Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak is so simple and just as comforting as you would expect! Crunchy coating over tenderized steak and topped with that creamy white gravy just like grandma (or Cracker Barrel) used to make! The bonus – much less oil and calories!
What You Will ❤️ About Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
- Comfort Food! This is a classic comfort food dish but we’re making it with much less oil than you would if you deep fried it!
- 30 Minutes! You can make this dinner in about 30 minutes from start to finish!
- Crunchy! That crispy crust is still there even in the air fryer!
This recipe was made using the Paula Deen Air Fryer.
Ingredients for Chicken Fried Steak Recipe
First of all – let’s just clear this up. Chicken fried steak is BEEF! You’re taking a piece of steak and cooking it like you would fried chicken. Now – what’s in it?
- Cube steak – you could also use a thin piece of steak (top round steak or top sirloin are similar cuts of steak) – but no matter what – you’ll want to tenderize it (i.e. beat it with a meat mallet – hard!)
- Flour Mixture – all purpose flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper & chipotle pepper seasoning
- Egg Mixture – egg & buttermilk
- Gravy – Bacon grease, Flour, Milk, salt & pepper
How do you make Chicken-Fried Steak in the air fryer?
You’ll be amazed how crunchy this is without deep frying!
- Tenderize your cubed steak – it seems like it might already be when you get it – but do it again. It’s tough.
- Get out your breading trays and with each in a separate shallow bowl like an assembly line – mix together your flour breading ingredients. In the other – whisk together egg & buttermilk.
- Dredge each piece of cube steak in flour – then egg – then flour. Shake off any excess flour.
- Let the breaded steaks rest for 10 minutes so it can soak in
- Be sure to line with parchment or the bottom will completely stick and remove all the breading (I know from experience)
- After 10 min, lay in your air fryer basket or tray in a single layer and spritz entire steak with olive oil spray (this will help it get to a golden brown) or cooking spray
- Air fry at 370 for 12 minutes of cook time – flipping steak patties halfway thru
- When you flip, start your country gravy – it only takes a few minutes. In a skillet or small saucepan, over medium heat, melt bacon grease. Add flour and whisk.
- Once that’s all incorporated and foamy – add your milk, salt and pepper – keep whisking.
- Your gravy should be ready about the same time as the chicken fried steak! Pour the gravy over the top.
Tips, Tricks and FAQs
Well – it’s a tough cut of meat. The first time I made this – I didn’t tenderize it and it was really tough. So grab that meat tenderizer and think of Michael Jackson when you’re making this and just beat it! Beat it!
Yes! Again – the first time I did it – the breading on the bottom stuck to the rack completely. Parchment paper is the best invention ever for just this reason!
You can use butter – or Bacon Up. Bacon Up is a new product that is basically clarified bacon grease. It’s shelf stable and a great way to get lots of flavor without having to cook bacon first!
Because you’re frying the steak like you would fried chicken. It’s steak. But you’re doing a flour/egg breading like you would fried chicken in a deep fryer. It’s also called Country Fried Steak too.
Dry batter FTW when you have an air fryer. It can be moist but you don’t want a loose wet batter as the hot air could blow it all around the air fryer and could damage your heat element.
Steak. With a crispy coating like fried chicken. And I promise it’ll get crunchy in the air fryer just like fried food should!
Yes – you could just dip it in Buttermilk instead of buttermilk & egg
I would recommend reheating it in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 325. This will help it crisp up again.
Store leftover chicken fried steak in airtight glass containers. Reheat in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 350 degrees. The next day would be best as the breading will quickly get soggy.
What goes with Chicken Fried Steak?
Besides mashed potatoes – there are lots of great side dishes for Chicken Fried Steak. Here are my favorites:
- Smoked Green Beans – I make this on the weekend and have leftovers all week!
- Air Fryer Potato Slices
- Air Fryer Carrot Fries
- More Side Dishes…
Other favorite air fryer recipes
Here’s my ultimate list of best air fryer accessories – whether you have a basket- or oven-style! I’ve also included a price guide as well as my favorite recipes for those accessories.
Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
- Remove the cube steaks from the refrigerator and pound again with a meat tenderizer1 lb cube steak
- In a breading tray, combine flour, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, chipotle and poultry seasoning with a whisk.1/2 cup flour, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning, 1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper seasoning, 1/4 tsp black pepper
- In a second breading tray, combine the egg and buttermilk and whisk together1 cup buttermilk, 1 egg
- Take each portion of the cube steak and dip into the flour mixture – then the egg mixture – then the flour mixture again. Be sure entire piece is fully coated.
- Let rest on a rack or cookie sheet for 10 minutes
- Preheat air fryer (if needed) to 370
- Line rack/tray with parchment paper or spray your air fryer rack/tray HEAVILY with non-stick spray
- Place each piece of chicken fried steak in a single layer in air fryer and spray all spots with flour showing with olive oil spray
- Air fry at 370 for 12 minutes – flipping halfway thru. When you flip, spray flour spots with oil
- After flipping, prepare the gravy in a small 6" skillet by melting bacon grease on medium heat.2 tbsp bacon grease
- Slowly whisk in flour until incorporated2 tbsp flour
- Whisk in milk, salt and pepper1 cup milk, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Cook until thickened and remove from the heat.
- If gravy sits for a few minutes – it will get too thick – you can whisk in more milk over low to loosen up the gravy so it's pourable again
- Remove the chicken fried steak from the air fryer and pour gravy over the top