This Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak is the perfect weeknight comfort food meal. These are easy to make and require much less oil than deep frying. The breading is full of herbs and spices and the egg wash has buffalo sauce for extra kick. These crispy fried steaks are finished with a peppery white gravy. This recipe is one of my favorites!
The air fryer can really do it all from cooking Crispy Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings to Air Fryer S'mores Pie. It is my favorite kitchen appliance.
If you love hearty dinner recipes, try this Dutch Oven Beef Stew.
If you love lighten up versions of classic comfort foods, try my Healthy Beef Stroganoff Recipe.
What is Cube Steak?
Cube steak is an inexpensive cut of beef from the top round or sirloin typically. It is tenderized by being run through a machine that leaves small lines on the steak, hence the name. You can also tenderize a sirloin by using a meat mallet.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Crispy coating and juicy on the inside
- Much easier (and less stinky) than deep frying
- Peppery white gravy loaded on top
- Lots of herb & spices
- Panko bread crumbs for extra crispiness
- Kid friendly
- Comfort food
- Learn how to make air fryer country fired steak, how to reheat chicken fried steak in the air fryer, and how to cook frozen country fried steak in the air fryer.
- Hot Sauce: This does not make the steaks spicy. It just adds another layer of flavor and dimension. Omit if desired, but I highly recommend it.
- Milk: Use milk with any fat content. I usually use skim milk because that is what we buy, but whole or reduced fat will work as well.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
- Set up the dredging station (egg wash and flour seasoned with spices, salt and pepper).
- Drop the steaks into the flour, then the egg wash, and finally the flour again.
- Preheat the air fryer.
- Air fry the steaks.
- Make the gravy.
Step by Step
Step 1: Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and set aside. Make the dredging station. You will need 2 shallow bowls or dishes and a plate. In one, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In the other, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
Step 2: With one hand (left) drop the steak into the flour mixture. Fully coat the steak in the flour mixture, pressing it onto the steak and shaking off any excess flour.
TIP - Be sure to shake all excess flour off. This will prevent the coating from becoming too thick and falling off.
Step 3: Drop the steak into the egg mixture.
Step 4: Using the other hand (right), remove it from the egg mixture and place it back into the flour mixture. Using the other hand (left), coat the steak in flour once again. Press the mixture into the steak and be sure it is fully coated.
TIP - Using separate hands to dredge prevents your hands from becoming gummy and sticky.
Step 5: Shake off any excess and place on the plate.
Step 6: Repeat with the other steak. Set the steaks aside for 10 minutes to rest.
Step 7: Spray the air fryer basket generously. Heat the empty basket for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.
Step 8: Quickly remove the basket and place the steaks in it. Generously spray the tops of the steaks with oil.
TIP - Preheating the basket ensures that the steaks do not stick.
Step 9: Air fry for 4-6 minutes at 400 degrees. Time will vary depending on air fryer and thickness.
Step 10: While the steaks are air frying, prepare the gravy. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until a paste forms.
Step 11: Add the milk, salt, pepper, and garlic. Simmer on medium low until the gravy reaches desired thickness. It should coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.
Step 12: Flip the steaks gently. Spray again lightly with oil. Air fryer for another 6-7 minutes or until the steaks are golden and reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
TIP - The longer you cook the gravy, the thicker it will become.
Recipe Serving Suggestions
You are only a few steps away from a full southern feast. Here are some of the best sides to serve with chicken fried steak:
- Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes
- Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts
- Panera Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese
- Air Fryer Baby Carrots
- Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls
- Southern Instant Pot Green Beans
- Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
Expert Tips & Variations
- Use the dry hand, wet hand method for dredging. Use one hand for the dry ingredients and a separate hand for the wet. This prevents your hands from becoming a sticky mess which makes it harder to bread the steaks.
- Let the steaks rest. Once the steaks are coated, let them sit for about 10 minutes so that the breading can adhere.
- Preheat the air fryer. You want the basket to be hot when it comes in contact with the breaded steak. This helps it to not stick.
- Use a generous amount of spray oil. Be liberal when greasing the basket and the steaks. The oil helps the steaks to get crispy and golden. I like to use avocado oil or olive oil spray. Olive oil spray will sometimes burn or turn brown but I have not noticed it affecting the flavor of the steak. Note: Even a generous amount of spray oil is still far less than deep frying.
- Do not overcook the gravy. The gravy will continue to thicken the longer that is cooked. Once the gravy is removed from the heat and begins to cool, it will thicken even more.
- Make it low carb (keto). (I have not tested this version personally.) Try swapping the panko for ⅓ cup crushed pork rinds. Swap the ⅔ cup all purpose flour for ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese and ⅓ cup of almond flour.
- Make it extra spicy. Use anywhere for ½ - 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead of ¼ teaspoon.
How To Reheat Leftovers
This will work for leftover homemade country fried steak, or leftovers from a restaurant.
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes (heat the empty basket at 400).
- Place the leftover steak in the basket.
- Spray generously with cooking spray.
- Air fry at 360 degrees for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.
How To Cook Frozen Country Fried Steak
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes (heat the empty basket at 400).
- Place the frozen chicken fried steaks in the basket.
- Spray generously with cooking spray.
- Air fry at 380 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until browned. Flip halfway through.
This method does not work as well as the air fryer. The breading does not get as crispy.
- Place an oven safe cooling rack on a baking sheet. Grease the rack and place it in the oven while it preheats. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake the steak on the rack for about 6 minutes and flip. Bake for another 4-5 minutes.
- Broil on high at the end if needed until golden brown.
Yes. Just be sure to use a dry batter and egg wash and not a wet batter. Wet batter will just melt off during cooking.
It depends on the thickness of the steak but anywhere from 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees.
Here are a few tips: shake excess flour off, let the breaded meat rest before cooking, cook at a high temperature, and do not move the steak around while cooking (other than to gently flip).
More Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Chicken Fried Steak
- 2 (6 ounce) cube steaks or thinly pound sirloin steaks
- spray oil
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne, optional
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon buffalo hot sauce*
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and set aside. Make the dredging station. You will need 2 shallow bowls or dishes and a plate. In one, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In the other, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
- With one hand (left) drop the steak into the flour mixture. Fully coat the steak in the flour mixture, pressing it onto the steak and shaking off any excess flour.
- Drop the steak into the egg mixture.
- Using the other hand (right), remove it from the egg mixture and place it back into the flour mixture. Using the other hand (left), coat the steak in flour once again. Press the mixture into the steak and be sure it is fully coated.
- Shake off any excess and place on the plate.
- Repeat with the other steak. Set the steaks aside for 10 minutes to rest.
- Spray the air fryer basket generously. Heat the empty basket for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Quickly remove the basket and place the steaks in it. Generously spray the tops of the steaks with oil.
- Air fry for 7-8 minutes at 400 degrees. Time will vary depending on air fryer and thickness.
- While the steaks are air frying, prepare the gravy. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until a paste forms.
- Add the milk, salt, pepper, and garlic. Simmer on medium low until the gravy reaches desired thickness. It should coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.
- Flip the steaks gently. Spray again lightly with oil. Air fryer for another 6-7 minutes or until the steaks are golden and reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
- Serve with gravy on top.
Are chicken fried steak is my son’s favorite meal! I’m planning to make it for our family for his birthday. I’m going to have to do several batches. How would you suggest I keep it warm? Oven?
Awesome! Yes, keep them warn in the oven on about 200 degrees. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet to set them on so the bottoms do not get soggy. They will be best right out of the air fryer though!
This was delicious!!! I used a packet of prepared gravy but the chicken fried steak was crispy, tender, and flavorful. Thank you!!
This was delicious!!!
Amy Liu Dong
It is so easy and delicious.
My kids love it so much!
Loved how super crispy these turned out and using my air fryer to make them was a bonus. Always looking for air fryer recipes like this. Thank you.
love a good air fryer dish! so easy and delicious!
Definitely a perfect comfort food recipe for midweek. We used gluten free panko and it turned out so yummy!
Just curious, can chicken be used in this recipe instead of cube steak?
I have not tested it!
Just made this for dinner tonight! My husband loved it! We are trying to eat healthier and the way the steak was cooked didn't feel heavy or greasy. I'm currently 8 months pregnant and been having a hard time moving around but this was so simple to make. Thank you so much for a quick and easy recipe. ?
Awesome! It is definitely a lighter option.
I have never in my life deep fried a chicken fried steak. Cook them in my electric fry pan with just enough oil to cover the bottom. Then turn the steak over and cook on other side. And you make the gravy right in the electric fry pan with the drippings. Best ever. I am going to try the air fryer I was given at Christmas. But using soda crackers rolled fine like I do the old way. No flour. kneed the crackers into the steak with the knuckles of your hand. No water in the eggs, maybe a little butter milk.. Hope they are as good as the old way
Loved how quickly this recipe came together! Was so flavorful and delicious! Thanks for sharing:)
Wow! Just got an air fryer for Christmas and this was one of the first recipes besides veggies that I tried.
My new range includes an air fryer mode and tray for the oven. How would you prepare this chicken fried steak in this device? Thanks
I have only made this recipe using a basket air fryer!
Maybe it's because of my Tex-Czech culture but I can't understand making cream gravy without pan drippings from frying the CFS traditionally in the frying pan. The flavor is unbeatable! The method in this recipe is too bland (like paste) but we also don't use any spices on the steak itself except fresh chopped garlic which we use to marinade the steaks but scrape off before breading. So, I'm trying to figure how to get the "drippings" from air fried cfs--maybe use bacon drippings?
You cannot make a brown gravy when deep frying, since there are no drippings. Since chicken fried steak is traditionally deep fried, it is typically paired with a white gravy. The chicken fried steak is quite flavorful and pairs well with the white gravy. Hope that clears up the confusion!
So good! I used gluten-free panko and it turned out perfect!