Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs

Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs

Please excuse the braggadocio, but these are the best sunny side up eggs I’ve ever had. With fully cooked whites that are tender from top to bottom, and a thick yolk that flows like warm ganache, it takes the best parts of a poached egg and combines them with the ease and beauty pageant good looks of eggs sunny side up.

I’ve covered my techniques for the perfect boiled egg, perfect poached egg, and perfect scrambled eggs before, but a technique to cook eggs cooked sunny side up has been notably absent. That’s because I’ve never been a huge fan of them.

Since sunny side ups are pan-fried, they almost always involve a raw yolk perched atop a tough disk of albumen. It’s a bit like chewing through a sheet of plastic wrap that’s been doused with raw egg yolk. Don’t get me wrong, I love a runny yolk, but I want it rich and viscous, not lukewarm and watery. Doing the egg over-easy may fix the watery yolk, but it doesn’t do the egg any favors in the aesthetic department and it only makes the plastic-like texture of the white even worse.

That’s why I tend to gravitate towards poached eggs and their evenly cooked whites and soft creamy yolks. Still, not one to shy away from a challenge I wanted to see what could be done to make sunny side up eggs better. Well, after some experimentation I can tell you that the trick is to not fry them.

Frying an egg over high heat drives all the moisture out of the layer of egg white that’s in contact with the pan, making it tough and chewy. That’s why my first experiment was to lower the heat. The problem with cooking them over low heat is that, that by the time the white had fully cooked, the yolk had almost fully set as well.

Deciding I needed another approach, I turned to how my mom fries eggs. Her method involves frying them first, and then adding a bit of water and covering the pan with a lid. This sort of works, giving you an evenly cooked egg because the steam created applies heat from above and below. The problem is that you need a relatively high temperature to create the steam and then evaporate the water so you still end up with a chewy layer on the bottom. What’s worse, the residual water makes the eggs soggy.

Still I couldn’t help but feel my mom was onto something with applying heat from both above and below. That’s when it occurred to me that what I needed was a way to apply dry heat, like inside an oven.

To control the application of heat to the eggs, I start them off in a cold pan. Since the bottoms of the eggs need to get cooked slightly more than the tops, I put the cold pan over low heat to give the egg whites a head start. When the albumen starts turning opaque, they go into a pre-heated oven until they’re almost entirely cooked through. Finally, by sticking the pan back onto the stove for a brief moment, it evaporates the moisture between the egg and the pan, allowing you to cleanly slide the egg out of the pan and onto a plate.

Because the eggs are added to a cold pan it’s absolutely essential that you use a non-stick pan. Otherwise you’ll have some beautifully cooked sunny side up eggs that stick to the pan like chewing gum on a warm sidewalk.

Equipment you'll need:

Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs
Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs
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Tender fully cooked egg whites framing a golden yolk that's thick, but still runny.
Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs
Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 3
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Tender fully cooked egg whites framing a golden yolk that's thick, but still runny.
Servings
eggs
Cook Time
5minutes
Servings
eggs
Cook Time
5minutes
Ingredients
  • cooking spray
  • 2 eggs
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place your oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 320 degrees F (160 C).
  2. Spray a thin even coat of cooking spray onto an 8" (20cm) non-stick frying pan with an oven-safe handle.
  3. Carefully break two eggs into the cold pan. Eggs Sunny Side UpPlace the pan over low heat and cook the eggs until the bottom just starts turning opaque. Eggs Sunny Side Up RecipePlace the pan in the oven and cook the eggs until the white is almost completely set (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. To help release the egg from the pan, return the pan to the stove for a few seconds over medium-high heat until you see the edges start to pull away from the pan. How to Make Sunny Side Up Eggs

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  • R

    I have long been frustrated by sunny-side up eggs, never managing to get the white cooked without destroying the yolk. I tried out this recipe this morning and for the first time my eggs were absolutely perfect! Thanks so much!

  • Nancy Long

    if you read the care instructions for non-stick pans, it says to NOT use cooking spray on them and now know why even my expensive ones haven’t lasted. I now just rub a bit of oil on them with a paper towel

  • Osita

    My partner is Spanish and the way he and his parents fry eggs make for delicious, crisp and yet yolky eggs. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet (probably 3 tablespoons, or about 1 cm high across the pan) until hot, crack an egg into the oil (it will splatter) sprinkle some salt on the yolk and then, with an egg flipper, flick the hot olive oil across the top of the egg to cook it on top. The egg will cook in 45 – 60 seconds, and the white can be flicked over the yolk to keep it neater/smaller. Remove egg from pan, drain on paper towel if you must, and serve over fried potato straws, dipping the chips into the yolk. Or fried green capsicums, or warm toast rubbed with garlic. Not waist friendly, but pretty amazing.

  • http://www.thefoodpirates.com/ Darren Tran

    I might be in the minority when I say this but I like the bottom of my sunny side up eggs to be a bit browned and crispy on the bottom. Thus my method is to heat my De Buyer (well seasoned carbon steel) pan on high heat for about a minute. Add in a tiny touch of olive oil (i use a misto spray) with a small dab of butter for some real flavor. Add in my eggs… and immediately reduce the heat to medium. Wait for approximately a minute (I just have an instinct as to when it’s done) and it’s perfect. It steams with the residual heat so the top is cooked. The yolk is runny and the whites are fully set.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!