Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak is made with cubed steak to create a crispy and tender weeknight meal. Cover it with the 3-ingredient gravy for a true Southern-style dish.
I love to make this recipe and pair it with one of my favorite air fryer vegetables as a side. It’s quick to make and the kids love it!
While this recipe is called chicken fried steak, there’s actually no chicken in the ingredient list! This southern classic gets its name from how the steak is cooked.
It’s cooked using the same process as fried chicken, so it was named chicken fried steak — or you can call it country fried steak too. But either way, there is no chicken in this recipe. It’s made with beef cube steaks instead.
In this post I will teach you:
- What cube steaks are
- How to make air fryer country fried steak
- Tips for making chicken fried steak in the air fryer
- How to make an easy 3-ingredient homemade gravy to go along with this recipe
- How to reheat chicken fried steak in the air fryer
- How to cook frozen country fried steak in the air fryer
- What to serve with this recipe
What is a Cube Steak?
Cube steaks are essentially a cut of steak, like top sirloin or top round, that is tenderized and flattened.
A cube steak gets its name from the indentations from being tenderized.
You can buy cubed steaks already tenderized or you can buy a top sirloin, cut it into pieces, and tenderize it using a meat tenderizer or mallet. I like to use my OXO Good Grips meat tenderizer because it’s inexpensive and gets the job done.
Try These Other Great Air Fryer Recipes:
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Ribeye Steak
- Air Fryer Skirt Steak
- Air Fried Green Tomatoes
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Patties
- Air Fryer Sirloin Steak
- Pork Steaks in the Air Fryer
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees and cut your cube steak into 4 to 6 pieces and use a mallet to tenderize if needed.
I like to buy packs that are already tenderized at the store. They look very similar to ground beef but lay flat like steak patties.
STEP TWO: In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, salt, paprika, and pepper. Mix ingredients together. In a second bowl, whisk the egg and water together.
STEP THREE: Take a piece of your cube steak and cover it in the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture and back into the flour mixture, making sure all sides are coated each time.
Repeat with remaining cubed steak pieces.
STEP FOUR: Place the country fried steak in the air fryer side by side.
If your air fryer sticks at all, spray it with an EVO Oil Mister before placing the chicken fried steak down. You can also use an air fryer parchment round to help with clean up as well.
STEP FIVE: Cook the air fryer cube steak for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping it and spraying it with additional oil, if needed, halfway through cooking. It’s okay for the inside to have a little pink, but the internal temperature should read AT LEAST 145 degrees for it to be done.
I like to use my Kizen Instant-Read Thermometer to check on my meats quickly while air frying to keep as much heat in the air fryer as possible.
STEP SIX: Remove the chicken fried steak from the air fryer, let rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy!
How to Make an Easy Gravy with Air Fryer Cube Steaks
This homemade gravy recipe is so quick and easy these directions can be followed while the air fryer country fried steak is cooking!
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat.
- Slowly whisk in the flour, milk, salt, and pepper and continue to cook on medium heat until thickened. You can add more milk until your desired consistency is reached!
- Remove the gravy from the stove, pour over the chicken fried steak, and enjoy!
Tips for Making Country Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer
- Buy your meat already tenderized for a quick weeknight dinner.
- Season the cube steaks with a little salt and pepper and let them sit for about 5 minutes before dredging them in the flour and egg. This will allow the seasoning to set into the cube steaks.
- Tap the cubed steaks to remove any excess flour before placing each piece in the air fryer. Otherwise, the extra flour will fly off the steak while cooking.
- Use parchment rounds with holes in them to help clean up afterward. The holes allow the air to still circulate and are super cheap to buy.
- If using racks, flip the racks halfway through cooking for even cooking. Otherwise, your top rack will cook faster than your bottom rack.
- Do not overcrowd your air fryer with chicken fried steak. The steak should lie flat in one layer not touching for best results. This allows more air movement for even cooking
How to Reheat Chicken Fried Steak in the Air Fryer
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
- Place the leftover chicken fried steak in the air fryer and cook for about 3 minutes until warmed. I like to give it a spray of oil using my EVO Oil Mister before cooking on both sides.
- Remove the cube steaks from the air fryer and enjoy!
How to Cook Frozen Country Fried Steak in the Air Fryer
I love to run to the grocery store, like Walmart and pick up frozen chicken fried steaks. My favorites have been from Fast Fixin and Tyson. They’re incredibly easy to make using the directions below.
- Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees.
- Place the frozen country fried steaks in the air fryer and cook for 4 to 6 minutes.
- Remove the chicken fried steaks from the air fryer and enjoy!
I love to make a quick batch of the homemade gravy above to eat over top as well if the prepackaged kind is already gone.
What Can I Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak?
Or try these other Air Fryer Vegetable options here!
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Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
An easy air fried chicken fried steak recipe made with a quick homemade gravy.
- 1 pound cube steak, cut into 4 to 6 portions
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup water
For the Gravy
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees.
- Remove the cube steaks from the fridge and place them on a cutting board.
- In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- In a second bowl, combine the egg and water and whisk.
- Take each portion of the cube steak and dip it into the flour mixture, the egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture making sure it is fully coated.
- Place each piece of chicken fried steak in the air fryer in one layer and cook for 12 to 15, flipping and spraying with oil on both sides halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, prepare the gravy by melting the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat and slowly whisking in the flour, milk, salt, and pepper. Cook until thickened then remove from heat. You can add more milk to get the consistency you like.
- Remove the chicken fried steak from the air fryer and pour the gravy over top before serving.
How to Reheat Country Fried Steak in the Air Fryer
1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
2. Cook the country fried steak for 3 to 4 minutes until heated* (spritz with a little oil if it looks dry halfway through) then remove from the air fryer and enjoy!
*if cubed steaks already have gravy on top, use an air fryer pan for easy cleanup.
How to Cook Frozen Country Fried Steak in the Air Fryer
1. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees.
2. Cook the chicken fried steak for 5 to 6 minutes then enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 491mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 36g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.
10 thoughts on “Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak”
What did I do wrong? The taste is great but I still had a flour coating on top of the nice crust? New to air frying. Thanks!
Hi Jan, I would shake off as much excess flour as your possibly can before air frying it and then give it a good spray with the oil sprayer while cooking and that should make the flour crisp up without having the extra on top.
You can also let it sit, coated, for 5-10 minutes before air frying. The moisture from the egg and meat will be absorbed into the flour making it like a light batter. No more dry flour on your steak when it’s done.
Sounds yummy! I’m going to try it tonight! Can I suggest just one additional ingredient? Try adding some corn meal to the flour! I’d say about 1/3 of a cup to that amount of flour! You won’t believe how much this improves the flavor! My grandma use to make it the old fashioned way but her secret was the corn meal! It’s my standard go to when frying chicken or this! Just give it a try! I’d love to hear what people think!! My grandkids request it every time they visit!! 👍
I love that idea, Tracy! I love the texture of cornmeal for fried green tomatoes and okra. I’ve never tried it with chicken fried steak, so now I just may need to try it!
Thanks for the tip! Going to try it tonight and I’ll be sure to add the cornmeal!
Why is cook time for frozen steaks less than for fresh steaks? Is it supposed to be 5 to 6 minutes longer than the fresh ones which says 12 to 15 minutes?
The frozen chicken fried steaks are the ones you buy in the store that are precooked, so they take shorter to cook. If you were to cook raw frozen chicken fried steaks in there, it would take more time than fresh.
I made this tonight in my Instant Pot Vortex Oven. I reduced the salt and doubled the black pepper. It was delicious. It didn’t crisp up as much as I thought it would. I’m having the same issue with a lot of dishes. The meat temperature was spot on. If I had cooked it any longer the meat would have been overcooked. I’ve cooked essentially the same recipe in cast-iron for years with no issues. I’m doing something wrong. Any advice would be welcomed.
It’s possible it could be your air fryer. I had to return a Ninja Foodi Oven last year because it didn’t crisp up the food and cook things as well as my other air fryer. The basket air fryers will get you a nice crispy outside you want. If your air fryer goes up higher than 400 degrees, I would recommend trying to cook the foods 20-30 degrees higher than usual.