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The Freezer Trick: Unlocking the Secret to Perfectly Runny Fried Eggs

The freezer trick for perfectly runny fried eggs

A perfectly cooked, runny fried egg is a work of art on the breakfast plate. From the firm (but not rubbery) white to the luscious, still-liquid yolk, it’s a delight in taste and texture. Still, as home cooks know, it can be easier said than done. But one simple trick could revolutionize your next sunny-side-up breakfast.
Chef Michael Gallina makes his fried eggs by first freezing them (still in their shells) for at least two days, then thawing them before use. He tells The Kitchn that this process leaves the whites untouched, but creates a “gel-like” texture in the yolk that he calls “egg butter.” They’re then fried as usual, with the yolk gently warmed by basting with butter or other fat from the pan. The science behind the technique comes from the water and proteins that make up the yolk. When frozen, the water forms ice crystals that permanently alter the proteins around them. Even when thawed and cooked, these modified proteins retain a distinctive texture that can take on an almost sauce-like character.

Other egg frying considerations

Home cooks should exercise some caution when using this hack. Eggs frozen in their shells can sometimes crack, creating a mess when they thaw. Some, like The Pioneer Woman, suggest cracking eggs into muffins, ice trays, or similar containers and covering them before freezing to reduce this risk.
This isn’t the only hack for the best fried eggs of your life. Simple tricks like using a high-quality nonstick pan can dramatically improve your egg game, as can combining olive oil with butter in the cooking process for extra color and crispy edges. On the other hand, you should also avoid the big egg frying mistakes that everyone makes. These include using old eggs, which are thinner than new ones, and starting with a pan that’s too hot (cooking the yolk before the whites set) or too cold (allowing them to spread too much before they set). But with no special equipment or fancy techniques required, lovers of a delicious runny egg should keep their freezers in mind the next time they plan breakfast.
So if you’re looking to up your fried egg game and achieve that perfect runny yolk, try the freezer trick. With a little planning and the right technique, you can enjoy a breakfast masterpiece that will delight your taste buds and impress your brunch guests.


Can I freeze eggs in their shells?

Yes, you can freeze eggs in their shells. Freezing the eggs helps create a unique texture in the yolk when cooked, resulting in a “gel-like” consistency known as “egg butter”.

How long should I freeze eggs?

It is recommended that eggs be frozen for at least two days to achieve the desired texture in the yolk. This allows the water in the egg to form ice crystals and permanently change the proteins, creating the distinctive texture.

What precautions should I take when freezing eggs?

When eggs are frozen in their shells, there is a risk that they will crack when they thaw. To reduce this risk, you can break the eggs into muffin tins, ice trays or similar containers and cover them before freezing.

Does this trick require any special equipment or ingredients?

No, the freezer trick does not require any special equipment or ingredients. All you need is fresh eggs and a freezer. The trick relies on the natural properties of eggs and the freezing process.

Can I use the Freezer Trick with other cooking methods besides frying?

While the freezer trick is commonly used to fry eggs, you can experiment with other cooking methods. Keep in mind, however, that the texture of the yolk may vary depending on the cooking technique used.

Are there any other tips for achieving the perfect fried egg?

Aside from the freezer trick, there are other tips to improve your fried egg game. Using a good quality nonstick pan, combining olive oil with butter for extra flavor and crispiness, and avoiding common mistakes such as using old eggs or starting with a pan that is too hot or too cold can further improve your results.

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