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Admit it. You LOVE fried chicken, fried green tomatoes and chicken fried steak. You NEVER fix it for dinner because every time you attempt to make it, the breading slides off in the pan leaving your dish naked and ugly. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME! Don’t sweat it, just read on and that will NEVER be a problem again. EVER. Because here we have THE SECRET TO BREADING THAT STICKS. 

How many times have you planned a wonderful dinner only to leave the tasty breading sitting in the bottom of the pan looking burnt up and black? If you are like me, it only happened a few times because then you gave up! Who wants to face that kind of rejection and humiliation in the kitchen? Not anyone we want to know!

That is the reason you mostly find “oven baked fried” recipes on Loaves and Dishes (embarrassed half grin). Not anymore my friends! Not anymore!

There are a few secrets you need to know that will keep the breading on whatever you are trying to cook.

a photo of The Secret to Perfect Chicken Fried Steak with sunlight shining on the gravy

The Secret to Perfect Chicken Fried Steak


It is likely that if your breading won’t stick it is because of one of the following reasons:

  1. You started with something that was too wet.

That’s it.

That is the main reason.

The reason? As the item starts to cook, the water in it will send out steam that pushes the breading off. That is why it is laying in the bottom of the pan!


Oven Baked Fried Chicken


Perfect Fried Chicken


There are several ways to address this but only ONE that I recommend and that is to follow the steps below…

  1. No matter if you are brining the meat (or other item) first or not – the item must be dry before you start the breading process.
    1. If brining the meat (or other item)  first, remove it from the brining liquid at least an hour before you plan to start cooking and allow it to air dry on a drying rack (over a sheet pan, of course). You can do this in the refrigerator – I would allow it to sit uncovered in the fridge – just to help with the drying process – but that is up to you.
    2. If you are NOT brining, remove the item from the package, apply a sprinkle of kosher salt and allow it to rest as described above on a drying rack – over a sheet pan.
  2. Dry the item well with several layers of paper towels too. I usually give mine a little press while I am drying it – just to make sure that I did get all of the water out (if trying to make fried green tomatoes – just a little pat). (You may or may not know this, but often the meat we purchase at the grocery is “plumped up” with salt water. This really doesn’t help the taste of the meat – but it does add weight that you pay for – so there you go).
  3. Score the meat lightly with a knife (don’t do this with tomatoes).
  4. Do a three part breading process.

    1. The first will be a light coating of plain flour – nothing else.
    2. The second will be an egg/milk mixture
    3. The third will be a flour, cornmeal and seasonings mix.
  5. Do things in THAT specific order. Do not bread your item until you are ready to put it in the hot oil. So – if you can – have the breading station NEAR to the stove. (Just trying to help you avoid a mess).
  6. You will want to use containers that are big enough for the job at hand. I think the BEST solution would be three 9×9 breading trays. However, you can figure out what to do in your own kitchen. Just make sure that you have enough room in each container to adequately bread/coat each piece of meat. I’ve included a link to some containers that would make a great breading station if you are so inclined (affiliate link). You can click the photo to go through to Amazon and check the prices. I encourage you to check out your local shopping place first though – you will probably find a better price. 

That’s it. That is how you get the breading to stick.

Now, if you want to know more about other aspects of perfect breading. Like, how do you cook PERFECT breaded meat? or  How do you keep the breading crispy until EVERYTHING Is cooked?

Then you might want to read the tips over on my post The Secret to Perfect Chicken Fried Steak.

Below you will find a basic recipe for breading that will work with chicken or beef or pork.

fried green tomato

Fried Green Tomato




Did you ever wonder why your breading slips off in the pan?  Want crispy crunchy breading that stays on regardless of what meat you are cooking?  The answers are right here. 
5 from 2 votes
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Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breading that sticks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 300kcal


  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs - beaten
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbs cornmeal
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Set up three dishes for a breading station - make sure that the dishes are large enough to accommodate the pieces of meat plus the ingredients.
  • For dish one, simply place ½ cup of all purpose flour.
  • For the second dish, mix the 2 large eggs and the ½ cup of whole milk together well.
  • For the third dish, mix ½ cup of all purpose flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, chili powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of black pepper.
  • When the oil is hot and ready, give the meat a final pat with paper towels to remove the remaining water and then dip the first piece of meat in the the first breading - plain flour only - cover completely with a light coat of the flour. Immediately dip into the egg and milk mix. Then transfer to the seasoned flour mix - pat the flour onto the meat well.
  • Fry according to your directions


The secret to breading that sticks is DRY meat.  Make sure that the meat you are cooking is VERY dry.  
The seasoning that you are putting in the flour seems like a LOT!  It is a lot!  You need a lot of seasoning to overcome the other flavors. 


Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!



Some things have been on my mind lately. I have searched for eloquent words to discuss it, however, as I was researching, I ran across this Billy Graham video. It is quite old and you will see that some of the topics he discusses aren’t so much of a concern anymore – like AIDS for example. However, just substitute the things that we are worried about today – a nuclear North Korea, test bombs being launched, a President who may have his finger on “the button”,  race issues, demonstrations by the KKK that are opposed by groups with yet unknown backing.

That is just to name a few.

You get the idea.

Anyway, I could never say things better than Billy Graham, so I’m just going to include a link to one of his videos. I encourage you to take a listen.

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Saturday 7th of May 2022

I imagine this will work with fish as well. I just had my panko/almond breading come right off my fish, that's why I'm here :(

Can't wait to try it next time!

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 11th of May 2022

Hi Geno, Let me know how it works with fish!


Friday 5th of February 2021

Thanks for your post!

I personally do not go to such large lenghts to dry the chicken. the effective method that I use, which I feel is simpler, is to let the chicken sit for 10 to 15 minutes before deep frying. It changes from a powdery white flour look, to a seasoned wetter look. It's kind of slightly sticky then. Mine never falls off. Before when I would not let it rest after breading, it would fall off.


Sunday 6th of December 2020

Thank you for your answer. It's kind of a no-brainer and I feel stupid that I missed it.

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 6th of December 2020

No need to feel stupid! :)


Wednesday 13th of May 2020

There fact that you think Billy Graham has anything other than crazy town thinking, makes me never want to come back to this site. Try and broaden your thoughts and stay away from that brain washing.


Friday 26th of November 2021

@Wendi Spraker,

Oops!! Sorry for mis-spelling your name, dear…I was so eager to get my message out there, my fingers were flying a hundred miles a minute!!! I appreciate you not backing down from your beliefs to those intolerant to others’ way of living. Cheers!


Friday 26th of November 2021

@Wendi Spraker,

Well said, Wendy. Well said.🙏🏼

I belive

Thursday 31st of December 2020

@Wendi Spraker, though I am not as eloquent as you (alas, my response would’ve been leaning towards a sharp sword), I commend your response to such a naysayer of the sacrifice provided us as a gift. My response is not a judgement on anyone; thank you much for your time & effort to make a post for someone’s benefit. You’re thought towards Christianity is direly missed in our current society

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I thought for a while about deleting your comment and banning you from my website, Anonymous. The fact that you didn't leave your name or your email address (even though that part is private and only I can see it) tells me that you don't want to do anything but launch rockets at me and run away scared while hiding in a cloak of anonymity. That's fine. I'm curious about something though, did you watch the video that I suggested? I bet you didn't. I say that because I am not a big Billy Graham fan actually. That said, I can look past my initial thoughts and hear the message that he is saying which is far from crazy town. Don't want to come back to this site? No problem, just stay away then. I'm sure you can find the answers to your cooking questions somewhere else. That said, I stand on my belief in Jesus because I AM a Jesus follower. Peace.


Saturday 12th of October 2019

Works perfectly! Never dawned on me to dry the meat/ item.. Thanks so much!

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 12th of October 2019

HI Doug! It took me FOREVER to figure this out, so no worries :) . It never occured to me either! I think I figured, the wetter the meat is the more there is for the breading to stick to! Not true. :) . Thanks for leaving a comment! I appreciate it very much!


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