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How to Make the Perfect Fried Egg

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Why Can Some Attempts at Frying an Egg Prove to Be Such a Disaster?

The reality is that, although frying an egg is not the most difficult task in the culinary world, there are certain basic mistakes we can make that cause our finished product to be considerably less than what we had hoped for. This article will look at some of the more common mistakes. It will look at how to fry an egg from the very first step, right through to the point of service, hopefully helping you to eliminate any minor points in the procedure where you may presently be going wrong and allowing you to serve perfect fried eggs to your family, time after time. If you love fried eggs but just can't quite seem to get the process right, read on...

The Perfect Fried Egg - The Common Pitfalls

There are a few common mistakes that many people make and making even one of them can be a recipe only for disaster.

They are as follows:

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  • Cooking Right Out of the Fridge: Attempting to fry an egg straight from the refrigerator. Almost any egg recipe calls for eggs to be used at room temperature. If you do therefore store your eggs in the refrigerator, remove them at least two to three hours prior to attempting to cook with them.
  • Too Much Oil: Putting too much oil in the frying pan will cause your egg to spread out over the pan. A little drizzle of oil in a non-stick pan is quite enough in which to fry your egg(s).
  • Cooking Temperature Hot/Cold: Having the oil in the pan too hot/cold. The oil and pan should be slowly brought up to a medium heat, prior to adding the egg.
  • Cracking in Pan: Cracking the egg straight in to the pan. This can lead to a broken yolk or eggshell getting in to the pan.
  • Flipping It Too Soon: Attempting to turn the egg before it is fully cooked on one side. This is almost certain to result in a ruptured yolk.

Now that we have looked at some of the common errors, let us proceed to how we make our perfect fried egg.

The Perfect Fried Egg - The Correct Procedure

  1. Having taken our egg(s) from the refrigerator at least a couple of hours previously, we are ready to proceed with the frying.
  2. Add a little oil to a non-stick pan and gently bring it up to a medium heat. As the pan is heating, crack your egg in to a small cup or bowl.
  3. When the pan has reached the required heat, very gently tip the egg in to it. If the egg starts to over-spread itself around the pan, it has either been too cold or you have added too much oil. Hopefully, neither will be the case and we can watch our egg gently fry for 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. If you wish your egg to be sunny side up, fry it for a total of about 4 minutes for a medium textured yolk, or more or less dependant upon your taste. If, however, you intend doing as I have done in the photograph to the right and wish to put your fried egg on a bread roll, I suggest you turn it very carefully with a plastic spatula after about three minutes and allow it to cook on the other side for a couple of minutes.
  5. Remove the egg from the pan and serve as required.

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