Let’s talk egg secrets.

How I Cook My Sunny Side Up Eggs So They Look Cute In Food Photos I howsweeteats.com

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love me some eggs. In fact, I eat them nearly every single day in one form or another. Maybe scramble with sautéed mushrooms and garlic, hard-boiled and sliced with salt and pepper on hummus toasts or even poached over roasted asparagus so I am forced to eat some veggies.

Whenever I share a recipe with fried eggs, whether it’s a breakfast hash (uh, sort of obsessed with those; I’ve made quinoa hash, day-after-thanksgiving hash, grilled corn summer hash, white bean hash and brussels sprouts hash) or a sandwich, I get tons of questions on how I make my eggs look so… sunny. I guess that’s what we can call it.

How I Cook My Sunny Side Up Eggs So They Look Cute In Food Photos I howsweeteats.com

So this is what I do. And just to be clear, I really only do this for food photos. It’s actually the ONLY thing I do for food photos when it comes to food styling – I never use any of those crazy tricks such as using elmer’s glue for cereal milk and what not. But people eat with their eyes and I like making eggs look pretty. And let’s be real: sometimes they can be gross, even if you love them.

If it’s just me and I’m eating eggs or if I’m making them for others, I still don’t do this. The main reason being is that it’s sort of time consuming… and the way I do it requires me to drag out my electric skillet.

How I Cook My Sunny Side Up Eggs So They Look Cute In Food Photos I howsweeteats.com

That’s the first thing: your skillet has to be completely nonstick. Meaning, no nonstick spray on it ever, whatsoever. Totally nonstick skillet, griddle or pan, electric or not. This is why I use my big electric griddle because my husband has destroyed every other pot and pan we own with an obnoxious amount of Pam. He thinks that the world will end if he cooks something without a nice thick layer of that stuff.

The next step is to set the temperature to the lowest setting. Yes, the lowest. This means that I set my griddle to 200 degrees (the lowest it goes) and if I’m using the stovetop, I turn the burner to low.

How I Cook My Sunny Side Up Eggs So They Look Cute In Food Photos I howsweeteats.com

I crack the eggs into a separate bowl because it never fails that I get a million pieces of shell in it if I don’t. Not for everyday use – again, I can randomly crack my eggs all day long with no shell to be seen, but you can be darn sure that the minute I drag out my camera and attempt to develop a recipe, the shells come out to find me. So. Crack ’em in a bowl.

Pour them on the hot skillet or griddle.

Then just wait. Yep. Wait. It usually takes about 5 minutes or so until they are done to my liking, but since they cook so slow and since there is no oil or butter, they will be soft and bright white and look like little sunshines. Depending on how you like to eat your eggs, they may take a bit longer or cook even quicker. I do not flip mine since I use them in photos, but of course you could do that if you like.

How I Cook My Sunny Side Up Eggs So They Look Cute In Food Photos I howsweeteats.com

I do suggest keeping an eye on the eggs because even while cooking slowly, if they overcook, they can look a little rubbery (note the lower right edge in the first egg photo) which isn’t so cute in pictures. If you’re not taking pictures, then you don’t have a thing to worry about.

I think they look adorable with some salt and pepper.

How I Cook My Sunny Side Up Eggs So They Look Cute In Food Photos I howsweeteats.com

Who says eggs look adorable? Anyhoo, that’s exactly how I do it! If you want to see exactly how I do other things, click here. Anything else you’d like to see? Remember: I usually do things wrong.

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49 Responses to “Exactly How I Cook My Sunny Side Up Eggs So They Look Cute In Food Photos.”

  1. #
    Angie @ Big Bear's Wife — April 6, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

    Those do look mighty pretty. I am starting to eat eggs (never really been a fan but trying to add them to my diet) If I made them like this I’d probably want to eat them more haha, because you’re right sometimes regular eggs are just gross looking


  2. #
    Nicole — April 6, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

    See!! Your photos are ALWAYS amazing!! I don’t understand what you meant when you were talking about your photography during the talk at UPenn the other day :) Great post, Jessica!!


  3. #
    Liz — April 6, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    Eggs have never looked so damn good.


  4. #
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated — April 6, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

    Very interesting! Your pictures always look amazing, so any tips on how you make your food look so good would be awesome! :)


  5. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — April 6, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

    Those are some lovely eggs! Did that sound weird? It always sounds good in my head.
    Anyway…great tip.


  6. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 6, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    Love the post! I knew you weren’t big on overly styled food and tried to keep things to a bare minimum and that’s why I always wondered well how does she get those eggs so perfect. Now I know it’s one of the few styling indulgences you take. And I think we all do things for the camera that we’d never do IRL if we were just eating it. Applying glazes or frosting certain ways, cutting/slicing things a certain way, breaking cookies in half or stacking them, it goes on and on, the little details that make for pretty pics!


  7. #
    Tieghan — April 6, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

    Dam girl! Those eggs look beautiful! I wish I had this post when I was photographing my frid eggs! You are such gosh darn talented! I learn from you EVERYday!


  8. #
    Jonas — April 6, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

    Nice technique and great photos. Although if you don’t flip them the eggs are not over easy but sunny side up.


    • Jessica — April 6th, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

      ah! thanks. ;)


  9. #
    Molly @Bakelette — April 6, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

    Adorable eggs! Also love these “Exactly How I….” Posts! They are really interesting and insightful!!
    I wish I could eat eggs everyday!

    XO M

    P.S. I figured out the Amazon affiliate thing that I had asked you about! Thank you!!


  10. #
    Gina_AcuteDesigns — April 6, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    yep, those are adorable eggs :).


  11. #
    Katie — April 6, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

    I love these posts! I am always wondering how other people (you) do things behind the scenes.


  12. #
    Lauren — April 6, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    I always wondered how food bloggers make them look so nice on the edges and not burnt like a crisp like mine! Damn Pam and my 10-year old patience for cooking eggs.


  13. #
    Ashley — April 6, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

    You eggs always look eggcellent!!! Sorry…couldn’t resist!


  14. #
    Lindsay — April 6, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

    Girl, I can’t tell you how many eggs we went through trying to get the “perfect” ones for our book shots. I’d be happy if I never had to photograph one again. Especially poached.


  15. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — April 7, 2013 @ 3:05 am

    isn’t it crazy how we push ourselves to make food look so damn good? I;m not complaining as I love to do it and continuously look for that awesome shot but it’s just so much fun! Food is good but it’s also art in my opinion….
    Great clicks!


  16. #
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche — April 7, 2013 @ 6:55 am

    This is a great post! Really helpful for people like me who are trying to improve their photography :) I’d love to see more posts like this!


  17. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — April 7, 2013 @ 8:48 am

    Thank you for sharing!! My eggs never turn out as pretty as yours!


  18. #
    Shawna — April 7, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips on Sunny Side Up Eggs! They have usually intimidated me and I know my fiancé would love to be surprised with some from my making. I saved this page to the inspiration folder on my phone for the perfect egg making morning. Thanks again! ♥ Shawna


  19. #
    Salah — April 7, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

    I love my eggs Sunny Side up! I never make them as good looking as yours, but this post definitely helps! Next time I cook some, I’ll make sure to look at this post again!


  20. #
    gloria — April 7, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    These eggs look perfect and delicious!


  21. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — April 7, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

    Egg perfection for sure!


  22. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — April 7, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

    Yup, pretty cute I’d say!


  23. #
    sasha york — April 7, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

    You’re also using organic eggs, right? hence the yellow color, instead of orange?


    • Jessica — April 7th, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

      hmmm is there a difference?? yes, i use organic eggs since that is what we eat but i think some of the older posts i did with the eggs may have been non-organic? and they look the same? i never knew there may be a difference!


      • sasha york — April 7th, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

        That’s what I heard and whenever i test that theory. it’s accurate. Apparently because they feed conventional chicken stuff to *make* them look orange because people decided it was prettier. Organic chicken eating more natural food=natural yellow color.
        In any case ILY for using organic eggs :)

  24. #
    Shelly — April 7, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

    Nice shots! My kids love eggs in a nest or toad in a hole or whatever you wanna call it and that’s the only way I can get to keep the yolk staying together- putting it in bread! I’ve been getting better. :) I know you told me (ha! Just me and not the other 15,823 people who read your blog) how you do frosting but can you do pix? You’d probably need your Mister to take those shots. There was a blogger one time, who I can’t remember now, who was going to do video blogs. THAT would be fun! I also love when Ashley (edible ash) posts her trashed kitchen because that’s how mine generally looks… and how you clean your skillet and cookie sheets to always look good amazes me! Thanks Jessica!


  25. #
    Rose — April 7, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing your secrets! I am always looking for new ways to improve my photos.


  26. #
    Maria Tadic — April 7, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    Those eggs look so perfect! So perfectly yellow!

    Didn’t know about the elmer’s glue for cereal. So gross and what a waste of food!


  27. #
    chelsea @ serves two — April 7, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

    great post! love tips like this! and LOVE your blog!!


  28. #
    what katie's baking — April 7, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

    i have to make mine in the microwave to look good! haha! great tips!


  29. #
    Catherine — April 7, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

    if you’re really anal about having uncooked white on top of your runny yolk (like me!), you can separate the egg and pour the white in before laying the yolk on top, free from any white…it’s great! Love runny yolks.


  30. #
    Colette — April 8, 2013 @ 3:28 am

    You’re so cute. Thanks for sharing your egg secrets. I’ve gotta make this one.


  31. #
    Colette — April 8, 2013 @ 3:32 am

    PS- love your breakfast hash ideas.
    Which is this rice & bacon dish?


  32. #
    Not Only Sugar — April 8, 2013 @ 5:05 am

    I love eggs!!!

    Not Only Sugar


  33. #
    Sarah — April 8, 2013 @ 6:47 am

    Hey Jessica,

    Thanks for the brilliant Tip!

    I know, eggs can look brutal sometimes lol If I don’t like the look for something I generally wont eat it and lately I’ve been eating less and less eggs based on that, so this will really help me.

    Keep up the great work.

    Thanks xoxox


  34. #
    Eileen — April 8, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

    What a great trick! I usually set my fried eggs via the steam method–crack into buttered pan, let set for about 30 seconds, add a dribble of water, and smack ont he lid immediately. The steam cooks the top of the egg perfectly. Plus, since my pan has a glass lid, I can see exactly when to pull it off the heat!


  35. #
    Michelle — April 8, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

    beautiful eggs!


  36. #
    Andrea @ Barbells and Buttercream — April 8, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    What are those eggs over? Risotto? Looks delis!!!


  37. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — April 8, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

    What beautiful eggs you’ve made :) they’re looking good!


  38. #
    Shannon — April 9, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

    A very serious thank you for sharing this. I am the worst cooker of eggs ever and this is really helpful.


  39. #
    Nataasha — April 9, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

    I put my temp down nice and low and use a lid over the pan which forces the heat up cooking the top of the egg. I hate runny white but i love runny yolk. Never flip them because it cooks the yolk too much!


  40. #
    Christine — April 10, 2013 @ 1:23 am

    Amazing photos! I will try that soon but first of all I think I need a new skillet.


  41. #
    carey — April 10, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    That was one of the most helpful things I’ve read in a while! Thanks for sharing your secret!


  42. #
    Lady ID — April 23, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    I love eggs too!! Have you tried Scotch Eggs before? I made some this weekend and am ready for more!


  43. #
    Lisa @ The Meaning of Me — June 29, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

    What is the rice and bacon dish under your beautiful eggs? That looks so good – need to know!



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