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What are Some Different Ways to Cook Eggs?

Diana Bocco
Updated May 16, 2024
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According to chefs and professional cooks, there are over 100 ways to cook eggs. While many require certain expertise or the use of specialized utensils or ingredients, there are also numerous ways to cook eggs that the average person can try at home any day. The simplest ways to fix eggs can be divided into four categories: frying, scrambling, boiling, and baking.

To cook eggs in a frying pan, you need little more than oil. Fried eggs can be done in any of the following ways:

  • Sunny-side up: cooked on one side only; the top part, containing the yellow, usually stays slightly liquid.

  • Basted: basically a sunny-side up in which oil is poured over the top rather than at the bottom of the pan.

  • Steam-basted: a variation of basted in which water is added to produce steam.

  • Over-easy: cooked on one side and then turned over for only a few seconds.

  • Over-hard: cooked on one side and then turned over until both sides are evenly cooked.

You can also cook eggs by scrambling them. This is done prior to cooking, using a bowl and adding salt and pepper, herbs, and sometimes milk before placing the eggs on a frying pan. Basic scrambled eggs require you to keep stirring as the eggs cook, so the result is a slightly jellied mix. Scrambled eggs can be easily tuned into omelets by adding vegetables or cheese, and avoiding the constant stirring. The result is a tight mass with a bread-like consistency than can be easily rolled or put into sandwiches.

Another common way to cook eggs is to boil them. Boiled eggs can be hard-cooked or soft-cooked. The difference is basically the consistency of the yolk; in soft-cooked eggs, the yolk is still runny. Poaching is the action of cooking a broken egg, rather than one with the shell intact, in water. Eggs can also be baked, especially when made into omelets or frittatas, a version of an omelet containing hearty fillings such as vegetables, large pieces of meat, mushrooms, and cheese.

There are many other ways to preparing eggs, such as microwaving, deep-frying, custards, and quiches. Eggs can also be used to make sauces and dressings, and to prepare all kinds of soufflés.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diana Bocco
By Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various businesses. With a data-focused approach and a talent for sharing engaging stories, Diana’s written work gets noticed and drives results.
Discussion Comments
By gene1961 — On Feb 25, 2014

What gets me is you go into a restaurant and order eggs over easy and the waitress will argue with you cause she believes what the jerk in the kitchen told her: "If they want the whites done it's over medium." I tell her yeah, right. If I wanted the yolks half cooked, I would order them over medium. When they send them out like that, I send them back. When they send them out all watery and snotty looking, I say I did not order these over light, and send them back.

I got my degree in the culinary arts as a chef, but I prefer being a breakfast cook more than anything. I just love breakfast, even 24 hours a day. I hate it when people screw up my eggs.

By anon286018 — On Aug 18, 2012

I found this article very interesting. I've been trying to go as organic as possible by eating only organic foods, and eggs are no exception.

By anon154723 — On Feb 21, 2011

I don't know how this became about steak, but to clear something up, the red stuff isn't actually blood like most people think. It's colored because of the pigments in the meat. And if you don't like a bloody steak, don't get rare obviously. That's actually bloody. But anything med-rare and up isn't bloody. It's basically just flavor. And it's hot enough inside to kill food borne illnesses, so try it once. And I eat my eggs scrambled well.

By anon119725 — On Oct 19, 2010

I agree with Anon101688. I have been a cook for 11 years, and when a customer orders a medium well steak and it has a small amount of pink in it they complain. When in reality that is the proper preparation.

I usually cook med-well to well because ignorant customers do not realize that it is supposed to be pink and send it back. I just am sure that it is nice and tender and has not burned edges versus a well done.

A well done steak is a 100 percent fully cooked steak. Someone orders a extra well steak, wasting its flavor, and it is burnt they complain, but what is above 100 percent cooked? Of course, burn it.

I live in TN and I see customers complain that a medium has a pink center, but that is what medium is.

You would not believe how many medium steaks I have sent out that were perfect and the complaint was "My steak is rare", when it was very far from it. They see blood and assume it isn't cooked. However, the steak actually has reached a high enough temperature inside to kill any food born illness.

In this state many "rednecks" think medium is well with no burn on it, and anything with any color is rare. This is not so. Medium = pink the entire steak except the outside. I say this to clarify for any who assume that medium has no blood and the same for med-well steaks.

It sickens me to see a beautiful steak ruined by being cooked past medium! All the flavor is in the blood. No steak sauce needed. Often med-well steaks are assumed to be fully cooked, but it is not so. However, due to customers I must cook it well done.

Only when I receive specified orders for med-well do I cook it to proper med-well, or it will be sent back. This is caused by customers that are not aware of what they order. I wish people would realize that if they want to order a non pink steak to order it well done.

Some know that the steak will be over cooked and order a med-well as a non-burnt alternative to well. But when a customer sends back a extra-well and complains it is burnt they need a beating. I can think of two reasons why: first for wasting a great steak and second for complaining on what they ordered. How can it be any more done than 100 percent? Only one way, and that is to burn that bad boy.

Rare is my preferred choice to eat, barely cooked at all is my specified instructions to the cook.

Take my advice: if the blood scares you, close your eyes and try a rare steak or medium if that is too much for you. You will be amazed at how the steak actually has flavor instead of being tough like the bottom of a shoe. Sauce ruins steaks, and 60 percent of Americans eat med-well and well done and do not even know the difference. Then they choose a tangy sauce to erase the dryness of the steak they have ordered.

I find it abysmal when people order these upper temps and complain about it being tough or burnt when that is what they ordered.

Do not order Well or Extra Well if you do not want it tough or burned. Some customers actually eat med-well steaks and those people are smart enough to tell the cook they would like it to be slightly pink as they know many cooks will up cook it to well because of the 30 steaks that will be returned if they do not.

By anon101688 — On Aug 04, 2010

But the 15 year cook deserves some merit. Many times customers are not aware of the "proper" term and use them incorrectly.

Like when a customer will return a rare steak they ordered and complain it's cool in the middle. Rare by definition is "cool, red center". I've seen several restaurants bend rare to mean "warm red center" because of customer ignorance, and whoo boy! do they argue with you when you try to explain.

I'm a grill cook, not a breakfast cook but surely he runs into the same problem with eggs. There's unfortunately some wiggle room when it comes to cooking practices in restaurants, thanks to ignorant customers.

And in my humble opinion, experience in a field counts for a lot more than book learning, especially when it comes to cooking.

By anon84929 — On May 18, 2010

Fried, hard, both sides!

By anon44551 — On Sep 08, 2009

The 15-year breakfast cook is not right either. mostly because the writer used proper terms, and just because that person worked for somewhere for 15 years doesn't mean he or she knows anything about cooking as a whole or even eggs for that matter.

By anon43262 — On Aug 27, 2009

Sorry, but I've been a breakfast cook for 15 years and I must disagree with the writer. In actuality, by the way the writer describes the first egg, it would more accurately be called "over light", which is less than "over easy". The second, where he does not break the yolk but cooks the egg completely is "over well". When you break the yolk and fully cook it, it will be "over hard".

By anon39771 — On Aug 04, 2009

what is it called when the yolk is broken and the egg is cooked evenly?

By anon32227 — On May 18, 2009

Most likely over-hard, because they would say over easy usually if they wanted that.

By malena — On Feb 10, 2008

When someone asks for fried eggs what type are they asking for? Over easy?

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various...
Learn more
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