Meet my favorite fried egg: the crispy olive oil fried egg. These fried eggs have golden, lacy, crispy edges, which contrast beautifully with their runny yellow yolks. Contrast is everything!
Start with a good egg, a hot skillet, and a generous drizzle of olive oil, and you’ll end up with the most flavorful fried egg you’ve ever tasted. They are infinitely better than the rubbery, sulfurous eggs that come out of non-stick skillets. In fact, these are the only fried eggs I ever want to eat.
You’ve seen these crispy fried eggs on my recipes over the years, but I’m highlighting the technique today and offering all the tips and tricks I’ve learned. You’ll also get a look at my favorite recipes featuring these golden beauties.
How to Make the Best Fried Egg
Tips and considerations to keep in mind:
Start with a great egg. I like to buy local eggs, which have the most beautiful golden yellow yolks. Free-range organic eggs are great, too.
You can cook one or two eggs at a time. I usually just cook one egg at a time in a small skillet because sometimes the two eggs cross paths and stick together!
Use a cast iron skillet if you have one. Cast iron is non-toxic and retains heat well. If you warm up the pan as directed before adding the oil, it should offer a great non-stick cooking surface. I use my 8″ cast iron pan (affiliate link) for single eggs, or 12″ pan for two eggs. My next best bet would be stainless steel. I’m hesitant to suggest non-stick pans because high heat can damage the coatings and release toxic PFOA’s into the air.
Crack the egg into a bowl first. You can more easily avoid oil splatters this way. I also find that pouring from a bowl yields a more evenly shaped fried egg that cooks a little more evenly.
Make sure the oil is hot before you pour in the egg. This helps ensure that the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, and yields super crispy edges.
Be careful and watch out for hot oil splatters! This recipe is going to leave some tiny oil splatters on your stovetop. You’ll want to step away after you pour in the egg to avoid getting splattered yourself.
A note on basting the egg white with oil: Most olive oil fried egg recipes suggest basting the egg white (not the yolk) with the hot olive oil while it cooks. You can do this by tilting the pan and scooping up some of the hot oil with a spoon. However, I can’t do this without burning my hand with oil splatters! My eggs turn out great without basting, so I didn’t include this in my recipe.
If you want more firm yolks: For medium eggs, just cook the egg for 30 to 60 more seconds. If you want more firm yolks than that, you can cover the egg for 30 seconds or longer while it cooks.
Repeat with additional eggs. You can continue frying eggs in the same skillet. Just add another drizzle of olive oil before each egg. You might need to dial down the heat as time goes on (if you catch the faintest whiff of smoke, it’s too hot).
Season as desired. These fried eggs are basically perfect right out of the skillet, but I love to sprinkle them with a little flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve them with a knife and a fork to cut through their crispy undersides.
Favorite Fried EggsCourse: Recipes
Learn how to make the best fried eggs with this easy recipe! The trick is to cook them in hot olive oil so they develop irresistible lacy edges and lots of flavor. You can cook 1 to 2 eggs at a time in a skillet.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Cooking 1 egg? Pull out a small skillet, preferably cast iron. Cooking eggs? Use a medium-to-large skillet and use 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl or ramekin and place it near the stove. Warm your skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot enough that a drop of water sizzles rapidly on contact.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil to the pan. Gently tilt the pan around so the olive oil covers the base of the pan. The olive oil should be so warm that it shimmers on the pan (if not, give it a little more time to warm up).
- Carefully pour the egg into the skillet and watch out for hot oil splatters (if you’re planning to add another egg to the same pan, pour it onto the side so there’s room for another).
- Let the egg cook, gently tilting the pan occasionally to redistribute the oil, until the edges are crisp and golden and the yolk is cooked to your liking, about 2 minutes for runny yolks or 2 ½ to 3 minutes for medium yolks. (If you’re adding another egg to the skillet, go ahead and do it while the other is cooking.)
- Transfer the cooked egg(s) to a plate. If you’d like to cook more eggs in the same skillet, add another drizzle of olive oil, leave the heat at medium (you might even need to dial it down a bit to avoid smoking) and add your next egg. Repeat as necessary.
- SEASONING SUGGESTIONS: I love a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and sometimes a splash of hot sauce.