Total Time: 20 minutes
RECIPE OVERVIEW There are two common problems when it comes to fried eggs: undercooked whites and overcooked yolks. This method produces diner-style fried eggs with crisp edges and a runny yolk. The first thing you need is a nonstick skillet; there’s no point in frying eggs in anything else. Next, don’t skip preheating the pan: It ensures that the pan’s surface will be evenly hot, which is extra-important for quick-cooking foods such as eggs. Once you raise the heat, don’t dawdle; each step from here takes less than a minute. When checking the eggs for doneness, lift the lid just a crack to prevent loss of steam should they need further cooking. To fry just two eggs, use an 8- or 9-inch nonstick skillet and halve the amounts of oil and butter. You can use this method with extra-large or jumbo eggs without altering the timing.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 large eggs, divided
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
1. Heat oil in 12- or 14-inch nonstick skillet over low heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, crack 2 eggs into small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining 2 eggs and second small bowl.
2. Increase heat to medium-high and heat until oil is shimmering. Add butter to skillet and quickly swirl to coat skillet. Working quickly, pour 1 bowl of eggs in 1 side of skillet and second bowl of eggs in other side. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Let skillet stand off heat, covered, 15 to 45 seconds for runny yolks (white around edge of yolk will be barely opaque), 45 to 60 seconds for soft but set yolks, and about 2 minutes for medium-set yolks. Slide eggs onto plates and serve.