There is something so comforting about chicken fried steak, and making cast iron chicken fried steak is just the best of the best when it comes to comfort food!

If you need a true down home, stick to your bones, cure whatever ails you, fix that hang over type of meal, there is nothing better than chicken fried steak. You’ve got protein, carbs, grease, butter, salt, all of the good stuff, bad stuff, in between stuff, and gravy on top. Oh man. I love it all!

That first and last bite is just something to behold. So many college hangover breakfasts out were had with chicken fried steak. Soaking up the bad decisions of the night before and it is shocking to me that it’s taken 13 years of the blog to realize I haven’t put a chicken fried steak recipe on here until now!

What is chicken fried steak?

Chicken fried steak is a Southern dish that is tenderized cube steak that has been dredged in egg, seasoned flour, and then pan fried or deep fried until cooked through and dark and crispy. Then it is served with a white country gravy on top. Extra points to you if you toss an egg on top.

But there are other variations of it as well! You can have chicken fried chicken, making it with breaded chicken cutlets. Or “country fried steak” making it with a brown gravy instead of a white pan gravy. There are traditions to it and regions who will fight you over which is better.

For me, just make it in a cast iron skillet and I’m happy.

What Kind of Meat Is Used for Chicken Fried Steak?

Traditionally tenderized beef cube steaks are used for this chicken fried steak recipe. These are used because they are typically cheaper cuts from the round, or hind, of the steer. They don’t have the same flavor profile as other more tender cuts of beef. Because of these hind cuts these more dense muscles are the ones that “do the work” they are dense, and require more tenderizing. To do this, they are “cubed” and processed through a tenderizer to create the look and create a thin piece of meat that is uniform and easy to fry.

Frying helps keep these tender, but if overcooked they can become tough.

Can you use other cuts of beef for this? Yes!

Other cuts you can use can be steak tips, or sirloin tips, flap meat, or buy a sirloin steak and cut it yourself creating a cross hatch pattern in it to create a ragged look for the flour to get in there and get seasoning all in the nooks and crannies. The possibilities are there. You want to build in flavor wherever possible.

But in the end, do whatever is best for your budget, your tastebuds, and your means to get yourself your cast iron chicken fried steak!

Ingredients for Chicken Fried Steak

  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Baking powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Eggs
  • Whole milk, preferred – but use what you have
  • Beef flap meat, cut into four 4-ounce pieces or sirloin tips. See above why!
  • Peanut or vegetable oil

More Inspired Homemade Recipes To Try

Roasted Garlic Sage and White Wine Gravy

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Steak Mushroom and Squash Quesadilla

Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

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Cast Iron Chicken Fried Steak

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  • Author: Megan Keno
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 46 Servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Cast Iron
  • Cuisine: American


There is something so comforting about chicken fried steak, and making cast iron chicken fried steak is just the best of the best when it comes to comfort food!


Units Scale


  • 1 3/4 cups Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Whole milk
  • 1 1/2 pound Beef flap meat, cut into four 4-ounce pieces – *See Notes In Post about Meat To Use*
  • 1 1/22 cups peanut or vegetable oil


  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup finely minced Onion
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Milk, preferred
  • 1/23/4 tsp Salt, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper



  1. Whisk flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper in large bowl. Transfer 1 cup seasoned flour mixture to shallow dish.
  2. Beat eggs in second shallow dish.
  3. Add milk to bowl with remaining flour mixture and rub with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal.


  1. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Using a meat pounder, pound steaks to between 1/8 and ¼ inch thick.
  3. One at a time, coat steaks lightly with seasoned flour again, dip in egg mixture, and then transfer to bowl with milk and flour mixture, pressing to adhere.
  4. Arrange steaks on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate 15 minutes (or up to 4 hours); do not discard milk and flour mixture.


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in large Dutch, or 12 inch cast iron skillet, oven over medium-high heat until just smoking.
  3. Return 2 steaks to bowl with milk and flour mixture and turn to coat.
  4. Fry 2 steaks until deep golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer to clean wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
  6. Repeat with remaining steaks. Serve.


  1. Pour out all oil from the cast iron pan or Dutch oven from the frying of the chicken fried steak. No need to wipe clean or wash.
  2. Over medium heat, add in the butter. Once melted add in the onion and simmer until just beginning to brown at the edges, about 4 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir until they are coated. Add in the garlic powder.
  4. Slowly stir in the chicken broth, milk, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  6. Taste. If additional salt is needed, add in.
  7. Serve over chicken fried steak.



Cube steak is not the preferred option in this recipe, but can be used as it is the “traditional” meat for chicken fried steak. Here, because it is more tender and more flavorful, steak tips, sirloin steak, or flap meat are the preferable options.