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I cant cook an egg
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roofermike



Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Lynn, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:11 pm    Post subject: I cant cook an egg Reply with quote

I'm serious. I need all the cooking help I can get one tiny little baby step at a time. If im not welcome here, tell me to beat it. I literally can never make my eggs over easy without cracking the damn yoke. Can anyone tell me what size pan, what kinds of spatulas to use, or what heat to use? Just now I burnt the heck out of my grilled cheese sandwich. Its taken me 13 years with my wife to realize she will never cook any better than me either, so I'm going to learn. Lets start with eggs over easy if anyone feels like helping a dummy.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1620
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry, roofermike! Eggs over easy is actually NOT an easy dish to make without a lot of practice. The main issue most people have is that the yolk will break when they flip the egg over - so everything must be done to maximize the chance that the egg will survive.

1. Use the freshest eggs you can. Grade AA eggs are fresher than A, B etc. When the eggs are fresh, the internal structures are distinct and intact and can take a little more of a beating (like flipping over) than older eggs. Always buy eggs that are properly refrigerated and make sure you keep them in cold refrigeration (on the door is bad because it get a lot of temperature fluctuation). Eggs exposed to heat (i.e. room temperature) age faster. This way, you maximize the chances of using the freshest eggs possible when you attempt eggs over easy.

2. Use a really good nonstick pan (or a brand new cheap one). Most nonstick pans lose their magic slipperiness over time because of the accumulation of tiny food particles aren't completely washed off (perhaps oils that you didn't use enough soap to remove) and these particles ARE sticky.

3. Use enough oil or butter. Even though the pan is nonstick, you'll still want some oil in the pan to help fry the egg as well as provide some lubrication. It's actually easier with more oil, so you may want to start with more oil (a tablespoon or two, not a cup) and then taper down as you get the hang of it.

4. Use medium heat. There is a thin film of protein rich egg white over the yolk (after you crack the egg, everything lies down, but the yolk is still fully enveloped in white). In a fresh egg, this layer of white is the most intact. You'll also notice that the layer of white under the yolk is also more substantial - providing more padding for us to accomplish the necessary flips while protecting the yolk. Using lower heat will help to not over cook the egg as you wait for the yolk to heat up and, subsequently, the white that covers the yolk to begin to solidify a little. You won't see it turn white like the rest of the white because if you waited that long, your yolk would be solid. You're just patiently waiting for the yolk to warm up a bit. Often, this is when the spread out whites have solidified. Medium heat gives us more time to allow the heat to penetrate before the whites are overcooked (over cooked egg white protein has an undesired rubbery texture).

5. Flip with confidence. At this point it's time to flip the egg. This needs to be done quickly and surely. If you are tentative or too slow during this step, the egg will probably flip half way, then slide a little in the pan as the rest of the egg is flipping over. This is when the majority of the yolk tearing occurs. Even in a good nonstick pan, the yolk will usually not be able to handle sliding. This step can be handled by a spatula (use a thin plastic one - one of those fish spatulas work pretty well) or by hand (might be trickier because often people flip with too much force or are to jerky in their catching motion resulting in a rupture). However you choose to do it, simply practice a lot. Make sure if you're using the spatula, you slide it under the egg (under the yolk), lift and rotate - without using the spatula to push down on the egg after the rotation. You may find it useful to actually pick the pan up and twist the pan a little to meet the egg gently as it is being flipped.

6. Don't touch the egg! Prior to the flip, don't touch the egg until it's ready to flip (whites have just solidifed). Then use the spatula or wrist/palm action (hold the pan up by the handle with one hand and strike the base of the handle with the palm of the other hand to release and move the egg) to manuever the egg to a good position for a flip. After flipping (if the yolk hasn't broken), don't touch the egg - no matter how awkward it's position may be. Count off 10 seconds. Flip back. Almost always 10 seconds is enough to cook the outer surface of the yolk and allow it to move freely on the nonstick surface. Less than that and your chance of tearing increases.

After two flips, you can slide the egg off onto the serving plate and dig in. This will probably yield eggs over medium due to the longer cooking time while the eggs are sitting right side up. To adjust for your personal preference, you'll want to leave the eggs right side up less for over easy, and you'll want to leave the eggs yolk down for longer for over hard.

P.S. Grilled cheese sandwich - you probably just need a better pan. A grilled cheese should probably also be done on a nonstick pan. Look for one with a thick aluminum core. Then heat your buttered bread and cheese on medium-low heat. The thick pan provides even heating which allows you to use a lower heat level because the hot spots ("hot spots" is a term used when describing cookware that emphasizes that the pan does not heat evenly. Two problems with hot spots exist - (1) they get really hot so you burn your food, (2) they are called hot spots because the rest of the pan is a cold spot - so you need to crank up your heat to cook the majority of the food, which makes problem (1) so much worse.) aren't as pronounced.
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roofermike



Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Lynn, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the reply. very helpful, ill try it out tomorrow morning. Any suggestions on what I should expect to pay for a really good non stick pan? Everytime I try to get into cooking, seems I need to spend more money up front than it would cost just to go out to a restaurant between some of the required equipment and utensils and some really expensive spices... one time I successfully made a bernaisse sauce from a cookbook to go over some filet mignon that my whole family loved, but it wasnt cheap to make. Not like I'd expected.
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'll bet 90% of your problem is in the actual "flip" phase.

flipping eggs, with perfection, is almost as difficult as flipping pancakes with perfection.

the secret, is the initial "FAST" push of the spatula. place the spatula along side the egg (or pancake), in a non-stick pan (very important), and with one very quick jerky motion, push the spatula all the way under the egg (or pancake), without pushing it, or dragging it, across the plate.... then with another quick (albeit gentle) motion, flop it over.

99% of the hard work is done at this point. just make sure the egg is somewhat "set", and not too runny, when you attempt to flip it.

remember: using a very fast pushing motion to get under the egg... don't be gentle, or pussy foot around... be fast, and "snappy".... like a quick karate punch! it's ironic, that the best way to be "gentle" with an egg, is to be very fast and jerky with the spatula..... but that "grasshopper".... is how the zen masters do it. eggs are cheap.... practice on 1 dozen. let the egg firm up (egg side up), then quickly snatch under it with a spatula without moving it across the plate (karate style)... then quickly, but gently, flop it.

it may help to yell a karate phrase when you initially jab the spatula under the egg.... something like..."Eyeeee!"

be agressive, grasshopper, yet flow like the water. be "one"....with the egg. conquer... yet submit. be strong, yet flexible. and remember one important thing: "to be.... is to be".

sigh... i am now spent. you must listen and learn from here on.

now... as quickly as you can.... grab the pebbles from my hand. Wink
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to what eltonyo said, I would add to use a warmed and lightly buttered THIN spatula to ensure easy undermining of the egg if you are using a spatula rather than actually flipping the pan. Using a pan large enough to accomodate the spatula is also important, or else you end up having to insert the spatula under the egg at an angle, rather than parallel to the surface of the pan. When using a larger pan tilt the pan a bit to contain the egg against a side of the pan until the while the whites solidfy a bit which prevents the egg from spreading. (We could collectively write a thesis on this.)

If you like them soft and over easy, another thing you might try is what I do. You don't have to turn the egg at all, and the "top" of the egg still gets cooked. If you try it and don't like it, you only lost a couple of eggs. It's unorthodox, but here goes. Start your eggs and after the whites start to solidify, add an ounce or so of very hot water to the pan (not on the egg itself, and disperse it in the pan) and quickly return it COVERED to the stove on a moderately high heat. The steam will finish cooking the yolk and top layer of the whites. If the steam gets used up, you can toss on another tablespoon or so of water. The bottom of the eggs will not be browned, but if you want them over easy, you might not want them browned anyway. They come out mostly fried and slightly poached. All in all, a good method if you like the eggs lightly done on both sides, without ever having to turn the egg. A little practice might be needed to refine your technique, but the yolk never breaks.
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SgtNickFury



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's always the cheater method too, sorta like using the emergency brake with a stick shift when on a hill.......just don't admit ya do it....

(cough)

2 pans.
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ditto



Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Phoenix, Az

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You poor thing! Big smile

Use the smallest teflon fry pan you have 8". Put 1-2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and melt it.

Put 1 or 2 eggs in the pan add salt and pepper. Cook the eggs for about 2 - 3 minutes on the first side just until firm. Move the eggs with the spatula and shake the pan a little to keep the eggs loose.

With a rubber spatula gently turn eggs over. Cook another 1 - 2 minutes. You will know if they look done.

Take the pan and slip/pour the eggs out on to a plate and there you have it.

You might need a little practice turning the eggs but trust me you will master it!

AS FOR THE GRILLED CHEESE:

Butter the bread on the outside and also butter a teflon pan and cook over medium low heat, cover the sandwich with a pan lid so it creates a little oven. Cook about 7 minutes each side. Check it to make sure it's not burning but the slow heat melts the cheese and toasts the bread very well and it's of course yummy.

Or you can put the 2 slices of bread in the oven with grated cheese on each side when the cheese is melted slap them together and chow down. Fresh tomatoes with salt and pepper is Great on the sandwich too! With a big cold glass of milk!
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1-2 TABLESPOONS of butter to fry two eggs? You might as well deep fry it!

A TEASPOON or two in a good non-stick pan should have your egg sliding all over the place.

If you want to use SgtNickFury's method, I think Calphalon (I hate that company) has a set of two interlocking pans that should be perfect for his technique. I have seen it at Williams-Sonoma. If you use that method, just make sure the eggs will slide around in the bottom pan before you flip the pans over.
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

damn... i didn't want to say it at first... but now i have to break the bad news.

(I tried to help... i gave you the benefit of the doubt)

but alas... you have a "disease".

you have "EFD" (egg deficient disease)... not to be confused with "BFD"... (almost the same thing)

you need to follow one of the three following correction paths...

1) eat cheerios.
2) eat poptarts.
3) go to Denny's, and ask them to cook your eggs.

sigh.

i am spent.

nuf said. Smile

- Tony
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eltonyo wrote:
damn... i didn't want to say it at first... but now i have to break the bad news.

(I tried to help... i gave you the benefit of the doubt)

but alas... you have a "disease".

you have "EFD" (egg deficient disease)... not to be confused with "BFD"... (almost the same thing)

you need to follow one of the three following correction paths...

1) eat cheerios.
2) eat poptarts.
3) go to Denny's, and ask them to cook your eggs.

sigh.

i am spent.

nuf said. Smile

- Tony


ROTFLMAO!!

(Thanks Michael for the urban dictionary definition)
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Guest






PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry roofermike. I can't do it either. But try making small eggs in a wide pot and gradually over time increase the size. You'll get better.
Heh, I'm still learning. Big smile
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roofermike - Try to put the eggs in fridge before using it , say 20 minutes, or store the eggs in fridge overnight. Chilled yolk will not easily break.

Another tip is to use 'wok' instead of pan. Pan having flat surface, not easy to turn anything on it. Wok with sloping side easy to work with using steel spatula (don't forget to put oil when frying).

Good luck! Big smile
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Pickles



Joined: 19 May 2006
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a little thing I learnt when I first started cooking.

Put in a little extra oil, just enough so you can spoon up small amounts.

Once you have cracked the egg into the pan use a spoon to pour a little of the hot oil over the joke of the egg, this creates a very thin cooked skin thats a little stronger, then you turn.

Oh so easy and I cook it like that all the time, although I can cook it like the others have said and do it successfully, but I find it more relaxing to play with the oil and it cooks quicker.
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CompWiz



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Location: State University of New York at Buffalo

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, if you're still having problems flipping the egg, perhaps you should instead try cooking a sunny side up egg. If you cover the pan immediately after cracking the egg into it, the top of the sunny side up egg should cook nicely. I usually cook mine for just under 2 minutes. At the temperature that I use, that completely cooks the white(no runny white), and the yolk is plenty runny. You'll need to try it out a few times, to find out how long to cook it, as peeking at it constantly prevents the top of the egg from cooking. Also, be sure to use a small pan lid that forms somewhat of a seal around the egg, for best results.

Good luck. Smile
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Auspicious



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 58
Location: on the boat, Annapolis, MD

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So roofermike, how is the cooking coming? Inquiring minds want to know!
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