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!
The only oil you’ll use is a spritz of olive oil on the floury parts of your steak – the magic of the air fryer does the rest! It doesn’t matter if you have a basket or oven-style air fryer – either will get you crunchy, tasty chicken fried steak!
What’s in Chicken Fried Steak?
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. That’s all – it’s not pork, it’s not chicken. Now – what’s in it?
- Cube steak – you could also use a thin piece of steak – but no matter what – you’ll want to tenderize it
- Flour Breading – flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper & chipotle pepper seasoning
- Egg Dip – egg & buttermilk
- Gravy – Bacon grease (or Bacon Up – check it out – it’s clarified bacon grease – so handy!!!!), Flour, Milk, salt & pepper
How do you make Chicken Fried Steak in the air fryer?
- Tenderize your cube 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 in one – mix together your flour breading ingredients. In the other – whisk together egg & buttermilk.
- Dip each piece of cube steak in flour – then egg – then flour
- Let the breaded steak rest for 10 minutes so it can soak in
- After 10 min, lay in your air fryer in a single layer. Be sure to line with parchment or the bottom will completely stick and remove all the breading (I know from experience)
- Air fry at 370 for 12 minutes – flipping halfway thru
- When you flip, start your gravy – it only takes a few minutes.
- In a small skillet, heat bacon grease to melt. 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!
No – but it’s got a very little zip from the chipotle pepper seasoning. You can leave that out if you like. It’s barely noticeable. You can replace with cayenne pepper as well.
You can use butter – or Bacon Up. Bacon Up is a new product that is basically clarified bacon grease. It’s shelf stable and great for situations just like this – lots of flavor!
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.
Steak. With a fried chicken breading.
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.
No. It’s steak. With a fried chicken breading.
What goes with Chicken Fried Steak?
- Smoked Green Beans – I make this on the weekend and have leftovers all week!
- Air Fryer Potato Pancakes
- Air Fryer Carrot Fries
- More Side Dishes…
Other yummy air fryer “fried” recipes
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