Eggs Over Medium (Perfect Every Time!)

5 from 6 votes
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Eggs over medium are perfect for those who love a slightly runny yolk with firm whites. Let me share my secrets (as a food scientist!) to getting perfect over medium eggs, every time.

Eggs over medium on a plate with knife and fork.

Whether you’re whipping up a quick breakfast or adding them to a meal, mastering over medium eggs will elevate your morning routine.

What Are Over Medium Fried Eggs?

An over medium fried egg has egg whites that are fully cooked and a partially runny egg yolk. With eggs over medium, the egg is flipped in the pan or skillet and cooked on both sides.

“Over medium” refers to the doneness level of the egg yolks being neither completely runny nor firm.

They’re a breakfast staple, easy to make, and versatile.

Eggs Over Medium Vs Sunny Side up

Sunny side up eggs are cooked only on one side, with the yolk intact and visible on the top. The egg white is fully cooked, but the yolk remains runny and unbroken.

Eggs over medium are cooked on both sides, similar to eggs over easy. However, the yolk in eggs over medium is partially cooked, with a slightly runny consistency, while the egg white is fully cooked.

So, while both styles of eggs may have runny yolks, the main difference lies in how they are cooked and the level of doneness of the yolk.

Eggs in a carton.

Why This Method Works

Here’s why this recipe gives you the perfect eggs over medium every time:

  • Timing: Careful timing is important to get yolks to be partially cooked while the whites remain fully set.
  • Testing: I’m going to give you my tried-and-true method for knowing the precise doneness of your eggs without cutting them open.
  • Controlled heat: Maintaining controlled heat throughout the cooking process (from preheating to cooking temp) helps get it right every time.

Here’s What You Need

This egg over medium recipe needs very little. Here’s what to gather:

Ingredients 

Here are the 4 ingredients you’ll need for my basic eggs over medium recipe:

  • Oil or butter: You can use oil or butter, or a combination of both. I recommend oil with a high smoke point, like sunflower or avocado oil.
  • Eggs: Fresh eggs are key to achieving the best flavor and texture in your fried eggs. Look for eggs with firm whites and vibrant yolks for optimal results. You can use any type of eggs, whether brown, white, free-range, or organic.
  • Salt and black pepper: Seasoning is key to a delicious result. I like to use fine table salt for fried eggs but Kosher salt or whatever you have in the kitchen is fine.
Over medium egg cut open on a plate.

Variations and Substitutions 

You can season and flavor your eggs if you want them fancy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Herbs and spices: Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, dill, or cilantro over the eggs. You can also try spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika.
  • Cheese: Add grated or crumbled cheese such as cheddar, feta, goat cheese, or Parmesan over the eggs while they are still hot. The residual heat will melt the cheese, creating a creamy and indulgent topping.
  • Sauces and condiments: Top eggs over medium with chunky salsa, hot sauce, pesto, hollandaise sauce, or chimichurri for a burst of flavor.
  • Truffle oil: Add a few drops for next-level eggs. 

Grab These Tools 

Here’s what you’ll need to whip up perfect eggs over medium:

  • A cast iron skillet or non-stick pan: If you’re new to frying eggs, I suggest a non-stick frying pan.
  • Spatula: To gently flip your eggs with. 

Fats To Use

When cooking eggs over medium, you can use a variety of fats and oils. Here are some ideas:

  • Oil: Using oil, such as olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, coconut, or canola oil, creates a crispy edge on the fried eggs and adds a subtle richness to their flavor. It’s a good option if avoiding dairy.
  • Butter: Butter adds a rich, creamy flavor to the eggs and creates a luxurious texture. It’s especially delicious when the butter browns slightly. Keep in mind that butter has a lower smoke point compared to some oils, so watch the heat to prevent burning. You can combine it with a little oil to raise its smoking point.
  • Ghee: Ghee, or clarified butter has a higher smoke point than butter. This means it will take longer to burn than regular butter.
  • Bacon fat: Cooking eggs over medium in bacon fat infuses them with smoky and savory flavors.
Over medium eggs with salt and pepper shakers and carton of eggs.

How to Cook Eggs Over Medium: An Easy Guide

Are you ready to learn how to make over medium eggs? Let’s go:

Heat the oil and add the eggs

Heat the oil or butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Let it preheat for about 2-3 for nonstick, or 5 minutes for cast iron. It needs to be shimmering hot so the eggs don’t stick.

Crack the eggs into the pan. Be careful not to break the yolks. 

Season the eggs

Season with salt and pepper. 

Cook the eggs

Cook for about 2 minutes until the whites start to set. With a spatula, gently flip the eggs. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. 

The yolks should still be slightly runny in the center, and the whites should be fully cooked. 

Remove from the pan and serve immediately, as the eggs will continue cooking with their own residual heat.

Touching over medium egg in pan to test doneness.

Pro Tips For Testing Doneness in Eggs

I use the touch test to tell what stage the eggs are cooked to.

To do this, gently press on the yolk part of the egg (after flipping it). If it feels totally soft inside (like pressing the fleshy part of your cheek), it’s at the over easy stage. I.e., super duper runny.

If it feels slightly firmer than that, it’s at the over medium stage. I compare it to pressing the fleshy part of your palm below your thumb, when your hand is relaxed.

If it feels very firm, like the same part of your palm with your hand outstretched, it’s well done.

Make Ahead and Storage

I really recommend making them fresh and serving them straight away for the perfect over medium egg experience.

Eggs will continue cooking as they sit on a plate, and it’s not possible to maintain then perfect level of doneness you achieved unless you serve them right away.

To store them,  cook and cool the eggs quickly in the fridge.  Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Reheat them gently in a skillet or microwave, careful not to overcook the yolks. 

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole in a baking dish with a serving spoon lifting out a piece.

How to Serve Eggs Over Medium

There are so many ways to serve your delicious over medium eggs – check these out:

  • On avocado toast: Serve eggs over medium on top of toasted bread with avo slices.  Add toppings like salsa or some fresh herbs.
  • In breakfast or brunch sandwiches: Use eggs over medium as a filling for breakfast sandwiches. Layer them with crispy bacon or sausage, cheese, and veggies between English muffins or bagels.
  • Over savory waffles: You’ve got to try my ham and cheese waffle recipe. Top them with a perfect over-medium egg.
  • Over hash browns: Add some sautéed vegetables or salsa for extra flavor. Better yet, serve it with my Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole.
  • On top of burgers: Elevate your burger game by adding eggs over medium on top of your favorite burger patties. Try them with my umami-loaded mushroom burgers!
  • With smoked salmon: Serve eggs over medium alongside smoked salmon on a bagel or toast. Add cream cheese, capers, red onion slices, and fresh dill for a delicious and elegant breakfast or brunch option

5 Common Mistakes When Making Eggs Over Medium 

Here are five common mistakes to avoid when making eggs over medium:

  1. Overcooking the yolk: One of the most common mistakes is overcooking the yolk, resulting in a fully cooked and firm center rather than a slightly runny consistency. It’s important to remove the eggs from the heat while the yolk is still soft but not overly runny. Use the “Press test” above to get it right every time.
  2. Undercooking the white: Undercooking the egg white can leave it raw or too runny. Make sure the egg white is fully cooked and set before removing the eggs from the pan.
  3. Not using enough fat: Eggs can stick to the pan if there isn’t enough fat, such as butter or oil, used for cooking. Insufficient fat can result in the eggs tearing or sticking, making it tricky to flip them without breaking the yolk.
  4. Using high heat: Cooking eggs over medium requires gentle heat to ensure even cooking without burning the bottom or overcooking the yolk. Using high heat can lead to uneven cooking and a yolk that is too firm.
  5. Not preheating properly: New non-stick pans are pretty forgiving, but an older one (whose non-stick surface is damaged), cast iron pans, or (gulp) aluminum pans really need to be properly preheated to form an immediate crust on the food and prevent it from sticking.

    By avoiding these common mistakes and paying attention to timing and heat control, you can master the art of making perfect eggs over medium with a creamy yolk and fully cooked white.

FAQs About Eggs Over Medium

Just scrolling through? Check out the key takeouts from this post:

What is the difference between eggs over easy, over medium, and over hard?

Eggs over easy have a runny yolk and whites that are just set. Over medium eggs have a slightly runny yolk with fully cooked whites. Over hard eggs have both the yolk and whites fully cooked through.

How do you achieve the perfect balance between runny yolks and cooked whites?

Achieving the perfect balance requires cooking the eggs over medium heat and flipping them when the whites are set, but the yolk is still slightly runny. 

What are the best practices for flipping eggs over medium without breaking the yolk?

Use a spatula to carefully flip the eggs, ensuring that the whites are fully set before flipping. Slide the spatula gently underneath the eggs and flip them quickly but smoothly to avoid breaking the yolk.

How can I tell if eggs are fresh before cooking them over medium?

Fresh eggs have firm whites and bright yolks. To check for freshness, place the eggs in a bowl of water; fresh eggs will sink and lie flat on the bottom, while older eggs may float or tilt upward.

Next Reading: Guide to Cooking Eggs: How to Poach, Scramble + Fry Perfectly

Other Egg Recipes You’ll Love

Here are some of my fan favorite egg recipes to try:

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5 from 6 votes

Eggs Over Medium (Perfect Every Time!)

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients  

  • 1 tbsp oil or butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
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Instructions 

Preheat pan

  • Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Make sure it's shimmering hot. This ensures the eggs don't stick.

Cook the eggs

  • Crack the eggs into the pan, being careful not to break the yolks.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes until the whites start to set. With a spatula, gently flip the eggs. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Check Doneness

  • The yolks should still be slightly runny in the center, and the whites fully cooked.
  • To know this without cutting the egg open, gently press on the yolk part. When it's at medium stage, it'll feel slightly soft (like the fleshy part of your palm, beneath your thumb).*

Serve

  • Remove from the pan and serve immediately. The eggs continue to cook the longer they stand.

Notes

*See full doneness testing section in article for more info. 
Adjust the cooking time based on your stove and pan type. This might take a bit of practice.
For an extra touch, sprinkle some fresh herbs on top before serving.
Pair with toast, avocado, or your favorite breakfast sides.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 327mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 121mg | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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7 Comments

  1. Madison says:

    5 stars
    Do you have any tips or hacks for flipping the eggs without breaking the yolks? I sometimes struggle with that.

    1. Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD says:

      The yolks often break if the egg is stuck to the pan, so first and foremost avoid that – by preheating the pan, preheating the oil and/or using a nonstick pan. Then, I like to use the thinnest spatula I have to flip the eggs. That helps me slip right under the egg without jabbing at it too much. I recommend a fish spatula. 🙂

  2. Mahati says:

    5 stars
    I love adding a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning to my eggs for extra flavor.

    1. Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD says:

      Yum!

  3. Isabella says:

    5 stars
    I’m a huge fan of runny yolks (but not too much!) This recipe seems like the perfect way to achieve that consistently.

  4. Sofy says:

    5 stars
    These eggs look delicious on their own, but I also love them served on toast with avocado slices. 

  5. Naomi says:

    5 stars
    This is my go-to way to cook eggs! They’re so versatile and perfect for any meal.