In Pursuit Of The Perfect Fried Eggs

making perfect fried eggsI don’t know about you….but THIS drives me crazy!
making perfect fried eggs
And it seems no matter what I do, this is what happens when I try to FRY eggs. A bit of a problem when you are a fried eggs family (and OK…I might be slightly OCD).

Once in awhile we do scrambled…but for the most part we like fried! Of course when it comes to how we like the yolks cooked in our fried eggs…that’s a different story. We are split pretty much down the middle between “runny” yolks and “well done” yolks.

But no matter how you like the yolks…you’ll love this method I “invented” for solving the misshapen fried egg dilemma. OK…I THOUGHT I invented this idea…I REALLY DID! That was until I saw the same idea on Pinterest a little while ago. Ah well…great minds think alike I guess. :-)

Anyway, here is my “photo tutorial” on how to make the “perfect fried eggs”.  :-)


making perfect fried eggs

Since the pictures are pretty self-explanatory…I won’t restate the obvious here…but I will add a few “tips” to make this method work best.

Tip #1: Make sure the pan is HOT before you break the eggs into the rings. That way they start cooking right away and won’t seep out from under the rings.

Tip #2: Crack egg and drop into ring S L O W L Y (or as slowly as you can). Again, this will help to keep it from seeping out from under the ring.

Tip #3: Spray the rings LIBERALLY with your favorite cooking spray. This will allow for easy removal of the ring when the eggs are done to your liking.

Tip #4: Once eggs are cooking in their rings…pour a few tablespoons of water in the pan and cover with a lid. I’ve found that steaming them to finish them off results in the most tender eggs. Any questions???

Now go take those perfect eggs and make some egg mcmuffins! :-)

making perfect fried eggs


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  1. jean says

    Good idea! They look great! Will have to search out my lids! :-) Thx!! For our McMuffin sandwiches, I whip the eggs, cook in small pan without actually scrambling – I cook them slow and do the old omelet style sliding around to cook and flip. Then after all is cooked, I take a nice round glass the size of your muffin or bagel etc and cut out the eggs. The leftover eggs around my rings I usually either give them to the dogs – or use them in my sandwich. Messier, but I am the mom!! ykwim
    I think I will like your idea much better!!

  2. Catherine's not naturally crafty says

    Fresher eggs will hold their shape better too, as eggs age the whites get more and more loose and runny. It helps make prettier eggs for frying. Then save the older one’s for hard boiled.

      • Andrea F. says

        We raise chickens for eggs here…Older eggs do peel better, but there is a trick for fresh ones. Add 2 Tablespoons or more of salt to the water and cook as usual. The shells should come off much nicer from your fresh eggs with this method.

        • terri says

          I hate the mess I get from egg seepage. I also have a hard time knowing how long to cook the egg to obtain that cooked white but with a runny yolk. Now that I know about the lid & water I will try this.
          How long do you leave the lid on? Also any suggestions for how long to cook for runny yolks and fried whites?

          Andrea for hard boiled eggs I learned that if you salt your water after it comes to a boil your shells peel easier. Also, if you let the eggs boil for 5 minutes then turn your stove off, put a plate or lid over the pan then let it sit for 15 minutes you will have perfect hard boiled eggs.

  3. Jessica says

    Cool idea! I found using my electric skillet was the easiest way for me to make everyone’s eggs all at once. I spray the cold pan with Pam olive oil and wait a few seconds until I feel it has warmed up to the set temp of 375°. After cracking the egg onto the pan I immediately start pushing any runs back to the center to keep the egg ‘together’. I let them sit until the white is almost all cooked then flip. If I didnt crack any yolks on the flip then I let the over easy eggs sit for only a few seconds more then remove them. I crack the other yolks to get my over hard eggs for me. That way I know I have some runny eggs for my husband! I stink at making them in a frying pan after mastering the skillet. Lol

  4. says

    Great idea! I use a panini grill fully extended and with the plates reversed for griddling and the eggs never want to stay on the griddle! It is designed to draw the juices and liquids away and down into a drip pan so doing eggs on it has just not been successful. But now I will attempt it again. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Sandy K says

    Well we just finished trying this way to make eggs. They were great. I was already planning on egg McMuffins for breakfast any way. We found we had the large lids and they worked great. My husband hates the running all over the frying pan eggs. We will defiantly be doing this again.

  6. Jo says

    This is a great idea Jillee! I will definitely be doing this! I also saw a similar idea on Pinterest (gotta love that site!) where the egg is cooked in a green pepper sliced in a ring. Looks so cool!

  7. says

    Since we got our induction cooktop and I had to buy new pots and pans (hard life, eh?), fried eggs have been my nemesis. Without a non-stick pan, I was having trouble flipping them. I’m going to try your steaming idea before the flip as well, in the hope they will release easier!

  8. Misty says

    I LOVE this! I usually end up breaking the yolks. My hubby and kids like theirs to be perfectly over-medium cooked white and thick runny yolk. Not easy to do, so needless to say I don’t fry eggs often. :) I will try this though, and since I usually fry the eggs in the bacon or sausage drippings left in the pan (can you tell I’m from the south?) I might skip the steaming part. Looking forward to giving it a shot!

    • Vikki says

      Misty, I use butter or bacon fat all the time but still put the lid on the pan, the steaming sets the yoke so you don’t have to turn them over, which is when mine normally break or how I over cook them. Just my two cents. Have a great day.

    • Trixie says

      I still cook mine the old fashioned way, IN THE BACON FAT ((Gasp!!)). But, I don’t eat fried eggs very often and I’m gonna die of something so I figure it’s worth the risk! Eggs fried in butter just don’t do it for me. We flip the grease over the top too, that’s how I like it best but my husband doesn’t like his “too greasy”. I fry his eggs in a separate pan and use the lid to finish off the whites for his sunny side up eggs. Seems such a shame to waste a good egg like that. LOL.

  9. Vikki says

    That picture of the eggs makes me want to dip buttered toast sticks in the yokes… yummy. When I was a kid eggs were fried in lots of grease, the grease was “flipped” up on the eggs to cook the top at the same time. Then we all learned the dangers of fat. That’s when my mom started cooking eggs in a nonstick skillet with very little if any fat and a tsp of water and using a lid. I’ve learned a great deal since those days and I’m not afraid of fat. But I don’t have I can’t fathom frying them in deep fat either. I use butter and a lid to cook mine, or ranchero sauce, picante sauce, beans or even spaghetti sauce ( yes it’s delish, especially with provolone or mozzarella). I’ve never thought about using jar rings. I love mason jars and have tons of them so rings are no problem. I’ll have to give that a try tomorrow. I’ve already had my fried eggs and butter toast sticks this morning. Thanks for the post. I love a nice runny egg on a toasted english muffin and now they will fit!!

  10. molly says

    NOTHING beats fresh eggs…. they don’t run like store bought eggs!!! and they are so so so much richer and just way more delicious!! I recommend getting laying hens if you’ve ever thought about it… you will never eat a store bought egg again! BUT this idea is genious!!

  11. says

    This is the method I use too…love it! Except I never did the steaming method…I’ll have to give that a try now too! My daughter desn’t like fried eggs, so I beat a couple eggs and and do them the same way for her.

  12. Haleigh says

    Question: Will the mason jar lids hurt my pans?

    I have hard anodized pans, and do my best to NEVER USED METAL ON THEM, okay, I’m a little OCD about it, and when someone else is cooking with my pans I sometimes run across the kitchen yelling “NOOOO” and grab a plastic spoon/spatula on my way!

    This makes me want eggs for dinner, but I just realized I’m out! Oh well, love your blog!

    • says

      haha! I can totally understand the OCD part. :-) However, I don’t think you would have to worry they are really sitting very lightly on the pan and you never moved them around except to lift them off. Hope this helps!

  13. Christine says

    Back in the 70s I worked in a restaurant and they used your “steaming” method to cook poached eggs. I hadn’t thought of it for a long time until I read that. I love poached eggs but they are a hassle. I’m trying this one!

  14. Melissa says

    Saw this on Pinterest and simply swooned! This is such an amazing idea! I can’t wait to try it out!

    A few questions, though. I’ve never “steamed” a fried egg before; I’ve always used some butter or oil to cook them in, and I’d flip them over once or twice. So how exactly do these work? I like the whites cooked fully and my yolk runny, but sometimes that’s hard to accomplish. Can someone explain the steaming part to me? How much water to put in the pan, etc.

    Any other details would be great. (:

  15. Helen says

    After seeing this post I actually couldn’t wake up this morning and make eggs this way. I always hate when I try and get then nice and not runny and you gave me the perfect solution! They were perfect, I strayed the mason jar lids and made sure the pan was nice and hot. NO SEEPAGE. I even did what you said about the steaming and they came out perfect. Thank you so much for finally teaching me now to make the perfect sunny side up egg. I hope you don’t mind but I am going to copy this for my blog, giving you full credit as always.

    Thanks again!

  16. Jennifer says

    I’ve done this before….I think when we first got married, I was trying to learn how to fry eggs for my husband. I’m repulsed by runny yolks myself (although my 3 year old loves it ugh). Anyway, I think I had the rings sitting with the top up instead of down…it made a bit of a mess and they seemed to almost fill the rings, plus I took the rings off to flip them and the uncooked egg on top spilled over. I never tried it again but seeing the rings flipped over, I think I might give it a go!

  17. Ro says

    Years ago I tried this but did not like it. I now have my own chickens and I love the spreading of the egg because when I drop the egg into the buttered pan it crispa up on the edges.

    One way to avoid the spreadding that was pictured (that never happened to me like the picture) you drop one egg at a time in a small bowl and drop it in the pan it should be more contianed.

  18. Bevie says

    Aren’t Mason/Ball jar lids made of aluminum? I’ve read many articles discouraging cooking with aluminum. I’d love to try this idea if the lids aren’t aluminum. Does anyone know the make-up of the lids?

  19. Joey says

    Wow! That’s an awesome idea! I don’t make eggs specifically because I always break the yolk and they are really ugly:( Now I can enjoy making and eating eggs at home…once I find out where to buy mason jar lids? Any ideas? Also…after reading some of the other comments..I don’t think it will scratch your non stick pan if your pan is buttered and really, aluminum. There are sooo many other things besides aluminum to be worried about? But, I am wondering…How do I flip it? I’ll read the comments again in case anyone figured it out.
    Thanks for the great tip:)

  20. Theresa James says

    I really don’t mind the egg spreading in the pan as much as I hate to break the yolk when turning. A friend that went to culinary school taught me how to flip them the way the chefs do, in the air, over and back in the pan with no broken yolks. She told me to practice the “flip” with a piece of bread. After I mastered that, I moved on to an egg. Works great! I do it all of the time now, with everything. I might add, though, that I do the flipping part over the sink! I don’t have THAT much confidence with my new skill yet!

  21. Joey says

    I found the mason jar rings /lids at Winco. But, if you check your local thrift stores you can probably find 1 mason jar w/lid, instead of buying a box with 12 rings/lids..At least to experiment with. I’m looking forward to trying it out this weekend.

  22. Susan says

    If you don’t have any jar lids or don’t want to use the jar lids, egg rings are very reasonable in price. My grocery store sells them…they are hanging throughout some of the aisles. They are hard plastic; even have a little egg face which is the handle to life it off the pan.

  23. Mike says

    I won’t argue with the rings, etc, over frying, but I prefer to use the little poaching pots thingies they sell, with a little round cup over a little pot of water,,, does the same as frying, after you grease it with, well, whatever you grease a frying pan with.

    Honestly, I don’t have any problem with frying the, and without having them stick, I just don’t like to move the bacon, or the other crap my wife makes me fry when I’m hungover, or coming down off of whatever 40-something dads take after a few days out…

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