Cooking Over Easy on a flat top

Joined Jun 20, 2014
I've just started to work as a short order cook, and I love it. But I have no experience on a flat top, and get a bit flustered when the other guy watches me rolling his eyes. So far the over easy is the biggest challenge, especially when I don't have a lot of space on the flat top because there are a lot of things there. I break the yolks, my spatula sticks to the eggs, I can't get the eggs on it, you name it. I thought that I tried to flip them too fast, but then I watched the other guy and he was able to flip the eggs when the whites were almost all clear. I know it takes practice but I need to do it in a day or two on my own. Please help.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
It will come to you, it's all in the wrist.  Just takes practice, practice, practice. Speed and accuracy will follow.

No one becomes a good short order cook in two days.
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Joined Jun 20, 2014
Thank you.

I know I can't become a good short order cook in two days. The thing is, I have trained for six days, and it seems that I have one more day of training, and then I will be required to more or less work independently. I just need to do all I can to do my job best I can, and one of the things that slow me down is the flat top, and especially eggs. It is difficult to work well with little confidence, and there is no real confidence without skill. So... as I said, I don't have many options, and need to figure out how to at least be able to somehow pull it off.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
As Chefbuba says, practice makes perfect. Additionally, don't watch the other guy, watch the eggs. Pay attention to what is happening while the eggs are cooking; how quickly the whites set, whether or not the whites are bubbling, are the whites set but soft and not overly browning? 

     And here's something to look for. Quite often when you crack the egg, the yolk will settle on one side or the other, sometimes in the middle but often most of the white is on one side of the yolk. which means when you flip it, make sure the yolk is on the side closest to the grill surface during the flip. 

In effect, you are "flipping" the white but rolling the yolk.  Easier to show then describe but if the yolk is on the far side mid-flip, it will slap down too hard and you are more likely to break it. 

In case you have a choice, I prefer cooking eggs in a pan. A good non stick isn't cheap but I think it makes the whole thing easier. That may not be possible in your situation but give it a try when you get the chance. 
Joined Jun 20, 2014

So I just flip from the side that has more white, right. That makes sense, The yolk would be just rolled.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Exactly. and of course, keep that part of the grill scrupulously clean so the eggs look good when you plate them. 

Fwiw, as you practice, don't be timid about doing the eggs over. Eggs, relatively speaking, are inexpensive. People will wait a few extra minutes without complaint if the eggs are correctly cooked when they get to the table. Serving a poorly cooked egg just to get the ticket out means you may feel less pressure but the customer won't be happy and may not say anything. They may just not come back. Keep working to make sure you aren't sacrificing quality for speed.  When I started cooking breakfast I went through a lot of eggs before I felt like I was competent. You'll get there. 


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Huh what?  Use the side of your spat and roll them over.
Joined Mar 3, 2016
Two things I always make sure with eggs are that they are at room temperature and that I crack them on a flat surface, not on the side of the bowl etc.
Room temperature stops the yolks breaking and cracking on a flat surface ensures no shells get into the egg.
I'm not a chef, but these tips I learned from one I worked with.
Joined Jan 19, 2014
If you're worried about it, drop extra eggs until you get it.
Egg-sactly (sorry, couldn't help myself).

Eggs are very cheap right now. We're paying under $1 per dozen. If I were traing I'd give you 4-5 dozen to practice with and by the end of the batch you'd be flipping with confidence.
Joined Jun 20, 2014
Thank you so much for all your advice. It is very helpful. First I've realized that it is not as easy as the other cooks try to tell me. They are probably just pulling my leg a bit. I actually thought about buying a few dozens of eggs and practicing with them. I know a guy on the block I live that owns a joint with a flat top. We've been talking a lot, a few times I treated him to some of my dishes, etc. But then it would be awkward just to ask him if I could come to his pizza place and practice flipping eggs. Well I tried anyway, and asked, but from the look on his face, I realized it really was awkward so we both pretended it was a jokee /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif.

I really love the job though. Just working with others. just like playing sports (as one of my friends described line cooking). Yes, it's strange. I just can't wait and go to do it again. Never happened with any other job I ever had. Hmm... 
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Joined Dec 21, 2012
An off the wall comment, maybe, but if your co-workers like practical jokes, check and make sure they're not turning up the temp on the grill when it's your turn.

Seen it done.
Joined Jan 31, 2012
im betting your friends weird look wasnt so much you using his grill,
as the idea you need to train in someone elses kitchen to learn a job
youre already doing, elewhere.

Maybe you should work for HIM--if you enjoy making breakfast foods, making
pizzas in a commercial kitchen is twice the fun.
Joined Oct 18, 2007
Plenty of butter on a seasoned flat top, always a fine line between enough butter on the grill and too much.

A little too much is fine as you can do a quick blot with a clean towel.

All too often you find a plate of eggs served with what looks like a broken butter sauce, just way too much butter and no thought of cleaning it up.

A level grill helps, and a few places use rings for their eggs and omelets.

At an old joint we cooked eggs on one end of the grill, with the last burner off, which gave us a nice temperature range for our eggs.

We used rings, which would get slightly bent, so you usually had a little eggs white seep out.

We would trim that excess white off and flick it to the side.

Even a seasoned vet would occasionally have a small tear in the yolk, requiring a do over.

One day when it happened to me for the umpteenth time I looked over and saw all of this pristine egg white.

I took a small piece, seared it quickly on a hot part of the grill and patched the tear.

Couldn't notice it and the eggs looked great.

This became a common practice for me.

The head cook saw me doing it one day and laughed as i explained it.

He proceeded to tell everyone, laughing the whole time.

Within a week EVERYONE was doing it.
Joined Jun 20, 2014
Thank you guys. Good advice!

I thought that maybe I could improve faster if I could practice at home, at least some simple skill like making 2 OE. I thought that I could get a stainless steel plate (SS 304), put it on my stove, and use it as my home practice little flat top. What do you think? 

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