Kitchen Confidence

Making a Sunny-Side Up Egg

By • October 3, 2012 • 47 Comments

Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. Today, Merrill shares her favorite way to make a sunny-side up egg.  

Fried Egg

We may have covered all the egg-frying bases last week, but we can't stop talking about eggs. Can you blame us? A perfectly cooked egg is an incredible thing. 

So we're keeping the conversation going.

Today, Merrill's showing us her favorite way to make a sunny-side up egg. (Hint: with both butter and olive oil.) Let us know your own methods in the comments!

This video was shot and edited by Kyle Orosz. 

Jump to Comments (47)

Tags: Kitchen Confidence, eggs, fried eggs, sunny-side up, how-to & diy

Comments (47)

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about 1 year ago Sundeep

Man that's the worst sunny side up I have ever seen being made. Deformed, full of unnecessary fat, this is a monstrosity. You can make a wonderful sun side up on just a bit of water in the pan covered with a lid

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

What gave me away. My sure fire cocky attitude.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

What gave me away. My sure fire cocky attitude.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

What gave me away. My sure fire cocky attitude.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

What gave me away. My sure fire cocky attitude.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

What gave me away. My sure fire cocky attitude.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

What gave me away. My sure fire cocky attitude.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

What gave me away. My sure fire cocky attitude.

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almost 2 years ago leeojas1

Is this Bill O'Reilly?

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

It might be meaningless work to you because apparently you have no taste buds and don't want to put forth any effort into something. You like bland food, I like flavor. Waste of oil? I think you're wasting a teaspoon of water. I'm lean and muscular and I don't need to worry about having to eat an 80 calorie egg cooked with water. YUK!

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almost 2 years ago leeojas

why are you adding meaningless work, not to mention calories, and a waste of oil to a sunnyside up egg? Put a teaspoon of water in the lid of your pan turn it over and turn off the heat. Wait about 1 min for runny yolk, done but not rubbery whites, and that's it, voila! You still have a perfect 80 calorie egg.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

Thank goodness this is America and we can all have our own opinion. I like the taste of bacon and the bottom of my eggs crisp. The white is always done and the yolk is always runny the way I cook them and I've been doing it that way for 50 years. If you like them over easy or basted go for it. My sunny sides are awesome and everyone loves them. Haven't had a complaint yet.

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almost 2 years ago Kathy S.

I don't object to oils, whether it is butter, oil, bacon fat or even cooking the egg with none of the above. What I do mind is an egg where the white is still transparent and runny and you can still see the placenta! As in the photo! The perfect egg is with a white that is opaque and solid but NOT CRISP, and the yolk is wonderfully runny. You can accomplish that best by turning it over very briefly. You can also manage it if you baste it with something hot without turning, but, it takes longer and risks overcooking the bottom.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

Fried eggs will not absorb fat. It is only a means of getting to your finished product. Eggs can be cooked in any kind of liquid from oil to water or even broth. Drippings give your eggs the best flavor. The grease will only be on the outside of the egg. Too much for you, set the egg on a paper towel and it will absorb most all the grease. If you like bland eggs you might as well just poach them. Myself I like that good ol manly bacon flavor.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

Cook a pound of bacon leaving all the drippings in the pan. Have heat on medium high. Just as it starts to smoke crack in your egg. Use your spatula to splash drippings on the whites first and then the yoke. Eggs are done in about 1 minute. Nice crispy bottom with a great runny yoke. Mmmmm!

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

Cook a pound of bacon leaving all the drippings in the pan. Have heat on medium high. Just as it starts to smoke crack in your egg. Use your spatula to splash drippings on the whites first and then the yoke. Eggs are done in about 1 minute. Nice crispy bottom with a great runny yoke. Mmmmm!

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almost 2 years ago Ellin

In my opinion the best way to make a sunny side up egg was the way my Dad made them.
He'd take the eggs out of the frig an hour before cooking or the night before (if it's not hot in your house) and make it with a T. of butter. Voila!. Taking it out before cooking makes sure that the yolk isn't cold when the egg is done. Perfect sun, perfect white.

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almost 2 years ago Ellin

In my opinion the best way to make a sunny side up egg was the way my Dad made them.
He'd take the eggs out of the frig an hour before cooking or the night before (if it's not hot in your house) and make it with a T. of butter. Voila!. Taking it out before cooking makes sure that the yolk isn't cold when the egg is done. Perfect sun, perfect white.

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You need to use that much fat in order to be able to spoon it over the egg to cook the white properly, but very little of the fat is actually absorbed by the egg. As you can see in the video, there is still plenty of oil left in the pan to cook a few more eggs -- no need to add more if you're making eggs for a group.

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almost 2 years ago E. Celeste

too much oil, that's enough oil to fry two potatoes and onions.

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almost 2 years ago E. Celeste

too much oil, that's enough oil to fry two potatoes and onions.

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almost 2 years ago SaigonCinnamon

Unnecessary amount of fats. A little oil or butter & cover with 1Tb water is much better & healthier - even less work!

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, you can do it that way, but your results will be different -- you will have a steamed egg rather than a true sunny-side-up egg.

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

Yuk!

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almost 2 years ago daisybrain

I never thought I would say this. Food52 is my go to site, the place I look first for recipes and technique but.... Ewwww. I'm not afraid of butter or oil but that just looked slimy. Sorry Merrill. To each their own.

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I prefer to think of it as "glistening." It's actually nice and crisp on the edges.

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almost 2 years ago daisybrain

Nice quip. I'll bite.

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almost 2 years ago Paul,Rybarczyk

Too much oil and butter; I'm another one who adds water and covers. Works great.

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almost 2 years ago ripkitty

Ii use the same method, but less fat, and then cover egg after adding 1 T off of water

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almost 2 years ago Billyd4468

If you like your eggs so bland you should just go ahead and poach them!

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almost 2 years ago Kimm

This is a ‘naked’ Fried (& Steamed) sunny-side up egg method using the stove-top. In a pre-heated (when a sprinkle of water bubble’s and evaporate’ s) non-stick pan (I use Ceramic Titanium) add egg(s) and wait until the white sets, a few minutes, depending on heat level preferred. Add small amount of water to hot pan with egg(s) and cover with lid (my lid is clear). The water steams the egg(s) in this final cooking stage. Wait a few more minutes until yolk is cooked to desired doneness. Season as you wish (I use pepper). This is similar to the previously posted Oven (!) method from Saltie: A Cookbook, but only uses a stove-top. B-t-w, I use a stove-top/oven method for meat proteins.

Stringio

almost 2 years ago mark.martin.1029770

I like this. But don't you get that unpleasant flavor on a no-stick pan without any fat at all?

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almost 2 years ago Ken K

I use butter only for my sunny-side up eggs, Just as the bottom of the egg looks like it would be ready to flip for over-easy, I add a tablespoon of water to the pan and cover the pan for for about 20 seconds or so. This steams the top of the egg perfectly and I have a nice, runny, sunny-side up egg. Works perfectly every time.

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almost 2 years ago NeoHomesteading

Another BIG thing is the quality of eggs you have. Farm fresh, free range and organic eggs are naturally heavier than conventional store bought eggs. They tend to stick more because the yolks are much heavier with a totally different consistency.

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almost 2 years ago NeoHomesteading

I saw this method from a video by Jose Andres, it looks wonderful but that is a lot of oil. Eggs are probably the most annoying thing for me to cook. I make up to a dozen eggs in a day for my family. To stretch a buck I save fat from bacon, homemade stocks and whatever drippings I have. I use this with my cast iron skillet and pray for good results! I think my biggest issue is patience... I don't have very much. I don't own any "regular pans" I will have to try this in my cast iron!

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almost 2 years ago brentT

I personally like the low and slow method for cooking sunny-side up eggs at home. By either using my cast-iron or non-stick pan, I turn the heat on low, add just enough butter so that it barely coats the pan, add the egg, and gradually turn up the heat to medium or till it cooks all the way through. One or two swirls in the pans when the egg is fully cooked on the bottom prevents it from browning on the bottom and cooking the yolk. This way your egg is not greasy from excessive grease, the yolks are not cooked from the basting process, and has a cleaner taste. A little salt, pepper, and Tabasco goes a long way.

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almost 2 years ago witloof

I use a cast iron skillet for eggs. When it's seasoned properly, it's completely nonstick. I also heat the pan first before adding the fat, a trick I learned from Julia Child.

Phoenix

almost 2 years ago Phoenix Helix

I, for one, am glad that the folks at Food52 aren't afraid of fat. Contrary to the misinformation of the past decade, fat isn't bad for you. As for that sunny-side-up egg, it looks perfect!

Stringio

almost 2 years ago mark.martin.1029770

Not all fat is bad, but you get enough fat in that yolk.

Kandm

almost 2 years ago Kristy Mucci

Kristy is an expert at making things pretty and a former Associate Editor of Food52.

You're not actually getting that much more fat -- the oil and butter don't adhere to the egg, they just keep it from sticking to the pan. Olive oil is certainly a "good" fat, and I'd much rather a little olive oil and butter residue than the chemicals that can be found in low-fat cooking sprays.

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almost 2 years ago Dr.Insomnia

Exactly.

Stringio

almost 2 years ago mark.martin.1029770

OK, then spray on a little olive oil in a pump sprayer.

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almost 2 years ago Cinnamin

A-ha, so that's where I've been screwing up- not enough fat! My family loves sunny side ups; but ecause I'm so bad at it I always serve scrambled or omelettes. Thanks for the tip!

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almost 2 years ago Cinnamin

A-ha, so that's where I've been screwing up- not enough fat! My family loves sunny side ups; but ecause I'm so bad at it I always serve scrambled or omelettes. Thanks for the tip!

Stringio

almost 2 years ago mark.martin.1029770

Easier and fewer calories and fat: Use cooking spray and put a lid over the pan after about a minute. You won't have a sunny egg, but the yolk will be soft.

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almost 2 years ago blk4004

well, that was a boatload of oil/butter for just one egg.....

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almost 2 years ago blk4004

well, that was a boatload of oil/butter for 1 egg.