How to fry an egg without oil?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “How to fry an egg without oil?” and some beneficial techniques to do so.

How to fry an egg without oil?

To fry an egg without oil, grab a high-quality nonstick pan, such as one made of Teflon or ceramic, which will be required to cook an egg without using any oil or butter (2). This allows you to cook without having to add any extra butter or oil to the pan, and it also keeps the egg from sticking to the pan.

Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook the eggs as you would normally. When cooking without oil, it is important not to overheat the pan since this will increase the chance of the food getting stuck.

 Then, using the steam generated by the heat, cover the pan to allow the eggs to cook on their own, ensuring that they are fully cooked without the need for any oil or butter.

What is the benefit of frying an egg without using oil or butter?

 Cooking without oil or butter can greatly lower the overall calorie and fat content of the dish. This can help those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, for those with conditions such as high cholesterol or heart disease, this can be a healthy option (3).

How to reduce the harmful effect of using oil or butter to fry an egg?

To reduce the harmful consequences of frying an egg, cook it at a lower temperature for a longer length of time, or use healthier oils such as olive oil or avocado oil. Lowering the temperature of cooking can help retain the nutritious value of the egg while limiting the development of hazardous chemicals (4). 

High-temperature cooking can deplete nutrients like protein and vitamin B. Furthermore, high-temperature cooking with unhealthy oils or butter causes the oil or butter to undergo a series of chemical reactions like oxidation, hydrolysis, and polymerization (3). 

The compounds developed by the oxidation of fatty acids can be toxic even in small quantities. Gadiraju et al. reported that when food is consumed in highly heated oil or reheated oil, there is a higher risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart failure, obesity, hypertension, and coronary artery disease (7).

What are the ways to fry an egg without oil?  

The following are different methods used to fry an egg without oil:

Fried eggs cooked in a nonstick frying pan


Preheat the skillet over a medium heat source until it is hot. You don’t want it to become too hot since it increases the chance of your egg sticking to the pan’s bottom. Gentle heat should be used to cook the egg in the pan until it achieves the required consistency (1).

Pan-cooked without the use of oil over high heat

Occasionally, the term “dry fry” is used to refer to this kind of preparation. Allow enough time for the frying pan to reach its maximum temperature. Crack the egg into the pan and immediately remove it from the heat (1). Cover it with a plate.

 The heat that accumulates beneath the pan’s cover and the residual heat from the pan will help you cook your egg.

Steaming method

When the pan is hot, crack one egg into it and immediately pour in half a teaspoon of water, stirring constantly (onto the exposed parts of the frying pan). Covering the pan with a lid or a plate will help to keep the heat in the pan. A delicious oil-free fried egg, complete with a beautifully runny yolk, will be yours after only one minute of cooking. Add another 2 minutes to the cooking time if you want a firm yolk (1).

What factors should you consider when frying an egg without oil? 

The different factors that have to be considered to fry an egg without oil are the freshness of the egg and the properties of the frying pan. A common problem with scrambled eggs is that they tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Use a nonstick skillet to make the procedure easier (ideally). Additionally, cast iron and carbon steel are also acceptable materials for this application, as is aluminum (2).

How long should an egg be fried before it is considered done?

 In general, one egg should be cooked for about three minutes or until the white is set. If you like your eggs sunny-side up, cook them for a few more minutes after they are done (5)

Due to the presence of bacteria such as Salmonella, eating raw or undercooked eggs increases the risk of foodborne illness. Undercooked or raw eggs should be avoided by pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.  

To reduce the risk of contamination, eggs must be handled and stored properly, and if consumed raw or undercooked, ensure that the eggs are pasteurized. Pasteurized eggs can be eaten raw or undercooked without causing food-borne illness, but it’s important to note that not all eggs sold in stores are pasteurized (6). 

When it comes to frying an egg, what do “over-easy,” “over-medium,” and “over-hard” mean?

  • Over-easy: The term “over-easy” refers to an egg with a runny yolk that maintains its integrity but does not expose the bright yellow yolk of a sunny-side-up egg, which is what a sunny-side-up egg does.
  • Over-medium: When the egg is cooked to over-medium, it means that the egg white is fully set, and a part of the yolk is also set; it is not completely runny.
  • Over-hard: The term “over-hard” refers to the fact that the egg white and yolk have been cooked to the point that they are no longer pliable.


In this short article, we answered the question “How to fry an egg without oil?” and some benefits and beneficial techniques to fry an egg without oil.


  1. ​Tang D, Wang R, He X, Chen X, Huo X, Lü X, et al. Comparison of the edible quality of liquid eggs with different cooking methods and their antioxidant activity after in vitro digestion Food Research International. 2021;140.  
  2. ​Mora J., Garcia P., Muelas R., and Agüero A. Hard quasi-crystalline coatings deposited by hvof thermal spray to reduce ice accretion in aero-structures components. Coatings. 2020;10(3).  
  3. ​Nima Laratne C, Lopes-Lutz D, Schieber A, Wu J. Effect of domestic cooking methods on egg yolk xanthophylls. J Agric Food Chem. 2012;60(51). 
  4. ​Pavlovski Z, Skrbic Z, Lukic M, Lilic S, Krnjaja V, Stanisic N, et al. Comparative analysis of the fatty acid profile and cholesterol content in table eggs from different genotypes of hens. Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry. 2011;27(3).
  5. USDA: Does storage time affect egg quality?
  1. Bermudez-Aguirre D, Niemira BA. A review on egg pasteurization and disinfection: Traditional and novel processing technologies. Vol. 22, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2023. 
  1. Gadiraju T V., Patel Y, Gaziano JM, Djoussé L. Fried food consumption and cardiovascular health: A review of current evidence. Vol. 7, Nutrients. 2015.