The Best Sunny Side Up Eggs Aren't Finished On The Stove

Sunny side up eggs are a universally beloved way to add substance to any meal. With a vibrant and runny yolk surrounded by tender egg white, fried eggs are both a feast for both your eyes and taste buds.

While simple on the surface, there are quite a few nuances when it comes to fried eggs. Some eaters prefer crispy, browned edges, which makes for a delicious contrasting texture when mixed with the runny yolk. Meanwhile, others prefer to keep their whites tender but to do so would require removing the egg from heat earlier, leaving some of the whites undercooked on the top side of the egg, which is not ideal for some eaters. You can finish cooking the whites by covering the pan to steam-cook the surface, but the yolk would also be covered in cooked egg white, diminishing its visual appeal.

But there is one way to satisfy both: indirect heat. By using an oven to finish cooking, the white would be fully cooked on both sides while keeping the yolks runny and delicious. 

Using an oven to make eggs

To finish cooking a fried egg in the oven, all you need is to preheat an oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit and use an oven-proof skillet. Fry your egg as usual, and when there is still some uncooked egg white around the yolk, take the pan off the stove and move it to the center rack of the oven for one minute. The heat of the oven would finish cooking the remaining egg whites without overcooking the yolk itself, preserving the look and color of a perfect sunny side-up egg.

Not only is the oven a great way to finish cooking a fried egg, but it can also be an alternative way to make a whole lot of eggs without cooking them in batches in a frying pan. To make oven-fried eggs, oil a deep-rimmed baking pan (a sheet pan) with oil to prevent the egg from sticking. Place the pan inside a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. While the pan is heating, crack the eggs into a measuring cup. Once the pan is preheated, pull it from the oven and pour the whole eggs onto the pan, making sure they are evenly distributed. 

Return the pan to the oven for 5-6 minutes until the whites are just set and the eggs are done to your liking.

Tips and tricks for baked eggs

This method is very useful to cook large batches of eggs, perfect for cooking breakfast or brunch for a large party. However, here are a few tips to make sure your fried eggs come out perfectly from the oven.

One common problem for oven-frying eggs is that the egg is stuck to the pan after cooking. When using a spatula to move it, an egg with a stuck bottom can lead to a messy and punctured yolk, ruining the most important part of a sunny-side-up egg. To make sure your eggs slide off the pan easily, make sure the sheet pan is well oiled on the entire surface.

Another tip is that you should retrieve the sheet pan from the oven before they are all the way done, as the sheet pan's residual heat would continue to cook the egg whites. That way, by the time you are ready to serve, the egg will be cooked perfectly. If you wait until they are fully done before pulling the pan from the oven, the residual heat would overcook the eggs.