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View Full Version : Teach me to make fried eggs over easy.


Khadaji
01-01-2006, 09:10 AM
OK, it should be a simple thing to do. Fry some eggs and flip them over.

No matter what I do, I can't do it right. The yolks always break.

Tell me your fool-proof method.

eenerms
01-01-2006, 09:26 AM
Former Fry cook here: It's all in the wrist. Make sure you have enough oil/butter. This lubicant must be hot but not too hot . A small pan(I use non stick) Crack eggs carefully into pan. Wiggle the handle making sure the eggs are not stickin, when the whites are just turning solid, grab the handle of the pan and pull it towards you sliding the eggs toward you too. The quickly flip the eggs in the air and cook on the other side. REpeat process in reverse to serve.

I always impress my sweetie at breakfast I know how to do a French omlette roll too. :)

Chefguy
01-01-2006, 09:43 AM
First, use a non-stick pan (I prefer either a flat griddle or a large saute pan. Second, do not turn the heat up past about medium. Crack the eggs into a bowl so you don't run the risk of breaking the yolks when breaking them into the pan. Get the butter hot and slide the eggs into the hot pan. You might try this with just one egg first to get the hang of the next step.

When the egg is set on one side (I tend to fuss with the whites to get them to cook faster), turn the spatula upside down, work it under the edge of the egg closest to you, and roll it over with a gentle flick of the wrist. Notice there is no lifting and flipping going on here. When done (check by cutting into the white), slide out of the pan onto a plate. With multiple eggs, you may have to move them about the pan to facilitate turning, but this shouldn't result in busted yolks if you're using non-stick.

A.R. Cane
01-01-2006, 09:47 AM
Fresh egg yolks tend to break easier, week old eggs are better for frying and hard boiling (they peel easier).
Use plenty of oil or a good non-stick pan, keep the heat below med., if the eggs develop a "fringe" your pan is definitely too hot. Break the eggs into a bowl, rather than directly into the pan. If they stick at all, work your spatula gently around the perimeter until the egg slides in the pan, then slide the spatula completely under and gently flip the egg. You can also cover the pan to cook the tops, in lieu of turning them.
I love eggs, but they raise hell w/ your cholesterol.

Ukulele Ike
01-01-2006, 09:49 AM
Crack the eggs into hot butter in a small non-stick skillet. Salt and pepper them.

Now, quick, dip your hand under the kitchen faucet and dash a teaspoon or two of water just the the edge of the pan....and clap a lid over it!

Sixty seconds later you'll find the steam has cooked the tops of your eggs for you, you have a lovely pair of (more-or-less) easy-over eggs, and you slide them out onto your plate next to th' toast and bacon.

Foolproof? It's IDIOT-proof, I tell you.

don't ask
01-01-2006, 09:52 AM
Learn to prefer them sunnyside up.

Years ago I read a book by some "master" chef. He said that when he hired chefs he used to ask them to fry an egg as their test. He expected them to slowly cook the egg (3 - 4 minutes) and not turn the egg at all. He said that anyone that fried eggs quickly did not understand what they were cooking.

NicePete
01-01-2006, 09:54 AM
Here's what works for me:

I use a cast iron skillet, well seasoned, but you could use any kind you like, as long as it is well lubricated. I like cast iron because you don't have to worry about the surface and thus can use a metal spatula to turn the eggs.

Use medium heat, not high. Lubricate the pan with something -- Bacon grease tastes good, but probably isn't the best for you. Use just enough to cover the bottom of the pan -- you don't want oil standing in the pan, you aren't deep frying. Use the freshest eggs you can get, the yolks will hold together better.

As far as turning goes, I like to use a metal spatula because they are thinner than any plastic/silicon one I've ever seen. I try to go in where the yolk is closest to the edge. I'm trying to get the whole yolk entirely on the spatula. If I can do that things are simple -- I just gently lay the egg over into the pan and let it cook on the other side. If you can't get proper spatula placement things are tougher and you're much more likely to break the yolk.

I've gotten to where I can successfully make an unbroken yolk about 8 of 10 times.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-01-2006, 10:07 AM
Crack the eggs into hot butter in a small non-stick skillet. Salt and pepper them.

Now, quick, dip your hand under the kitchen faucet and dash a teaspoon or two of water just the the edge of the pan....and clap a lid over it!

Sixty seconds later you'll find the steam has cooked the tops of your eggs for you, you have a lovely pair of (more-or-less) easy-over eggs, and you slide them out onto your plate next to th' toast and bacon.

Foolproof? It's IDIOT-proof, I tell you.
This is actuly called "basting," but you're right. It's easy and it's idiot proof.

K364
01-01-2006, 01:57 PM
If the eggs are coming right out of the refrigerator, I always put them in a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes - this ensures that the yolks are at room temperature.

Otherwise, it is difficult to get them to cook because they are ice-cold. If you don't do this you have to cook the whites much longer than you would like, either scorching them, or turning them rubbery.

Mister Rik
01-01-2006, 05:13 PM
Learn to prefer them sunnyside up.

Years ago I read a book by some "master" chef. He said that when he hired chefs he used to ask them to fry an egg as their test. He expected them to slowly cook the egg (3 - 4 minutes) and not turn the egg at all. He said that anyone that fried eggs quickly did not understand what they were cooking.
Ahem. Mr. Master Chef is an idiot. He must be accustomed to cooking for people who "dine", not people who "eat". 3-4 minutes for a fried egg may be fine if you're cooking in some fancy-pants place where people come in in groups of one to four to linger over a breakfast that looks pretty on the plate. 3-4 minutes for a fried eggs is totally unacceptable in just about any other kind of breakfast restaurant. I'm accustomed to having up to 20 people in a party, with eggs cooked every possible way. And having only two burners upon which to fry said eggs. Sorry, Mr. Chef, but not everybody wants their eggs cooked sunny-side-up, and they don't want to way an hour for breakfast. I cook them the way the customer wants them cooked, and serve them quickly.

lissener
01-01-2006, 05:27 PM
If the eggs are coming right out of the refrigerator, I always put them in a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes - this ensures that the yolks are at room temperature.

Otherwise, it is difficult to get them to cook because they are ice-cold. If you don't do this you have to cook the whites much longer than you would like, either scorching them, or turning them rubbery.This is absolutely crucial. I run hot water from the tap over my refrigerated eggs for several minutes before I break them into a bowl. Then I slip them all into the hot iron skillet at once, season them, and cover. I let them cook covered for a couple minutes, so they're firm enough to flip without breaking. When I flip them, I only let them cook for another few seconds, then slide them out. Perfect almost ever time.

lonesome loser
01-01-2006, 07:25 PM
Just use enough butter, yes I fry my eggs in butter, to spoon over the top of the eggs.

I guess you could call it basting seeing as it's what I do.

Works every time.

Guinastasia
01-01-2006, 08:28 PM
I don't know if this helps, but I saw an ad on tv for some kind of spatula called the "grip and flip", that's basically a pair of plastic tongs and a spatula combined.

lonesome loser
01-01-2006, 08:33 PM
I don't know if this helps, but I saw an ad on tv for some kind of spatula called the "grip and flip", that's basically a pair of plastic tongs and a spatula combined.

I have one of those. What's scary is...I have no idea how I got it.

Won't work with eggs though.

BoringDad
01-01-2006, 09:26 PM
Learn to prefer them sunnyside up.

Years ago I read a book by some "master" chef. He said that when he hired chefs he used to ask them to fry an egg as their test. He expected them to slowly cook the egg (3 - 4 minutes) and not turn the egg at all. He said that anyone that fried eggs quickly did not understand what they were cooking.
To continue to rip on the "master chef"...

Slowly cook fried eggs? But... but... then they would be cooked all the way through and not runny!?!?! What kind of insanity is that? The cooked outside of the fried egg only exists to allow us to safely put the warmed runny yolk on our toast. Mmmm.

Now scambled eggs are a different matter. Must be cooked over medium and constantly scrambled. Must avoid all semblance of hardness, but end as a silky smooth pile of slightly firm wet glistening gold. And scrambled eggs that get brown spots from high heat? Blech.

To the OP, I assume that you can succesfully cook the first side of the egg, flip it, and have the yolk break a little and start leaking after the flip which will then ooze out the whole yolk. The answer seems to be "practice". But when I break my yolk, I find that if you stand the spatula upright at the leak, it often dams up the leaking yolk long enough for the yolk to cook at that point and seal the leak. At least well enoughto cook a skin on the yolk. Not perfect, but good stop gap.

Note: I am aware of the dangers of undercooked eggs. I also ride my bike to work with no helmet. I'll take my risks where I find them. I cook my children's eggs long enough to sterilize them.

jackelope
01-01-2006, 09:56 PM
Another former fry cook checking in (did my time at Waffle House in the early '90s). I have only one thing to add:

If you have a decent nonstick pan, you can practice flipping your eggs with a piece of heavy-ish bread (like a burger bun) in a cold pan; it will give you an idea of how to flip the eggs consistently, how they might slide in the pan, etc.

Also, don't flip them too high; if you do it properly, they shouldn't get more than a few inches above the pan. Once you get a little better at it, you'll get the hang of flipping them a bit higher, and pretty soon you'll be tossing them over your shoulder.

pulykamell
01-01-2006, 10:40 PM
To continue to rip on the "master chef"...

Slowly cook fried eggs? But... but... then they would be cooked all the way through and not runny!?!?! What kind of insanity is that? The cooked outside of the fried egg only exists to allow us to safely put the warmed runny yolk on our toast. Mmmm.

Three to four minutes is not going to render your yolk solid over the proper hear. When I fry my eggs, that's generally how long it takes. Over higher heat, I end up with a burnt circumference and a rubbery egg white.

Rick
01-02-2006, 01:17 AM
I don't know if this helps, but I saw an ad on tv for some kind of spatula called the "grip and flip", that's basically a pair of plastic tongs and a spatula combined.
If you ever see the box this sucker comes in it shows a pancake being turned. Cool idea right? Look close, the top of the pancake is already cooked. Can you guess what will happen if you put the grip down on the top of an unturned pancake (or egg for that matter)

kaylasdad99
01-02-2006, 03:36 AM
If you ever see the box this sucker comes in it shows a pancake being turned. Cool idea right? Look close, the top of the pancake is already cooked. Can you guess what will happen if you put the grip down on the top of an unturned pancake (or egg for that matter)We have them in our kitchen, very rarely used. If my regular spatula is in the dishwasher, I MIGHT break it out to turn a burger patty or a grilled cheese sandwich.

An Arky
01-02-2006, 06:57 AM
Use plenty of bacon grease; instead of trying to flip the egg, use your spatula to flip the grease over the top of the egg until it reaches the desired doneness.

Putting water into hot grease is crazy and definitely not foolproof.

Ukulele Ike
01-02-2006, 10:48 AM
use your spatula to flip the grease over the top of the egg until it reaches the desired doneness.
Now THAT'S what I thought a "basted" egg was.

Now, I wouldn't codone dropping a glass of water into a bubbling deep-fat fryer, but I tend to fry my eggs using no more than a tablespoon or so of fat. I haven't exploded anything yet with the teaspoon-of-water method.

An Arky
01-02-2006, 10:59 AM
Yeah, that doesn't sound all that crazy with that little bit of fat. I call what I do basting as well. Also, if you don't want to flip it with a spatula you can also use a spoon and just dump spoonfuls of hot grease on top of the egg for the same effect.

mmmm....fried eggs!

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-02-2006, 11:18 AM
I haven't exploded anything yet with the teaspoon-of-water method.
This is the method I use also. I think it results in prettier egs: the tops of the eggs are lily-white, with a pinkish-orange yolk, instead of the spattery, pockmarked surface of an over-easy egg.

Daniel

Chefguy
01-02-2006, 12:35 PM
This is actuly called "basting," but you're right. It's easy and it's idiot proof.

Sounds more like poaching to me.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-02-2006, 12:55 PM
Sounds more like poaching to me.I thought poaching involved submersing the eggs in water (http://www.sallys-place.com/food/columns/corn/poached_eggs.htm). This method just steam-cooks the top of the egg: there's never enough liquid water to do much of anything.

Daniel

Rick
01-02-2006, 01:02 PM
No not poached.
Poached eggs (http://www.hormel.com/templates/knowledge/knowledge.asp?catitemid=10&id=446) Cooked in a pan of simmering water.

Basted and Steamed eggs* (http://www.pillsbury.com/Learn/showTip.asp?tip_nbr=134) Basted eggs = hot grease spooned over the egg. Steamed eggs 1-2 teaspoons of water added to pan and cover put on so that the steam cooks the top of the egg.
The difference between steamed and basted is the amount of water. If the egg cooks in water it's poached. If a small amount of water is added to create steam it's a steamed egg.

*Until I went searching just now, I always heard steamed eggs referred to as basted.

Caprese
01-02-2006, 02:08 PM
*Until I went searching just now, I always heard steamed eggs referred to as basted.
Ditto.
Usually I use a bit of water, and a small dot of butter.

Mister Rik
01-02-2006, 02:27 PM
Sunny Side Up: Fried on one side only without flipping.
Over Easy: Fried on both sides. Yolk runny, whites runny.
Over Medium: Fried on both sides. Yolk mostly runny, whites hard.
Over Well: Fried on both sides. Yolk hard, whites hard. (Your egg is going to be kinda brown, because this takes a while.)
Over Hard: As Over Well, but yolk broken This cooks faster than Over Well, with less browning.
Basted: As Sunny Side Up, but covered and steamed.
Poached: Eggs cracked into boiling water and boiled until firm but still runny.

It occured to me that I neglected to mention my egg flipping technique earlier. I wish I could videotape myself in action so it would be easier to explain. But I'll try.

Ideally, find yourself a restaurant supply store and ask them for a 7-inch egg pan. They'll know what you mean. This will be a small aluminum sautee pan with a non-stick coating, and with a metal handle with a rubber grip. They can also sell you some "grill oil", though they might not have a small enough container for home use (I usually see this stuff in either 5-gallon jugs or in cases of three 1-gallon jugs.) They might be able to sell you a single gallon, though. "Grill Oil" (there are several brands - Whirl is common) is a vegetable oil, usually with a buttery flavor. It's heavier than Wesson or Mazola. It's much better than butter for frying, because it's already "clarified", it doesn't burn as easily (higher flash point) and doesn't snap, crackle and pop nearly as much as butter or margarine. And it's slicker.

Now, you want your pan to start out cool. If the pan starts out hot, you're going to scorch the eggs before they're cooked. When it gets really busy in a restaurant, I'll run cold water over the bottom of my egg pan to cool it down between orders.

I use the following steps:

1 - Oil the pan. In a restaurant, this entails ladling a small amount of oil into the pan. Use as little as you can get away with - start with just enough to cover half of the pan, then swirl the pan around to spread it evenly.

2 - Crack two eggs into the pan, taking care to not break the yolks (unless you want them broken.)

3 - Place the pan on the burner, over medium heat.

4 - Leave it alone while the whites set. For Over Easy eggs, this means mostly white, but you should still be able to see the black or gray color of the non-stick coating slightly tinting the whites. In other words, the whites are evenly set, but still thin enough for the pan to show through. For Over Medium, the whites should show an even white all over.

5 - When the whites are set, gently swirl the pan with a circular motion until the yolks have moved to the side closest to the handle. You may need to use a rubber spatula to gently unstick the eggs.

6 - Flip! I do this by quickly pushing the pan forward (away from myself) and then giving it a quick jerk upward. This should actually be all one motion. Let me try to describe this. Your grip on the pan handle is important. Your thumb should be on top of the handle, and your fingers on the bottom. To practice, hold out your hand as if you were going to shake somebody's hand. Relax your wrist and close your fingers. Your grip on the pan handle should be relaxed but firm (if that makes any sense).

The flip is very quick. The reason I mentioned the position of the yolks has to do with the weight of the egg. The whites and the yolks are approximately equal in weight. So here's what should happen when you flip the eggs: With the yolks closest to the handle, you give the pan a quick push forward. At the instant the front edge of the whites meets the front lip of the pan, you want to lift the front edge of the pan. This motion should be entirely in the wrist! Don't use your whole arm, or you'll get way too much height on the flip. Returning to my handshake example, hold your arm out and raise your wrist while keeping your arm in the same position. That's what your flipping motion should look like.

If you do this correctly, the whites should curve back toward you, and their weight will roll the yolks over. Ideally, the yolks should never lose contact with the pan - they should just roll over as the whites go over. It would probably be easiest to start with a set of Over Hard eggs until you're comfortable with the flipping motion.

The reason I mentioned buying a pan from a restaurant supply store has to do with the curvature of the pan. The professional pan is curved just right for this technique. Similar pans sold in grocery/department stores for home use just never seem to have the right shape to them. The non-stick coating is also more durable on a professional pan.

A couple things to keep in mind:

1 - The non-stick surface of your egg pan should be cleaned with a dry paper towel only! Wipe it clean and put it away (though you can use soap and water and a scrubber on the aluminum bottom and sides of the pan.) Never put your non-stick pan in the dishwasher! Automatic dishwasher detergent contains a corrosive that will destroy the non-stick coating. If you keep the inside of the pan wiped out after every use, the coating will last for a long time.

2 - Designate your egg pan and only use it for eggs. Frying/sauteeing other foods in it will eventually cause a buildup that will make the pan useless for eggs.

Somebody else mentioned starting with just one egg, but I disagree with that. Flipping a single egg is actually more difficult than flipping two. This comes back to the weight ratio between the whites and the yolks. The white of a single egg doesn't spread as much in the pan, and so the weight doesn't get distributed properly.

Also, be careful about your rubber spatula. I mean one of those white, soft-rubber spatulas, not the hard plastic spatulas, which are more properly called turners, though we still call them spatulas in restaurants. Even though the supply catalogs call them turners. Ahem. Anyway... I recommed the Rubbermaid brand, though there are some other good ones out there. I specify Rubbermaid because their rubber will stand up to the heat of an egg pan. There are some cheaper brands out there that will melt when you slide them under an egg. Just use the spatula to loosen the egg in the pan, if necessary. Don't use it to flip the eggs.

yBeayf
01-02-2006, 04:58 PM
"Grill Oil" (there are several brands - Whirl is common) is a vegetable oil, usually with a buttery flavor. It's heavier than Wesson or Mazola. It's much better than butter for frying, because it's already "clarified", it doesn't burn as easily (higher flash point) and doesn't snap, crackle and pop nearly as much as butter or margarine. And it's slicker.
And for better buttery goodness, stop by an Indian grocery store and pick up a jar or two of ghee (clarified butter). In my experience, once you're well and used to the real thing, artificial buttery *anything* is absolutely horrid. Ghee has the milk solids removed, and all the water boiled out, so nothing remains but pure buttery fatty goodness, absolutely perfect for frying.

sturmhauke
01-02-2006, 07:39 PM
My stepfather liked his eggs cooked "German style": crack the egg in the pan, break the yolk up and stir it around a little as it cooks. The end result is somewhere between scrambled and fried; there are identifiable patches of yolk and white all throughout. I dunno if "German style" is the right phrase, that's just what he called it. In any case it's pretty easy to do.

pulykamell
01-02-2006, 07:48 PM
My stepfather liked his eggs cooked "German style": crack the egg in the pan, break the yolk up and stir it around a little as it cooks. The end result is somewhere between scrambled and fried; there are identifiable patches of yolk and white all throughout. I dunno if "German style" is the right phrase, that's just what he called it. In any case it's pretty easy to do.

That's how I do (and have always done) my scrambled eggs. I don't like the homogenous mass that's formed when you whisk them together in a bowl. They may as well be an omelet at that point.

Queen Tonya
01-02-2006, 09:48 PM
I'm tardy, so I'll just second or third the 'practice with flipping a piece of bread' advice. I've never been able to master the spatula flip, but give me a little non-stick pan and whatever grease is available, I can do over medium without breaking yolks almost every time. One of the cooks showed me way back in my waitressing days and once you can control the flip on a piece of bread, eggs are no problem.

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