The schnitzel is easily one of the most recognizable German specialties. Schnitzels are delicious, go formidably well with beer (which is why they are on most beer garden menus in Germany) and are both easy and cost effective to prepare. In this post I will show you how to make a thin and crispy schnitzel. I made us an entire platter in record time.


A schnitzel is a boneless, thinly sliced piece of meat, tenderized and pounded even thinner with a meat mallet, seasoned and pan-fried in cooking oil and/or butter.
Translated from German the word schnitzel means ‘cut off, torn-off little piece of something.


Most people assume that a schnitzel must be breaded and cooked until golden and crispy. While this is definitely correct and applies to the most popular schnitzels enjoyed world-wide, the focus (as the name suggests) is on the thin meat rather than the breaded meat.
It is all about pounding it thin! I cannot emphasize enough how important that is.
Suppose you are making a German pork schnitzel. If your meat is thicker than a third of an inch before you cook it, you will not be making a pork schnitzel, you will be making a boneless pork chop. Chris and I love our schnitzels super thin, so I try to pound them to about 1/4 inch thickness.
However, for simplicity, lets assume that you must bread the thinly pounded schnitzel before you pan-fry it. I mean… who doesn’t like crispy, fried to golden things? Where is that person?
Pork Schnitzel and chicken schnitzel platter.
For the platter in this post I made both pork and chicken schnitzels. The step by step pictures below show the process using chicken and in the short video recipe I am using pork cutlets. 


To make a traditional schnitzel first and foremost you will need:
  • boneless cutlets of meat and 
  • a standard breading procedure set up – a bowl with flour, another one with eggs (beaten) and a third one with bread crumbs. If you’d like extra crispy schnitzels you can consider mixing Panko bread crumbs with the regular bread crumbs or use Panko bread crumbs only.
By way of kitchen tools you will need a meat mallet to tenderize the meat cutlets as well as plastic wrap and a non-slip cutting board (or you can place a towel underneath your cutting board instead).
Simple ingredients to make a schnitzel - thinly sliced meat (pork, veal or chicken), flour, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Absolutely necessary - a meat mallet and plastic wrap to pound the meat to the necessary thinness.


Schnitzel is the easiest thing to make besides perhaps skillet pork chopsAll you have to do is:
  1. cover the meat cutlets with plastic wrap and pound them with the meat mallet, then flip them over and tenderize the other side. Season with salt and pepper and then proceed through the steps of the breading procedure.
  2. First dredge in flour, shake off all the excess and dip in the beaten eggs. Finally dip each side of the cutlets (schnitzels) in bread crumbs making sure they are uniformly coated.
  3. You are then ready to pan-fry. Be sure to heat cooking oil over medium-high heat to 350 F and for best results fry two schnitzels at a time. About 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how large your pounded cutlets are. When they look golden and crispy remove from the pan and place onto a paper towels lined plate.
NOTE: If you want to make sure the meat is cooked you can use a food thermometer to measure the temperature in the center of a schnitzel – you are looking for 165 F for chicken and 155 F for pork.

Steps to pound, season and bread a schnitzel.
A schnitzel is a boneless meat cutlet pounded extra thin with a meat mallet. It is then breaded and pan-fried until golden and crispy. This recipe works well for veal (Wiener schnitzel), pork or chicken schnitzels. 
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Austrian, German
Keyword: chicken schnitzel, pork schnitzel, schnitzel, Wiener schnitzel
Servings4 people (2 schnitzel per person)
Calories391 kcal
  • 8 5 oz cutlets (pork, veal or chicken breast)
  • 1 tsp each of salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • eggs, beaten
  • cups bread crumbs
  • cooking oil for frying, as needed, start with 1/2 cup
  1. Place two cutlets (i.e. schnitzels) at a time onto a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet to tenderize and thin out. Flip on the other side, cover again and repeat.
  2. Season the tenderized schnitzels with salt and pepper on both sides. 
  3. Set up a standard breading procedure of three bowls - one filled with flour, one with the eggs (beaten) and one with bread crumbs. 
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a pan to 350 F. 
  5. Dredge each schnitzel in flour, shake off excess, dip in the beaten eggs, then in the bread crumbs. Make sure each cutlet is nicely covered with bread crumbs.
  6. Gently ease each schnitzel into the pan (do not overcrowd, two at a time is good) and fry for about 2-3 minutes (depending on how big the schnitzels are). Turn schnitzels over to fry the opposite side for another 2 minutes. Remove when they turn golden.
  7. Place on a paper towel lined plate and either serve immediately or transfer to a baking sheet in a 200 F oven to keep warm and crispy until it is time to serve.

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