Chicken Fried Steak Air Fryer Recipe : A Comprehensive Guide

chicken fried steak air fryer recipe

Are you craving a crispy and juicy chicken fried steak but want to cut back on the oil and calories? Look no further! With the help of an air fryer, you can enjoy a delicious and guilt-free version of this classic dish. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the food science behind air frying, culinary details to consider, selection of ingredients, cleaning and maintenance of your air fryer, step-by-step preparation instructions, useful tips and variations, how to check for doneness, and finally, a mouthwatering recipe to satisfy your taste buds.

Understanding the Food Science

To truly appreciate the benefits of air frying, it’s important to understand the science behind it. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy outer layer without the need for excessive oil. The rapid circulation of heated air allows the Maillard reaction (a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars) to take place, which is responsible for the browning and flavor development. This means you can achieve a crispy texture similar to deep frying while using only a fraction of the oil.

Culinary Details to Consider

When making chicken fried steak in an air fryer, there are a few culinary details to keep in mind. Firstly, thin cuts of steak work best for even and quick cooking. Look for cuts like cube steak or minute steak, which are typically tenderized and have a uniform thickness.

Secondly, the breading plays a crucial role in creating that irresistible texture. A combination of flour, breadcrumbs, and spices is typically used. The flour helps the breading adhere to the steak, while the breadcrumbs add a satisfying crunch. Feel free to experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste preferences.

Selecting the Right Ingredients

chicken fried steak

To achieve the best results, select fresh and high-quality ingredients. When it comes to the steak, choose cuts that are well-marbled for maximum flavor and tenderness. Additionally, opt for organic and pasture-raised meats whenever possible for ethical and sustainable choices.

As for the breading ingredients, consider using whole wheat or gluten-free flour for a healthier alternative. Look for breadcrumbs made from whole grains or experiment with panko breadcrumbs for an extra crispy texture. Finally, gather your favorite herbs and spices to enhance the flavor profile of the dish.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Your Air Fryer

chicken fried steak

Before diving into the recipe, ensure that your air fryer is clean and in good working condition. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.

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Here are a few general tips for cleaning an air fryer:

  1. Allow your air fryer to cool down completely before cleaning.
  2. Remove any leftover food or grease from the basket and tray.
  3. Use warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge to clean the removable parts.
  4. Wipe down the interior and exterior of the air fryer with a damp cloth.
  5. Ensure that all parts are completely dry before reassembling.

Regular cleaning and maintenance not only prolong the lifespan of your air fryer but also ensure that your dishes come out tasting their best.

Step-by-Step Preparation Instructions

close up view of air fried chicken fried steak

Now that you understand the food science and have prepared your ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step preparation for chicken fried steak in an air fryer.

Step 1: Preparing the Steak

  1. Start by removing the steak from the refrigerator and allowing it to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  2. Pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  3. Season both sides of the steak generously with salt and pepper, or your preferred seasoning blend.

Step 2: Creating the Breading Station

  1. In one shallow dish, combine flour, salt, pepper, and any additional spices or herbs.
  2. In a separate shallow dish, whisk eggs until well beaten.
  3. In another dish, place the breadcrumbs.

Step 3: Breading the Steak

  1. Dip each steak into the flour mixture, ensuring it is coated evenly on both sides.
  2. Shake off any excess flour before dipping the steak into the beaten eggs.
  3. Allow any excess egg to drip off before pressing the steak into the breadcrumbs, ensuring full coverage.
  4. Set the breaded steak aside on a plate.

Step 4: Preparing the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly coat the air fryer basket or tray with cooking spray or brush with a small amount of oil.

Step 5: Air Frying the Steak

  1. Place the breaded steaks in a single layer in the preheated air fryer.
  2. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the steak is golden brown and cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  3. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the steak and the model of your air fryer, so keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking.

Step 6: Serving and Enjoying

  1. Once the chicken fried steaks are cooked to perfection, carefully remove them from the air fryer and allow them to rest for a few minutes.
  2. Serve hot with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, gravy, or steamed vegetables.
  3. Remember to garnish with fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra burst of flavor.
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Useful Tips and Variations

close up view of air fried chicken fried steak

  • For an extra crispy coating, lightly spray or brush the breaded steaks with oil before air frying.
  • Experiment with different seasonings or spice blends to customize the flavor of your chicken fried steak.
  • To make a healthier version, try using a combination of almond flour and crushed cornflakes as your breading.
  • If you prefer a gluten-free option, replace the flour and breadcrumbs with gluten-free alternatives.
  • Add a dash of hot sauce or spices like paprika or cayenne pepper to the egg mixture for a spicy kick.
  • For a more indulgent version, sprinkle grated cheese over the breaded steak before air frying.

Checking for Doneness

To ensure your chicken fried steak is cooked to perfection, use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature of the steak should reach a minimum of 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, 160°F (71°C) for medium, or 170°F (77°C) for well-done.

Chicken Fried Steak Air Fryer Recipe

Now, it’s time to put everything together and enjoy this delicious and healthier version of chicken fried steak. Here’s a simple recipe that will leave your taste buds craving for more.


  • 4 thin-cut steak pieces (cube steak or minute steak)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (or panko breadcrumbs)
  • Cooking spray or oil for greasing


  1. Follow steps 1-6 mentioned in the preparation instructions section.
  2. Serve hot and enjoy the guilt-free crispy goodness of your air-fried chicken fried steak!

Remember to have fun experimenting with different seasonings, breading options, and accompaniments to make this recipe your own.


Air frying has revolutionized the way we cook our favorite dishes, and chicken fried steak is no exception. With the right ingredients, proper preparation techniques, and an air fryer, you can indulge in a flavorful and crispy meal without the guilt. So, gather your ingredients, clean your air fryer, and follow the step-by-step instructions provided in this comprehensive guide to create a mouthwatering chicken fried steak that will truly satisfy your cravings. Happy cooking!

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    FAQS On Chicken Fried Steak Air Fryer Recipe

    Can I Make Chicken Fried Steak In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can definitely make chicken fried steak in an air fryer! It is a healthier alternative to the traditional deep-fried method.

    What Is The Cooking Time For Chicken Fried Steak In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time for chicken fried steak in an air fryer may vary depending on the model and size of the steak. Generally, it takes about 12-15 minutes at 400°F (200°C) to cook a ½ inch thick chicken fried steak to perfection.

    How Do I Prepare The Chicken Fried Steak Before Air Frying?

    To prepare the chicken fried steak before air frying, you need to dredge it in a mixture of flour and spices, dip it in an egg mixture, and then coat it in breadcrumbs. This will create a crispy outer layer once air fried.

    Do I Need To Preheat The Air Fryer Before Cooking Chicken Fried Steak?

    Yes, it is recommended to preheat the air fryer before cooking chicken fried steak. Preheating ensures that the steak cooks evenly and gives a crispy texture to the outer coating.

    Can I Use Frozen Chicken Fried Steak In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can use frozen chicken fried steak in an air fryer. However, the cooking time will increase, and it is advisable to thaw the steak in the refrigerator before cooking for even results.

    What Is The Best Oil To Use For Air Frying Chicken Fried Steak?

    When air frying chicken fried steak, it is best to use oils with a high smoke point such as canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. These oils can withstand the high cooking temperatures of an air fryer without producing excessive smoke or off-flavors.

    How Do I Prevent The Chicken Fried Steak From Getting Dry In The Air Fryer?

    To prevent the chicken fried steak from getting dry in the air fryer, you can brush a small amount of oil on the steak before cooking. Additionally, make sure not to overcook the steak, as it can lead to dryness. It is advisable to use a meat thermometer to ensure the steak reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for optimal juiciness.