One of the simplest yet most complicated cooking basics everyone learns is how to fry an egg. Simple because cracking an egg into a pan and waiting until it's cooked doesn't require much skill, but complicated because if you're not careful, you can easily end up with undercooked whites and an overcooked yolk. So how can you make sure your fried eggs are perfect every time? Taking a few tips from the experts is a great place to start. Here's how some of our favorite celebrity chefs and Food Network personalities fry their eggs.
Alton Brown: Cracked in a Ramekin
Alton Brown's number one tip for frying eggs is to not crack them directly into the pan. In his recipe for perfect eggs over-easy, he explains, "Never crack eggs directly into a pan — always crack them into a cup or ramekin. It's the only way to make sure they cook evenly, and you can pour them into the pan right where you want them." His other pro tip involves the proper way to flip the eggs without cracking the yolks. "Never flip the food up and bring the pan down. Try to meet the food with the pan as best as you can, thus preventing a hard — and potentially yolk-busting — landing."
Giada De Laurentiis: Fried in Olive Oil
Would you expect anything less from the queen of Italian food? To make Giada's Italian fried egg sandwich, you'll want to reach for the olive oil and forgo the butter. After adding the eggs to a pan with two teaspoons of olive oil heated over medium heat, Giada covers the pan in order to cook the whites quickly.
Ree Drummond: Basted in Canola Oil
Rather than covering the skillet with a lid or flipping the eggs over, The Pioneer Woman's tip is to carefully spoon the hot oil over the whites to help them cook evenly. Ree's final tip is important, too: she recommends removing the eggs and draining them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Mario Batali: Don't Touch! Then Flip
Mario Batali's first rule for frying eggs is to crack the eggs into the skillet and avoid touching them at all for the first 30 seconds. Then, using a nonstick silicone spatula, gently loosen the edges of the eggs and make sure the bottoms aren't sticking. Flip the eggs, and cook for 30 more seconds.
Chrissy Teigen: Fried in Butter and Olive Oil
You get the best of both worlds when you follow Chrissy Teigen's recipe for fried eggs. You won't find it online, but when you open her Cravings cookbook to the Breakfast All Day section, you'll find her popular recipe for Cajun Catfish With Over-Easy Eggs ("I am aware of how gross this sounds," she promises in the intro). To get a perfectly cooked and flavorful egg, Chrissy cooks in both butter and olive oil.
Paula Deen: Fried in Bacon Fat
A woman after my own heart, Paula Deen knows it's a wise decision to cook eggs in bacon fat. Paula's fried egg and avocado sandwich calls for bacon, and her pro tip is to reserve one tablespoon of the fat before discarding the rest. Use that grease to cook your eggs in the same skillet, and you'll have a perfectly fried egg seasoned with the salty and smoky flavors of the bacon.