Why do my fried eggs burn?

  • By: Emma
  • Date: July 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Table of Contents

Why do my fried eggs burn?

Do you find yourself turning your eggs into fried egg sandwiches because they are always burnt? The most obvious reason for this is that the oil in the pan is too hot. Place a wooden spoon over the surface of the frying pan before adding your eggs to see if it bubbles. If it does, lower the heat until it doesn’t bubble anymore before cooking them.

There are many more reasons why your eggs burn and this blog post will address them.

Read More: How long do fried plantains last in the fridge?

14 Reasons why your fried eggs burn

High flame

This is the most common reason. You are cooking your eggs too quickly or at too high a heat. Do not turn the heat up too high when cooking eggs.

Non-stick frying pan

The reason for this is that it is almost impossible to cook fried eggs without oil, and an uncoated pan can’t deal with all that oil. If you have a decent non-stick surface on your frying pan, you will not need much oil to cook your eggs. If the non-stick frying pan you have is old or has lost its coating, then stick to using stainless steel or cast iron pan.  

Using less oil

On average, it needs about 1/8 of a teaspoon per egg (if you want to be precise use a tablespoon). Less oil will lead to sticking and burnt eggs.

Not turning the egg when cooking

Do not try to cook your egg entirely on one side. You should turn it at least twice so you get a good mix of raw and cooked eggs. Many people lazily fry their eggs and leave one side on the pan for long. The result is a half-cooked egg.

Adding salt to the pan

Never ever add salt when you are cooking eggs. Apart from the fact that it affects the taste, it makes your egg stick to the frying pan, which will lead to the burnt egg. Adding salt after cooking your eggs is fine though because it enhances flavor and does not affect the taste.

Using a plastic spatula

This is a bad idea because the egg will probably stick to it and rip apart ruining your entire breakfast! Metal, wooden or plastic spoons are good for frying eggs.  

The wrong sized pan

The size of your pan should be appropriate for the number of eggs you are frying. Frying more than 3-4 eggs in a small pan at once will lead to sticking and burnt eggs.

Not turning the heat down after adding the oil

Adding oil to a hot pan is not advised. Lowering the heat once you have added the oil can sometimes prevent sticking eggs.

Pan with a thin surface

Low quality and lightweight pan with thin surface and poorly distributed heat will lead to burnt eggs.

Putting oil in the pan before adding the egg

If you want your egg to slide on the pan for easy turning, add it after you put on the oil. Putting oil in a cold or hot frying pan is not advised because it leads to sticking and burnt eggs.

Frying too many eggs at once

Too many eggs at once will lead to sticking and burnt egg. It also takes a long time to cook all of them. This is what chefs call overcrowding and it’s a very bad practice.

Using a cold pan

If your pan is cold, the egg will stick because it has no oil in it. Make sure that your frying pan is warm before adding the egg.

Not using fresh eggs

If your eggs are old, then they might stick to the frying pan. Make sure to cook them as soon as possible after buying from a local supplier or store. The science behind is that eggs that are not fresh don’t tend to hold their shape on the pan and are more likely to burn.

Burnt residues on the pan

This is the most overlooked factor. You should always review your pan before cooking eggs. There might be burnt egg residues on it which will transfer to the next egg and ruin them as well as cause sticking. You can remove those burned particles with a scouring pad or some salt.

Read More: Can you put raw onions in the slow cooker?

Steps to fry eggs without burning them

·     Use a non-stick frying pan. Also, avoid using too old frying pans

·     Keep the heat between medium and low. Never experiment with high heat if you are not an expert.

·     Fry eggs in 1/8 tsp of oil or less, depending on your preferences. You can even add some water to lower the temperature if you’re not confident about it.

·     Turn the egg at least twice while cooking to avoid getting a half-cooked egg.

·     Never add salt to the pan. Add it after cooking your eggs if you have to for some reason.

·     Use a spoon not a spatula to turn the eggs on the frying pan since it will stick very easily with plastic ones.

Is it bad to eat burnt fried eggs?

Although it depends if the eggs are overcooked or actually burnt. The absolute answer to this question is yes, it is unhealthy to rat burnt eggs or any other food that is burnt.

7 reasons why burnt fried eggs are unhealthy

1. Damage your cells and DNA

According to a study mentioned in the American Cancer Society, those who consume overcooked food including burnt fried eggs are more likely to develop cancer than those who don’t. That is because overheating causes the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are carcinogenic in nature.

2. High cholesterol levels

When you deep fry to the extent that the food is burnt, the oil that is being used to do so transfers a high quantity of fat into your food leaving it with a very high amount of cholesterol. This factor does not only apply to fried eggs but all other fast foods as well.

3. Risk of coronary heart disease

Burnt fried eggs are very high in cholesterol which leads to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. This is also caused by the intake of all deep-fried foods.

4. Weight gain

The fact that your burnt fried eggs are being cooked with will end up inside your system if you eat them regularly. This causes a high quantity of fat to accumulate in your body leading to weight gain.

5. Increased risk of diabetes

Your burnt fried eggs being cooked with an increased amount of sugar leads to the production of insulin in your system, increasing the risk o diabetes since this is a trait that most diabetics suffer from.

6. Stomach issues

The oil that is used to cook your burnt fried eggs transfers a large number of toxins into the food which ends up harming your stomach as well as other digestive organs.

7. Low nutrient value

When you eat foods that have been cooked until they are very overcooked or burnt, it will release a high quantity of carcinogens, metals, and free radicals into your system. This is very bad for the body since they will attack the nutrient value of your fried eggs making them lose all their nutritional benefits.

What to do if you accidentally eat burnt fried egg?

If you eat any food that is burnt, it is best to drink a full glass of water with some lemon squeezed into it. This will help dissolve the toxins and acids that might harm your stomach or other internal organs.

What if you burn yourself while frying eggs?

The best tip is to use turmeric for healing burns. Turmeric can be helpful if you burn yourself while cooking, even though this is rarely the case. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help heal burns faster.


In summary, fried eggs burn very easily. It might even be that you burn it without noticing as it often happens with kids. In case of accidents, juice from a lemon mixed with water is the best remedy to absorb any extra chemicals or toxins inside your stomach. Consuming burnt fried eggs regularly may have negative effects on your health, So make sure to follow preventive measures and fry the egg like a pro!

Happy frying!

Read More: Can you cook in a cast iron skillet with rust?

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