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Water and a Tasting Table are All You Need For The Greatest Overly Easy Eggs

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Over easy eggs in pan

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For as simple a food as eggs are, they can be tricky to get just right. Whether you're frying, poaching, soft-boiling, or seeking the perfect sunny-side up egg, consistently getting the whites fully cooked while the yolk is still runny is probably one of the more difficult tasks in the kitchen — even for seasoned home pros.

For many, if a perfect egg is achieved, it's usually by luck — a feat that can only be re-created by more luck. Maybe this is why a reader poll showed that most people prefer their eggs scrambled; both the eggs and yolks get cooked together. But the second most popular way people like their eggs is over-easy.

An over-easy egg is a cracked egg that gets cooked on both sides in a pan or on a griddle, but when the egg is flipped, it's only cooked for a brief period of time — just long enough for the white to finish cooking and the yolk to remain runny. Often, however, people end up with uncooked whites with a slimy texture (ick) or a yolk that turns solid due to overcooking.

The worst, though, is when the yolk pops during the flip. Fortunately, there's a hack for that. Some of the greatest modern cooking tips have come from social media, just like one that promises a perfect over-easy egg every time, and all it takes is a little water... and zero flipping.

Splish splash

VIDEO: Eggs 101 | sunny side up, crispy, basted, over easy, scrambled, omelette
Adam Ragusea
Steam in pan and lid


TikTok user Erin Meck showcases her method of cooking the perfect over-easy eggs by adding a little H2O to the mix. After she melts some butter into a skillet, she drops two cracked eggs into the pan and seasons them with salt and pepper. When the whites begin to look less translucent, she adds what looks like roughly a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan. She immediately covers the pan with a lid to create steam inside.

After about a minute, there should be a white film covering the orange yolks. This means the eggs are done. Not one flip is required. As she cuts into the finished eggs, the whites look fully cooked while the yolk is nice and runny.

This method is essentially a process known as water-basting. But typically, water-basting eggs calls for a small amount of butter or oil to be added to the pan while Meck is generous with her pat of butter. Whether or not this is crucial to her method for creating over-easy eggs is up for interpretation, but either way, it definitely gets the job done. Now all you need is some crispy bacon or some toast soldiers for dunking.


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