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Chicken Fried Steak vs. Country Fried Steak — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on December 7, 2023
Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak often refer to the same dish: breaded, fried beef steak. However, some differentiate based on gravy usage and slight variations in preparation.
Chicken Fried Steak vs. Country Fried Steak — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak

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Key Differences

Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak are popular dishes in Southern U.S. cuisine. Originating from the culinary traditions of German immigrants in Texas, both are comfort foods that have garnered a vast following.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
At a glance, Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak seem identical: both involve beef steak being breaded and fried. The name "chicken fried" comes from the cooking method resembling the way fried chicken is prepared, not from any chicken content.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
Despite their similarities, some culinary enthusiasts argue distinctions between the two. For them, Chicken Fried Steak typically comes with a peppery white gravy, while Country Fried Steak might be paired with a more traditional brown gravy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
Geographic variations and personal preferences often blur the lines further. Some regions or restaurants might use the terms Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak interchangeably, leading to more confusion for diners.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
Regardless of the name or minor differences, both Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak represent hearty, flavorful dishes that are staples in many Southern meals, and both have achieved iconic status in American comfort food.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Gravy Type

Often served with white, peppery gravy.
Commonly paired with brown gravy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Cooking Method

Breaded and fried similar to fried chicken.
Also breaded and fried.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Geographic Origins

Popularized in Texas and the Southern U.S.
Also prevalent in the South.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Name Origin

Named for the frying method resembling fried chicken.
Denotes rustic, country-style preparation.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Popularity

Widely popular and iconic in Southern cuisine.
Equally cherished in many Southern meals.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Chicken Fried Steak

A Southern dish where beef steak is breaded and fried.
I love the crispy crust on this Chicken Fried Steak.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Country Fried Steak

Steak cooked in a rustic, country-style manner.
The Country Fried Steak has that homey feel to it.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Chicken Fried Steak

Steak prepared using a method similar to fried chicken.
She cooks the Chicken Fried Steak just like she does her fried chicken.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Country Fried Steak

A dish where beef steak is breaded, fried, and often paired with brown gravy.
This Country Fried Steak reminds me of my grandma's cooking.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Chicken Fried Steak

A comfort food staple in American Southern cuisine.
Whenever I visit Texas, I have to get some Chicken Fried Steak.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Country Fried Steak

A variation of the fried steak dishes popular in American diners.
Diners across the U.S. often have Country Fried Steak on the menu.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Chicken Fried Steak

Often paired with a white, peppery gravy.
Pour some of that gravy over my Chicken Fried Steak, please!
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Country Fried Steak

A breaded steak dish representing hearty, American cuisine.
I'm in the mood for some classic American food, like Country Fried Steak.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Chicken Fried Steak

A dish that merges techniques from German schnitzel and Southern frying.
The Chicken Fried Steak has roots in both European and American culinary traditions.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Country Fried Steak

A Southern U.S. comfort food, similar to Chicken Fried Steak.
I can't decide between Country Fried Steak or fried chicken for dinner!
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Common Curiosities

Is there chicken in Chicken Fried Steak?

No, the name refers to the frying method, not the content.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Are Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak the same?

They're often used interchangeably, but some differentiate based on gravy type.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

What kind of gravy goes with Chicken Fried Steak?

It's typically served with a white, peppery gravy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Why is it called Chicken Fried Steak?

It's named for the cooking method resembling that of fried chicken.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Are there other similar dishes globally?

Yes, it's reminiscent of the German dish "schnitzel."
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

What kind of meat is used for these dishes?

Typically, tenderized beef round steak is used.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Which is crispier: Chicken Fried Steak or Country Fried Steak?

Both can be crispy, but it depends on the chef's preparation.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Where did these dishes originate?

They have roots in Texas, influenced by German immigrants.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Is Country Fried Steak always served with brown gravy?

Often, but not always. Some places might use white gravy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Is the meat in Country Fried Steak always beef?

Predominantly, yes. It's a beef steak that's breaded and fried.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Are these dishes served only in the U.S.?

While they're iconic in the U.S., they can be found in restaurants globally.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Which one is more popular in the South?

Both are beloved, but preferences might vary by region or individual.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Can I make these dishes at home?

Absolutely, with the right ingredients and techniques!
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Is Chicken Fried Steak spicy?

The white gravy might have a peppery kick, but the steak itself isn't spicy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

How do I choose between Chicken Fried Steak and Country Fried Steak at a restaurant?

Ask about the gravy type or any other variations they might have!
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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