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Full English Breakfast

Updated on May 4, 2011

The Full English Breakfast

I can't believe I am writing an article about the full English breakfast, I am a huge fan of the full English in fact I am somewhat of an expert; therefore it makes sense to write about it. Granted this is truly a self indulgence on my part and it is unlikely many people will read about breakfast but not to worry it gives me the chance to explore this British institution which is "The Full English".

On a serious note the breakfast of the Brits is known worldwide, some would argue battles were won on it, the saying was that an army marches on it's stomach but I am claiming they were talking about the full English and I am sticking to it.

What I am going to share with you is what it ingredients takes to make an authentic full English breakfast, how to cook it and believe it or not how to eat it. Please be aware this breakfast by today's standards is unhealthy, eating it everyday quite possibly will damage your long term health.

Sit back, read and enjoy!


Ingredients of a Full English

The ingredients used when creating your full English are the most important part of getting it to taste the way an authentic full English should. There are reportedly many variations of ingredients but only one set of foods actually make the true breakfast and here they are:

Walls Sausage- there is a certain taste to a Walls sausage, it has a hint of mild spices and carries very little fat. The emphasis is not on the sausage skin as it is simply there to hold the ingredients, the flavours are allowed to stand on their own and are the basis of the cooked breakfast.

Danish Bacon- bacon should be thick enough to cook, flanked by fat and have a salty taste, Danish bacon fits the bill perfectly.

Heinz Beans-any other beans are simply below the standard needed to make a full English. The bean and the sauce are superior when made by Heinz, having tried many substitutes there simply isn't one.

Free Range Eggs-in fairness when I started eating full english; free range eggs were a luxury, now that they are widely available they work fine and are brilliant for dipping.

Mushrooms-I do not have a preference when it comes to mushrooms but whatever type you choose they must under no circumstances be chopped before cooking.

Tomato-fresh of the vine tomatoes cut in two.

Fried Bread-white bread about two days old is best for frying

Black Pudding-for me this is a prerequisite of the full English, some would argue that this is a regional preference.

Sea Salt-finely ground sea salt is best

Crushed Black Pepper-freshly ground black pepper straight from the mill.

HP Brown Sauce or Heinz Tomato Ketchup- I am not sure if there are any other sauces that meet these high standards, I very much doubt it.

How to Cook a Full English Breakfast

If you think the art of cooking a full English involves chucking it all in a frying pan then you are mistaken. We have already established that this is an unhealthy breakfast but like anything; in moderation it's OK.

Heat your frying pan and put in a couple of table spoons of vegatable oil, all other oils deflect from the taste especially olive oil.

Heat your baked beans gently in a pan until fully cooked, if your heat is too high the beans will stick to the pan.

Place your defrosted sausages in the pan and cook on a moderate heat, turn them often and do not let them burn. When they start to turn golden brown put your bacon in the same frying pan and again cook evenly. After a couple of minutes and assuming your pan is big enough put your sliced black pudding and mushrooms in the same pan and cook for a couple of minutes. If your heat was right then you should be ready to remove all of the cooked ingredients and let them rest, obviously ensure they are all cooked before removing them.

In the same juices cook two free range eggs and a sliced tomato, you are aiming for a runny egg so you may need to turn the heat down to control the cooking, a few minutes should do it.

Remove from the pan and place on a plate with the rest of your breakfast ingredients. Cut a piece of your aged bread in two and fry in the remaining fat and juices, don't burn the bread just let it soak up the remaining liquid in the pan; if done properly it will naturally become crispy.

Serve all on a large plate.

How to Eat a Full English

I know I am being pedantic but if you really want to enjoy your breakfast then there is a method to eating it, each breakfast ingredient should be able to stand on it's own flavours but also taste better when mixed with another. We all have our preferences but for the purpose of this article I want to share how I eat my full English.

  • Cover the whole breakfast lightly with sea salt and black pepper
  • Cover with either brown sauce or ketchup
  • Eat a piece of each individual ingredient, savour their unique taste
  • Now mix two ingredients together and try them, notice how they compliment each other
  • Dip your fried bread or a piece of sausage in one egg
  • Eat the white of your second egg and then eat the yoke as a whole, let it burst in your mouth
  • Lastly use your remaining fried bread to soak up anything left on the plate

If you try eating your breakfast this way you will start to appreciate the importance of using the right ingredients and how these interact with each other.

The Best Breakfast

So there we have it, the perfect full English breakfast. Don't be fooled into thinking that these ingredients can be substituted or cooking can be streamlined because it simply won't be the same. I am conscious of the fact that the exact ingredients may not be available in your area and I guess I should say that an alternative will do, sorry it won't!

I am sure I will recieve the usual health comments but I make no apologies for cooking it in vegatable oil, using salt and frying it but I will concede it's probably best if you limit yourself to one full English a week.


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    • gryphin423 profile image

      gryphin423 6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for sharing this Aiden. I spent 4 hours in England and did enjoy "the full English". As gross as the thought is, the blood sausage was awful tasty. Great hub :-)

    • The Blagsmith profile image

      The Blagsmith 6 years ago from Britain

      Hi Aiden,

      I am currently editing a hub called Customs and Cultures which explains comparative diets between British and Japanese. I am going to link your hub under 'English Breakfast'.

      Thank you

    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have tried substituting the bacon on more than one occassion but it just wasn't cricket!

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire


      wonderful subject, but how can you use Danish bacon [yuk] good British dry cure is the one for me. Danish animals are so poorly treated, their farming methods are appaling.

      good hub

      cheers Tony

    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 6 years ago from United Kingdom


      I prefer the unhealthy option in moderation of course but you have a point about that streaky stuff it just isn't bacon.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      if you want the healthy option you can use the 1 cal spray on fat instead of oil and ditch the black pudding and fried bread- the rest of it would be an incredibly healthy breakfast, high in protein and with veg ( well tomatoes anyway)

      I can't understand why others dont have this- and taling of danish bacon, how come you can't buy it in Holland all you get is that streaky stuff they call bacon.

    • TheOneWhoKnows profile image

      TheOneWhoKnows 6 years ago from Croatia

      Will come at handy one day :-)

    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      The full English does have it's own unique taste. Your comments remind me of when I go abroad and the first thing I do is search out where I will get my full English, sadly it never tastes the same.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I could taste this meal in my mind as I read your hub! I grew up in Britain and loved the full English breakfast, although I haven't eaten one for a long time. It certainly is a delicious meal!

    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Yes you must; the full english breakfast is a feast everyone must try at least once in their life!

    • xanzacow profile image

      Cynthia 6 years ago from North Myrtle Beach, SC

      I read it! And it sounds YUMMY. I will have to try this sometime.