Why You Should Use Room Temperature Eggs When Frying Them

Along with ingredients such as olive oil, flour, and salt, eggs are a staple in the kitchens of most home cooks. In addition to their indispensable role in breakfast items such as omelets and scrambled eggs, eggs bring structure, height, and flavor to many baked goods (via Sara Moulton) and richness to eggy sauces such as hollandaise and mayonnaise.

As often as many of us enjoy eggs in all of the above forms, one staple egg dish that might show up in frying pans more than many others is a simple, classic fried egg. Delicious on their own with a slice of toast or crowning dishes such as Spanish fried potatoes or Mexican chilaquiles, fried eggs are something every home cook should be able to whip up with no problem. But as simple as frying an egg can seem to be, there are actually a few common mistakes that can lead to subpar results such as not using enough fat in your pan or not using a nonstick pan, both of which can lead to sticking and breaking. 

Another ubiquitous error? Using straight-from-the-fridge eggs.

Room temperature eggs fry more evenly

A hallmark of a perfectly fried egg is a nicely set, fully cooked white with a still-runny yolk, for those who like their fried eggs sunny side up (via Jamie Oliver). But when you fry an egg that's still cold, according to the Guardian, you risk overcooking the yolk as the white comes up to temperature, and then sets. A better idea is to grab the eggs you want to fry from the fridge ahead of time, allowing them to come to room temperature before frying. In a video uploaded to Twitter, celebrity chef Robert Irvine instructs viewers how to properly fry an egg, advising them to use room temperature eggs, noting, "Eggs cannot be cold. Take them out of the refrigerator so they're a little room temperature."

So how much time do you need to set aside to bring refrigerated eggs to room temperature? Food Network states that on a cold morning, it could take up to two hours, while on a hot day it could take much less time. The best way to quickly and evenly bring cold eggs to room temperature, the outlet notes, is submerging the eggs you need in a bowl of warm tap water, where they'll come to temp in only about five minutes, bringing you that much closer to the perfect fried egg.