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What are the Different Ways to Fry an Egg?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are all sorts of ways to fry an egg, ranging from over-easy to toad in the hole, and they are all relatively easy. If you have mastered one technique for frying an egg, you can probably handle all of the various ways in which you can fry an egg. In all cases, remember that patience is a virtue when it comes to cooking eggs. If you cook on medium heat, the egg will be far less likely to stick and burn, and you will find that you do not need to use that much oil, butter, or lard.

The easiest and perhaps most classic way to fry an egg is sunny side up. To fry an egg in this way, cooks simply break an egg into a warm, oiled pan, and cook it until it solidifies. The result is a bright yellow yolk in the midst of a halo of egg white. People may also call refer to eggs cooked in this way as “eggs up,” and the yolk of a sunny side up egg tends to be slightly runny.

For cooks who want to add a twist to the process, the egg can be flipped in the pan halfway through the cooking process. If the egg is cooked until the yolk solidifies, it is known as an “over hard egg,” while an egg with a runny yolk is said to be “over easy.” Over medium, as you might imagine, lies somewhere in the middle.

Advanced players can make toad in the hole, also known as egg or eggy in the basket. This type of fried egg is made by cutting a hole in a piece of bread, placing the bread into a warm oiled pan, and cracking an egg into the hole. As the egg cooks, it will solidify and fill the hole, infusing the bread with an eggy flavor, and the bread is usually flipped to ensure that both sides are thoroughly toasted.

Many people develop a preference for a particular way to fry an egg, which is why staff at diners will always ask how customers want their eggs. Some establishments, unfortunately, will not make runny eggs due to concerns about salmonella and other bacteria. The risk of salmonella in runny eggs varies, depending on the source of the egg. Chickens raised without antibiotics tend to produce safer eggs, as their bodies have not developed dangerous bacteria which could be present in their eggs, and free range chickens lead cleaner lifestyles which reduce the risk of fecal contamination of their eggs. Immunocompromised individuals should avoid runny eggs, no matter what their source, as they are more vulnerable to infection.

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 Sunny27 — On Jan 11, 2011

Sunshine31-I love scrambled eggs the best. I like the texture and prefer it to fried eggs.

I don’t like when the yolk spills over like they do on fried eggs. Also scrambled eggs are less messy and you can combine them with toast and even make an egg sandwich.

My kids love hard boiled eggs. They absolutely love egg salad sandwiches. This is another way to serve eggs. This combination does have a lot of cholesterol because the egg and the mayonnaise contain cholesterol so if this is a problem, it would be best to slice a hard- boiled egg on a salad rather than dipping it in mayonnaise.

By sunshine31 — On Jan 09, 2011

I prefer cooked eggs myself. The yolk of the egg has most of the nutrients, but this is also the part of the egg that contains cholesterol.

So for people watching their cholesterol it might be better to have either an egg while omelette or even an egg beater omelette that also contains that same nutrients as a traditional egg, but with no cholesterol.

It also have a lot less calories so if you are watching your weight, Egg Beaters might be a better option.

It only has about thirty calories per serving while a typical egg has about eighty calories per serving. I know that a lot of restaurants allow you to make these substitutions in their egg entrees.

I know that Dennys and Cracker Barrel will make the substitution for a small sur charge.

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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