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Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

We know how much most of you Reg readers enjoy a full English breakfast. The crispy saltiness of the bacon. The savoury runniness of the fried egg. The soft sweetness of the baked beans. A proper full English fry-up is a work of culinary art when done well.

But depending on how many elements you choose to include, the timings on when to start cooking each individual ingredient can be difficult to manage.

Can you just chuck everything in together, or do you need to cook in stages according to cooking times for each piece? How long should you cook the mushrooms for? Do they go in before or after the eggs? You only only get one shot at this and you don’t want to mess it up, because a ruined breakfast is not an option.

Fortunately, our fellow fry-up connoisseurs at The Mirror have worked out the perfect timings for a full English so that everything cooks together and comes out piping hot at the same time, meaning all you have to do is drop the lot on a plate and tuck in.

Some of these suggestions will be controversial, but then discussing the merits of different full English constituents and the techniques for preparing them is surely one of those perennial pub conversations, like the best build for a PC within a certain budget, or the best five Fall songs*.

So let’s get cracking. Where do we start?

Step 1: Sausages, bacon, and hash browns

First up is the meat. Controversial start, as they suggest putting these in the oven. While this will reduce the amount of fat required, making breakfast healthier, literally nobody eats a full English for the associated health benefits. However, it also frees up pan and hob space, so there may be method in this madness.

Anyway, whack the oven on to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark six and pop the sausages in first (for 20 minutes) and the bacon in five minutes later (for 15 minutes).

Frozen hash browns (I believe frozen is the only kind, as that’s how they grow in the wild) go in the oven at the same time as the sausages. You will need to adjust cooking times according to the instructions.

OK, what’s next?

Step 2: Mushrooms, eggs, and tomatoes

You should probably take a few minutes to prep as you need, but these three all take around the same time to cook – about five minutes – so they should all go on when the bacon, sausages, and hash browns have about five minutes to go.

Put the mushrooms stalk-side up on the grill, cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Try not to move them about too much as you’ll release the juices and make them soggy.

Do the same with the tomatoes for the same amounts of time, starting cut-side down, and again try not to move them about too much.

Put enough oil into a pan to lightly coat the base. Heat it on a low-medium heat. Pop the eggs in and cook until the white is set, but the yolks are still runny.

Step 3: Beans

Beans are easy. They need to go into a pan on the hob for 3-4 minutes, while being stirred constantly. Or you could put them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. They’re beans. It’s not like you can get them wrong.

Step 4: Toast

Ah, the wonder and complexity of toast. The simplest of the ingredients to prepare, yet the most fascinating in its creation. I have no doubt you already have your toaster aligned to the optimum setting, so take the bread of your choice, pop it in for a minute or two, and let the Maillard reaction do the rest. Butter or not, according to taste. This is also a good process to delegate out to anybody else who might be hanging about. A child, for example. Or a butler.

And there you have it. If you follow these steps then every element of your glorious full English breakfast should arrive at the same time, lovely and hot and ready to put on the plate. Just serve and add condiments to taste.

Bon appétit! ®

* Personally, I’d say:

1. ‘Winter (Parts 1 and 2)

2. ‘Blindness (Peel Session Version)

3. ‘Fantastic Life

4. ‘New Face In Hell

5. ‘C ‘n C’s Mithering

But I’d probably say something different tomorrow.

Other choices and inebriated discussions are obviously available.


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