Sunny-side up. Over-easy. Flipped and well done. No matter how you like them cooked, fried eggs are the bomb. But TBH, a plain on its own can be a bit boring. But the fat you fry your eggs in can make a big difference.
Here’s a rundown of the best fats to fry eggs in 🍳.
What are the best fats to fry eggs in?
There’s no “best” fat to fry eggs in. It all depends on what flavors you like. Some fan favorites are:
- olive oil
- avocado oil
- corn oil
- bacon grease
Lots of fried egg stans say butter is best. Thanks to its high concentration of fat, butter has a unique taste and creamy texture. It’s great for high heat pan-frying and can prevent your eggs from sticking to the pan. But it doesn’t have a ton of health perks. A single tablespoon of salted butter has about 102 kilocalories (kcal) and 11.5 grams (g) of fat.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It’s made by skimming milk solids out of melted butter. Like butter, 100 percent of its calories come from fat. But ghee isn’t all bad. It’s high in butyric acid, a fatty acid that might help reduce inflammation and can benefit gut health. It also has a more concentrated flavor than regular butter.
Margarine is a butter-like spread that’s made from vegetable oils. According to a study, substituting butter with tub margarine might reduce the risk of myocardial infarction (aka heart attack). Just keep in mind, not all margarines are the same. Some contain more trans fat and calories than others.
Also, the flavor might take some getting used to. Some folks say it has an artificial taste and is too overpowering. But if you shop around for a high quality brand, you might start to like margarine better than butter. (Maybe.)
Olive oil is versatile AF. It can totally elevate your egg game depending on the product you use. Your basic bottle of extra-virgin olive oil has a slightly nutty taste. But you can also get a brand that has a buttery, herbaceous, peppery, fruity, or spicy vibe. So, the flavor options are limitless.
Another big benefit of cooking eggs in olive oil is nutrition. Olive oil is a great source of fatty acids, especially monounsaturated oleic acid. According to the FDA, eating oleic acids might reduce your risk of heart disease. It also is a good source of phenolic compounds, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Corn oil has a neutral flavor and will get your egg edges nice and crisp. It has a smoke point of 450°F (232°C), so it’s fab for frying. Folks also love that it’s super cheap and can last a long time.
The downside is that most of the vitamins and minerals found in corn are lost during the refinement process. Also, it’s high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat that’s been linked to impaired brain function, heart disease, obesity, and depression. That said, it’s probably best used in moderation.
Avocado oil has gotten popular in recent years, and we can totally see why. It tastes like a (you guessed it) avocado fruit, but less intense. It has a smooth consistency, high smoke point, and boasts nutty flavor notes. We also love that it’s a solid source of unsaturated fatty acids, which have been linked to heart health.
FYI: It’s worth noting that food-grade avocado oil tends to be on the spendy side. So, you could stick to a cheaper alternative like coconut oil to save some buckaroos.
Pro tip: Elevate your avocado toast with some avocado oil-fried eggs for a 10/10 culinary experience.
NGL, bacon grease isn’t exactly great for you. While regular bacon is a decent source of animal protein, bacon fat has 0 g of protein. It’s also high in saturated fats and sodium. Also, it’s not a good source of any vital vitamins or nutrients. But a little bit goes a long way. Even a single teaspoon of bacon grease can give your fried eggs a rich and smoky flavor.
You can make your own bacon grease at home by frying up some bacon. Just drain the grease into an airtight container while it’s still nice and liquid-y. It can last up to 3 months in the fridge or a year in the freezer.
If DIYing your own grease isn’t your thing, don’t worry. You can buy a high quality jar of bacon fat at the grocery store.
On top of taste, you might make your egg-frying decisions based on calories, fats, nutrients, or carbs. Here’s a helpful chart that breaks down the nutrition in a tablespoon of popular cooking fats.
|Butter||Ghee||Margarine||Olive oil||Avocado oil||Corn oil||Bacon grease|
|calories||102 kcal||123 kcal||103 kcal||119 kcal||124 kcal||122 kcal||115.8 kcal|
|fat||11.5 g||13.9 g||11.3 g||13.5 g||14 g||13.6 g||12.84 g|
|saturated fats||7.3 g||8.67 g||2 g||1.86 g||1.62 g||1.75 g||5.04 g|
|carbs||0.009 g||0 g||0.109 g||0 g||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|protein||0.121 g||0.039 g||0.044 g||0 g||0 g||0 g||0g|
|calcium||3.41 mg||0.56 mg||1.41 mg||0.135 mg||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|sodium||91.3 mg||0.28 mg||101 mg||0.27 mg||0 mg||0 mg||19.35 mg|
|potassium||3.41 mg||0.7 g||3.1 mg||0.135 mg||0 mg||0 g||0 g|
|vitamin A||97.1 mcg||118 mcg||115 mcg||0 mcg||0 mcg||0 g||0 g|
|vitamin E||0.329 mg||0.392 mg||0.547 mcg||1.94 mg||0 mg||1.94 mg||0.078 mg|
|vitamin K||7 mcg||1.2 mcg||12.2 mcg||8.13 mcg||0 mcg||0.258 mcg||0 g|
Fried eggs are an ICONIC breakfast food. But they’re also a delicious addition to dishes like fried rice, stir-fry, and toasts. The fat you fry with can give your eggies a unique flavor. Popular options include butter, ghee, margarine, olive oil, avocado oil, corn oil, and bacon grease. All of them can be delicious, but it really depends on your tastes and nutritional needs.