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Chicken Fried vs Country Fried Steak: Which is a Better Option?

In the land of comfort food, two giants stand tall. Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak battle for supremacy.

What’s the difference, you ask? Well, it’s all in the gravy.

We’ve eaten our way through plenty of both to get to the bottom of this. Our arteries might not thank us, but our taste buds are doing a happy dance.

One’s smothered in white gravy, the other in brown.

Sounds simple, right? Not so fast.

This is a showdown of flavor, texture, and, well, gravy. It’s a quest for comfort food glory.

Settle in. We’re about to deep-dive into this delicious dilemma.

What is Chicken Fried Steak?

Chicken fried steak is a popular southern dish that involves taking a piece of beef and tenderizing it with a mallet before coating it in eggs, flour, and bread crumbs.

The steak is then pan-fried until golden brown and served with creamy gravy made from the pan drippings.

The dish has been around for over a century and remains a staple in many southern households.

While some people confuse chicken fried steak with country fried steak, the two dishes are actually quite different.

Chicken fried steak is made using beef, while country fried steak can be made using pork or chicken.

Despite its name, there is no actual chicken in chicken fried steak.

The dish got its name because the cooking method used is similar to frying chicken.

In fact, some people even refer to it as “country-fried steak” to avoid confusion.

Overall, chicken fried steak is a delicious comfort food that has stood the test of time.

If you’re ever in the south, make sure to give it a try.

What is Country Fried Steak?

Country Fried Steak is a beloved dish commonly found in Southern cuisine.

It is a classic recipe that has been passed down from one generation to another.

This dish involves tenderizing beef, dipping it in a seasoned flour and pan-frying it until crisp.

It is then served with creamy gravy made from the drippings of the pan.

  • Country Fried Steak is made with beef, unlike chicken fried steak which uses chicken meat.
  • The process of making Country Fried Steak involves tenderizing the meat before breading it and frying it in oil.
  • The dish is traditionally served with creamy white gravy and often accompanied by mashed potatoes or vegetables on the side.

Some unique details about this dish include its history of being a budget-friendly meal during tough times, and the various regional variations in ingredients and preparation methods.

Overall, Country Fried Steak is a delicious option for those looking to indulge in some Southern comfort food.

Differences Between Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak

One of the most popular American foods, steaks hold a special place in people’s hearts.

However, when it comes to fried steaks, things can get confusing.

Although chicken fried steak and country fried steak may sound similar, they have some notable differences that set them apart.

For starters, the meat used in chicken fried steaks is usually tenderized beef, while country fried steak can be made from various types of meat such as beef or pork.

Additionally, the breading for chicken fried steak is usually made with flour and spices, whereas country fried steak breading is typically made with breadcrumbs.

The cooking method also differs between the two.

Chicken fried steak is typically pan-fried and then placed in the oven to finish cooking.

In contrast, country-fried steak is most often deep-fried or cooked in a skillet until browned.

It’s worth noting that while both are delicious options, chicken fried steak tends to be richer and heavier due to its flour-based breading.

Country-fried steak has a lighter texture thanks to its breadcrumb-based coating.

Coating and Breading

The crispy golden coating on chicken fried or country fried steak is often the star of the dish.

The choice between the two comes down to personal preference and regional influences.

Chicken fried steak is typically battered with a seasoned flour mix, while country fried steak is breaded with crushed saltine crackers or breadcrumbs.

Both options result in a crunchy texture that pairs well with gravy and sides.

However, it’s worth noting that some variations of these dishes may include additional seasonings or herbs in their coating or breading.

Some recipes may also use different types of flours for the batter, such as cornmeal or rice flour.

In terms of nutritional content, both dishes are typically high in calories and fat due to their deep-fried preparation.

However, choosing lean cuts of meat and opting for homemade versions can help reduce some of the unhealthy aspects.

Ultimately, whether you prefer chicken fried or country fried steak comes down to personal taste and cultural influences.

Both options provide a satisfying crunch and pair well with classic Southern sides like mashed potatoes and greens.

Type of Meat Used

The chicken and steak are the main ingredients for fried dishes, each with its unique properties.

Chicken Fried Steak is made using a thin cut of tenderized beef that is battered and fried until it is crispy and golden on the exterior while Country Fried Steak is prepared similarly but with a more substantial cut of meat.

This variation creates a crispy texture on the surface, along with a juicy interior.

The type of meat used affects the taste, texture, and consistency of the final dish.

Cooking Method

Fried Chicken and Country Fried Steak are two mouth-watering delicacies that are often confused with each other.

When it comes to cooking them, both follow different methods.

While one involves pounding the meat to flatten it before frying, the other is breaded and deep-fried.

The cooking method used for Chicken Fried and Country Fried Steak is where they differentiate from each other.

When preparing Chicken Fried Steak, the meat is pounded till it gets thin before breading and frying it in oil.

On the other hand, when making Country Fried Steak, the meat is also pounded but is first coated in a mixture of flour, egg and breadcrumbs before deep frying.

While both dishes are delicious, Chicken Fried Steak has less fat content as compared to Country Fried Steak due to its lesser proportion of breading.

Additionally, Country Fired Steak usually has high salt content because of seasonings added to the breading mix.

Regional Variations

As we move across different regions, there is a significant variation in food choices.

The reasons behind this difference can vary from climate to cultural influences.

One of these variations is the preparation of fried steak dishes which differ from region to region.

When it comes to fried steak dishes, two popular options that are often put side by side are chicken-fried and country-fried steak.

Although both dishes have country roots and may appear similar on the surface, they are prepared differently.

Chicken-fried steak is said to have originated in Texas while country-fried steak has its roots in the Southern United States.

The key difference between the two lies in the meat used for preparation, which can either be veal or beef.

Chicken-fried steak uses a more tenderized cut of beef which is coated with seasoned flour before being dipped into an egg wash and another coating of seasoned flour.

In contrast, country-fried steak uses a tougher cut of meat that needs to be pounded before cooking.

The coating process also differs as it is made with cracker crumbs instead of seasoned flour.

While both dishes can be delicious when prepared well, it’s up to individual preference which one they prefer.

What matters most is that the dish embodies regional culture and is enjoyed with family or friends.

Similarities Between Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak

The preparation of chicken fried steak and country fried steak might indicate an obvious gap but they share similarities.

Both dishes require beef, and the meat is coated in flour before submerging in hot oil until crispy.

The similarities between these steak dishes goes beyond their preparation method.

What distinguishes chicken fried steak from country fried steak is the use of a cream gravy as opposed to a brown gravy made from seasoned flour drippings in country fried steak.

Despite this distinction, both steaks present themselves with similar characteristics such as golden brown exterior and tender meat inside.

When it comes to the side dishes served with these steaks, they are similar as well.

Popular options include mashed potatoes or fries smothered in gravy, corn on the cob, coleslaw and green beans among others.

It’s important to note that while both dishes are tasty, especially when done right, they contain high levels of calories because of their deep-frying technique.

Health-wise, grilled or baked alternatives may be better options if one is watching their diet.

Flavor and Texture Comparison

This section delves into the distinct differences in the taste and texture of chicken fried and country fried steak.

The crispy, breaded exterior of chicken fried steak offers a satisfying crunch that compliments the tender cut of meat inside.

On the other hand, country fried steak often features a coarser breading that can result in a grittier texture.

Additionally, chicken fried steak traditionally features gravy while country fried steak may be served with a light dressing or without any sauce altogether.

Ultimately, the choice between these two classic Southern dishes comes down to personal preference.

Popular Side Dishes and Accompaniments

Amidst the wonder and excitement of trying chicken fried vs country fried steak, one cannot forget about the importance of side dishes and accompaniments.

Here’s a look at some popular options to complement these dishes without fail.

  • Mashed potatoes: Often an obvious choice but never fails to please, especially when paired with the rich gravy that usually coats chicken or country-fried steak.
  • Cornbread: A classic Southern staple, cornbread adds a whole new level of texture and flavor to any meal.
  • Collard greens: This traditional Southern side dish is perfect for adding some much-needed roughage to your plate and complements chicken or country fried steak like no other.
  • Macaroni and cheese: The perfect comfort food that pairs brilliantly with anything from fast food favorites to restaurant-quality dishes.

While most people tend to stick with these tried-and-tested options, there are plenty of unique sides that are equally delightful and worth a try.

So why not explore exciting alternatives like sweet potato casserole, black-eyed peas, or coleslaw? Each provides its own unique tastes and textures that can take your meal from ordinary to extraordinary in no time.


Opting for one between the Chicken Fried and Country Fried Steak is a tough decision.

Both are delicious and offer unique features.

The former provides a crispy texture, while the latter offers a softer experience owing to its thicker breading.

Depending on your preference, you can choose either to satisfy your cravings.

However, it is worth noting that both options have high calorie and sodium levels.

So, consume them in moderation or as an occasional treat rather than as a regular meal.

Chicken Fried vs Country Fried Steak: Which is a Better Option?

Andrew Gray
Looking for a hearty dish? Let's compare Chicken Fried vs Country Fried Steak to determine which is a better option.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Chicken Fried
  • Country Fried Steak


  • Choose between two items based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword Chicken Fried vs Country Fried Steak
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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