It seriously doesn’t get much better than tucking into a full English brekkie on the weekend. Although there are many variations to the classic fry-up – and opinions can be divided on whether controversial items such as fried mushrooms or black pudding should make the cut – once you’ve nailed the techniques and have all the equipment ready, you’re onto a winner.
So what’s technically included in the classic full English?
1. Sizzlin’ sausages
With thousands of varieties to choose from, you’re kind of spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect bangers. But do you know your Cumberlands from your Lincolnshires? What makes each variety differ? Seasoning, spices, and herbs are added to give sausages extra flavour. Sometimes small pieces of cooked apple, caramelised onions or other ingredients that pair well with pork can also be added to create interesting varieties. Nowadays you’ll find plenty of options in terms of meat too, be that chicken sausages or even meat-free veggie bangers.
2. Brilliant bacon
It’s not a fry-up without bacon. Some people like theirs super crispy, whereas others prefer a softer variety. If you don’t finish the pack, use what’s left to create our 5 ways with bacon sandwiches, or make little bacon cups and fill them with scrambled egg.
3. Eggs eggs eggs
Whether you’re partial to poached, fancy them fried or serve them scrambled, the key to a successful fry-up is getting the eggs right everytime. What’s more, with the UK consuming around 11.5 billion eggs each year (no, we’re not yolking), make sure you know the difference in types and how to store them properly with our guide to eggs.
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4. The essentials
Just as important as the SBE elements (that’s sausage, bacon and eggs), your fry-up would be a sad state of affairs without the addition of baked beans, fried tomatoes and toast on the side. Find out how to cook them all in our ultimate makeover guide.
5. The optional extras
These are the foods that tends to divide fry-up opinions. For some of us, a side of fried mushrooms makes an excellent accompaniment to a fry-up. Other additions include black pudding (often served in a full Scottish or full Irish breakfast), hash browns, potato scones and fried bread. The decision is yours.
Twists on the classic
Want to take your fry-up to the next level? Don’t be bound by tradition – think outside the box and opt for our full English crumpets or perhaps our British take on the shakshuka, with bacon, bangers and beans all thrown in for good measure. Or if you fancy a fry-up outside breakfast time, why not opt for our delicious full English pizza?
Just because you’re sticking to a healthier diet, that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on a fry-up. Check out our ultimate makeover for the full English breakfast which uses simple swaps for a lighter meal. Our veggie breakfast bake is perfect for anyone who doesn’t eat meat – or try our delicious vegan fry-up.
An artist is nothing without their tools, right? Well, the same applies to your fry-up. Arguably the one piece of kitchen kit you shouldn’t be without is a reliable frying pan. The BBC Good Food on-test team brings you a review of their top five non-stick picks.
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See our breakfast collection for more recipe inspiration.
How do you like your fry-up? Leave a comment below…