Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Claire
Egg frying is cool but may come with sticking problems. Thus, you want to stop eggs from sticking to pan for a better cooking result, as well as eliminate the stress of cleaning up afterward.
Generally, you want to heat the pan and add the oil or fat before putting the eggs in. Eggs typically cook quickly, which tempts you to use a low heat setting. However, when your pan isn’t particularly non-stick, you’d have to rely on fats and heat and be quicker with your spatula.
How to stop eggs from sticking to pans
Here’s a guide on how to stop eggs from sticking to pans during frying (you can also use this as a guide to learn how to keep eggs from sticking to stainless steel pans and possibly causing a rainbow):
1. Use the right type of pan
Spray some cooking oil beforehand and use high-quality nonstick pans to make fry eggs easier and prevent any sticky situations.
Although other types of pans will do a good job at frying eggs, the best pan to use is a thoroughly cleaned, well-seasoned, and regularly used cast iron pan.
2. Make sure the pan is thoroughly cleaned with no bumps or dents
This applies to non-stick pans. When using non-stick pans you need to make sure they are properly seasoned, well-cleaned, and free of bumps, dents or flakes on their surface before use. Else you are going to have quite a sticky mess on your hands!
3. Preheat your pan to the right temperature
Preheating your pan at medium temperatures will help raise the surface temperature and keep eggs from sticking to it. A water test will help determine if the pan is at the proper temperature. The water droplets should form a bead that glides smoothly across the surface of the pan rather than sizzle.
Just make sure you completely drain the water before adding the fat or oil, and ensure it doesn’t get too hot to avoid a kitchen filled with smoke!
4. Use fats or oil
When frying eggs you need to ensure you use an appropriate amount of oil or fat, make sure your pan and oil are hot enough to make a sizzle before adding the eggs and make sure you use a low or medium heat setting. You also need to ensure the fats or oil is well sprayed over the entire surface of the pan, and that the bottom surface is wet with no dry spaces in between.
Failure to adhere to these precautions will result in burnt, bad-tasting eggs.
Note that when it comes to preventing sticking, cooking spray may work for some pans, but butter (use real butter and not margarine) or coconut oil works best for stainless steel pans.
5. Use a greased non-metal spatula
This applies to non-stick pans. If you’re using a non-stick pan, it’s advisable to use a properly greased non-metal spatula to flip the eggs in order to avoid scratching the surface of nonstick pans.
6. Don’t let the egg sit for too long
The New York Times describes cooking egg for too long as “rubbery” and overcooked. The egg should not sit for long and don’t attempt to move or flip it too soon. This might seem a little confusing at first glance and requires some practice to perfect, but you need to get the timing between both processes just right.
The part in contact with the pan must cook and harden sufficiently to peel itself away from the pan, at the same time it must not sit for too long in the pan to avoid them sticking to the surface.
7. Use fresh eggs
Here’s an often overlooked aspect when it comes to frying eggs. As eggs age, they lose their firmness and become slack.
The fresher an egg is, the stronger the proteins are in the white. This means the egg will form a neater shape in the frying pan. Fresh eggs are best for frying, while older aged eggs are more suitable for hard-boiling.
Why do eggs stick to frying pans?
Eggs possess proteins that enable them to easily create a bond with other surfaces. To put this into perspective, eggs were actually used as glue during the Renaissance period.
When eggs come into contact with the surface of the pan, they spread all over and form a chemical bond with the pan immediately. This is why eggs stick to frying pans easily.
Eggs sticking to pan even with oil: what to do
You have a pan with oil but the egg still sticks. That’s sad, fortunately, you can fry eggs in a pan without using any oil and not getting them stuck in the pan.
You need a good quality non-stick pan made of Teflon or ceramic to fry eggs without using any oil or butter and not getting the egg stuck to the pan.
- Make sure the non-stick pan is thoroughly cleaned or wiped.
- Preheat the non-stick Teflon or ceramic pan before adding the eggs as you normally would every time you fry them using oil. However, you need to be careful not to heat the pan like you would when using oil as it will make it more likely to stick.
- Cover the pan to enable the eggs to cook perfectly using just the steam generated from the heat without the need for absolutely any oil.
How do I know if my pan is the right temperature?
One way to tell if your pan is at the right temperature is the water drop test. Put a very little amount of water onto the preheated pan, if the water droplets form a bead and glide smoothly across the surface of the pan then your pan is at the right temperature, if it sizzles then it’s too hot.
What eggs are best for frying?
Fresh eggs are the best eggs for frying. This is because the fresher an egg is, the stronger the proteins are in the white; which means the egg will form a neater shape in the frying pan. Fresh eggs are best for frying, while older or week-old eggs are more suitable for making hard-boiled eggs.
What is the best pan to use for frying eggs?
Although nonstick, ceramic, carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, griddle, or pans will do a good job at frying eggs, the best pan to use is a thoroughly cleaned, well-seasoned, and regularly used cast iron pan. Just make sure the pan is preheated before turning it down to a medium heat setting.
This wraps it up for the guide “how to stop eggs from sticking to pan”. Keeping eggs from sticking to your frying pan is a simple process that requires some practice and precautions to master; you need the right amount of heat, the right type of pan, and the right amount of lubrication.
Just follow the guidelines given in the article and in no time you’d be frying eggs like a pro without getting them stuck to the pan.