Juicy Chicken-Fried Steak Recipe – Tender and Full of Beefy Flavor

Best Chicken-Fried Steak Recipe: Unbelievably Tender with Rich Beef Flavor

Discover the secret to making the most tender, flavorful, and crunchy chicken-fried steak you’ve ever tasted!

Chicken-fried steak is a beloved Southern classic that combines the best of both worlds: juicy beef and crispy fried chicken coating. This Texas-inspired dish is perfect for those who crave comfort food with a hearty kick. Our recipe will guide you through creating a restaurant-quality chicken-fried steak right in your own kitchen.

The key to an exceptional chicken-fried steak lies in selecting the right cut of beef and perfecting the breading technique. We’ll show you how to achieve that golden, craggy crust that stays crispy even when smothered in rich pepper gravy. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this irresistible Southern staple!

The Perfect Steak Selection

While many recipes call for cube steak, we’ve found that sirloin tip offers superior taste and tenderness. This cut strikes the perfect balance between affordability and quality, ensuring a melt-in-your-mouth texture that will have everyone asking for seconds.

To prepare the steaks, we’ll pound them to an even thickness, allowing for quick and uniform cooking. This step is crucial in achieving that ideal tenderness that sets apart a great chicken-fried steak from a mediocre one.

Mastering the Breading

The magic of chicken-fried steak lies in its crispy, flavorful coating. Our unique breading process involves a triple-dip method:

  1. A cornstarch dredge for a thin, crisp base
  2. An egg and buttermilk wash for rich flavor and binding
  3. A seasoned flour mixture with a touch of buttermilk for that signature craggy texture

This technique ensures a light yet crunchy crust that locks in the steak’s juices and stands up to our peppery gravy.

Frying to Perfection

Deep-frying is the secret to achieving an evenly golden, thoroughly crispy exterior. By using a Dutch oven or wok, we create the ideal environment for our steaks to reach crispy, golden-brown perfection without compromising their texture.

Crafting the Ultimate Pepper Gravy

No chicken-fried steak is complete without a generous ladleful of creamy pepper gravy. Our gravy recipe utilizes the flavorful frying oil as a base, building layers of taste that complement the crispy steak beautifully. The result is a rich, peppery sauce that ties the whole dish together.

Ultimate Crispy Chicken-Fried Steak Recipe


For the Steaks:

  • 4 long, thin sirloin tip steaks (about 2 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 quarts peanut or canola oil

For the Gravy:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable, canola, or peanut oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste


  1. Prepare the steaks: Pat dry and pound to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Season with salt.
  2. Set up breading station: Cornstarch in one dish, egg and 2/3 cup buttermilk whisked in another, and seasoned flour mixture in a third. Add remaining buttermilk to flour and mix until coarse.
  3. Bread the steaks: Dredge in cornstarch, then egg mixture, then seasoned flour. Rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Fry the steaks: Heat oil to 375°F (190°C). Fry steaks one at a time until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.
  5. Make the gravy: Heat 1/4 cup frying oil in a saucepan. Whisk in flour until light brown. Gradually add milk and pepper. Simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season to taste.
  6. Serve steaks topped with hot gravy and enjoy your homemade chicken-fried steak masterpiece!

Pro Tips for Chicken-Fried Steak Success

  • Let the breaded steaks rest before frying for better crust adhesion
  • Maintain oil temperature for consistent results
  • Make extra gravy – it’s that good!
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1020 Calories
63g Fat
40g Carbs
70g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1020
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 63g 81%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 251mg 84%
Sodium 935mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 70g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 297mg 23%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 1067mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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