Fried Eggs: What's the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe

Fried Eggs: What’s the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe

Sunny-side up, over easy, over medium, over hard….. there are so many options for fried eggs. Do you know the difference? I had no idea until recently, but knowing the difference will definitely make it easier to order eggs when we are out for breakfast!

For me, I almost always go with scrambled eggs. It’s safe and hard to mess up and I know I’ll be getting exactly what I want. But when we are at home, I like to experiment a little more with the eggs and try different ways of making them.

So that being said, what is the difference in the different types of fried eggs?

Sunny-Side Up

An egg that is done “sunny-side up” means that the egg is never flipped. The yolk (sun) is left completely intact and stays mostly uncooked. The white of the egg is cooked most of the way through and usually is left with just a little bit of sheen to it. This seems to be one of the most popular ways to fry an egg because if you do a search online for fried eggs almost all of the photos and recipes are for a sunny-side up egg.

Eggs Over Easy

Similar to sunny-side up, when you make fried eggs over easy, you want the yolk to barely get cooked. It should still be very runny and intact. The only real difference between sunny-side up and over easy eggs is that an egg made over easy is flipped once while being cooked. This means the egg white gets cooked a bit more and usually doesn’t have that sheen to it.

Fried Eggs: What's the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe

Eggs Over Medium

As we get further in the descriptions, the eggs get cooked a little more. Over medium eggs are cooked the same as over easy because they are flipped while frying, but are just cooked a bit longer. The yolk in an over medium fried egg is only slightly runny.

Eggs Over Hard

Personally, this is the only way I will eat a fried egg. When it’s cooked over hard, the yolk is cooked completely through, similar to a hard-boiled egg. As with the others, the egg is flipped while it is cooked, and it is done longer. Both the egg white and yolk are cooked until they are considered done and nothing is raw.

My only drawback to fried eggs is the fact that I don’t like egg whites on their own, which is why I prefer to break the yolk when I make my fried eggs. I also can’t stand a runny yolk. It reminds me too much of a raw egg and totally grosses me out! I couldn’t ever eat an egg sunny-side up or over easy. That’s why, in this recipe, I am showing you how to make a fried egg over hard because I do have to eat this food after I make it!

Fried Eggs: What's the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe
Fried Eggs: What's the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe
Fried Eggs: What's the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe
Fried Eggs: What's the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe

Fried Eggs Over Hard

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: eggs
Servings: 1 serving
5 from 4 votes


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  • Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the oil
  • Once the oil is warm, crack open the eggs into the pan
  • If you want a broken yolk, do that now
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • After a few minutes, once the eggs start to set, flip and cook the other side
  • Determine how cooked you want the yolk and take them off the heat when cooked to desired doneness
Print Recipe
Fried Eggs: What's the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe

17 thoughts on “Fried Eggs: What’s the Difference? + Fried Eggs Over-Hard Recipe”

  1. I have always wonder what the differences were and I had no idea there was such a variant. I am not a fan of the texture of eggs but I wonder if they were better cooked if I would be okay with it. Runny yolks are just gross to me.

  2. Ha ha! I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t know the difference. I guess that’s because my favorite eggs are scrambled! I do think I’d like the hard ones way better than the over easy ones. I’m not a fan of runny eggs!

  3. Thanks for the tips! I have never actually heard of eggs-over-hard before – you learn something every day! But I love eggs in all forms, so I will definitely give this a go. Especially when you serve it next to some gorgeous bacon!

  4. My husband loves his eggs sunny side up and the nurse in me sees something else each time he is eating eggs. Now, I am going t be fancy and order Fried eggs over hard next time we go for brunch.

  5. This was really so informative and interesting. I never knew the names although I had seen all the forms of eggs. I personally love sunny sides up OR eggs over easy but hubby wants it over hard. Thanks I am really ready to order my brunch for the weekend.

  6. I honestly do know the difference between the different type. However, I think most restaurants don’t especially some breakfast spot. I will be saving this and showing them when next they bring out something that wasn’t ordered. Hahahaha. Great post!


    I loved reading this because I did not know the difference until now! I am actually a huge fan of the soft poached egg!!

  8. Journa Ramirez

    I don’t know why, but I always love runny eggs. I didn’t know that I could still consider a lot of things when cooking eggs!

  9. Anshika Juneja

    I’ve never heard of eggs-over-hard before but I love making new recipes and this is a perfect go-to breakfast for me. I’m definitely going to try this, even my brother is very fond of eggs!

  10. I had no idea there was any difference(s)!! As long as it looks fried and there’s eggs and Olive and pepper… every other thing’s pretty much a bonus to me so as the make the meal to be bigger.. lol

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