July 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM ET
You don’t know how to fry an egg? I’m sure you have a good excuse. Between learning ancient Greek, mountain climbing expeditions and stalking your frenemies on Facebook, who has the time? But fear not, jet-setter, we don’t judge. With these simple steps, now you can add “actually knowing how to fry an egg” to your repertoire.
Pick one egg. Multiples can get a little tricky, especially if the eggs run into each other.
A pan can make a big difference when it comes to nicely fried eggs. Select a non-stick skillet or seasoned cast iron pan.
While holding an egg with one hand, tap the center of the long end firmly against a flat surface until the shell cracks. Using both thumbs spread the egg shell apart and allow the egg to slip into a bowl. If you see pieces of shell, use another piece of shell, which can cut through the viscous whites, to fish it out.
Heat the pan over medium-high heat. The pan is ready when a drop of water sizzles. Add a teaspoon of oil or butter to the hot pan, swirl it around until melted, then add the egg.
Sunny-side up: Cook until the white is set and the yolk is still soft. If the whites look too runny in the center, cover the pan and cook for another minute.
Over easy: When the white is nearly set, carefully flip the egg with a turner or spatula. Continue cooking until the white is completely cooked, but the yolk is still soft.
Over medium: Similar to over easy, but cook until the yolk is somewhat set.
Over hard: Similar to over easy, but cook until the yolk is completely set.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.