You Probably Aren't Using Enough Oil When Frying Eggs

There are big mistakes everyone makes when frying eggs, from breaking the yolks to cooking at the wrong heat to letting the eggs stick to the pan. All of these blunders can lead to fried eggs that turn out pallid, soft, and slippery, or, worst of all, scorched and rubbery. Well, it turns out that the easiest hack for perfectly crispy fried eggs might be as simple as using more oil.

Just look at the pros. Robert Irvine's method for perfectly fried eggs and Duff Goldman's crispy fried egg are both made by frying eggs in plenty of hot oil, then basting them with hot oil to cook the top. José Andrés won't even order fried eggs at restaurants, because he doesn't believe anyone really knows how to make them — he'd rather just do it himself. If you're tired of eggs that stick to the pan, that break when you try to flip them, or that never seem to actually get crispy on the edges, then make like the pros and start using more oil when making fried eggs. But just how much oil do you need, and what kind should you use?

Best method to fry your eggs in oil

The best way to fry up a batch of crispy eggs is to make sure you have enough oil in the pan. How much is that, really? You basically need to use enough oil so that the entire bottom of the skillet is covered (about 2 tablespoons for the average frying pan) — there shouldn't be any visible dry parts of the pan. When in doubt, add an extra glug. And, when you tilt the pan, oil should pool up on the side. This is important so you can baste the tops of your eggs with hot oil as they fry to help set the egg whites.

Since eggs themselves have such a mild flavor, the oil you use will impart some of its essence. If you want a straight-up egg flavor, you can use a neutral oil, like canola. However, you can also use olive oil if you want a little more flavor. And don't believe this olive oil cooking myth — olive oil might have a relatively low smoke point, but it's safe to cook at higher temperatures, and your eggs only need to be fried over medium to medium-high heat anyway. You can fry your eggs in the hot oil until they're crispy, with browned edges and bubbly whites, or you can just fry and baste them until the whites are set. However you like to serve them, just make sure the pan has enough oil, and you'll avoid those fried egg mistakes of yore.