If you ask us, the most delicious sunny-side up eggs aren’t fried in butter or oil — but rather an unexpected ingredient: bacon grease. It turns out that cooking eggs in bacon fat (or “liquid gold” as we like to call it) allows the edges to become crispy and ensures the yolk stays soft and tender. The grease also infuses the eggs with a salty and smoky flavor, eliminating the need to add tons of salt afterwards. Plus, if bacon is already part of your morning spread, you’ll use the same skillet for both ingredients and make cleanup hassle-free. Keep reading to learn how cooking eggs in bacon grease will take your breakfast to the next level!
The basics of sunny-side up eggs
Sunny-side up eggs are known for their crunchy edges, tender whites and runny yolks. To achieve this, the eggs are usually pan-fried in a fat like oil or butter on just one side. This preserves yolk’s vibrant hue and soft texture once cooked. However, if you wish to add more flavor into the eggs, cooking them in bacon grease is the way to go.
Why cooking eggs in bacon grease makes them tastier
Bacon fat transforms your typical sunny-side up egg into a savory masterpiece. This is thanks to the grease’s ability to withstand high heat, allowing the eggs to fry quickly and evenly. Also, the bacon fat seasons the eggs with its rich and smoky essence without overpowering the breakfast staple. This trick involves cooking bacon slices in a pan to render the fat and crisp up the meat. Afterwards, the bacon is removed from the skillet before the eggs are cracked into grease and left to fry. It’s a simple way to upgrade your morning eggs and ensure the bacon fat doesn’t go to waste. (Click through to learn about other uses for bacon grease.)
Chef’s secret to perfectly crispy fried eggs
In addition to using bacon grease, you can achieve crunchy fried eggs by basting them with the fat. This step helps cook the top and bottom of the egg, so they’re crispy with soft yolks and pillowy whites. All you need to do is crack the eggs into the heated grease and allow the white to start cooking. Then, carefully tilt the bacon toward you, scoop up the hot fat and pour it over the egg white a few times. This process should take around 2 minutes for that signature sunny-side up runny yolk to form. Watch the video below as chef and cookbook author J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats showcases this easy trick.
How to fry eggs in bacon grease
Making this dish couldn’t be easier as it requires two main ingredients: bacon slices and eggs. Though, optional add-ins like a sprinkle black pepper or chili flakes at the end gives the eggs a peppery kick. Also, garnishing the eggs with freshly chopped dill or parsley brightens up the dish. Follow the steps below so your eggs cook to golden brown and delicious perfection!
Bacon Fat-Fried Eggs
- 5 slices bacon
- 2 large eggs
- Black pepper, chili flakes or fresh herbs (optional)
- Yield: 1 serving
- Place bacon slices in cold skillet and turn flame on medium heat. (Note: A nonstick skillet makes it less likely for eggs to cling to the surface.)
- Allow pan to cook to temperature and cook bacon about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until crispy. Transfer bacon slices to plate and set aside.
- With skillet still on heat, crack eggs into same side of skillet. Just as white turns opaque, tilt pan so grease pool forms towards you and baste eggs a few times. Eggs should take around 2 to 2½ minutes to cook for crispy edges and runny yolks. But, fry longer if you prefer more solid yolks.
- Remove eggs from pan using spatula and place them on plate. Sprinkle any seasonings or herbs (if desired) onto eggs, serve with bacon and enjoy!
Bonus trick for extra flavorful sunny-side up eggs
If you’re looking to add another layer of flavor to the fried eggs, Lisa Steele, blogger and author of The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook (Buy from Amazon, $15.39) suggests giving them a tangy twist. “I love adding a few slices or segments of lemon to the pan when I fry my eggs,” she says. “The lemon adds a brightness to the eggs as it caramelizes.” Simply place two or three lemon slices to the pan as the whites are solidifying. Then, you’ll be able to savor those salty and zesty eggs once they’re fully cooked!
For more ways to make delicious eggs, check out the stories below:
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