Austrian and German Recipes/ Dinner/ meat

German Schnitzel Recipe (Pork Schnitzel)

11 August 2022 | Last Updated: 17 August 2022 By Aleksandra

German Schnitzel is a crispy breaded pork cutlet. Learn with this easy recipe how to make the best German Schnitzel. These pork Schnitzel cutlets are the ultimate comfort food – crispy breading and tender, perfectly seasoned pork. Your whole family will love this easy dinner.

German pork schnitzel topped with lemon slices and served with potatoes on a beige plate.

What is Schnitzel?

Schnitzel is simply a breaded cutlet. It can be made from pork (Schweineschnitzel), veal, chicken, or turkey but the most popular choice in Germany is pork meat. The meat is pounded thinly, breaded in flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs, then fried in a pan.

What is the difference between German Schnitzel and Wiener Schnitzel?

German Schnitzel is NOT the same as Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese Schnitzel). Most people will tell you that the difference is just the choice of meat, pork for German Schnitzel and veal for Wiener Schnitzel, but it’s so much more.

The preparation technique is also a little bit different. German Schnitzel is usually just shallow-fried in a pan (the oil does not cover the Schnitzel) while the Wiener Schnitzel is deep-fried and cooked using a special technique that requires moving the Schnitzel with kitchen tongs while it’s being fried to create its hallmark ruffled surface.

Wiener Schnitzel will also be bigger due to the size of the veal cutlets that are cut from the veal’ leg using a butterfly cut. The sides that are served with both types of Schnitzel are also different – Wiener Schnitzel is very often served with lingonberry jam.

Here’s our recipe for authentic Wiener Schnitzel, Jägerschnitzel (Hunter’s Schnitzel), and breaded chicken cutlets.

If you’d like to read more about Schnitzel, here is an article about what is Schnitzel and about the different kinds of Schnitzel.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make this easy recipe:

Labeled ingredients for German pork Schnitzel.
  • boneless pork chops – you can also use chicken breast or turkey breast, bone-in pork chops can also be used
  • flour – helps the coating stick to the meat
  • eggs
  • fine breadcrumbs – you could also use Panko breadcrumbs for more crunch but if you’re going for an authentic flavor, you have to use fine, unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • for frying the cutlets: clarified butter called Butterschmalz in German is absolutely the best cooking fat for Schnitzel. The richness and flavor are just unbeatable. You can buy it or make homemade clarified butter (make sure to strain it really well if using it for this recipe). You can’t use regular butter – it would burn very quickly. You can also use any high smoke point vegetable oil such as canola oil, sunflower oil, or peanut oil. You can also use lard.
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning the meat

You could also add some grated parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs – such a breading is really delicious but completely not authentic.

How to make German pork Schnitzel step by step

A collage of 3 photos showing how to flatten pork chops into cutlets (Schnitzel).

STEP 1: Pound the meat into thinner cutlets

Place a thick plastic bag over pork chops and pound them with a meat mallet into a thickness of about 1/4 inch (6mm). Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Pound the meat gently and make sure to not make holes. I like to use the ridged side of the meat mallet to tenderize the meat but I’m being careful. You can also use the flat side that won’t make any holes.

Pork cutlet is being dredged in flour and dipped in beaten egg.

STEP 2: Bread the cutlets

Prepare your breading station: Prepare two shallow bowls or plates – add flour to one plate and the breadcrumbs to the other. Prepare one deeper plate for the eggs – beat the eggs with a fork.

Dredge one cutlet in flour on both sides, shake off excess flour.

Dip the cutlet in beaten eggs.

Pork cutlets are being coated in breadcrumbs and fried in a pan.

Coat in breadcrumbs (don’t press the breadcrumbs into the cutlet). Place on a clean tray and repeat with the remaining cutlets.

STEP 3: Fry the Schnitzel

Heat clarified butter or frying oil in a large frying pan over medium heat – at least 3/4 of the thickness of the Schnitzel.

When the oil is hot (you can throw a pinch of breadcrumbs into the oil – if they’re foaming intensely, the oil is ready) – place one or two Schnitzel in the pan (depending on how big is your pan) and cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through in the middle.

Transfer to a plate or a wire rack and repeat with the remaining cutlets.

Serve right away with lemon wedges/slices and enjoy!

What to serve with Schnitzel

Storage and freezing

Freshly cooked Schnitzel tastes best and there is no way around it. If you want to store it or freeze it here’s how:

How to store breaded cutlets: Breaded Schnitzel should be cooked right away or the breading will get soggy and won’t be crispy. If you have breaded the cutlets but can’t cook them right away, here’s what you should do: lay the breaded cutlets on a tray, cover with plastic foil, and put in the fridge. You can cook them a couple of hours later or the next day. Take the cutlets out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan on cooking them. After this time, coat the cutlets again in breadcrumbs and pan-fry. 

How to store breaded and cooked cutlets: Leave the cutlets to cool then put in a tightly closed container or wrap in plastic foil. Reheat the next day in a dry non-stick pan (or use a small amount of oil) and warm up over medium heat on both sides until warm. You can also reheat them in a 320°F (160°C) oven or air fryer.

How to freeze Schnitzel: cook the Schnitzel making sure to not brown them too much, let cool. Place on a baking sheet and put in the freezer. When the cutlets are frozen you can transfer them to bags/containers. When ready to eat, thaw the cutlets in the fridge then warm them up in a small amount of oil in a frying pan. Cook the cutlets over medium heat for about 20 seconds on one side, then about 20 seconds on the other side, just until warm.

Top tips for cooking perfect Schnitzel

  • if using pork meat it needs to be pounded thinly – don’t leave it too thick or it won’t have enough time to be cooked through
  • the oil and pan should be really hot before adding Schnitzel (or the Schnitzel will stick to the pan/breading won’t be crispy)
  • season the meat well with salt and pepper
  • for an authentic flavor use fine breadcrumbs (not panko)
  • if you want a light breading – don’t press the breadcrumbs into the meat, on the other hand – if you want thick breading, you can press the breadcrumbs and additionally, bread the cutlets a second time (just the eggs and breadcrumbs, without the flour)
  • use enough oil for the Schnitzel to ‘swim’, this is about 1/2 to 3/4 of the thickness of the Schnitzel
  • adjust the heat (it may vary depending on how powerful your stovetop is) – the heat should be high in order to get crispy and browned coating that is not soggy and oily but it can’t be too high or your Schnitzel will be browned on the outside but not cooked through in the middle
  • don’t let the Schnitzel sit on the counter – fry it as quickly as possible
  • Pound the meat gently and make sure to not make holes. I like to use the ridged side of the meat mallet to tenderize the meat but I’m being careful. You can also use the flat side that won’t make any holes.
German pork schnitzel topped with lemon slices and served with potatoes on a beige plate.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

German Schnitzel Recipe (Pork Schnitzel)

German Schnitzel is a crispy breaded pork cutlet. Learn with this easy recipe how to make the best German Schnitzel. These pork Schnitzel cutlets are the ultimate comfort food – crispy breading and tender, perfectly seasoned pork. Your whole family will love this easy dinner.
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German pork Schnitzel on a beige plate.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Schnitzel
Calories 662kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1/3 cup (40g) flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (120g) fine breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • clarified butter or oil for frying
  • lemon wedges to serve

Instructions

  • Place a thick plastic bag over pork chops and pound them with a meat mallet into a thickness of about 1/4 inch (6mm). Pound the meat gently and make sure to not make holes. I like to use the ridged side of the meat mallet to tenderize the meat but I’m being careful. You can also use the flat side that won’t make any holes.
  • Season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare two shallow bowls or plates – add flour to one plate and the breadcrumbs to the other. Prepare one deeper plate for the eggs – beat the eggs with a fork.
  • Bread the Schnitzel: dredge one cutlet in flour on both sides, shake off excess flour. Dip in the beaten egg then coat in breadcrumbs (don’t press the breadcrumbs into the cutlet). Place on a clean tray and repeat with the remaining cutlets.
  • Fry the cutlets: heat clarified butter or frying oil in a large frying pan over medium heat – at least 3/4 of the thickness of the Schnitzel. When the oil is hot (you can throw a pinch of breadcrumbs into the oil – if they’re foaming intensely, the oil is ready) – place one or two Schnitzel in the pan (depending on how big is your pan) and cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through in the middle.
  • Transfer to a plate or a wire rack and repeat with the remaining cutlets.
  • Serve right away with lemon wedges/slices and enjoy!

Notes

Storing and freezing instructions can be found in the body of the post.
Calories = 1 Schnitzel (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
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