Schnitzel, spaetzle, and german potato salad on a white plate topped with lemon and minced parsley.

Crispy on the outside and tender inside, discover how to craft the perfect schnitzel right at home.

German schnitzel is more than just a dish; it’s an experience. A cornerstone of German cuisine, schnitzel’s crispy exterior juxtaposed with tender meat inside has charmed diners for generations. It’s simple in its essence, yet when done right, it stands out, beckoning with its golden hue and tantalizing aroma. Whether you’ve tasted it on the streets of Munich or are preparing to make it in your kitchen for the first time, the journey to mastering schnitzel is as enjoyable as savoring the dish itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of meat is best for schnitzel?

Traditionally, veal or pork is used. However, chicken is still a delicious meat for schnitzel.

Can I use other types of breadcrumbs?

Yes, while plain breadcrumbs are standard, Panko breadcrumbs can be used for a crunchier texture.

Can I use store-bought lemon juice?

You can always substitute with store-bought lemon juice, however freshly squeezed is always best.

Can I add a sauce to schnitzel?

Absolutely! Schnitzel is often eaten plain with just a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, but can also be served with a sauce. One of the most common sauces is a creamy mushroom gravy:

Jägerschnitzel Mushroom Gravy

2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk

-In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
-Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes.
-Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat them evenly.
-Slowly pour in the chicken broth and milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
-Increase the heat to high and bring the gravy to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer until the gravy has thickened to your desired consistency, about 10 to 15 minutes.
-Serve the mushroom gravy over schnitzel. Enjoy!

Can I make schnitzel in the oven?

While traditionally fried in a skillet, you can bake the schnitzel in an oven if desired. Place breaded meat on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Can I make schnitzel in an air fryer?

Certainly! While we love the traditional, fried schnitzel, you can always cook a lighter version in an air fryer.

Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook until the schnitzel is golden brown and reaches the desired internal temperature for the specific meat used, approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.

What temperature do I need to cook schnitzel to?

Veal and pork schnitzel need to be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are making a chicken schnitzel, it needs to be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Brief History

Tracing back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, schnitzel’s roots are deep and rich. While variations exist across regions, its essence remains – pounded meat, breaded, and fried to perfection. Throughout Germany, schnitzel is more than just a meal; it’s a cherished tradition, often enjoyed during family gatherings, local festivals, and even as a hearty pub dish. It’s a dish that has crossed borders and won hearts, reflecting the warmth and tradition of German households.

Schnitzel Varieties

The “Wiener Schnitzel,” made from veal, is one of the most renowned types of schnitzel. The name derives from the German word “Wien,” signifying “Vienna,” pointing to its origins in the Austrian capital.

On the other hand, the “Jägerschnitzel,” typically crafted from pork, comes draped in a rich mushroom sauce. Its name is inspired by the German term “Jäger,” meaning “hunter,” indicating the dish’s popularity among hunting communities.

Schnitzels aren’t limited to just veal or pork. Varieties using other meats like chicken, turkey, or lamb are also beloved. These are often named by combining “schnitzel” with the specific meat source, leading to names like “Hähnchen-Schnitzel” for chicken schnitzel or “Lamm-Schnitzel” for lamb schnitzel.


  • Butter: Substitute with a plant-based butter alternative
  • Flour: Substitute with a gluten-free flour blend if desired.
  • Eggs: Substitute with a commercial egg replacement product or flax eggs.


  • Quick Browning: If your schnitzel is browning too quickly, it indicates that your oil might be too hot. Reduce the heat slightly and continue frying.
  • Soggy Schnitzel: This can occur if the oil temperature is too low, causing the schnitzel to absorb excess oil. Always aim to maintain an oil temperature of 350 degrees F for optimal results.

Tips From the Chef

  • Make sure to pound the meat evenly, ensuring uniform cooking.
  • Always let the meat come to room temperature before frying.
  • Fry in batches to prevent overcrowding, which can reduce oil temperature and affect crispness.
  • Use a thermometer to maintain the correct oil temperature throughout frying.
Schnitzel on a white plate topped with a sliced lemon and minced parsley.

Storage, Freezing & Reheating Instructions

German schnitzel is best eaten fresh. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To retain crispiness, reheat in an oven or toaster oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through.

Schnitzel can also be frozen after cooling completely. Store in freezer bags with parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Sides to Serve With Schnitzel

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.