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How to Cook Perfect Sunny-Side Up Eggs

Eggs are a sensitive, important topic for many people.  They are an ingredient that nearly all of us share, regardless of what corner of the globe we are from…  They are a constant in baking, and frequently enjoyed at our breakfast tables as well as at other mealtimes.  In Brazil, we love to serve them on top of a grilled steak which we call Bife à Cavalo (“Horseback-Riding Steak”).  Since presenting a tutorial here last year on how to hard boil eggs properly, with overwhelming response, I decided this time to present a simple and easy method or technique for how to cook PERFECT sunny-side up eggs (also known as fried eggs).

How To Cook PERFECT Sunny-Side Up Eggs (Silky Whites and Runny Yolks)

For some, cooking perfect sunny-side up eggs is as easy as riding a bike… but for many others, not so much!  Why?  Well, many just cannot seem to get them to come out soft and silky instead of producing crispy whites ends with hardened yolks…. With the simple technique that I am about to show you (my favorite of several), we are going to wind up with set yet soft whites, and runny yolks. You will see… Time and temperature play a big role in how to cook PERFECT sunny-side up eggs.

How To Cook PERFECT Sunny-Side Up Eggs (Silky Whites and Runny Yolks)

Ready to cook PERFECT sunny-side up eggs like a pro?

So then come along with me!


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How to Cook Perfect Sunny-Side Up Eggs
Easy method for how to cook PERFECT sunny-side up eggs.
Votes: 14
Rating: 4.36
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Cook Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Votes: 14
Rating: 4.36
Rate this recipe!
  1. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. A large pan would be spacious enough to hold 2-3 eggs at a time with a bit of space between them and thereby prevent generating steam. Pour about 1/2 teaspoon of water into the heated pan. If water sizzles and evaporates on the pan, it means that pan is hot enough to hold the eggs in the right form.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil or any vegetable oil of your preference, butter, or bacon fat (approximately 1 Tablespoon). If using butter, let it melt. You don't need a large amount of fat to fry the eggs because the pan is non-stick and you don't want the eggs to turn out greasy.
  3. Crack the eggs gently into the pan to keep the yolks intact (remember: do not overcrowd the pan. Rather, keep a space in between the two eggs). Note: An egg ring can be used to keep the eggs round and yolks centered if desired. As the eggs cook, their color will change from clear to opaque white. Cook until the tops of the whites are set but the yolk is still runny. This will take about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Meanwhile, if the oil starts to spit it is a sign that the oil is too hot...In this case, please turn the heat down to low.
  4. When sunny-side up eggs are ready, remove the pan from the heat. Use a large, metal spatula (not rubber) to remove the eggs from the pan one at a time and place on a serving plate. The metal spatula blade is thin enough to slide underneath the eggs without tearing them. And the large size of the blade will give more optimal support to keep the soft yolk intact while transferring from the pan to the plate. Some people like to dab them gently with paper towel to soak up any excess oil but I don't dab mine because fat is flavor!!! 😉 Sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper -- and also fresh or dried herbs if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!


49 Responses to How to Cook Perfect Sunny-Side Up Eggs

  1. Laura King January 4, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Love these simple, easy-to-understand directions Denise! Nothing as comforting as a perfect sunny side up egg and a crispy slice of toast. My Grandma Lamp used to make me and my younger brother “up eggs” with toast every morning on our summer break visits. Love those memories!

    • Denise Browning January 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

      I am so happy to have you visiting me here, Laura! I am glad that you enjoyed these easy-to-follow directions…What great memories of your Grandma you have! xx

  2. [email protected] January 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Oh what a beautiful and perfect egg, Denise! Honestly, I tend to have my pan too hot or just rush them in general. So I’m guilty of those crispy edges and dried yolks! Sometimes it’s just good to have someone walk you back to the basics! And since my goal this year is not to skip breakfast…this is a great place for me to start! Wishing all the best in the New Year! : )

    • Denise Browning January 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks a lot, my dear Anne! It is so good to have you visiting me here again… Wishing you a wonderful new year! xx

  3. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef January 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    I must try your method. I put a bit of oil and a bit of butter in the pan, melt til frothy and then put the eggs, season and add a teaspoon of water and cover.

    • Denise Browning January 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      This is also a great method too, Maureen! The only thing is with the covered method, eggs need to be watched carefully. Because I usually prepare several things at the same time, I avoid covering mine… I forget about them and the yolks wind up overcooked. 🙂

  4. Lail | With A Spin January 5, 2014 at 2:06 am #

    Great tips, Denise. I never knew to sprinkle water to test the hotness of the pan. I’ve always used a plastic spatula as well as I tend to make my sunny side up in a non-stick pan. However, it makes sense to use a thin metal one to avoid accidental tearing. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  5. Little Cooking Tips January 5, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Making the perfect fried eggs, is a task that’s difficult to accomplish, even for professional Chefs with years of experience, as many things can go wrong, resulting a ‘failed’ fried egg:)
    So, your instructions are very very useful both for amateur and experienced cooks:)
    Thank you Denise!

  6. Coffee and Crumpets January 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Beautiful! Perfect eggs, Denise! I have to admit though, I like my eggs with frazzled edges 🙂 Such lovely, sunny photos!

    • Denise Browning January 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Thanks, Nazneen!!!! To get eggs with frizzle edges, heat the oil very well and let eggs cook on medium heat. 🙂

  7. [email protected] Riffs January 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    I tend to cook eggs over-easy more than sunny-side up (mainly because I love flipping the eggs over in the pan!), but sunny-side up ones look better. Great method! I usually use 7-inch nonstick pans, the perfect size for two eggs. And then just slid them from the pan right onto the plate. Good post – thanks.

  8. Sugar et al January 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    What a lovely and useful tutorial Denise! I learnt it through trial and error but at times, still don’t get it right. I LOVE the vibrant photos.

    • Denise Browning January 5, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Thanks, Sonali! Now you have easy steps to follow that you will help you to get your eggs right all the time.

  9. Deb January 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    The egg is indeed a very important component of my cooking! My husband prefers scrambled eggs but I will try your method of sunny-side-up as an alternative! Who knows, he may change his mind!

    • Denise Browning January 6, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      Deb: The only ones that eat sunny-side up eggs at my home is my youngest and I. My husband only likes his eggs either scrambled or with well cooked, hard yolks (as well as my eldest daughter). Good luck! Thanks a lot for stopping by!

  10. Asmita January 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi Denise,
    Thanks so much for this tutorial. The eggs look perfect! In love with the happy yellow!

    • Denise Browning January 6, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      It is my pleasure, Asmita! I have never thought that people was so interested in these techniques until I published one for how to hard boil eggs properly.

  11. sallybr January 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Great post, Denise! I had to smile reading the comments, I do exactly as Maureen, except that I usually don’t add butter, just olive oil, but the trick of the water works for me. I usually make only one egg, though – that makes the method more feasible, as you pointed out.

    It is one of my favorite lunches, a fried egg – I grew up with my Mom making it for me, I was SUCH a picky eater… that 90% of my lunches were fried eggs with “paozinho frances quentinho da padaria” (lembra? 😉

    • Denise Browning January 6, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      Sally: I still remember those wonderful warm French rolls from Brazil. With eggs and/or cheese, they are even more delicious!

  12. Juliana January 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Nice Denise…your fried egg looks just perfect, thanks for the post.
    Have a great week ahead 😀

  13. Liz January 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Excellent tutorial, Denise! My hubby is the egg maker in the house, but I’ll file this away in case I ever need to make him breakfast 🙂

  14. The Café Sucre Farine January 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    I’m trying your method for breakfast tomorrow Denise, they look perfect!

    • Denise Browning January 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      Thanks, Chris! You will see… It is easy and will produce good results.

  15. Ash-foodfashionparty January 6, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    That is one gorgeous looking egg Denise. Perfect.
    Thanks for some great tips and I can’t wait to make them for hubby who love sunny side eggs.

  16. Amy (Savory Moments) January 7, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    I like these tutorials – they can be really helpful, especially to learn new techniques. I love a good egg – but rarely make them sunny-side up. I should try it now!

  17. Amira January 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    I like my eggs to be firm not runny but my real problem is that it always starts to burn – the down side- while it is not completely done- the upper side- Do you have any suggestions? I’ve tried to lower the heat but still get the same result… It takes ages for that kind of eggs to get the yolk done the way I want :(. Yours look great though… very cool pictures as always.

    • Denise Browning January 8, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      Hi, Amira! Your eggs wind up burning because you cook them in high temperature. If you make them over medium-low heat, they won’t burn. To get firm yolks, you follow the same guidelines above, but letting the eggs cook for a longer time turning them once if desired.

      • Amira January 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

        Thanks for the advice … I’ll try this next time 🙂

  18. Mi Vida en un Dulce January 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Perfect explanation Denise. Boil and fry eggs may sound simple, but not always we have a greta result, like your fried eggs.

    • Denise Browning January 8, 2014 at 7:09 am #

      Thanks, Nydia! Before learning how to properly cook both hard-boiled and sunny-side up eggs, I could not accomplish to have great results. I am glad that these simple guidelines will benefit everyone.

  19. Raymund January 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your tips, definitely it will be handy every morning 🙂

    • Denise Browning January 10, 2014 at 7:36 am #

      Thanks, Raymund! The good thing about these tips is that will permit a constant great result every single time.

  20. Nami | Just One Cookbook January 10, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    Whether the egg is sunny side up or boiled, I love adding eggs to the meal – over rice, over meat, over anything! So it’s very crucial for me to make a good looking sunny side up to present the best egg on top of the other food. 🙂 Great tutorial post, Denise!!

    • Denise Browning January 10, 2014 at 7:50 am #

      Me too, Nami! Eggs have been a constant on my table since I was a child… Portugueses and their descendants make heavy use of eggs. 🙂


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