Basted Eggs

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Basted eggs are one of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare an over easy egg that is perfectly cooked every single time.

a basted egg on toast

Basted Eggs Recipe

Basting eggs is a cooking technique that uses steam to cook the tops of the eggs. It is super easy and it is actually one of my favorite ways to cook eggs. The whites are so creamy and soft and the yolks are perfectly runny.

Ingredients You Need for Basted Eggs

  • Butter – Greasing the pan with melted butter before cooking helps the basted eggs not to stick and adds a buttery flavor. You can also use cooking spray or olive oil or even bacon fat.
  • Eggs – I use large eggs for this recipe.
  • Water – When added to the hot pan, the water creates steam that evenly cooks the tops of the eggs.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – Keep it simple with salt and pepper or add your favorite spices like paprika or Everything But the Bagel
A basted egg on toast cut in half with the yolk running out

How to Use Basted Eggs

You can use basted eggs in any recipe where you would use fried eggs. You can eat them on toast or avocado toast. Serve them with sausage links or bacon for a protein-packed breakfast. You can also add a basted egg to a burger or sandwich for added flavor. Throw a basted egg on a pizza or over a sweet potato hash. You can also top a bowl of fried rice with a basted egg. These eggs are so versatile and delicious!

Four Types of Cooked Eggs

There are 4 basic ways of cooking eggs and you have probably heard of most of them: Sunny side up, over easy, over medium, and over hard. We will go through each method in detail so you will get perfect basted eggs, your favorite way, every time. The nice thing about these different types of basted eggs is they are basically all done the same way, just for different amounts of time. 

1. Sunny Side Up:

Before I go into the details of sunny side up eggs, you need to know that you can’t make basted sunny side up eggs. The basting process covers the egg yolk with cooked egg white. If you want to make a sunny side up egg, you will have to fry it instead. See our full how-to guide on Frying the Perfect Egg here. Sunny-side up eggs are the easiest to identify. The egg whites cook fully and the bright yellow yolk rests on top. The yolk stays visible because you don’t flip the egg. With this method you get the most runny yolk. Sunny side up eggs are great for dipping toast and great for presentation with dishes like Chilaquiles and Shakshuka because of the colorful yolk.

2. Over Easy:

Over-easy eggs are the first cooking level you can achieve with basted eggs. They have a runny yolk, much like a sunny side up egg, however the yolk isn’t as visible. Basting the egg causes the white on top of the yolk to become opaque. Over easy eggs hold up better when served in breakfast sandwiches because the yolk doesn’t break as easily.

3. Over Medium

Over medium eggs can have yolks that are still quite runny to only slightly runny. The spectrum here can be quite wide. Most of the time, over medium eggs have yolks that are only about half way cooked through. When you cut the basted egg open, you can see the runny yolk surrounded by hardened yolk. You should be able to tell the doneness by pressing on the outside of the yolk. It should still be somewhat soft and bounce back.

4. Over Hard

Over hard eggs’s yolks cook completely through. You can either break the yolk to hurry the process or you can allow the yolk to harden without breaking it. One advantage to breaking the yolk is that it can be more evenly distributed throughout the cooked egg. For those who want to still experience the taste of the yolk can keep it intact. There really is no wrong way here as long as the yolk is totally hard and cooked through. Over hard eggs are great for kids, especially when you don’t want to make a yolk-y mess.

Recipe Tip

Four eggs cracked into a skillet

Make sure your pan is nice and hot before cracking the eggs. If the pan isn’t hot, then the egg whites will won’t cook fast enough.


What is the difference between a basted egg and a poached egg?

A basted egg is cooked in a frying pan with a few tablespoons of water. A poached egg is an egg dropped into boiling water and a little vinegar. They both produce a soft egg white with a runny yolk.

What does basted mean in cooking?

In cooking, basted means adding liquid during the cooking process. When you baste a turkey, for example, you take the juices from the bottom of the pan and redistribute them onto the turkey. These are called basted eggs because you add water to the eggs during the cooking process.

Do I have to use a pan with a clear lid to make basted eggs?

It isn’t necessary for the lid to be clear, but it makes it easier to see when the eggs are done. If you don’t have a clear glass lid, then just cook the eggs for two minutes and lift the lid to check the doneness.

READ NEXT: 33+ Super Easy Breakfast Ideas

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How to Make Basted Eggs

a basted egg on toast

Basted Eggs

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Basted eggs are one of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare an egg that is perfectly cooked every single time.
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • large nonstick skillet with a lid



  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add butter to the skillet. When the butter is melted and bubbly, gently crack the eggs into the pan.
    Four eggs cracked into a skillet
  • When the bottom of each egg is opaque white, add the water to the pan and cover with the lid.
    A covered skillet containing four eggs
  • Cook covered for two minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still runny. Top with salt and pepper to taste.
    Four basted eggs in a skillet
  • Serve the eggs on their own or on toast.
    A basted egg on toast

Nutrition Information

Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 0.3gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 62mgSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 325IUCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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