How to Bread Meat

Two Methods:Classic Breaded CutletsBreading Chops and Chicken Pieces

A perfectly breaded pork chop, cutlet of veal, or fried chicken leg starts with the right preparation and ends in a hot frying pan. Your goal is ensure that a thin layer of crispy breading adheres to your meat after it is cooked. Avoid trouble spots such as bland taste, greasy coatings and separation of ingredients by setting yourself up for success before you bread meat.

Method 1
Classic Breaded Cutlets

Dishes such as chicken-fried steak, veal cutlets and Chicken Parmesan require you to pound boneless meat into thin, uniform slices before adding the meat breading. This ensures quick cooking and a large surface area for maximum crispy coating.

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    Flatten meat into cutlets using a tenderizing utensil. Follow recipe specifications, which usually call for half-inch or thinner pieces of meat.
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    Pour flour into a pie pan.
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    Beat eggs in a shallow bowl big enough to hold 1 cutlet.
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    Place breadcrumbs in another pie pan, if your recipe calls for them.
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    Dredge cutlets, 1 at a time, first in flour, then in eggs and then in either flour or breadcrumbs, to bread meat according to your recipe.
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    Set each breaded cutlet aside on a plate or rack, allowing them to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.

Method 2
Breading Chops and Chicken Pieces

Whole pieces of chicken and pork, with or without the bone, need more rigorous preparation and longer cooking time. Because these dishes usually don’t rely on a sauce for extra flavor, bread meat chops and pieces with seasoned crumbs.

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    Season either the flour or the breadcrumbs as per your recipe. Common seasonings for fried chicken or meat breading for pork chops include salt; black pepper; dried thyme, marjoram, basil and paprika; and garlic powder.
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    Place flour in a pie pan or paper bag.
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    Beat eggs in a shallow bowl large enough to fit all your meat pieces. Some fried chicken recipes suggest adding milk or water to eggs and allowing the meat to soak in this mixture for 5 to 10 minutes.
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    Pour breadcrumbs into another pie pan, for pork or oven-fried chicken.
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    Dredge chops or chicken in the pan of flour or shake them in a bag to make sure they’re well coated.
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    Dip your meat in the eggs and then dredge it again in either the flour or seasoned breadcrumbs specified by your recipe. Use your hands to press the coating onto the meat flesh or skin.
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    Let the chops or chicken rest so the meat breading starts to solidify before cooking.
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  • For a crunchier texture, buy Japanese-style panko crumbs, whose larger, irregular shapes allow for greater surface contact with hot cooking oil.
  • Shake breaded cutlets after dredging in each ingredient, to achieve a thin layer of breading that won’t soak up too much oil during cooking.
  • For a finer texture to meat breading, pulverize commercial breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs by running a rolling pin over a layer of crumbs spread beneath a sheet of waxed paper. Alternatively, you could also pulse them in a food processor for a few seconds.


  • Heat your cooking oil to a high enough temperature to cause immediate sizzling when you drop in the breaded meat. This will keep the breading in place and make it crispy.
  • Don’t leave any bald spots on breaded cutlets, which produces a spotty texture that absorbs more oil and encourages slabs of breading to fall off while cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt, pepper and other seasonings
  • Pie pan
  • Shallow dish or paper bag
  • Mallet or other meat-flattening tool (Classic Breaded Cutlets)

Article Info

Categories: Meat