What is Chicken Fried Steak?
This traditional, classic, southern dish gets its name simply from the way the steak is cooked. There is no chicken in chicken fried steak. In fact, it is steak cooked just like fried chicken and you may hear it called country fried steak. It is typically made with tenderized cube steaks.
What is a cube steak?
A cube steak is a cut of beef that has been tenderized and flattened. Cube steak can be bought already pre-tenderized at the grocery or you can do it yourself with a mallet. Buy top sirloin, or top round, cut it into pieces, and tenderize it with a mallet on parchment paper for easy cleanup. These cuts of beef are inexpensive. For simplicity, buy the sirloin already pre-tenderized for a quicker prep.
How do you cook chicken fried steak in an air fryer?
Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F. Season the pre-tenderized steaks with salt and pepper. Scramble together egg and buttermilk and in a separate bowl mix flour with the other seasonings. Coat the entire steak in the egg/buttermilk, then coat the steaks in the flour mixture. Repeat coating the steaks in the wet and dry mixtures a second time. Place the steaks in a single layer in the air fryer and spray the tops with olive oil. Air fry for 10-12 minutes, turning them over halfway and spraying the tops again for crispness. During this cooking time, prepare your gravy on your stovetop and both the chicken fried steak and the gravy will be ready at the same time. We have included a tasty gravy recipe at the bottom of the chicken fried steak recipe. Remove the chicken fried steak from the air fryer, pour gravy over the top, serve, and enjoy!
How do you keep the breading on the chicken fried steak?
Place the breaded, or coated, chicken fried steak on a pan and cover. Put it in the refrigerator for at least a half hour before cooking in the air fryer. This will has keep the breading from falling off the steak while cooking in the air fryer.
Can you use frozen beef to cook chicken fried steak in an air fryer?
If you find yourself in a big hurry, you can buy ready-made frozen chicken fried steak from the grocery and cook for 5 to 6 minutes at 380 degrees F. It’s all about personal preference. Making it yourself, though, in the air fryer with fresh ingredients is usually a better option than using frozen, ready-made chicken fried steak. Keep in mind, for our recipe you will need about 30 total minutes of prep and cooking time to spare.
How do you make gravy for chicken fried steak?
The gravy can be made on your stovetop while the chicken fried steaks are cooking in the air fryer. Melt butter and whisk in flour, milk, cream, salt and pepper. Cook until it thickens and pour over your hot chicken fried steak.
What temperature do you use to cook chicken fried steak in an air fryer?
The best temperature to cook the chicken fried steak is 370 degrees F in an air fryer.
How do you know when chicken fried steak is done?
Cube steak is usually cooked to well done. You can use a meat thermometer to check when the steak is at least 145 degrees F in the center. If it’s not, just add a few minutes of cooking time since all air fryers may cook a little bit differently.
Is it safe to eat rare chicken fried steak?
Eating rare chicken fried steak cooked in an air fryer may create a problem with your breading. The crispy crust may not stick on the chicken fried steak if you remove the steak from the air fryer early in order for it to be rare. Eating the beef rare means that you would not be cooking it as long as our recipe requires for a flavorful and crispy crust that makes the chicken fried steak so tasty and popular.
How do you reheat chicken fried steak in an air fryer?
Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Place the leftover chicken fried steak in the air fryer and cook for approximately 3 minutes. You can give the chicken fried steak a light spray of olive oil on each side before cooking. Enjoy your leftovers!
Can you freeze chicken fried steak after cooking?
Leftover chicken fried steak can be frozen. First, allow the cooked chicken fried steak to cool, wrap each steak separately in plastic wrap or wax paper, then wrap a second time in foil. Place in a freezer bag or airtight container and place in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
How long can you safely store chicken fried steak after cooking?
A good rule of thumb is you can store your cooked chicken fried steak for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Use an airtight container.
What sides go well with chicken fried steak?
Think southern comfort food when cooking chicken fried steak. Consider serving it with corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Roasted potatoes, biscuits, and asparagus also go well with chicken fried steak. Add your favorite salad on the side and you are sure to please your family and guests.
Does chicken fried steak get tender in an air fryer?
The simple answer is yes! The tenderizing process, the cut of the top sirloin or top round steak, and the cooking process in the air fryer will assure you of a tender and tasty chicken fried steak to please you and your family!
Tips to make a great crisp and tender chicken fried steak in an air fryer:
- Dry the tenderized beef before breading it to remove extra moisture.
- Use two bowls for breading the steaks, one for the egg and buttermilk mixture, and one for the flour and seasoning mixture.
- Thawed beef works best prior to breading it.
- Don’t overlap the steaks in the air fryer. They will stick to each other and are difficult to remove when done without pulling the crispy crust off.
- Use olive oil spray on the chicken fried steaks prior to cooking in the air fryer. They will cook with an amazing glow and crispness.
- Line your air fryer basket with round parchment paper with holes to allow air flow to help keep your air fryer nice and clean.
Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
- 1 pound of pre-tenderized cube steaks
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tsp cayenne
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup of buttermilk
- Olive oil spray
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 to 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Using a meat tenderizer, hammer the steaks until they are about ½ inch thick.
- Season dry steaks with salt and pepper.
- In a shallow bowl, scramble one egg and mix with the buttermilk.
- In a different shallow bowl, mix the flour, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Place the steak into the wet mixture coating the entire steak.
- Place the steak into the dry mixture coating the entire steak.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6.
- Preheat the air fryer to 370°F.
- Place the steaks in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Use an olive oil spray to coat the top of chicken fried steaks.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway and spraying the tops again with oil to get them extra crispy.
- Prepare the gravy by melting the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat and slowly whisking in the flour, milk, whipping cream, salt, and pepper. Cook until thickened then remove from heat. If the mixture becomes too thick whisk in more cream until desired consistency has been reached.
- Remove the chicken fried steak from the air fryer and pour the gravy over top before serving.