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fried eggs cooked in a cast iron skillet

How to Make the Perfect Fried Egg

There are so many different types of egg dishes to consider making, but my each of my four kids have gone through a phase when one of their favorite foods was a perfectly cooked fried egg. Just like all of my other egg recipes, this one is simple and easy to follow, and will soon become a family favorite in your home too.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Eggs (Preferably Pastured)
  • 1 T. Coconut Oil
  • ½ t. Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here. You can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • ¼ t. Pepper
  • 1 T. Butter
  • ½ c. Cheese (Optional)

Directions

  1. Cure the Cast Iron Skillet: If you’re using a cast iron skillet, which I recommend, then you’ll want to make sure it’s cured properly before beginning.
  2. Coconut Oil: Plop in a dollop of coconut oil and let the pan warm up for a good 3-5 minutes on a low setting. (This helps to ensure that the skillet is properly cured even more.)

    Coconut oil melting on a cast iron skillet

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

  3. Turn Up the Heat: Turn the heat up to a 3 or 4 and if you have the patience, let it heat up for another few minutes.
  4. Crack the Eggs: I usually like to cook three or four eggs at a time.

    fried eggs just starting to cook in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs Just Hit the Cast Iron Skillet

  5. Break the Yolks: Puncture the yolks by making an X in them with the spatula. (Don’t get too crazy here, you want the white and yellow parts of the egg to stay somewhat separate.)
    fried eggs halfway cooked with yolks broken

    Fried Eggs with Broken Yolks

     

  6. Cover and Cook: Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a 3 for about 8 minutes. Check the eggs after about 4 minutes. If they’re not really cooking yet, turn it up a bit. If the oil is bubbling and the eggs are cooking too fast, turn it down.)

    Fried eggs covered and cooking.

    Fried Eggs Covered and Cooking

  7. Flip: Once the eggs are cooked almost all the way through, it’s time to flip.
    fried eggs ready to flip in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs Ready to Flip

    fried eggs cooked and flipped in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs Flipped

  8. Cheese: If you want cheese, add it now. Either shredded or sliced will work just fine.
  9. Cover and Turn Off the Heat: Let the eggs finish cooking for a minute or two, or wait until the cheese melts.

    cooked fried eggs with melted cheese in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs with Cheese

  10. Serve: If I’m serving the eggs plain without any cheese, I like to add a large pat of butter. Then I cut the eggs up into bite size pieces and serve. These eggs also work really well in egg sandwiches.
    cooked fried eggs with melted cheese and bacon on a plate

    Cooked Fried Eggs with Cheese Served with Bacon

    One Egg with Melted Cheese Cut Up and Ready to Eat!

    One Egg with Melted Cheese Cut Up and Ready to Eat!

perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs with sourdough muffins

How to Cook the Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs

Frying an egg might seem like the simplest of culinary feats, but it can also be one of the most challenging..especially if you want to cook an egg just perfectly so that the white part is completely cooked and the yolk is nice and dippy. For years and years, I would proclaim to my husband that we were having sunny side up eggs for breakfast, only to serve them over medium time and time again. But I have FINALLY figured out how to cook the PERFECT  sunny side up egg. Every. Single. Time.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Eggs (Preferably pastured)
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Coconut Oil
  • 1 t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here. You can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • ½ t. Pepper
  • Sourdough Muffins
  • 1 T. Butter

Directions

  1. Cure the Cast Iron Skillet: If you are cooking with a cast iron skillet (which I recommend for pretty much everything), then you’ll want to make sure it’s properly cured before you begin. Even if it’s been cured recently, I recommend running some hot water over it to clean out any bits of food, pouring in a fresh glug of olive oil, and letting it sit at the lowest setting on your stove for about thirty minutes to an hour.
  2. Coconut Oil (or Butter): Add a dollop of coconut oil and turn the heat up to a 3 or 4 for a few minutes.

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

  3. Add the Eggs: Make sure the coconut oil is melted and the pan has had plenty of time to heat up (a few minutes at least), and then crack the eggs into the pan.

    three sunny side up eggs just starting to cook in a cast iron skillet

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Just Starting to Cook

  4. Cook Low and Slow: The trick with just about every egg dish is to cook them at a low temperature for a long time. Resist the temptation to turn the heat up because you’ll turn your back for ONE SECOND and the eggs will be overcooked. You’ll want to cook them for about ten minutes or so. If the eggs are just not cooking after some time, turn the heat up just a titch, and if the oil is starting to bubble, turn the heat down a smidgen. DON’T COVER WITH A LID! You might think that it will help cook the tops, but it won’t. It will just overcook the eggs.

    three sunny side up eggs cooked halfway through on a cast iron skillet

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Halfway Cooked

  5. Add the Salt and Pepper: At any point after you’ve cracked the eggs, go ahead and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

    three sunny side up eggs almost ready to flip on a cast iron skillet

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Sprinkled with Salt and Pepper

  6. Time to Flip: Once the eggs are cooked just about all the way through, they are ready to be flipped.
    three sunny side up eggs being flipped in a cast iron skillet

    These Sunny Side Up Eggs are Ready to Flip

    IMG_8429

  7. Keep it Quick: To make a truly perfect dippy egg, you’ll only want to keep the egg flipped for no more than ten seconds. If you keep it flipped for about 30-40 seconds, you’ll notice that the egg is still dippy, but more firm around the edges. Any longer, and you’ve ruined the whole thing, and you might as well start over. Just make sure the whites are cooked through all the way because it’s really gross when they’re not.
    showing how sunny side up eggs only need to stay flipped for a very short time

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Cooked to Perfection

    In the picture above, the egg with the fork next to it was flipped for about 45 seconds, the egg in the middle was flipped for about 30 seconds, and the egg on the right was only flipped for about 5 seconds.

  8. Check the Pan: You’ll know if your cast iron skillet was cured properly (and that you didn’t cook the eggs at too high of a temperature) if your pan looks like this when you are done.

    after cooking sunny side up eggs this cast iron skillet still looks clean

    Cast Iron Skillet After Cooking Sunny Side Up Eggs

  9. Enjoy: Serve with some toasted and buttered sourdough muffins, a few slices of bacon, and a tall glass of milk for an amazing breakfast! (Also, make sure to sprinkle those yolks with a generous helping of Real Salt!)

    three sunny side up eggs, sourdough muffin, bacon, and milk make the perfect breakfast

    Sunny Side Up Eggs, Sourdough Muffin, Bacon, and Milk…the Perfect Breakfast!

perfect scrambled eggs cooked in a cast iron skillet

How to Make the Best Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are an absolute staple in our family. I usually cook some kind of eggs every morning. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for scrambled eggs, but it may be a day for some sunny side up eggs or a baked egg dish. You never know! Anyways, knowing how to make REALLY GOOD scrambled eggs is one of the first lessons a mom chef needs to learn.

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs (Pastured is best.)
  • ¼ c. Milk (Raw is best.)
  • 1 t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here. You can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • ½ t. Pepper
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions

  1. Cure the Cast Iron Skillet: If you are cooking with a cast iron skillet (which I recommend for pretty much everything), then you’ll want to make sure it’s properly cured before you begin. Even if it’s been cured recently, I recommend running some hot water over it to clean out any bits of food, pouring in a fresh glug of olive oil, and letting it sit at the lowest setting on your stove for about thirty minutes to an hour.
  2. Coconut Oil (or Butter): Add a dollop of coconut oil and turn the heat up to a 3 or 4 for a few minutes.

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

  3. Mix the Eggs: While the pan is preheating, combine the eggs, milk (you can always substitute water if you’re out of milk), salt, and pepper.
    eggs, milk, salt, pepper ready to mix for scrambled eggs

    Eggs, Milk, Salt, and Pepper

    If it suits your fancy, you can add a few other spices like maybe some cayenne pepper, onion powder, of some chives. Get crazy! Mix really well.

    scrambled egg mixture mixed until it's nice and bubbly

    Scrambled Egg Mixture

  4. Add the Eggs: Make sure the coconut oil is melted and the pan has had plenty of time to heat up (a few minutes at least), then pour in the eggs. If the pan sizzles as you add the eggs, you know the temperature is just right. (But don’t worry if it doesn’t, it’s better too cook too low than too high.)
  5. Cover and Cook: The key to making really good scrambled eggs is to cook them at a low temperature and to cook them cook slowly. If you lift up the lid and nothing is going on, turn up the dial a titch. But keep your eye on it, because they can burn quickly!  It’s better to start too low than too high.

    scrambled eggs cooking nice and slow so that they don't burn

    Scrambled Eggs Cooked Halfway Through

  6. Stir: After you can see that the eggs have cooked a considerable amount, start to stir. Start by flipping the eggs over, then chop them up (I prefer semi-big chunks) as you move them around. Just don’t over stir, you’ll make the pieces too small and they’ll lose their softness.

    IMG_8723

    Cooked Scrambled Eggs

  7. Add Butter: Add a big chunk of butter, let it melt, then stir it around to mix it in.

    cooked scrambled eggs with melting butter in a cast iron skillet

    Scrambled Eggs with Butter

  8. Add More Salt: This is when I like to add a fresh sprinkling of salt.

    cooked scrambled eggs with butter and salt in a cast iron skillet

    Scrambled Eggs with Butter and Salt

  9. Add Cheese: Sprinkle on some shredded cheese, cover with a lid, and turn the stove off until it melts.
    cooked scrambled eggs with shredded cheese about to melt

    Cooked Scrambled Eggs with Shredded Cheese Ready to Melt

    cooked scrambled eggs with melted cheese in a cast iron skillet

    Cooked Scrambled Eggs with Melted Cheese

  10. Serve: This is another kid favorite in our house!

    cooked scrambled eggs with melted cheese on a plate with a kids fork

    Kid’s Plate with Scrambled Eggs

cast iron skillet perfectly cured

How to Cure a Cast Iron Skillet

Having a good cast iron skillet in my kitchen is a must! I love using it when it is cured properly because it provides an amazing cooking surface that provides extra iron and is easy to clean. If you’ve never used a cast iron skillet or if you have, but you haven’t been able to master curing it properly, check out my tips and tricks!

Benefits of Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Perfect Non-Stick Surface – If cured properly (see below), a cast iron skillet will provide the perfect nonstick surface, which makes cooking so much easier!
  2. Source of Iron – By cooking with a cast iron skillet, you are getting more iron in your food! In scrambled eggs, the amount of iron is tripled! The longer you cook something, the more iron it will absorb.
  3. No Teflon – Teflon is the repellent coating in your standard pan that keeps food from sticking to its surface. It contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), which is a chemical linked to liver damage, cancer, and developmental problems. This is especially bad if the surface is scratched which allows the cook to inhale these noxious fumes at a dangerous level.
  4. No Aluminum – Aluminum is a toxic metal that can lead to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Best to stay away from cooking (or storing) your food in it.
  5. Better Bargain – Stainless steel is better than aluminum or teflon coated pans, but they are more expensive, and for the life of me I can’t fry anything in them without it sticking like crazy!

How to Cure a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Set the temperature on your stove to low/medium (about a 3 or 4).
  2. Add some kind of oil. I prefer olive oil, but you can also use grapeseed. I use coconut oil for cooking, and I have tried curing my cast iron skillet with it, but unfortunately it just doesn’t work. (Alsostay away from Canola or any other vegetable oil because they are just bad for your health.)
  3. Once the oil melts, swirl it so that it coats the entire bottom of the pan and twist the pan while spinning it to coat as much of the inside edges as you can as well.

    a very reflective cast iron skillet with olive oil making a perfectly cured surface

    Olive Oil Warming on a Cast Iron Skillet

  4. Turn the heat down as low as it will go (low to 1).
  5. Let it sit like that for as long as you dare without forgetting that the stove is on (the longer the better, but a few hours should be good).

    cast iron skillet curing on the stove at a low setting

    Cast Iron Skillet Curing

  6. Repeat this every time you notice it sticking or after you clean it.
  7. *You can also cure it by placing the oiled skillet in the oven at 400˚F for a few hours. You’ll probably want to put a pan underneath to catch any drippings. Also, flip the skillet over at some point.

Note: I’ve tried the advice about wiping the pan with a paper towel coated with oil, and in my opinion, it just doesn’t work as well. I like having extra oil in the pan, and I totally use it up the next time I cook something.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. First of all, you don’t need to clean your cast iron skillet after every use. When I use my cast iron skillet just for making eggs, I rarely ever clean it. I just scrape out the bits of egg that accumulate and call it good. But if you’ve cooked something like taco meat or something at too high of a temperature that made things stick to the bottom, it’s time for a cleaning!
  2. To begin with, fill it up with hot water and let it soak for a bit.
  3. Then use a soft bristle brush, wash cloth, or some other gentle cleaning apparatus (Don’t use a wire scrubby – it will ruin any work you’ve done with curing thus far.) to gently clean the bits of food away.
  4. DON’T use soap when cleaning! Unless you plan on curing it all over again that is.

Buying a Cast Iron Skillet

I have one 12 inch skillet that works very well for all of my cooking needs. But you might want an 8 inch skillet when cooking for one, or a 10 inch skillet, or you may want something bigger like a 15 inch skillet or even a 20 inch skillet. I also definitely recommend getting a hot pad cover for the handle. As you can see, mine got some holes in it, so I sewed a potholder around it.

There are also lots of other great cookware that is made out of cast iron like this waffle maker, this 14 inch pizza pan, this dutch oven, this muffin pan, and this kettle. There are so many possibilities!

Taco Meat…Without the Seasoning Packet

As we have entered the deeper stages of our healthy eating conversion, I have always felt guilty about buying the MSG laden packets of taco seasoning, but we just couldn’t live without eating tacos!!! So I tried several different creations before finally creating this amazing recipe. We all love eating it and don’t miss the taco seasoning at all. Best of all, the kids love it! Our son (who can be a picky eater) loves eating a bowl of this meat as a little snack or a whole meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef (Preferably use grass-fed beef. We have also used venison in this recipe and it tastes great!)
  • 1 Medium Onion (or 3 green onions)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 T. Butter (Pastured butter like Kerrygold is the best, organic butter is the next best, and butter without rBST growth hormones is better than plain butter, and plain butter is WAY better than margarine.)
  • 2 t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here, you can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • 2 t. Ground Oregano (I buy mine here or you can buy it here.)
  • 2 t. Ground Basil (I buy mine here or you can buy it here.)
  • 2 t. Garlic Powder (I buy mine here or you can buy it here or here.)
  • 2 t. Onion Powder (I buy mine here or you can buy it here.)
  • 4 t. Bragg Liquid Aminos (Buy it here.)

Directions

  1. Preheat your cast iron skillet. First, let the pan slowly heat up on a low to medium setting and allow the butter to melt and coat the pan. (Read more about curing your cast iron skillet here.)

    Cured Cast Iron Skillet

    Cured Cast Iron Skillet

  2. Sautè the onions and garlic. Chop up the onion, peel the garlic and crush it in a garlic press and add both to the bubbling butter. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef. Break it apart a little bit at a time as it cooks and flip it as each side is browned.
  4. Time for seasonings! Once it is fully browned, add the garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, Real Salt, and Bragg Liquid Aminos. (I never measure out the seasonings, I just add them. I find it’s best to add way more than you’d think, but you’ll get the hang of what you like with a little taste testing.)
  5. DO NOT DRAIN THE FAT! THE FAT IS VERY GOOD FOR YOU!! (Unless you’re using venison. Draining the fat will help to get rid of the gamy taste.)
  6. Simmer. Turn off the heat and let the meat sit covered and soaking up all of the juices for about 10 minutes.

    Taco Meat

    Taco Meat

  7. Get your toppings ready. While the meat settles, chop up some fresh lettuce and tomatoes, get out the shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, hot sauce, and choose between a taco salad, tacos in a hard shell, a soft shell taco, a taco chips and cheese plate…or my favorite fried flour tortillas! (To make fried flour tortillas, heat up some coconut oil in a pan on medium to high heat, fry the flour tortillas for about 10 seconds on each side, fold in half to cool, and enjoy the most amazing flavor of your life!)
Tacos Ready to Eat

Tacos Ready to Eat