There are many different ways to make fried eggs from sunny side up, over easy, over medium or my current favorite eggs over hard. Learn the differences below and always make eggs exactly how you love them! It all comes down to timing!
For years I had no idea that there were several ways to easily communicate exactly how you wanted your fried eggs. In a breakfast restaurant or diner I would simply just order my eggs scrambled for simplicity. And that’s just no way to live.
In terms of fried eggs there are four main ways to differentiate exactly how runny the yolk is and how the egg is cooked.
But before we get into that let’s first talk favorite eggs. My all time favorite egg brand is Vital Farms – Organic & Pasture Raised. The chickens at Vital Farms are leading their best lives with access to spring greens, outdoor pastures and 108 square feet of space per hen. The pastures are never treated with herbicides, pesticides or artificial pesticides.
In every package you’ll find a note highlighting some chicken comic humor, the hen of the month and some current fun facts about the season. These are personally my go to eggs that I will specifically trek over to Whole Foods to find. I wholeheartedly believe that pasture raised hens produce eggs higher in vitamins and nutritional value. And yes, price wise these are more expensive at $6.99 per dozen which may not be a purchase that everyone can justify or afford, but considering the price difference between these and regular eggs equates to a to go coffee, I feel like I can give that up in order to buy the highest quality eggs I can find.
So once you have your eggs of choice purchased it’s time to fry them up! The quickest way to make fried eggs is the sunny side up method.
Sunny Side Up Eggs:
Sunny side up eggs are only cooked on one side, and have the yolk completely untouched. You just need to heat up your frying pan, add in a teaspoon of oil and crack the egg into the pan. Sit back and wait for the egg white to cook and the yolk to be plump and round. This will only take a couple minutes, and your sunny side up eggs are ready to eat.
Eggs Over Easy & Eggs Over Medium:
To turn those sunny side up eggs into over easy or over medium eggs, you just need a thin spatula to carefully flip the egg over and allow it to cook anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on how runny you want the yolk to be. No need to move anything around, just one flip of the egg and a bit of waiting.
At the 30 seconds mark the egg will be over easy meaning that the yolk will be very runny inside, yet there will be a top coating on it from where it hit the pan.
An over medium egg will cook for an additional couple of minutes and will be more cooked through, with the yolk slightly runny.
Eggs Over Hard:
And for my current favorite over hard eggs you’ll just have to wait a few more minutes. When making eggs over hard you can choose to break the yolk with a spatula or fork when you’re waiting for it to set, or you can just flip it as is. Pictured below are two eggs over hard, one where the yolk has been broken up, and therefore has mixed with the white, and the other where the yolk is still intact.
To make the perfect over hard eggs you’ll start out cooking the eggs as you would for sunny side up eggs with a teaspoon of oil added to a hot frying pan, and then flip the eggs once the whites are set and cooked through. Once the eggs are flipped to reach an over hard status will take anywhere from three to five minutes, depending on the heat level and exactly how over hard you want them.
The yolk should be fully cooked, not runny at all, but it can still be a soft yolk. If you prefer a completely cooked through yolk as you’d find in a long boiled hard boiled egg you’ll want to wait around four to five minutes after flipping the egg over.
The eggs pictured below were cooked for five minutes after flipping them over. As you can see the yolk is fully cooked, as is the white. These over hard eggs make for the perfect breakfast, especially when paired with an avocado and smoked salmon.
I love to start my day with a high protein breakfast and I simply cannot do that without my fried eggs. To add some variety to the mix I switch up how I prepare my eggs daily going from over easy to over hard.
And now that I’ve figured out how to exactly communicate how yolks need to be cooked in fried eggs I no longer need to resort to ordering scrambled eggs for fear of getting the wrong fried eggs.
If you love fried eggs as much as I do please share in the comments below how you love them cooked? Do you prefer sunny side up? Over easy? Over medium, or over hard eggs?
For other breakfast recipe ideas be sure to check out my arugula and pesto omelet, breakfast quesadilla with scrambled eggs, and healthy tuna avocado egg salad.
Eggs Over Hard are fried eggs that have been cooked long enough on both sides so that the yolk is no longer runny and perfectly cooked through. Learn how to make the perfect eggs over hard every time!
- 1 tsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 2 whole eggs
Heat pan over medium heat.
Crack the eggs into the pan. Cook until the whites are set - 2-3 minutes. Optional: break the yolk with the spatula or a knife, if you prefer the yolk to be broken up and incorporated into the white.
Flip the eggs over. Allow to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, until the yolk is fully cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Michelle Cannon says
Eggs are good over-hard. I never purposely make them that way, though. LOL! My cousin only eats them like this.
Yes, sometimes I accidentally end up with eggs over hard if I’m not paying attention!
I’ve actually never heard the term “eggs over hard” ! Thanks for the egg- ducation 🙂 They look yummy with the still soft yolks, perfect for breakfast sandwiches.
Yes I’ve also only recently discovered the eggs over hard term! Makes perfect sense though : )
Thanks for explaining all this. I love eggs over easy or medium, but had no idea what to ask for. I would always say sunny side up and over which was probably just confusing for my servers.
Happy to help! Yes I could see how the servers would be confused by that!
This is a great tutorial to fried eggs. I love mine sunny side but I appreciate all the information 🙂
Kelly Anthony says
This is a great explanation of how eggs can be cooked and how to order them. I like my eggs over medium!
Thank you so much for the information. I didn’t know how to order them!
Happy to help!
Justa Price says
Thank you. Your definition of fried egg doneness is spot on. Almost. There is a subtle nuance but, the two types of over hard described are actually referred to differently. From my short order cook days long ago: Over well is flipping egg and cooking the yolk all the way through with the yolk still intact . Over hard is breaking the yolk before flipping and cooking it all the way through.
Thanks for sharing!