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What Are the Different Types of Fried Eggs?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are several different ways to prepare fried eggs, ranging from sunny side up to egg in a basket. The many types of fried eggs all taste more or less the same, but the texture of the eggs can change depending on how they are prepared, and many people have a preference for one particular style or another as a result. At home, you can prepare any number of types of fried eggs easily, and most establishments which offer fried eggs are happy to prepare them as requested.

Fried eggs are made by oiling a pan with butter, lard, or another fat and letting it heat up on the stove before dropping in a cracked egg. The yolk of a fried egg is left intact, which is why dishes like scrambled eggs are not considered fried eggs even though they are fried in an oiled pan. As the egg cooks, it turns firm, and the white of the egg becomes opaque while the yolk thickens and grows slightly lighter in color.

One of the most classic types of fried eggs is the sunny side up egg. A sunny side up egg is cooked only on one side, so the yolk tends to stick out and retain a rounded shape. Sunny side up eggs must be cooked with care, as it is possible to burn the bottom while the top is still runny; some people baste the top with oil from the pan to encourage it to cook.

Once an egg has flipped, it enters the “egg over” family of fried eggs. Depending on how long the egg is cooked, it may be over easy, over medium, or over hard. Eggs over easy typically have runnier yolks, while over hard eggs have hard, thoroughly cooked yolks. Many people enjoy eggs over easy on bread, toast, or rice, as the starch absorbs the flavorful yolk. Consumers who are worried about food safety may opt for eggs over hard to ensure that the whole egg is thoroughly cooked to a safe temperature.

These types of fried eggs are all made with eggs alone, with the variations in the end product coming from how they are handled. Another option is egg in a basket, which is made by cutting a hole in a piece of bread and cooking the egg inside the hole. The warm, oiled pan toasts the bread as the egg cooks, and the bread typically absorbs some flavoring from the egg as well. This classic variation on the fried egg is a popular breakfast food in some parts of the world, with some people viewing it as a special treat.

As you plan breakfast and other meals, find more information about meal planning and calorie tracking with a keto diet app review. Depending on how many of a specific fried egg type you consumed, you can search how many calories are in each one on the app to discover your fat, protein, and caloric intake for that meal. 

Track a healthy fat intake so you can keep an optimal weight. For example, a person consuming a 2,200-calorie per day diet should not consume any more than 73 grams of fat per day.

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.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon116252 — On Oct 06, 2010

Does anyone know of a more comprehensive guide to cooked (fried) eggs? Something that goes over sunny side, basted (soft, medium, hard), shipwrecked, over (easy, medium, well, hard), and scrambled (soft, hard). Preferably it would also cover poaching (soft, medium, hard) and hard/soft boiled as well.

By anon44282 — On Sep 06, 2009

Toad in the hole is actually sausage in some kind of nest - the most popular being a yorkshire pudding nest.

By anon36435 — On Jul 12, 2009

its a toad in a hole.

By anon35640 — On Jul 06, 2009

i always learned that egg in a basket were called a hole in the wall

By anon21111 — On Nov 10, 2008

We always called egg in a basket an egg in a nest when I was growing up :)

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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