An Old Trick For Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs Every Time

Here’s a tip I came across pasted inside one of my old recipe scrapbooks–it’s a tried-and-true for me and works every time! Can there be anything more satisfying than dragging your fork through a runny yolk to ooze and flow over a crispy piece of toast and a side of bacon?

Here’s the trick to fried eggs with the yolks cooked just right—

  • Use just enough butter, margarine, or fat to coat skillet; heat till hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.
  • Carefully slip eggs into skillet and lower heat.
  • When white is set and edges cooked, add 1/2 teaspoon water per egg.
  • Cover skillet with a lid (foil works well too) and cook till done the way you like.

Up until I came across this tip, my whites were always too crispy or yolks tending to be solid (trying to get that stubborn white fully done and not a goopy slime), this is the only way I can get perfect sunny side ups.

The heat can’t be too high or the edges will get too crispy/crunchy and fried…the heat not too low or the yolk will tend to become hardened by the time the whites are done.

The instructions note to add a bit of water, I’ve also found using an ice cube or two works great as well. Or you can baste the eggs with the hot fat they are frying in, do this once they have set a bit. This trick can result in a skim of film over the yolks, but the results are near spot-on.

Another important step: Make sure to sprinkle them with a pinch of salt while frying. We all know salt enhances the flavor of the food it is added to, but this really makes the eggs sing. Try one with salt and one without, you’ll see what I mean ;).

Although my grandmother was a whiz at making them just-right and I grew up watching her countless times cooking to order for each person at the table (regardless of how many family members were home), sunnyside was one tricky feat for me to master. Her must-dos (for any type of fried egg):

  • Use a heavy cast iron skillet
  • Use bacon fat only and be generous with it (no butter or margarine)
  • Watch the heat and cook them slow

Another tip: Perfectly crispy bacon finishes off breakfast just-right (they’re made in the oven!).

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What Readers Are Saying: 5 Comments
  1. Jessica says:

    Awesome! I’ve never dared try to make this type of egg even though I love them. I always made my sister do it but now I think I’m going to try. Thanks!

  2. Debbie says:

    These are not sunny side up eggs these are based eggs

  3. Mary P. says:

    My mom would cook ‘sunnyside up’ eggs by tipping the skillet to one side AFTER the egg white was firm and then use the grease, butter or oil to baste the yolk. She taught me to do this, too, and my ‘sunnyside up’ eggs are dippy and yummy!

  4. Deb Eck says:

    Sunnyside up eggs are when the whites are cooked completely but the yolk is still yellow, untouched by grease or oil splashed over them, or basted over them. I like your tutorial. I have always loved the look of sunnyside up but have never done them till recently. your advise is spot on!!! Thanks for your tip!

  5. Jenny says:

    I tried both this and the bacon tips the other day when I hosted Christmas brunch. I am really happy with how the eggs turned out, best sunny side ups I have ever made. I struggled with getting them just right too but this tip does work. Best bacon and eggs I ever had the joy of cooking for my family!


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