How long to fry chicken-fried steak?

Introduction: What is chicken-fried steak?

Chicken-fried steak is a Southern comfort food that is loved by many. It is a tenderized piece of beef that is coated in a seasoned flour mixture and then fried until it’s crispy and golden brown. Despite its name, chicken-fried steak does not contain any chicken. It is called "chicken-fried" because it is prepared in the same manner as fried chicken.

Chicken-fried steak is typically served with a creamy gravy made from pan drippings, flour, and milk. This dish is often accompanied by mashed potatoes, green beans, or corn. It is a hearty meal that is perfect for any occasion, from a casual family dinner to a special event.

Preparing the steak: Thickness and tenderizing

To prepare the perfect chicken-fried steak, you need to choose the right cut of beef. Sirloin, round, or cube steak are all excellent options. The steak should be about 1/2 inch thick so that it cooks evenly. Before breading the steak, it is important to tenderize it to ensure that it is not tough. You can use a meat mallet to pound the steak until it is about 1/4 inch thick.

Preparing the breading: Flour, egg and spices

The breading for chicken-fried steak is made from a mixture of flour, egg, and spices. To make the breading, whisk together one or two eggs in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine flour with salt, black pepper, and any other seasonings you like. Mix the flour mixture well so that the spices are evenly distributed. Dip the steak into the egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Then, dredge the steak in the flour mixture, pressing the flour into the steak to ensure that it is evenly coated.

Choosing the right oil: Smoke point and flavor

The oil you use to fry your chicken-fried steak is important because it affects the flavor and texture of the dish. You should choose an oil that has a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil. These oils can be heated to a high temperature without smoking or burning. You should also consider the flavor of the oil. Some oils have a neutral flavor, while others have a distinct taste that can add to the overall flavor of the dish.

Heating the oil: Temperature and caution

Before frying your chicken-fried steak, you need to heat the oil to the correct temperature. The oil should be heated to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a deep frying thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. It is important to be cautious when heating the oil. Do not leave the stove unattended while the oil is heating. Keep a lid nearby in case of a grease fire.

Frying the steak: Time and turning

When the oil is hot, carefully place the breaded steak into the pan. Fry the steak for 3-4 minutes on each side, until it is golden brown and crispy. Use tongs to turn the steak over so that it cooks evenly. Do not overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the oil temperature to drop and result in soggy steak.

Checking for doneness: Internal temperature and color

To ensure that the chicken-fried steak is cooked to perfection, you need to check the internal temperature. The steak should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. The steak should also be a golden brown color on the outside.

Resting the steak: Letting the juices settle

After frying the chicken-fried steak, it is important to let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to settle and the steak to become more tender. Place the steak on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Serving the steak: Gravy and side dishes

Chicken-fried steak is traditionally served with a creamy gravy made from pan drippings, flour, and milk. To make the gravy, whisk together the pan drippings with flour and milk until it thickens. Serve the chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes, green beans, or corn.

Conclusion: Perfecting your chicken-fried steak

With these tips and tricks, you can perfect your chicken-fried steak and impress your family and friends. Remember to choose the right cut of beef, tenderize it, and coat it in a seasoned flour mixture. Choose an oil with a high smoke point and heat it to the correct temperature. Fry the steak for 3-4 minutes on each side, until it is golden brown and crispy. Check the internal temperature and color to ensure that it is cooked to perfection. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before serving it with gravy and your favorite side dishes.

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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