How to Fry an Egg

Knowing how to fry an egg is an important skill for any cook. A fried egg on toast makes a delicious breakfast, lunch, or even a quick dinner.

I'm embarrassed to tell you that I didn't learn how to fry an egg until quite recently! When I finally did learn how, I was surprised at how very easy it is to cook the perfect fried egg.

Get out your skillet and spatula, some butter (or oil) and an egg, and you'll be eating a delicious fried egg in just minutes!

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • salt
    • pepper

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • eggs
    • butter

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a skillet
    • a small bowl
    • a flipper or spatula

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • an egg separator (if you have picky eaters who just like the egg white!)

    The recipe

    Crack an egg into the small bowl.

    Put your skillet on the stove and heat it over moderate heat for a few minutes.

    Put a tablespoon of butter in the skillet.

    Carefully slide the egg into the pan.

    Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Now you have two options:

    • For an "Over Easy" egg:
      • Let your egg cook for just 2 or 3 minutes, until the white looks almost solid but not quite.
      • With your flipper or spatula, flip the egg over and cook the other side for a minute or two.
      • Remove from the pan.

    • For a "Sunny Side Up" egg:
      • Let your egg cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, until the white appears solid.
      • Remove from the pan.


    • Use vegetable oil instead of butter.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Perhaps you have someone in your family who won't eat egg yolk. Use an egg separator and cook just the white of the egg. You can fry up the yolk separately for someone else to enjoy, or just discard it.

    • Keep track of how exactly how long you cook your egg, and whether it is cooked to your satisfaction. Once you have fried a couple of eggs, you'll know exactly how long it takes to cook an egg that is perfect for you.


    • I use the side of a butter knife for cracking an egg. Some people prefer to crack eggs against the side of a bowl. Experiment until you find what works for you.

    • Once you have become a pro at cracking eggs, you won't need to use the small bowl. You can crack your egg directly into the skillet.

    Menu suggestion

    Serve this dish with

    • toast

    • fruit (sliced kiwis and bananas, orange sections, apple slices, melon balls....)

    Now that you know how to fry an egg, you may want to learn to make these other varieties of eggs:

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