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Schnitzel pan-fried to golden perfection with a crispy breading just like at your favorite German restaurant! This easy step by step recipe shows you how easy it is to make the best Schnitzel at home.
Easy German Schnitzel
Making Schnitzel at home is easier than you think! One of my favorite foods growing up in Germany was probably Schnitzel with Fries. You can get it in every restaurant but my Grandmother made the BEST Pork Schnitzel ever. Today I want to share all the tips and tricks!
A traditional German or Wiener Schnitzel should be golden brown and have a crispy breading with bubbles. Yes, air bubbles! This is very important – the goal is to get as many air-filled bubbles between the meat and the breading as possible after frying.
What is Schnitzel?
A schnitzel is a thin piece of meat that is coated in a breading and pan-fried in butter or oil. There are many variants made from different meats like pork, chicken, and veal.
What is Wiener Schnitzel?
Wiener Schnitzel is traditionally made from veal cutlet and originates from Austria.
What cut of meat is used for Schnitzel?
For Schnitzel you want to use a boneless cut of meat. You can use boneless pork chops for German Schnitzel, boneless veal chops for Wiener Schnitzel, or chicken breasts to make chicken schnitzel. I often buy the fast fry version that is already pretty thin and only needs a little bit of pounding and just make smaller schnitzel.
How to Make Schnitzel
Making Schnitzel at home is a lot easier than you might think.
- Pound the meat as thin as possible without making any holes in it. (see photos above for reference)
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Drench through some flour.
- Drench through the egg mixture.
- Turn schnitzel in the breadcrumbs.
- Fry until golden.
To pound the Schnitzel, use a meat pounder, tenderizer, or a small pan. Always use the flat side and not the raised side because the little holes in the meat will make it drier.
How to Fry Schnitzel
Schnitzels are shallow-fried instead of deep-fried. That means they are not submerged in fat but only swim in about a finger deep of fat.
Traditionally Schnitzels are fried in clarified butter which is called Butterschmalz in German. This gives you the great taste of butter combined with a high smoke point. Normal butter will not work in this recipe, because it has such a low smoke point.
You need to use about 1/2 inch of oil in the pan so the schnitzel cooks evenly and can ‘swim’ in the pan. It is also important that the fat is not too hot, the perfect temperature is 320-340F (160-170C) otherwise the breadcrumbs will burn.
What to serve with pork schnitzel
Always serve Schnitzel with a slice of lemon to squeeze over the hot Schnitzel and ketchup on the side.
Vegetable sides: Green salad, German Cucumber Salad, or coleslaw.
You can also serve schnitzel with a mushroom sauce which is called Jaeger Schnitzel.
What do to with leftovers?
Store leftover schnitzel in an airtight container in the fridge. They keep for a few days and taste great cold. My favorite thing to do is to make a schnitzel sandwich.
Tips for making the BEST Schnitzel
- Pound meat until it is super thin about 0.2 inches or 0.5 cm. The thinner the better!
- Don’t press the schnitzel into the breadcrumbs otherwise, you won’t get air bubbles.
- Immediately fry the Schnitzels! Don’t let them sit.
- Use enough fat or oil in the pan! 0.5 inches or 1.5 cm – about the thickness of a finger.
- Clarified butter is best tastewise! Check out my easy recipe here. Taste-neutral Vegetable oil with a high smoke point can be used too. Add a Tbsp of butter to the oil for taste.
- Make sure the fat is hot before you put the schnitzel in the pan! Drop a breadcrumb in the pan, if it sizzles it’s hot or use a thermometer (340F is perfect).
- Don’t overcrowd the pan because the temperature of the fat will drop when you put the schnitzel in!
- Only turn the Schnitzel once!
- 4 boneless pork chops, or more if small
- Salt, to season
- Pepper, to season
- 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dried white breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp cream or milk
- Clarified butter, or vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp of butter
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Place the pork chops on a cutting board and put a large piece of clingfilm over it and pound with a rolling pin, large knife, or mullet to about 0.2 inches (0.5cm) without making holes in it. Season with salt and pepper on each side. Repeat with the other pork chops.
- In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs lightly with the cream. Put flour on a plate and the breadcrumbs on another.
- Dip each schnitzel in the flour on both sides, then drench through the egg mixture, and lastly turn in the breadcrumbs until evenly covered but don’t press the schnitzel in the mixture.
- In a large frying pan, heat 1/4-inch oil or clarified butter (about the thickness of a finger) over medium heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and quickly browns. If using oil then add 2 Tbsp butter to the pan, it will foam a bit.
- Drop escalopes in the pan (depending on the pan you have to cook the schnitzel in batches) and cook until golden brown on the bottom about 2-4 minutes depending on the size, then turn over and cook until the other side is golden and the schnitzels are done about 1-3 more minutes.
- Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to quickly blot the excess oil, then immediately serve garnished with a lemon slice.