Those really flat stainless, flexible spatulas that chefs use are available. On your good non-stick pan just be gingerly with it. If you don’t gouge or scramble the egg your pan will be safe. IMO.
Not a diner per se, but when I worked at Jack in the Box I learned how to cook eggs on the flat-top grill.
We made them round for sandwiches using little steel rings (You can find them in most department stores) which we heated up on the grill and then added butter-flavored shortening to cover the bottom. We cracked the egg in there and, as soon as the edge of the white was visibly solid, we’d loosen the edges, pull the ring off, and flip it.
Of course, we didn’t do overeasy at Jack - just over-hard and scrambled - but the principle is pretty much the same.
I spent a couple of years at a 24-hour family style restaurant. Worked the grill for a few months, and learned the one-armed wrist flip. It’s important that the whites be cooked enough that you can swirl the pan around so the eggs glide across the surface without sticking. Once you’re there, get the eggs sliding to the far edge of the pan and let them start to climb up the slope to the rim.
Then, just as they’re approaching the rim, thrust the pan forward suddenly. This starts the eggs to launch themselves out of the pan (don’t worry, they won’t get far), and gives them some momentum that will flip them over. Keep your eyes on the eggs, so you can keep the pan underneath them when they come back down.
It might be best to master this move with one egg before you graduate to two.
Actually, I’d suggest flipping other foods before tackling an egg. Sauté some vegetables and use your sauté pan as intended, to flip/mix whatever you’re cooking.
Try a fish turner instead of a spatula, you can get ones lined with silicone and they are thinner and easier to use than spatulas,
I use the wrist flick flip too, but most of the tv cooks will tell you that for over easy you want to use a plate. Slide the egg onto the plate and then slide it back face down. It’s the gentlest way to flip and gives you the least chance of breaking the yolk. It’s also easier than a spatula which I have never made work for eggs.
Can anyone suggest a good model or brand? I’ve yet to find one that’s safe for nonstick AND still super-thin to slide under the egg or fish.
I can be gentle using metal in a nonstick pan, but … well, sometimes other folks cook with my stuff, and they aren’t always as delicate with handling as I am. (Formerly, a roommate. Now, the boyfriend.) So it’s gotta be coated, or simply made of nonmetal. BUT STILL SUPER THIN.
Every nylon or silicone item I found is way too thick for this purpose. I understand they’re floppy materials, but surely there’s been a design solution?
I like GIR silicone stuff. Something like this https://www.amazon.com/GIR-GIRFPM311BLK-Premium-Silicone-Flipper/dp/B0177MBROQ?ref_=bl_dp_s_mw_13395978011
Not a fish turner per se (I haven’t found one of those that works that isn’t metal) but the next best thing.
Any if you flippers able to do it with four? I tried once and made a mess. So I just turn them with a spatula.
My first real job in high school was as a diner breakfast-shift short-order cook, and I worked at a number of them on-and-off throughout college to make ends meet. It wasn’t uncommon to go through two cases of eggs per shift, 300 eggs or more, which isn’t even a lot – I mostly worked at smaller diners, with limited seating.
Then and now, I used a 7.5 inch solid aluminum pan. No spatula, I just use the curvature of the pan and a flick of the wrist to put them in motion. If I want to get fancy, I can send them sailing through the air, and catch them slightly behind me, almost always without breaking the yolks. I break more yolks while opening the eggs into the pan than I do flipping them.
Two things I think are key to this technique:
First: Have a well-prepared pan. If the pan sticks at all, the egg’s motion becomes unpredictable, and it’s even worse if you flip it a second time. So make sure your pan is spotlessly clean before you start. Also, heat the oil for 5-15 seconds, and pour out any excess, before dropping in the eggs.
Second: Don’t bring the pan up to meet the egg when you flip it. New cooks always did this, and invariably the pan smashes into the eggs, and breaks the yolks. Instead, catch the egg with the pan dropping away from the egg, so that it lands gently. Sounds obvious, but it’s the number one newbie mistake.
New cooks were taught to flip eggs by giving them a pan and a slice of bread to flip until they got the basic motion down. Then they moved on to real eggs, many of which wound up over-well and in sandwiches.
I was taught to use a spoon to splash hot grease over the the yolk. It’ll cook and set. Over easy is how I like mine.
I use a spatula to flip it and continue cooking for a fully cooked yolk. My other family members don’t like runny yolks.
The partially set (cooked) yolk doesn’t break as easily when flipped.
I always find that older eggs tend to break more.
Took a lot of practice in my younger days to not break them but then again, later on, it seemed the older the egg, the quicker it broke upon flipping
Well, I had this one ordered but then this morning on “America’s Test Kitchen” they just so happened to mention one from Oxo that they preferred. So I canceled and ordered the Oxo. I’ve had really good experience with their products and in fact, the pan that I use for frying eggs is also an Oxo.
This is the way that my mom taught me to fry eggs but I’m trying to cut back on fat.
I concur with the “don’t flip” crowd. I think eggs look and taste better when they are nominally “sunny side up”, and if you like the yolks somewhat cooked through though still a bit runny, a shallow cover over the eggs improvised with a piece of aluminum foil works great. Over medium heat, the yolks are cooked but mostly runny in about the time the underside is gently browned.
I also do this for my breakfast favorite, a bacon and egg sandwich on a toasted bun. Now here you don’t want the yolk runny at all, but I achieve that by poking it with a spatula to break it, not by flipping. That way it cooks more thoroughly for sandwich purposes. When I made a b&e sandwich the “flip” way, it just seemed off – like a failed attempt at an omelet.
I use the method of sliding it out of the pan onto a plate and then flipping when going from the plate back into the pan. I never break a yolk that way. I suppose the plate acts like a big spatula.
Maybe that’s part of the reason my yolks never break. I usually cook eggs that are still warm from the hen.
I watched this video this weekend, and tried it with 3 eggs in a small frying pan.
BAM! Perfect shot, 1st try! I was pretty impressed with myself
When I make eggs over easy, I use the spatula to get up under the egg a bit while it’s cooking before I flip it and make sure I let it cook long enough for the bottom to set. With eggs, the trick is to be confident but gentle.
I was going to post this too. My BIL cooked at a diner when he was a teenager. I was complaining about not being able to flip my eggs. He said they were taught to add some water and then cover the egg. In the last few years, I’ve been finally able to flip eggs with a spatula with about a 75% success rate.