That’s how my parents did it - spoon the bacon grease over the egg. We called them dirty eggs!
Yeah, steam-basting was the way my mother cooked eggs most often for us growing up. She would put down a layer of nice local Polish deli-made ham or smoked pork loin (aka what we call “Canadian bacon” in the US), crack four to six eggs over it, let it cook up a bit, and when the thinner part of the whites were set, put in a little bit of water, and cover with a lid to steam-finish. Very simple, reliable method that ends up with fully cooked whites, a runny yolk (if you time it correctly) with a white sheen over it (looking like this.)
Here’s my hack. I don’t flip them at all.
I cover the pan and cook them on low heat. With a little practice you’ll figure out how long to wait to make both the white and the yolk your preferred consistency.
I’m always interested in quick meals with minimal fuss and the fewest dirty utensils possible. I bought a dozen eggs last night and this weekend I’m gonna teach myself that egg flipping maneuver if it kills me. I’ll definitely practice with hamburger buns first, though.
I wonder how many egg breakfasts a guy can eat in one weekend without becoming permanently disgusted by them?
I cook mine in butter, and cheat to flip them. A thin spatula to slide under and fork (flat edge/side) to keep the egg from sliding while I get the spatula under it. Also learned that (for me) it seems to work better if when I initially crack the egg, I can get it to fall so the yolk is at the edge of the white instead of the center, since I really only need to get the spatula under the yolk.
I hope the OP reports back with his successes or failures in flipping.
Ok first off I think there used to be a pan that did the flip for you but that could be an omelet pan I’m thinking of. So you could look for that egg flipping pan.
Everyone who said you need more lubrication of the pan bottom is right. Olive oil or canola oil sprays work well.
One last thought and this is what i do … use a 9" pan and use three eggs. Use some type of lube on the pan. When you use a smaller pan the three eggs basically become one huge egg with three yolks. Then you’re turning something more substantial than one half cooked egg at a time.
You possess skills I lack. I use a 12" pan for two eggs. I need the room.
Interesting. I actually find it easer with a smaller pan. I use an 8" non-stick for two eggs.
That is the really traditional method for “basted” eggs. Depression era stuff.
I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone outside my family ordering basted eggs for at least a few decades. Those are always the “a bit of water or small ice cube and cover” method.
Not sure why but my kids like the over easy and never took to me handing down the family tradition of basted (water and cover) method…
I don’t toss them over in the pan as I’ve usually got several eggs/something else that gets in the way in there too. I flip them. Scoop straight ahead, roll sideways. And I think the answer - for me, unpopular though it may be - is to use a metal fish-slice. What I want from my cookware is well cooked food; if the best results gradually degrade my cookware, then so be it! Same as I expect to change light bulbs, tyres, drill bits, etc, so I expect to need a new frying pan eventually. It serves my needs, rather than vice versa.
I don’t dig into the surface though, and I tend to use carbon steel pans these days anyway, as they’re a) cheap and b) don’t have a Teflon surface to worry about.
As an “over easy” person, I have to disagree with my regrettably misinformed “sunny side” friends who seem to believe that an egg that hasn’t been flipped is, in any way, a suitable replacement for an egg that has. It isn’t.
With that settled, my general rule is that once the white is mostly set and firm, though still liquidy on top, you just have to get the spatula all the way under the yolk. If you can get the yolk up off the pan, the flip is practically a given. I tend to do more of a roll than a flip at any rate to reduce breakage.
My other secret, a 10 gauge carbon steel flat-top griddle. Lots of open space, no teflon to scratch and a well seasoned slick surface for eggs.
Can one procure such a thing for general home usage? I’ve only ever seen one at a diner.
Does it sit over the burners, or is it a standalone appliance? Electric plug in?
So, how many did it take, to either master the technique or to get sick of 'em?
You could get a cast-iron griddle.
Actually, I have a cast iron one. But I’d love to know how to get one of those diner-style steel griddles. Cast iron handles totally differently.
I have a cast iron one too but it’s too clunky and takes too long to heat up for just a couple of eggs.
No idea internationally, but catering suppliers do them here in the UK. They’re not a regular feature of home cookware stores, but they’re not difficult to come by if you want one. https://www.nisbets.co.uk/catering-appliances/cooking-equipment/griddles/_/a33-3
They can be electric plug-in or gas; over-the-burners ones are generally iron, which behaves a bit differently.
My new Oxo flippers arrived while I was on spring break last week. I tried one last night. It was marginally better than what I had been using. For what I need, 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Tonight, I mustered up the nerve to try flipping them without a spatula. I practiced with bread and got pretty consistent at it. I used a smaller pan than I had been using. It’s also new and is very non-stick. (It was cheap so I don’t expect it to last.)
Once the eggs were somewhat set, I lifted the pan, ran through my flipping routine and panicked. I got the eggs halfway up the pan. They flipped about 1/4 of the way. I took a deep breath and gave it all I could. The eggs flew through the air and landed perfectly in the middle of the pan; yolks intact. Upon gazing in wonderment at what I had done, I slid the eggs out of the pan and cooked two more. Once again, I nailed both the takeoff and the landing.
Fueled by adrenaline and the rush of success, I am now going outside to try my hand at log rolling.
YES! YES! YES!!! Congratulations!! Don’t get too cocky–you’ll fuck up a few times the next few times you try it, but now that you know that you can do it and that it’s not some impossible skill to master, you’re well on your way.