The ultimate fry-up guide

Fancy a satisfying weekend treat? It’s time to dust off the old frying pan, crack a few eggs and get ready to create that delicious fried breakfast at home.

Fry-up plates on wooden table with tea and juice

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

Sausages on plate

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. 

How to cook sausages 
Sausage recipe collection
 

2. Brilliant bacon

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

Eggs Benedict on white plate

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.  

More egg recipes:

Green eggs
How to make scrambled eggs in the microwave
Shakshuka
 

4. The essentials

Beans with hash brown and egg

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

Hash browns

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

Muffin with sausages and beans on white plate

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?
 

Healthier switch-ups

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
 

Terrific tools  

Frying pan on white backgroundAn 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.

More product reviews:

Brilliant brunch gadgets
The best griddle pans
Cook your eggs in the microwave with some nifty gadgets

Breakfast drinks 

Cup of tea on wooden table

Of course, you'll also need something to wash down your breakfast, be that the classic orange juice made in a juicer, a tasty breakfast smoothie or simply the ultimate cup of tea

More breakfast drinks:

Smoothie collection
Coffee recipes
Assam tea with cinnamon 

See our breakfast collection for more recipe inspiration.

How do you like your fry-up? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

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Mark Norman's picture
Mark Norman
23rd Jun, 2018
As a Brit abroad I appreciate this piece, but I must say that cuppa looks unwell
Mark Bowie's picture
Mark Bowie
23rd Jun, 2018
This is an absolute disgrace...! Scrambled eggs on a fry up...? You've ruined it already. And the state of that bacon. Where's the black pudding? Some proper hash browns? If you want to see a proper fry up get on the Breakfast Breakdown Facebook Page.
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