Why Do Eggs Explode When Frying (How to prevent oil splattering to your skin)

By | November 19, 2021

Egg is a food which is enriched with protein.

The price of eggs is also cheap and easy to get from the market.

Eggs become a food which is taken daily by most people as it is the most direct way to absorb protein.

Unfortunately some people are facing problems when frying the egg, where the egg explodes and splattering the hot oil onto their skin.

Because of the egg explosion and oil splattering, a lot of people are afraid of frying eggs.

Here I am going to discuss why eggs explode or oil splattering, and how to prevent this.


Why Do Eggs Explode When Frying?

The culprit is the water. When the water from the egg enters into the high temperature oil, it will vaporize and turn into vapor steam. A pressure builds up within the vapor steam and keeps absorbing heat until it is strong enough to rise up to the oil surface and burst out causing egg explode or oil splattering.


Basic knowledge of oil and water

Before that, let’s have some basic knowledge of oil and water.

Oil will always float on the water because water is denser than oil.

Water becomes steam (gas) at 100°C but oil vaporizes at higher temperature points.

The different boiling points of the oil and water cause an explosion when frying the egg.


How did the explosion happen?

After the cooking oil drops into the pan, the oil will be heated and the temperature will increase.

There is water inside the egg.

When a low temperature egg crack into high temperature oil, the water from the egg will enter into the oil.

Water droplets will sink inside the oil because it is more dense than oil.

Water droplets will be surrounded by oil and fall down to the bottom until reaching the hot pan.

Once the water droplets hit the hot pan, it will vapourize and turn into water steam.

The water vapour has nowhere to go and trap under the oil.

The water vapour will keep building the pressure until it is strong enough to escape to the surface of the oil, and explode through the tension surface of oil.

The explosion makes a popping noise like a miniature balloon.

When the water vapour explodes through the oil surface, it will bring along some oil droplets and splash to your skin, causing injury to you.


How to prevent oil splashing onto your skin?

Some people are wearing long sleeves to protect their skin.

Some are using a lid to cover the pan when frying the egg.

Or you may use a deep pan with a higher side which is able to contain the splattering oil from reaching your skin.

Choosing a good quality pan which is able to distribute the heat evenly is also able to reduce the chance of oil splattering.

Anyway, there is a simple way to avoid eggs exploding and oil splattering.

Make sure the pan is dry before cooking and frying the egg at low temperature.

First, make sure the pan is dry, preheat the pan with medium temperature to make sure all the water on the pan surface is evaporated, or heat the pan until lightly smoke.

But don’t preheat the non-stick pan as this could damage the non-stick coating surface.

Then set the pan with low heat and put the cooking oil into the pan.

The cooking oil will splatter if the pan is wet.

Crack the egg into the pan.

The frying process takes a longer time at a low heat setting.

Frying the egg at low temperature is able to keep the egg smooth surface and soft texture when eating.

Most importantly, this method is able to reduce the oil splatter onto your skin because the water from the egg is heated slowly and escapes from the oil without making much popping.

Finally you complete frying the egg without any injury, although it takes a little bit more time compared with before.



Before we end this, let me summarize again.

The egg explosion is caused by water vaporizing very fast and building up high pressure inside the oil until it bursts out of the surface of the oil.

To prevent this, heat the pan at medium temperature, make sure you fry the egg at low temperature cooking oil.

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