The Temperature Trick That'll Help Stubborn Eggs Glide Right Off The Pan

Eggs are a great way to start the day because they are packed full of beneficial nutrients and heart-healthy good cholesterol, according to WebMD. However, the one downside of cooking eggs is that a few easy-to-make egg frying mistakes can turn a relatively simple dish into a stuck-to-the-pan nightmare. In the world of egg frying, nothing is worse than finding out the egg you patiently cooked is glued to the bottom of the pan. What usually comes next is trying to scrape off the egg with a spatula, and ripping it apart in the process.

However, there's one simple way to unstick stubborn fried eggs without breaking them — and it involves temperature. In fact, many times the root cause of stuck eggs is that the pan was too hot during the cooking process. Therefore, to unstick your eggs, simply allow the pan to cool for a few minutes. As the pan cools, the eggs should naturally detach from the metal allowing you to slip a spatula under them and easily slide them onto your plate.

Why this trick works so well

The reason this hack works comes down to what causes stuck eggs in the first place. Culinary Scientist Julian Weisner said in a video with Hestan Cue that although metal nonstick pans look smooth and flat from a distance, when you look closer you'll notice "peaks and valleys on the surface of the pan." When the raw egg hits the pan and then flows into these valleys and hardens, it causes your eggs to stick. As the pan gets hotter, this becomes more likely to happen because the metal expands with heat making wider crevices for the egg to flow into and stick.

So, if your eggs are already stuck, being a little patient and allowing the pan to cool down before transferring the eggs to your plate can help unstick them. However, it is important to note that while the eggs continue to sit in the hot pan, they will keep cooking. This means that if your eggs were perfectly done before, by the time they are unstuck and served they will likely be slightly overdone. To prevent this, you can try to stop the sticking entirely by cooking the eggs on a low flame over a longer period.

Prevent eggs from sticking in the first place with the right fat

Besides cooking your eggs low and slow, another way to prevent eggs from sticking to your pan in the first place is to use the right fat as a barrier. When cooking eggs, most of us will add our favorite spray or oil to the pan. However, according to an exclusive survey, butter is actually the best nonstick choice. Weisner also agreed with this sentiment, stating in the video with Hestan Cue that butter creates the best nonstick barrier for eggs because it contains emulsifiers. This means that when the eggs are dropped onto the pan, the butter will stay in place, whereas many common oils will simply slide out of the way and allow the egg to stick.

Once you have all these hacks down, you will become a nonstick egg pro and the only thing you'll need to worry about is what to do if your eggs (sticky buggers that they are) start clinging to your favorite spatula. Luckily, chef José Andrés has a clever way to prevent that from happening, too, by coating your spatula in cooking oil or butter.