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How To Make Chicken Fried Steak without Buttermilk

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  • Author: Tonya | The Midwest Kitchen Blog
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Brine time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Southern


Perfectly crispy, crunchy, and juicy, this easy Chicken Fried Steak recipe is a family favorite! Made without buttermilk, this is a dairy-free version of a classic Southern recipe. 



Skirt Steak

  • 1 1/2 lb beef skirt steak* (or Tenderized round steak/ cubed steak)
  • 4 eggs, whisked


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Remove any silver skin from the outside of the meat with a sharp knife or pair of kitchen scissors. If you are using cubed steak, skip this step. 
  2. In a large pot add water, salt, and lemon juice. Mix until the salt is completely dissolved, then add the beef skirt steak. Allow the meat to brine for 1- 2 hours or at least 30 minutes.
  3. Set up your drenching stations. Eggs onto one plate, and flour with all the seasonings onto another plate. Line two sheet pans with wire racks, one for the raw meat and one for the cooked meat. Have 2 pairs of tongs nearby, one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Remove meat from the brine then pat dry. Using a meat mallet, hammer the meat until it is 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Don’t skip this step** - this is very important for tender chicken fried steak. Next, cut the meat into 4-inch strips.
  5. Working with one piece of meat at a time, dip the meat into the flour mixture to coat, then the egg mixture then the flour one last time. Transfer raw meat to one of the sheet pans. Repeat with the remaining skirt steak pieces. 
  6. Heat a large cast iron skillet with 2 - 3 inches of vegetable oil. Once hot gently add the meat to the oil. Cook on both sides until golden brown ( 5 - 7 minutes). Transfer the meat to the wire rack to drain. Repeat the steps with the remaining meat. 
  7. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!


*I am using skirt steak that hasn't been tenderized but you can use pre-tenderized or cubed steak instead.

**If you are using tenderized skirt steak or cubed steak you don’t need to do this step, because the butcher already did. 

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