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Making an egg for my good self


Ok, this is kinda funny. I was making eggs the other day because my wife beat me in Whitechapel (I had to cook breakfast the next morning[eggs, bacon, heinz beanz, toast], and while I was frying my egg, I thought, why is it I can not fry an egg like they do in the UK?

I am serious! Over there they are cooked whites, running yolk, and not crispy and lacy brown on the edges. I remember hearing Pip in a podcast a while back bewildered about the expansive fried egg culture we have in the USA, but I have never had a place over here cook an egg like a British person (I can confirm that Scottish and English people alike fry their eggs the same, Welsh and N.Irish, I can not say).

Any tips hints or advice?


Get a chicken, start experimenting. Make sure to write down results else you are not sciencing just fooling around with eggs.


I wonder if it matters that British eggs are typically room temperature, and American eggs tend to be cold?


What are you frying in? Oil will tend to crisp the edges but frying in butter usually gives a less crunchy egg.


Two ways for you - both start the same, with a decent amount of oil in the pan, on a medium - high heat

Wait until the white is half set, and then either:

  1. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan. Leave for a few minutes (I haven’t had a lid for my frying pan for long enough that I’ve forgotton, and some experimentation for exactly how long may be in order)

  2. Tip your pan at a slight angle - enough that the oil pools, but not so much that the egg slides. Use a wide spatula or similar to flick hot oil onto the top of the egg until it is cooked to your liking.


Follow these steps:

  1. Don’t have the pan stupidly hot with lots of oil/butter in.


Biggest issue is probably heat. If you want cooked whites and runny yolk, without the crispy edges, you may need to turn down the juice. A heavy pan - cast iron - can also help even out hot spots. @SleepyWill has some good suggestions, both of which serve to cook the egg from both top and bottom. (When you’re cooking a slab of meat, you can get less overcooking on the outside with frequent flipping - thanks, principles of heat transfer! - but with an egg, that’s a recipe for burst yolk.) You can also cook the egg covered, heat on, as long as you check it frequently. A little moisture in the pan - a fresh pat of butter is ~15% water - should help.

My wife prefers softer whites, while I like 'em crispy, so I always cook hers first, then mine, as the skillet heats up. If you like yours fried in bacon grease, it makes for the best crispy edges when done in the bacon pan, or spoon the hot fat into another pan to get the bacony flavor without having to let it all cool down first.

Or make poached eggs. If you get lacy brown edges on a poached egg, you’re doing something spectacularly wrong. Or learn to make shirred eggs. Mmmm.

You can also reduce the amount of lacy edge by straining off the thin white through a fine mesh strainer before cooking. (Super-helpful for avoiding raggedy edges when poaching, too.) The older your eggs, the more the white thins, giving you that wide-spreading effect, and that’s always going to cook much faster than the perkier thick white.

Fun side note: @casuistry mentions the room-temperature v. refrigerator egg storage difference. I kinda doubt the temperature shift has much of an effect. But the reason UK eggs live on the counter and US eggs in the fridge is that US egg regulations require eggs to be washed before sale, which (at least for commercial eggs) removes the protective ‘egg bloom’ cuticle that surrounds the shell. Without that bloom, at room temperature, there’s a higher risk of bacterial infection, as well as greater moisture loss from the egg’s interior. So into the cold they go.


This - as someone who moved from the UK to the US and had to get used to the cold eggs thing - do not keep your eggs out of the fridge if you live in the US.

I mean, obviously keep them out while cooking them. Don’t cook in the fridge.


I do like a good poached egg. But my patience for the process drives me crazy (I actually made poached egg to go on the Korean Style Beef I made tonight, and it went well! But just killed me on timing)

I have tried the lid on top of the fry pan before, but it can sometimes lead to less than desirable results.

I think my best method may be to try spooning oil over the whites and turn the temp down. I have a nice French pan that may do the trick.

Also another fun fact about eggs in Europe vs the USA. Most of the chickens in Europe are vaccinated against salmonella. In the USA, it is not mandatory to vaccinate. (edit: Also electric rates in the US are super cheap compared to many other countries. Leads to refrigeration through the process below is a link which does a nice simple job explaining it all. Also another fun fact: Shell on eggs fall under FDA food safety control and once the shell is cracked it falls under USDA food safety HAACP protocols.)



I just wanted to give a quick update on my eggpeariments…

Turning down the heat has made things a lot better. Spooning oil onto the egg whites has produced mixed results. Putting a lid on it was not been very successful either :-/

More eggpeariments will be required for a truly comprehensive test study. Expect full results and abstract in the future. In the meantime, I am giving the eggs a flip to finish the whites. All in all, still tasty!


This may be a good read:


Why will it not let me like this more than once!!!

This is why I like the British Press! They are going after the true and important topics way before I even think of them! Why is it that CNN of the New York Times does not have this kind of coverage :grin:

Thanks for the great read! It was Eggcellent!


Has anyone tried to make a Fritatta and accidentally make a souffle?


Here is some propaganda from “Big Egg”. :egg:


Poached, in water:

Get water, put in pot (medium to large pot, about halfway full, or at least an inch from the top)

Add a splash of vinegar (white), and a little salt (also generally is white, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen salt before but it usually comes in white)

Get egg (crack it into a small bowl)

Heat water until it’s not quite boiling, as hot as you can without a boil, the gentlest simmer you can manage

Swirl water around until it makes a little whirlpool

Gently release egg into whirlpool

Wait until done, scoop out with slotted spoon

Advantages: perfectly poached egg covered with cooked albumin and a buttery yolk
Disadvantages: you have to do one at a time, the process is also kind of a pain in the butt, and there’s bits of whites still swirling about


Only use a tablespoon or less per 4 cups of water for both the vinegar and salt. Vinegar helps the albumin to congeal, salt raises the boiling temperature of the water (a common misconception is that salt lowers the boiling temperature. I thought so, myself, but I was corrected, and I tested it with a thermometer).

You can get away with leaving the salt out (for now) if you want to scoop them out into a cold/iced water bath in a small bowl, it will also help the whites congeal while keeping the yolks runny. They will taste a little vinegary (not necessarily a bad thing depending on your tastes), though it can help if you want to use them later (not too much later!).
When you’re ready to use them, you can then dunk them in a hot (very hot but not even simmering), salted bath of water and that will remove the vinegar flavor (they should only be in there for 30 seconds or so).


Interestingly enough, I have neglected this thread and have failed to report my egg findings.

  • The lowering of the pan temperature and covered with a shallow lid have greatly increased the unflipped fried egg.
  • I still liked them “flipped”, but have perfected the timing so that the egg gets the whites cooked, but not solidifying the yolks. It is only a matter of seconds though between perfect and ruined for runny…
  • @MinuteWalt I have used a similar poaching method. Though no swirl, turn off the heat and cover with lid for 4-5 minutes, up to two at a time.

I hope the egg cooking community can forgive me for my negligence of duty in reporting my field research…


I’ve heard the egg cooking community can be an unforgiving bunch. For what it’s worth I appreciate the informative, albeit delayed, update.

At a fitnessy person’s behest I tried eggs fried in coconut oil the other day.

Don’t fry your eggs in coconut oil.


Oh no! :open_mouth:

Sadly, coconut oil has a low smoking point… I learned that the hard way…

I have been using Safflower oil or in a pinch canola oil. I have heard some promising words about Avocado oil though…


Butter 100% of the way when cooking eggs.

If it’s truffled butter, so much the better.


I like butter… But sometimes it can brown and burn… But ghee… I have not thought of ghee (aka. clarified butter).