Cracker Barrel Country Fried Steak is one of the most popular items on the menu. Homemade country fried steak is delicious comfort food, especially when served with gravy.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
What Makes the Cracker Barrel Country Fried Steak So Good?
Simple, inexpensive, and hearty, Cracker Barrel Country Fried Steak is the ultimate hunger buster. It’s a signature dish on the restaurant’s menu. This recipe combines everyone’s favorite part of fried chicken, the thick, crispy coating, with a tender, perfectly pan-fried steak.
Pour on creamy sawmill gravy, add a side or two, and you can recreate the Country Fried Steak Cracker Barrel Old Country Store customers have been raving about for years!
Ingredients for Cracker Barrel Chicken Fried Steak
To make Cracker Barrel Chicken Fried Steak, you’ll need:
- Cube steak
- Saltine-style crackers crumbs
- All-purpose flour
- Black pepper
- Oil for frying
You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or other spices to suit your taste.
What Type of Meat Should You Use for Country Fried Steak
Keeping the meat succulent even after deep-frying requires tenderizing. The preferred method uses a machine called a cuber.
Running the beef several times through a cuber flattens it and cuts up the long fibers preventing them from seizing during cooking. Most supermarkets cube USDA choice budget cuts like bottom and top round steak or sirloin steak. If you have a cuber or meat tenderizer at home, you can use any quality of meat your want.
You can also use hamburger steak if you cannot find cube steak at your grocery store.
How to Bread the Steak
The best way to bread the steak for this copycat Cracker Barrel country fried steak recipe is by using the wet-hand / dry-hand breading method.
- Arrange three shallow containers in a row for a breading station. Place a wire rack on a baking tray, and put it at the end of the row.
- Put the AP flour in the first container.
- Combine the buttermilk and water in the second container.
- Mix the finely crushed saltines with salt and black pepper in the third shallow pan.
- Use one hand (your dry hand) to put the cube steak into the first container. Coat the steak with the flour mixture, and shake off the excess.
- Use the same hand to place the floured steak into the container with buttermilk and water.
- Use the other hand (your wet hand) to flip the steak over in the liquid. Transfer the steak into the container with the cracker crumbs with the same hand.
- Use your dry hand to steak with seasoned cracker crumbs, shake off excess, and put on the wire rack.
- Repeat until you bread all the steaks.
- Place the breaded steaks in the fridge until ready to fry.
How To Make Country Fried Steak Like Cracker Barrel
To finish cooking this Cracker Barrel Country Fried Steak recipe:
- Preheat your oven to WARM.
- Heat at least an inch of vegetable oil in a cast iron or large frying pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350°F on the stovetop. Use a thermometer to make sure the oil is at the correct temperature.
- Add one or two coated steaks at a time to the pan to avoid cooling the oil too much. Cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- Let the steaks cook on one side in the bottoms begin to brown nicely, about three to five minutes.
- Use tongs to flip the steaks away from you carefully. Cook for an additional two to four minutes until the steak is evenly browned on both sides. You may need additional vegetable oil for the batches.
- Remove the cooked chicken-fried steak from the pan. Drain on a paper towel and place in the preheated oven to stay warm.
- Serve country-fried steak with vegetable side dishes and bread. You can garnish with parsley if desired.
What Goes With Country Fried Steak
The only thing you have to serve with chicken fried steak is sawmill gravy. Sometimes called country gravy, sawmill gravy is a rich milk-based sauce flavored with meat drippings and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. You can check out the recipe for Cracker Barrel Sawmill Gravy.
Other than the requisite Sawmill Gravy, country sides and veggies like mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn on the cob make great sides. You can also serve chicken fried steak with buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, or corn muffins with real butter.
How To Store Leftover Country Fried Steak
To refrigerate for up to three days, wrap each cooled steak separately with a paper towel and put them in a container or wrap them with foil to seal in the freshness.
To freeze for up to three months, lay the steaks on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer until frozen solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe container.
How to Reheat Country Fried Steak
The best way to reheat Cracker Barrel Chicken Fried Steak is in the air fryer.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Thaw the steak if frozen, and cook for five minutes. Turn the steak over and cook for three to five minutes or until warm.
To reheat in an oven:
- Remove leftover chicken fried steaks from the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the country fried steak on a wire rack set on a baking tray.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, turning midway through.
Love Cracker Barrel? Try These Recipes
- Banana Pudding in a Jar
- Chicken Cornbread Casserole
- Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
- Cracker Barrel Roast Beef
- Cucumber Tomato and Onion Salad
- Southern Fried Chicken
Favorite Comfort Food Recipes
- American Chop Suey Recipe
- Braised Beef Shank
- Cabbage and Sausage Recipe
- Cheesy Crockpot Potatoes
- Homemade White Gravy
- Instant Pot Roast Beef and Gravy
- Pork Chops and Gravy
Cracker Barrel Country Fried Steak
- oil for frying
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup saltine cracker crumbs
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pound tenderized cube steaks
- Pour 3 to 4 inches of oil into a deep fryer or large pot, and heat the oil to 350°F.
- Combine the flour, cracker crumbs, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Mix well.
- In another shallow dish, combine the buttermilk and water. Mix well.
- Dip the cube steaks into the flour mixture and shake off the excess.
- Dip the flour-coated cube steaks into the buttermilk, shake off the excess.
- Dredge the cube steaks in the flour again.
- Place the breaded steaks on a wire rack resting on a baking sheet. Allow the breading to set up for 5 minutes. This helps to set the breading on the steak.
- Place the breaded steaks into the hot oil. Fry the steaks for 3 to 5 minutes on one side, until the sides of the meat start to brown and the top of the meat starts to cook.
- Gently flip the steaks away from you to avoid splashing hot oil onto yourself, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes on the other side.
- When both sides are golden brown and crispy, remove the steaks from the hot oil and drain on a clean wire rack over a baking sheet.