For a change, lay a strip of sliced Swiss cheese across the top of the egg, immediately after removing it from the pan. The residual heat will melt the cheese.