Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak

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This Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak is a delicious Southern comfort food recipe that’s simple and quick to make in the air fryer, then served with a creamy country gravy.

Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy

Growing up, my mom made chicken fried steak all the time, but it was a major affair with a frying pan full of hot oil in which to fry it all. It took hours and made a huge mess. I never really made it myself due to that, but I wanted to try it in the air fryer to see if I could cut down on the mess.

Low and behold, the air fryer is the perfect way to make chicken fried steak without all that oil and without any of the mess. You just dredge the steak and cook it for 8 minutes in the air fryer. It’s perfect.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Achieving a crispy exterior is effortlessly done in the air fryer, eliminating the necessity for deep frying to get that satisfying crunch.
  • You’ll get a perfect balance between a crispy exterior and juicy interior. Say goodbye to unevenly cooked steaks – the hot circulating air in the fryer guarantees a deliciously tender and flavorful result every time.
  • Easy cleanup! Say farewell to dealing with large quantities of hot oil or greasy splatters associated with traditional frying methods.

starry says: 5 stars Came out crispy and delish

Mark says: 4 stars I hate frying things but love chicken fried steak. It took me a minute to get the hang of it. The best tip is to make sure that you spray the chicken well with oil so that the flour isn’t super dry. I will definitely make it again.

Ingredients You’ll Need

We usually serve this steak on a bed of mashed potatoes, which you can make in your Instant Pot, if you have one. You could also serve it with air fryer vegetables or crispy potatoes, with homemade country gravy poured over the top.

  • Cube steaks – Cube steaks or another thin steak is the way to go there. You will need to pound it down to 1/4″ thick with a meat mallet, but it’s much easier if you start with a thin steak.
  • All purpose flour – The flour is for the dredging station and for the country gravy
  • Seasonings: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
  • Buttermilk – You can use regular milk, but believe me that buttermilk is better, and it means you don’t need to use eggs in the dredge.
  • Butter – I use salted butter for making the country gravy, to add lots of great flavor
  • Milk or half and half – Also to make the country gravy.

Equipment Information

Chicken Fried Steak

Helpful Tips

  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil so the steak doesn’t stick.
  • Spray the chicken fried steak with oil so that there isn’t any dry flour showing. This will help the outside get nice and crispy.
  • The thinner you pound the steak the faster it will cook.
  • It’s best to check your meat always with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s reached the proper temperature.

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak

Step 1: Prep the steak

Pound the steaks to about 1/4” thick with a meat mallet. Usually cube steak starts off pretty thin, so you can just pound it a few times on each side. Doing this will also help the flour and buttermilk stick to the meat to form a nice crunchy crust.

Step 2: Create a dredging station

Dredging station

Create two dredging stations: one with the flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, and one with the buttermilk.

Steak with flour coating

Dredge the chicken to coat in the flour, then dip it in the buttermilk. Dredge it through the flour one more time, shaking off the excess.

Step 3: Air fry

Uncooked Chicken Fried Steak in the air fryer basket

Spray the air fryer basket with oil so the steak doesn’t stick.

Place the steak in the air fryer basket and spray the tops with oil so that there isn’t any dry flour. Cook on 400°F(205°C) for 8 minutes, flipping and spraying the tops halfway through. The steak needs to reach 145°F(65°C) internal temperature to be medium rare.

It’s best to check the meat with a thermometer to be sure you’ve reached this level before removing the steaks from the air fryer. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your steak.

Chicken Fried Steak in the air fryer basket

Step 4: Make the country gravy

To make the gravy, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Whisk occasionally.

Add the milk and whisk. Cook until slightly thickened. If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk or water to thin it out.

How to Know When It’s Done

Since you’ve pounded the steak to 1/4″ thick, it should take just 8 minutes total to cook it in the air fryer. However, if your meat was thicker than this, or cold just from the refrigerator, it might take a minute or two more.

It’s best to check your meat always with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s reached the proper temperature of 145°F(65°C) for medium rare to 165°F(75°C) for well done.

Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy

How to Store & Reheat

Storing

If you want to store any leftover steaks in the refrigerator, you should wait until they’ve completely cooled down before doing so. The breading will stay intact this way. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator. Consume within 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Frozen steaks can be stored for up to 2-3 months.

Reheating

Air fryer: Place chicken fried steak in the air fryer basket and reheat at 350°F(175°C) for 5 minutes or until warmed through.

Microwave: For quick individual servings, put steaks on a microwave safe plate and heat in 30-second intervals until thoroughly warmed.

What Side Dishes to Serve?

You can serve some really easy side dishes with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. Sometimes, you can cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.

Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include:

Here are 30 more air fryer side dishes to try

Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy

Questions About the Recipe

Should I rest the steak?

There’s no reason to rest the steak because it’s so thin. The crispy exterior will begin to get soggy the longer you leave it resting, so it’s best to serve it right away.

Can you really achieve a crispy crust with an air fryer for chicken fried steak?

Absolutely! The air fryer works wonders when it comes to creating that perfect crispy exterior for your chicken fried steak. The circulating hot air ensures an even and efficient cooking process, giving you a delightful crunch without the need for deep frying.

How do I prevent the breading from sticking to the air fryer basket?

To avoid any sticky situations, spray the air fryer basket before you add the chicken fried steak and then lightly coat the chicken fried steak with cooking spray on both sides before air frying. This helps create a barrier and ensures that the breading crisps up nicely without clinging to the basket.

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Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak

This Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak is a delicious Southern comfort food recipe that's simple and quick to make in the air fryer, then served with a creamy country gravy.
4.9 from 42 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Servings
Calories 714 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

For the steak:

  • 2 cube steaks pounded
  • 3/4 cup (94 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) onion powder
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) buttermilk

For the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 g) garlic salt
  • 2/3 cup (158 ml) milk or half and half

Instructions
 

  • Pound 2 thin steaks to about 1/4” thick with a meat mallet.
  • Create two dredging stations: one with the flour, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, and one with the buttermilk.
  • Dredge the chicken to coat in the flour, then dip it in the buttermilk. Dredge it through the flour one more time, shaking off the excess.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil so the steak doesn’t stick.
  • Place the steak in the air fryer basket and spray the tops with oil. Cook on 400°F(205°C) for 8 minutes, flipping and spraying the tops halfway through.
  • To make the gravy, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Whisk occasionally.
  • Add the milk and whisk. Cook until slightly thickened. If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk or water to thin it out.
  • Serve the chicken fried steak with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Notes

  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil so the steak doesn’t stick.
  • Spray the chicken fried steak with oil so that there isn’t any dry flour showing. This will help the outside get nice and crispy.
  • The thinner you pound the steak the faster it will cook.
  • It’s best to check your meat always with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s reached the proper temperature.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 714kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 46gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 2366mgPotassium: 881mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 738IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 232mgIron: 6mg
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6 thoughts on “Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak

  1. Mark says:

    4 stars
    I hate frying things but love chicken fried steak. It took me a minute to get the hang of it. The best tip is to make sure that you spray the chicken well with oil so that the flour isn’t super dry. I will definitely make it again.

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